The Rochdale Poltergeist

  • by Jenny Ashford
  • Narrated by Jenny Ashford
  • 1 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Steve Mera had been investigating paranormal phenomena for many years, and had never seen anything that shook him to his very foundations. All that changed in 1996, when he was called in with his team to look into the bizarre occurrences taking place at a small bungalow in Rochdale, Manchester, England. Flying objects, disembodied voices, phantom smells and sounds, and strangest of all, copious falls of water seemingly coming from nowhere plagued the Gardner family for nearly a year. What Steve experienced during the investigation was enough to make him question his entire career path, and remains one of only a handful of cases that he is completely unable to rationally explain. This account, written by horror author Jenny Ashford from interviews conducted with Steve about the case, is a bone-chilling foray into the paranormal that will make even the most ardent skeptic sleep with the lights on.

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Rochdale: the Northern Enfield

Mysterious water rains down from the ceiling of a post-war Manchester bungalow. Sounds of ghostly footsteps and coughs, strange smells, objects moving of their own accord. This is the true story of the poltergeist activity that plagued a UK family in the mid-1990s

The case was investigated by Steve Mera (of the Manchester Association of Paranormal Investigators & Training) who worked with the family at their home during the heatwave of 1996. Jenny was approached to write the book of the incident after Steve had read the Mammoth Mountain Poltergeist (also available from Amazon and Audible). Steve provided the original case files and testimonies and then collaborated with Jenny Ashford who wrote their story in a factual but more accessible format.

This is a short audiobook (clocking in at just under 2 hours long) that I managed to finish in a single day during my commute to work and back.In a similar manner to Mammoth Mountain, the final chapter compares the event to similar poltergeist outbreaks across the world.
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- Morbitorium

A bit of digging required

The problem with this account, like all the others, is the lack of evidence. We have the investigators staking out the house, loaded down with equipment, but apparently unable to video events that we are told happened in front of several people for durations of up to six minutes.

The key factor in this account is the water that we are told rains from ceilings and down doors in totally inexplicable ways. However, on investigating this aspect the truth proves to be a little less dramatic. According to Steve Mera, the lead investigator, the significant media interest in the story was as a result of the water sample analysed by 'a leading water analysis lab'. This water sample was declared to be 'electrified' to 'an almost impossible degree', providing 'hard scientific evidence' of genuine inexplicable effects... *SPOILERS*

Yet this makes no sense. First, water has no net electrical charge.

Second, the narrator tells is that the water had an incredibly high 'UCSM' (pronounced You-See-Ess-Emm) value, yet there is no such attribute as UCSM, or UC/SM or any other combination (I don't know how it is written as I'm listening to the audiobook). This should almost certainly be µS/cm (Micro Siemens per Centimeter, or Mu-Ess-See-Emm if you're being phonetic). This is not a measure of electrical charge but of conductivity.

The water sample is claimed to have a reading of 1323, which we are told is unheard of and borderline impossible. A great deal is made of this 'off-the-chart reading'. Tap water, we are told, has a range of between 70 and 108. Yet this is not true. Tap water actually has a range of between 50 - 800 and unpurified water, such as you might find in a stream or on a *roof*, ranges much higher up to 1500. This means that the water sample is not in any way remarkable and is broadly typical of water originating from an unregulated source. As the focus of the entire narrative is on these watery manifestations it is clear that the key piece of evidence as identified by the lead investigator is not in the least remarkable.

In the absence of any other evidence aside from static photos of damp patches on a ceiling and a figurine sitting on a carpet (that's all the internet has to offer) - no video, no sworn witness statements, no remarkable photos, no lab evidence - then the conclusion is that the events in the house were of non-paranormal origin.
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- Si

Book Details

  • Release Date: 16-09-2016
  • Publisher: Jennifer Ashford