I had initially abandoned blog pages a couple of years ago. But, recently there has been a tremendous amount going on here at Wycombe Paranormal. There have also been a tremendous amount of people talking about what I get up to, so here's the official blog!
I've recently contributed to a few episodes of a TV series called World's Most Unexplained. This all came about during a visit to New York. I was catching up with my friends at the Brooklyn Paranormal Society. Stacks of pizza prevented us from talking across the table, but eventually, we managed to eat enough to resume our conversations. My friend, Andrew Arnett, a skilled writer and journalist told me that he was contributing to a documentary series and that he would tell the producers I was in town. Of course, I imagined maybe getting an email when I arrived home for something they might do in the future. We carried on talking about various paranormal oddities, pizza etc etc..
A couple of days later Andrew contacted me again, "They want to talk to you about fraudulent psychics and spontaneous human combustion." Now, I was hoping there had been cases of fraudulent psychics spontaneously combusting, alas not. There is however, a huge crackdown by police in several US states against scammers of a psychic nature. Some have conned tens to hundreds of thousands out of the public. Their methods easily recognisable to the trained eye. So, I was confident I could speak on this issue.
Spontaneous human combustion though? Not heard of any of cases of that for a long time. I had always just assumed that cases were associated with the elderly and less able (which they are) who would fall asleep while smoking. This is known as the wick effect. Certain secretions and oils in some people's skin are flammable, at low temperatures. This explains why in cases of SHC that no furniture or furnishings are touched by flame, yet bodies are found near fully cremated. Surely, this can't still be happening? So few people smoke these days, and those that do will often smoke outside their homes. Maybe it's not smoking that poses a future risk of SHC though. I got to thinking. I myself, and many many people I know will fall asleep charging their phones beside their pillow. Manufacturers of these devices adhere to strict safety policies, meaning chargers, cables and replacement batteries are fairly costly. Cheap chargers, cables and replacement batteries are readily available in shops and online, Trading Standards in the UK regularly raid businesses selling these potentially dangerous items. Could this cause an upsurge of cases of Spontaneous Human Combustion? I mean, it wouldn't be so spontaneous, fire investigators would easily recognise the cause. But the cost to life would be the same. Don't be stingy! Especially if it's your kids' devices.
Interestingly, Andrew spoke at length about the goings on at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles. Some people call it "Murder Hotel" due to some of the sinister events there. I knew a little bit about the place, but it was fascinating to sit the other side of the camera and listen to Andrew's research into the subject.
After filming, the producer, Kathryn, took us out to a restaurant. A vegan restaurant. You know what? It was delicious! Kathryn used to live in North London and we got talking about the "most haunted towns" in England. As usual, I scoffed at Pluckley being in the Guinness Book of Records. I mean how do you even quantify what can not be proven? In any case, I told her, just one pub on my Haunted Amersham Ghost Tour beats Pluckley. That was it, another episode of Weird World of the Unexplained was written there and then! About a month later 2 great lads from Dublin flew over to film around Amersham and interview me. I supplied them with my tour script to use as a backbone to the episode. Just one conversation over pizza in Brooklyn has probably done more for tourism in Amersham than many other concerted efforts by the town itself.
Next up for me is as a speaker at Ghost Hunters Convention 2020 in Oxford. I will be tackling legislation relating to investigations in people's private residences. Looks to be a fascinating weekend!
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