some of my qualifications
Hi, I’m Andy Weatherall and I am a paranormal investigator.
People often ask me, “What caused you to become interested in the paranormal?” this is my reply:
My late father was a very firm believer in the afterlife and we often discussed it openly. In 1989 he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, giving him only months to live.
As those months passes we spoke of death. It was during one of those talks that my father said to me:
“If ghosts exist, I will make it my goal to prove to you that they really do.”
I was regularly told of things that were happening to members of my immediate family after my father passed. They spoke of hearing strange sounds, of baring witness to odd incidents and occasional sightings, however, I saw and heard nothing. I think that I struggled to accept the loss of my father causing me to close myself off to things.
Later my attitude changed and I decided that I needed to find the truth out for myself so I went on my first investigation; I was amazed at how much I enjoyed it. I went on another and became more confident – many investigations later I decided that it was time to form my own paranormal group…that is where my venture started.
I have witnessed things that I can’t explain but I always keep an open and sceptical mind. I do not automatically assume that I have caught a ghost, I look at things from a technical perspective, always looking for logical explanations.
I am very critical of my own work and will be the first to debunk anything I find; but, when I have no idea I publish them for you guys to see.
I feel that I am an unusual kind of paranormal investigator in the way that I neither believe nor disbelieve in an afterlife. I am seeking answers. Because of this I’m not blinkered, I don’t assume that everything I see, hear and feel is paranormal.
Some people in the paranormal industry do not like my style of working and insist that every investigator should be a firm believer. I disagree with this. It has caused me to receive bad comments from other teams.
For this, I think that it makes my work more rewarding when I get a piece of evidence.
When I stop getting excited about the paranormal then I will leave it alone and move on to my next venture; although this hasn’t happened yet.
I will not be bullied into not achieving my personal goals. I will call it a day when I decide that day has arrived.
SAFE HUNTING TO EVERYONE AND KEEP IT REAL.
HOW DID THE TEAM START is something I keep being asked; here is the short answer…
I have been interested in the paranormal from an early age; then, in 1989 it all changed for me, the death of my father made me determined to find answers. I started experimenting – I tried to contact spirit when I was on my own or when I found anyone with the same interests.
Then, in the 1990’s, the world of the paranormal became popular with the media stations and TV channels. I searched the internet one evening and found a group of people who did a few investigations a year which was run by a guy called Jim Evans. It was 2006; or there about, when I contacted them and offered my fifteen or so years of experience of camera skills. I was accepted as a member and within a few months I was leading Stoke Haunted; then, with no Jim we really didn’t do a great deal at first. It was after introducing new members into the team that we took off in a big way. By 2009 we had featured on radio stations, newspapers and help other groups. I got approached by Matt Chance and Geoff Adams from Antix, the guys who did the “Most Haunted” program. They asked us to produce some work that could be broadcast on their new unexplained channel on Sky TV. We became more and more popular within the paranormal industry. The team underwent some changes, some people decided that they wanted to venture into other fields and they formed their own separate group. I was then fully in charge of the Stoke Haunted team, the remaining members and I built up the team but by 2010 things were reaching breaking point. Once again team members chose to leave the group and once again the few remaining had to start again. At this point the TV deal had finished due to the channel going out of business. We had missed our chance and with two episodes under our belt and five more in the can pending, things went from bad to worse, I almost gave up myself.
After a short break and very little in the way of investigations completed, we decided that it was time to relaunch ourselves. We began again and here we are today. We may be Stoke Haunted part three; hence the teams’ logo having three scratch marks on it. I believe that we will soon be back to where we once were. This team seems enthusiastic and determined to find our number one goal – THE TRUTH!
We are now all aiming for the same results and I think this time we will soon surpass anything that we have previously achieved. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed along the way. Members old and new, without all of you I would not find myself doing what I do now.
THOUGHTS ON INVESTIGATING.
Today I’m actually going to share with everyone the different between conducting a private investigation and one that’s left open to all of the general public. What I’m about to say may offend some groups but, these are my opinions based on my experience of both. I’m not saying that those who choose to charge the public for investigating is wrong, what I am saying is that all evidence collected during such events is extremely difficult to prove as genuine. To be honest it’s not an investigation when you take a group of general public around, its nothing but glorified ghost hunting and those two things are very different.
When you conduct an investigation with your private group it tends to be more of a structured event. Everyone has a role to play and you know you can trust your members not to fake anything because they take it very seriously; like me they are looking to find that vital evidence that we are all striving to get. Usually, you will know where every member is at all times and where locked off cameras are being kept; clear of contamination. You can ensure that no members are wandering aimlessly around which could affect your evidence.
Normally the groups are more professional when they are not event teams; this is because they investigate on a regular basis. They understand when to keep it quiet and how to conduct themselves appropriately.
When you have a group of general public, you usually have no idea if any of them intend to fake things, throwing objects, banging and making noises. This is totally out of your control. There are some people who just come to mess about. No matter how hard you try, they will chatter and be disrespectful of the ghosts and the group. They are just there to be scared or to see something…they soon get bored and disruptive. If they find nothing; and we all know that not all investigations are like the TV shows which show things happening regularly, it’s human nature to become mischievous, it is then that all of the evidence that you have collected becomes contaminated making it worth nothing.
I have conducted many public events and attended many as a guest and, from I’ve seen, the findings are always the same.
So, my findings are clear to me. Walking around in the dark with an IR camera and K2 meter with lots of people is in no way an investigation. That is a ghost hunt! A fun night out but certainly not what all paranormal groups do. Don’t be fooled into thinking that if you pay money to go on an investigation that you are going to see things as they do on the television, the two are completely different. So, my conclusion is this:
If you’re truly passionate about finding the truth, contact your local group, offer to help and find out how to become a team member. Then; and only then, you will see what it’s really like to be a paranormal investigator.
If you want a fun night out where you want to be entertained by “orb” pictures that you can show your friends; that could have been faked, then the ghost walk events will suit you better.
It’s your call!
Whatever path you choose…stay safe and enjoy the experience!
this is my late father who died at the age of 59 in 1989 he was and still is the biggest motivator in my life .
my father was deeply into life after death and all things paranormal and i guess it was down to a near death experience he faced at a early age .we would often sit and debate weather there was or wasnt life after death ,spirits ,ghosts .
and spent many a happy hour debating this .in 1989 when he was diagnosed with lung cancer his last wish was to die at home with his family by his side .i saw my father fade away to this shit illness and within 6 weeks he faded away .
but before he passed he PROMISED ME he would try his best to prove to me if it was possible to return and leave a meessage he would so we devised a private 2 word pass word to this day only me and him know these words .none of the bullshit im here im fine im watching you .if he came back and could contact me his first words would be this 2 word password .to date i have had only 1 of the words passed to me via spirit Coincidence ? i have no clue but im still waiting for both words to come through . i have experienced loads over the years that some people have said thats your dad but until i get those 2 words ill go on looking for the truth .
ITS BECAUSE IF THIS MAN THIS TEAM WAS FOUNDED ..MANY PARANORMAL TEAMS HAD TRIED TO MAKE US FINISH IN OUR QUEST TO FIND THE TRUTH AND ALL I CAN SAY IS NICE TRY ,TO THOSE TEAMS THAT STILL TRY TO MAKE US GIVE UP ,YOU WILL NEVER SUCCEED ITS A PLEDGE TO MY FATHER A BOND NO ONE WILL EVER BREAK .
many team members over the years have come and gone but as long as i am able i will still be looking for my answers .i think today the Core Members i have are the best members i could wish for and they will help me to find my truth one day
This is my late mother who sadly Died 21st March 2019 aged 76
she was until recently a very active member and mother figure to all the members
one of the strongest women i have ever met .
she encouraged me in my goals to beable to get answers from the afterlife and was a massive help when i felt like giving it all up at times .
i am devastated loosing her and its still Raw at the moment to tell everyone just how good she was to me .
UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN
MISSED AND LOVED
Claire Atherton wrote
Hazel was the chocolate box strong woman I'd love to be. As soft as a kitten with a wickedly funny tongue when us youngsters needed reigning in.
A tiny woman that packed the punch of a giant. Forever in my heart and memory.
May your wings fly you back into the arms of your beloved Enoch, Hazel.
Until we meet again to crochet or knit together in the great beyond, every stitch i cast will be in your memory.
It is almost impossible to describe a life as rich as Hazel’s in such a short time; but what we can do is reflect on some of her qualities and the memories she left that will sustain you in the future.
Hazels birth and early years were not the easiest. In her early years she was moved between foster homes before eventually being adopted. For many people this might have damaged their future lives and hopes but not Hazel it made her the person she was.
In the words of Hazels’ family, she was the most honest reliable and caring person you could wish to meet. She was loyal to a fault and although not having a lot of material wealth in her life she was generous to a fault and loved buying things for others and the joy that gave her. Hazel had a rare gift, that of selfless generosity. Hazel was never materialistic her gift was loving people and life. For all of that Hazel was a resilient person who could hold her own when necessary and her stock phrase when she had had enough was ‘piss off’. That was Hazel, straight to the point.
Hazel never threw things away whilst they still had life in them she would wear things until they were truly finished or as the family says ‘in rags’. Never wasting. It was a generational thing not to waste and her hard life had taught her this.
Hazel was proud of her family,they meant everything to her. She had many friends although on the whole, she was a private person, but she really loved people and being around them.
Hazel was married in June1962 to her husband Enoch. He was a bus conductor and the story goes that she waited by the bus stop to meet him and it was she that approached him not the other way round. As ever Hazel new what she wanted and she got her man. That was Hazel she had no fear, a fearless woman with a heart of gold, what better mix could you have. After two years of marriage they were blessed with their son Andrew who was born in January 1964.
It was with sadness that Enoch had a stroke which left him disabled. At this time Hazel gave up work to look after Enoch until his death in August 1989.
During Enoch’s illness money was scarce although, as Andrew says, he was never aware that they wanted.
Hazel’s trade was as a seamstress and she made beautiful clothes for her family and for other people; she did alterations and with all her craft skills and hard work she always provided for her family. As said earlier, Hazel was a resilient and determined woman with a genuinely positive attitude on life and living, she never complained. Where many might have struggled after Enoch’s death, Hazel triumphed.
Hazel was an ardent knitter, apparently one of the fastest this side of Stoke and her knitting and crocheting skills helped with the family’s income. For those who know the wool shop down in Hanley Market, many of the knitted woollies and jumpers you will have seen over the years will have been crafted by Hazel. She worked for them exclusively and the standard of her work was second to none. Andrew tells me that they were never short of jumpers and they would always match, so when the family was out and about it was easy to spot the Weatheralls.
The family told me that she once was asked by a gentleman to knit a pair of dayglow orange socks and gloves which were quite epic. With Hazel’s usually aplomb she did a great job so much so he ordered a second pair.
Ian, Hazel’s grandson, told me she was very much the grandma. He could never do wrong in his grandma’s eyes. She used to play cricket with him, football and even used to wrestle with him, much to Andrew’s surprise on occasions. Hazel never lost her temper not even when playing football or darts on the back of the door and the odd stray ball or dart would veer off course and ornaments would tumble or smash she’d just shrug it off. Even when Ian shot the football across the garden through two panes of greenhouse glass she said. ‘Oh, never mind we’ve got more glass.
When arriving at work one morning at Sainsbury’s, Hazel met Ian who had been out all night and was a little worse for wear and he thought he was in for a telling off, there was no sense of admonishment Hazel just looked at him and said ‘You’re up early for breakfast’. She always saw the best in everyone
If you ever saw Hazel, she was most likely in her pinafore, the pinafore is a family legend. There have been many times when people have asked Hazel for scissors or screws or some other odd object and Hazel would dig into her pinafore pocket and pull the said object out. It was known as her ‘go gadget’ pocket. She always wore her pinny whatever she was doing; it was her trade mark.
Things happened to Hazel which defined the kind of a fun-loving person she was. For instance, whilst working at Federation House, where she did cleaning. Hazel went in to the Gents toilet to clean and their stood Gordon Banks having a wee for all to see. Hazel unphased, said: Morning Mr Banks. Hazel could say she knew Mr Banks intimately, so as to speak.
Another time Hazel came home with blood on her and bandages around her head. When asked what had happened she nonchalantly said: ‘We were playing rounders in the kitchen and I dived forward and hit my head on the oven’. To Hazel this seemed a very reasonable thing to be doing in the kitchen at work. She was quite unique.
Hazel was a totally trusting person. On one occasion the family were selling a car and Andrew had to leave during the sale so Hazel said to the gentleman who was proposing to buy ‘here have the keys and when you’ve finished bring them back’. Yes, you’ve guessed, the keys and the car never came back. In fact, the car was found later, but Hazel’s trust in people meant she could see no harm in what she had done. That level of trust in people is a strength not a weakness.
Hazel could also sometimes mix her words up, much to the family’s amusement. Hazel and Enoch both loved Ken Dodd and when asked what bit of the show Hazel enjoyed she replied the puppet called ‘Dick Weed’. This caused much hilarity every time she said it;as the real name was Dicky Mint.
She used to refer to her first car which was an Escort, as a 5-door hunchback.
We also have to mention Hazels’ love of the Crème Egg and Ferro Roche.
I am reliably told that Hazel would start buying Crème Eggs as soon as they were in the shop and at one time had 240 in a carrier bag. You were never short of a Crème Egg in the Weatherall household. Hazel’s love of Ferro Roche was legendary. Everyone would buy them for her and she would hand them around generously, however no one else liked them so Hazel could enjoy them herself. Surely, she hadn’t known that? Hazel the joker.
Hazel was a people person, even after being retired from Sainsbury’s for a number of years she still chatted to all her work colleagues when she went in turning shopping trips into 2-hour forays for Andrew. Wherever she worked people loved her.Her greatest gift was to make people happy. She never changed all her life, she never gave up on people, she was kind but honest, fair but firm.
She was the type of person who if the Queen knocked on her door would be totally unphased and invite her in for a cup of tea.
Hazel will be sorely missed both in body and spirit but the strength of her character and personality will endure in all of you here today. Her example of living her life should be a solace to your sadness and an inspiration to your continuing lives.