A bit of background .....
Hiya, my name is Jen and I'm lucky enough to have become a paranormal investigator with the most fantastic set of people (grovel, grovel), they are really great, funny and intelligent, talented and full of warmth. The team is growing from strength to strength. I believe we work together amazingly well, it's been a bit of a journey with a few thrills and spills along the way and now things are really happening for us.
The team is basically made up of 4 core members, Ade, Tim, Rich and myself. My partner, Ade, is our "gadget man" and forever interested in any new equipment and shows infinite patience in all the setting up that goes hand in hand with every investigation. He is also a sensitive, a strong dowser and now starting to dabble a bit with a pendulum! Ade and Tim between them do most of the setting up and also carry out the vast majority of the filming. We have a brilliant medium in Tim whose incredible talents include psychic mediumship, clairvoyance, clairsentience and clairaudience. He works extremely hard in all aspects of his gift and is also very practical, he designed and built the website and is constantly adding to it. We have a talented photographer in Rich who has captured some terrific shots, he always seems to be in the right place at the right time! Over the 3 years or so we've been together we have carried out around 30 investigations, here in Cambridge and up and down the country. We are always on the look out for more ....
We have recently been joined by another couple of budding investigators, Laura and Andrea who have come in on the last two investigations, that's great news for me personally having been the only woman in the team for so long which believe me is not always easy! Having extra people along can only add in a wholly positive way to the strength in the team, we really seem to enjoy the same quirky sense of humour and sharing interest in all things paranormal.
Well I guess this is Jen's Page and so this should perhaps be a little about me!!??
I had a fantastic childhood. My parent were (still are!) complete individualists, fairly bohemian and very open in attitude. I don't recall ever being told I had to be good at something, don't do this, you can't do that, etc. etc, they never put pressure on me in any way other than offering me lots of opportunity, did I want ballet lessons or piano, did I want to go horse riding etc etc. To my shame now, I never wanted to do these privileged things and more often than not I did get my own way and was left to do the things I liked, playing outside, climbing trees, hide and seek and games in the parks and woods that surrounded where we lived.
Our house was a fairly huge, rambling Georgian building with great high ceilings and the infinite feeling of space with its big rooms and massive gardens and space everywhere. It was always overflowing with people dashing in and out, dropping by for dinner, neighbours on the borrow. My friends would queue up to come "round ours", eat hugely Mum's own cooking and relax around the place with its comfortable old furniture (nothing posh here! all secondhand stuff!) full of character and everyone made to feel so welcome always. From early childhood, I was about 2 I think, Mum and Dad had installed some Chinese nurses in the basement and my eyes would stream with the hot curries they would make and Dad would eat these concoctions until he turned just about purple! They would giggle and laugh and make him eat more.
We had some great times with kids parties (I have two older sisters) and Dad would make up games with cards, and better still, the evening would draw to a close when he would tell stories, these became famous round our schools and the kids would beg to come again and again year after year, even boasting around how they had been invited to one of our birthday bashes. I have some terrific memories.
My parents were not religious, at least not by the time I was in the world. They weren't actively anti-Christian but I think certainly more atheist than anything, very surprising when you look at their own backgrounds, especially Dad's. He went through a phase of being extremely religious, when he was a boy he turned to Methodism and would often write the sermons for chapel. His mother was Church of England but she would help him write them.
Mum and Dad didn't ever suggest I be a churchgoer however one of my sisters decided to get herself confirmed into the Church of England and was never discouraged by them. They were always encouraging us to be ourselves and follow our own systems and only when quietly nudged would offer their own opinions which was never forced on us.
When I was growing up I have the fondest memories of watching telly with my Dad. When I was really little he would watch Dr Who with me hiding behind the settee! and later as I grew a bit older we would watch the classic Hammer Horror vampire films together, with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, I was far too scared to watch them on my own, but it was great with Dad.
Both my parents are avid readers and the house was always full of books and novels, anything from Shakespeare and Dickens to Edgar Allen Poe, and a great many science and maths textbooks, autobiographies, plays, oh anything and everything picked up secondhand or borrowed from my parents' literary friends or scripts mum had either brought home from her local drama group or even written herself. I was so lucky to live with a family who love literature and I have picked up the book worm habit and will always be a reader. I have scared myself silly with reading James Herbert and the like and still enjoy a sneaky wallow in horror fiction even after my years with the team! Fact and fiction may have nothing in common but to me it's all completely absorbing.
Well I guess all the stuff on my family background is finally leading me to try and write where I'm at and why I continue to study the paranormal and basically why I love being with my team.
I have always had a strong belief in family, I was so lucky in that my growing up was not a painful experience but full of learning and always surrounded by interesting people and parents who want to listen to you. I have felt the connection with my family going way back and strongly believe in the power of inheritance. I remember having a sort of argument with one of my sisters when we were quite young about genetic inheritance. I feel that the family can be so connected and it feels like a long string of events and memories going back and back in time. She does not agree with me, however and still takes some convincing! But I feel that your character is built on and develops through history and events and probably very many past lives.
We know there is strong family resemblance and that certain talents and gifts can be handed down. I would go further than that and state I actually believe in past life regeneration and there is some evidence to say that you can come back in the world again and again, but particularly as another family member, in other words you are regenerated from a relative that can go back centuries, or even just a couple of generations. It's all in that word "regeneration".
Paranormal in the family
My dad's grandmother Mary may possibly have been a witch, she certainly had some unusual powers. She was a formidable character. She had two husbands and hated both of them! When she was about 20 she took off to Australia, entirely on her own, to make her fortune during the gold rush. She made it out there but only just, she nearly died when disembarking from the ship, where it docked there was no gangplank and it was a case of having to climb across other boats moored up and as she stepped along the vessels she actually fell between the sides of two of them and was saved in the nick of time by the man who became her first husband. My dad's mum Nelly (Mary's firstborn) was born out there in a tent and lived in the outback until she was 2 and they came back to England then.
They seem to have made some money and were able to set up a number of fish and chip shops with beer licences in London, Liverpool and Manchester but drank away the profits. Mary's first husband the mining engineer died young and she later married the next chap, a Mr Buller, who also did not live long. They settled in a small cotton town near Manchester and had a son and 2 more daughters. Dad's mum, Nelly worked as a weaver but mother Mary decided to leave England again to try her luck in America, leaving her eldest behind with one of her sisters Ada, taking the other girl Flora with her. Mary however returned to England penniless leaving her daughter Flora in America married to a wealthy man! She must have been bitter, penniless and hanging around with her relatives but living on her own. Keeping her independence she elected to go into an old people's hospital (a former workhouse) much to her family's dismay. She was really formidable and told them "when I come to die don't you bury me with my husbands or I will turn over in my grave". She really hated them both, but especially Buller. Money was short though and there was no alternative but to use the family grave, it was there waiting. "A Penny a week puts you safely in the grave". But as the coffin was lowered the ropes slipped and the coffin overturned.
The scene was witnessed by Nelly the eldest (Dad's mum) and she was a Christian lady and well respected in the community, poor herself she helped with the poverty-stricken families around her, giving money and food where she could. It is well documented in the family. The old lady kept her word, she warned them against putting her in the family plot, she predicted what would happen and what's more, she carried it out successfully, both in the grave and beyond!
Well, I hope I've managed somehow to put across a little about where I come from, now I'd like to try and put down what it is like to belong in a team such as ours. I think we mentally seem to "click" and work really well together as a team, each of us supporting the other members and actively encouraging each other during our vigils, always learning and developing ourselves forever forwards. We have to trust one another implicitly and this kind of trust can only be built through our times working together and spending lots of time properly communicating and accepting each other and having some good laughs along the way! We are like a little extended family.
I am so fortunate coming as I do from a family so keen on history and reading and the like, and my parents are really interested in what I do and helpful in the way they are prepared to spend time telling me about family connections. They are keen to listen to our experiences and I feel I can tell them a little about our findings knowing they won't find it strange and they try to understand me as much as possible. I am privileged to have come from a long line of interesting characters, particularly with my great grandmother having the power of conviction. She, rather like me! always set out to do what she said she would do and hers is quite an extraordinary story. It convinces me that when a person passes on and becomes spirit they can be fully aware of their surroundings and can sometimes be powerful enough to actually influence and, whilst they were alive, even predict, certain events which come true after they have passed.
It is always fascinating to enter places of reputed haunting and find that the team can piece together certain historic events during spirit communication and later verify the findings and even clear up the odd mystery here and there! We are constantly on the lookout for likely places and welcome any invitations or suggestions for the next investigation. I believe we are doing what we were meant to do and there are even more exciting times ahead!