Have you heard something go bump in the night lately? If you have, then a writer living in Thornton Heath wants to hear from you.
In a book set to be published this summer, John Fraser claims that Croydon has more than its fair share of poltergeists. Poltergeists – A New Investigation into Destructive Haunting lays out his local research which he says shows that even a modern suburb such as Croydon has poltergeists, including some that were actually extremely notorious in the past.
Poltergeist literally translated from the German means “a noisy spirit”, which has been applied to phenomena in which objects are thrown, loud banging noises reported or even on rare occasions scratches to human skin have been reported.
One such case included “The Thornton Heath Poltergeist”, just a few hundred yards from where the author lives today, and which reportedly plagued a Mrs Forbes in her terraced house in Thornton Heath in the 1930s. Forbes, her husband and 16-year-old son faced flying objects including eggs and shattering china and glass.
They contacted the press, including the Croydon Advertiser, where the reporter stated that he: “Had a narrow escape… when in this house… a heavy wardrobe crashed down on a bed.”
The house also got visits from paranormal investigator Harry Price and a whole book written was written about it by Nandor Fodor, who at the time was Director of the International Institute for Physical Research. Author Fraser is himself a current council member of The Society of Psychical Research, which was founded in 1882.
One of Croydon’s other notorious poltergeist “haunts” has recently been demolished.
The building on Park Street that housed what was once known as the King Cellars Bar had many strange incidents in the 1970s, which at the time were rumoured to have been triggered by the suicide of a young woman who jumped off the nearby Nestlé Tower.
The bar regularly had incidents including bottles and glasses falling off shelves, as well “cold spots” appearing and malfunctioning electrical equipment –such as a till that would ring up £999 without explanation – definitely the sort of bar bill to give customers a cold chill down their spines…
Fraser has also uncovered reports of another Thornton Heath poltergeist who took up residence in an 18th century house. There in the 1970s a family were haunted by a former resident – a farmer who, when contacted through a medium, claimed to be called “Chatterton”. The phenomena included the sounds of furniture moving and a Christmas tree visibly shaking.
This unworldly tale has recently been a hot topic on the world wide interweb, even discussed on YouTube as “El poltergeist de Thornton Heath” by Spanish-speaking blogger “Dark Kruck”. It was even the subject of a low-budget movie in 2017, The Thornton Heath Poltergeist.
Fraser had a series of talks lined up prior to the book’s publication date which have had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus. The book will be fully available on Amazon and other outlets towards the end of July.
Should you have any further knowledge of the 1970s Thornton Heath poltergeist, or simply be interested in purchasing an advanced copy, you can contact John Fraser on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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