Paramount Pictures thought that in order to get the full effect of Paranormal Activity 2, released last Friday, they would send me along with other willing students, reviewers and press faces to experience real unexplained behaviour. Deep in The London Tombs we explored with Haunted Happenings, genuine Paranormal experts, to see what spirits and ghosts we could find. Here's what happened:
To start the night off we were taken through the various rooms of the tombs, being told what the different rooms were (including a lovely beheaded room and a carcass room) and what we could be experiencing. At this point it was very light hearted with the lights on and fake looking mannequins everywhere, as The London Tombs is a tourist attraction during the day. When we got told that the general manager heard arguing with nobody around and had experienced frequent contacts from ghosts, we were all a bit giggly and not expecting too much.
The next phase of the night was to learn how to use tools in contacting the dead. This included a crystal which we all are meant to get to know at home (although, mine is now safely tucked in its bag never coming out again). You held it still in your hand, and when we were told to ask it yes or no question, it span a certain way. Now, you may think this is all in our mind, but if anything, it was very bizarre acute hand movements.
Now's when it gets scary... We were taken into smaller groups to explore the rooms in the pitch black with only our weak torches to guide our way. The first room saw us sitting in benches huddled together whilst some willing volunteers chose to do a bit of glass moving. When the spirit guide asked if there was anything in the room, the glass started to move. Okay, bit creepy. Then we heard a knock from the back where there was NOBODY. Now, even the tiniest noise would send us off asking "Did you hear that?" We were then taken into a room where we stood round a table. Calling out to whatever was in that room, we got cold, heard tapping and breathing and then a stone was thrown. But the thing is, the room was plastered with no stone around. And this stone was more like a crystal than anything. WHERE COULD THIS HAVE COME FROM?!
Now we were all shaken up a little, so next we were asked to stand in a circle holding hands. "If there is any spirits in this room, please make a noise, scream, yell, touch somebody, raise somebody's hand." Touch somebody?! If anything was going to be touching me I think I would have passed out. People started feeling cold and hearing tapping, then hands started raising, including mine! Me and Louisa from Paramount couldn't understand why both our hands started to raise. It was a surreal moment in my life.
"Next we're going to sit in a row spaced out by ourselves" - Uh, fun. Once we had all been seated, at this point I was petrified. Shaking, cold and eyes closed, I only heard what everyone else was seeing. A light flashing in the corner (when they were all turned off) and lots of tapping. Then someone opposite me said "Kelly, did you just exhale?" I did not, well, not loudly. And Ben filming couldn't get me into focus, then room went misty. The guide started asking if they wanted to touch anyone or say something - My hair moved and I felt a tap on my head. I froze and thought "Oh god, Katie's going to get me" after seeing Paranormal Activity 2.
At this point we had a break so everyone could gather themselves again. Now's the chance you could sit in a room by yourself to see if you could contact the dead yourselves. Obviously I thought I'd rather a drink and a little sit down, but no, Jo from Simply Celluloid dragged me into the pitch black room where we first went in. This was probably in my head but there was definitely shuffling in that room and a light flashing. Very elegantly I ran out of the room dragging Jo with me and fell to the floor to catch my breath - Yes, I was that dramatic. Then I had my drink and a sit down.
The final phase of the night was a Ouija Board reading and table tipping. We managed to move the table from one side of the room to another, apparently talking to a young man who had been murdered in that very place. In regards to the Ouija Board, it's a very surreal experience. You hear and read all about the hauntings people get, but actually it was the least scariest activity of them all. We found a boy who couldn't spell his name who was 8. The chains in the room started to move and he moved around the room. But it seemed quite peaceful from all the other happenings. Maybe I just got used to it, or maybe it was just a nice little boy who wanted friends. Your hands move around the board without you really thinking so that's what confused me.
Needless to say, I haven't slept without a light on since.
Thanks to everyone at Paramount Pictures and Beatwax for giving me the genuinely scariest experience of my life. It was a superb night.