Proud to be the associate producer on Jason Figgis' new film, Simon Marsden: A Life in Pictures - vimeo.com/271710091
Catch my interview with top model Jody Sturman in this month's Suffolk and Norfolk Life magazine. www.suffolknorfolklifemagazine.com/
The May issue of Psychic News sees me look into alleged ghost photographs. You can buy the magazine from all good newsagents or order it online www.psychicnews.org.uk/
Potsford Wood – off the B1078 – can be a spooky place even on the brightest of days. Halfway down a long and overgrown lane can be found the rotting remains of Potsfold Gibbet.
It was last used on the 14th April 1699 when Jonah Snell was executed for the murder of John Bullard and his son at the nearby Letheringham Water Mill. He killed them with an axe - bizarrely hanging them upside down from a beam in the mill after committing the dreadful deed. His victims are supposed to haunt the mill still.
Snell's body was left to rot on the gibbet as a warning to others. He was later buried nearby after the skeleton fell to the ground. Presumably it's still there!
Many locals will not visit the wood and some claim that they have seen strange lights hovering near the gibbet. Groans and chocking sounds have also been heard. A figure in black has been seen standing near the gibbet.
In 1997 a couple reported being harassed by a black figure that moaned at them one night after their car broke down on the main road. In the 1980's, another sighting supposedly took place in daylight - a truck driver walked down the lane and started reading the plaque on the gibbet. He felt a tap on his shoulder. Turning back, he came face to face with a skeleton, hooded and robed. He fled in terror.
Sadly, it has proved impossible to verify the two accounts mentioned above as no sources have ever been given in previous accounts published. Investigating hauntings can prove to be a frustrating business at times!
I should add that ghostly apparitions in this wood can sometimes have a more down to earth explanation!
During research for this article, I was talking to a retired poacher who used to 'visit' the woods. During one such expedition he spotted several white figures standing by some trees. They didn't move and continued to stare blankly ahead, apparently unaware of his presence. He fled the scene. The next morning he decided to return to the wood to see if he could find a rational explanation for the eerie apparitions. Imagine his surprise when he noticed that the figures were still there! It was only when he came within 20 feet of them that he realised what they were - someone had dumped several stolen garden statues in the wood!
One can only wonder if some of the other stories concerning ghostly sightings in Potsford Wood were down to the local poaching fraternity? It's hardly surprising that they would have a vested interest in ensuring that locals stayed away from the area - especially at night!
Hearing three knocks in an empty room means that someone known to you has passed away.
Don't leave your shoes on the table! It can bring sickness and even death according to folklore.
Experiencing a chill up your spine means that someone has just walked over your future grave.
Some cultures believe that tombstones prevent the souls of the dead from leaving their graves.
Coffee grounds in a straight line at the bottom of your cup? You can expect an impending funeral.
Touch a loved one who has died and you won’t have dreams about them.
Somewhere in Rendlesham Forest could be found an S shaped pond with a very sinister reputation. Children in the 19th century were warned to stay away from it 'lest the mermaid should come and crome you in'. Crome was a long-handled rake.
Some folklorists believe that these legends of water bogeys are, in fact, distorted memories of water spirits that were worshipped by our pagan ancestors. Others suggest that such tales were simply invented to deter children from playing near water.
The April issue of Psychic News features my investigation of Edinburgh Castle and its ghosts. Available from all good newsagents or online here - www.psychicnews.org.uk/
Here's a link to the archive repeat. Hope you like it kcorradio.com/KCOR/Podcasts/The-Voice-of-Spirit/2018/March/John-West-John-west-Media-The-Voice-of-Spirit-Hosted-by-Leo-Bonomo-KCOR-Digital-Radio-Network.mp3
I'm being interviewed by Leo Bonomo tonight. I'll be chatting about my writing and broadcasting career. Starts at 6 pm in the UK.
John is a TV/radio presenter and author living in Suffolk