A GhostTheory reader that goes by “BC” sent me an email a few days ago asking if I have heard of the “South Shields Poltergeist”. At the time the name did not ring a bell. I then looked up the case and remembered what this was all about. It was a big story over at the Sun online newspaper. The infamous “Water Bottle poltergeist” video, if you remember.
The following is taken from the investigator’s website, build specifically for the purpose of selling their book.
This book is probably one of the most disturbing you will ever
read. Like no other before it, THE SOUTH SHIELDS
POLTERGEIST lays bare the brutal, terrible truth about
the reality of the poltergeist phenomenon.
In the summer of 2006, Darren W. Ritson was asked to
investigate a “haunting” in an unassuming, ordinary
terraced house in the town of South Shields, Tyne & Wear.
Darren asked another veteran researcher,
Michael J. Hallowell, to accompany him.
During the subsequent months the authors made literally
dozens of visits to the house in question, and witnessed
first-hand the malevolent, sadistic power of the polt.[poltergesit]
It was an experience they would never forget.
Most researchers will tell you that poltergeists are
“camera-shy”, and its true. They rarely display their dubious
talents in public or allow themselves to be filmed
or photographed in action. The SOUTH SHIELDS POLTERGEIST
was different, and allowed the authors and a number of
other researchers to film, photograph and audio-record it
as it went about its malign business; terrifying, assaulting
and threatening a young family which was forced to share
its home with an invisible intruder that came perilously close
to wrecking their lives.
Eventually, with the assistance of several experts from a number of different professional, forensic,
academic and investigative backgrounds, the authors were able to bring to an end the reign of terror
that the South Shields Poltergeist had enjoyed for almost a year. The story of how they achieved this
must rate as one of the most breathtaking accounts in the field of paranormal research.
The investigators released what they claim is evidence of the supernatural things happening in the South Shields home. The video that was released to the media shows a water bottle balancing diagonally on a table. As being held in slant by unseen hands or forces. Next, the video goes on to show the homeowners’s back covered in lacerations/scratches. Again, this is said to be the work of the poltergeist phenomenon.
Video of the supposed South Shield Poltergeist
Now more than 3 years later of the initial investigations, we are still left wondering “Where is the evidence?”
Darren W. Ritson and Michael J. Hallowell were the main researchers/investigators of this case. They come from an extensive background in the paranormal. They both started “WraithScape“. A paranormal research group with a website that sells their books on the subject.
From their South Shields website, It’s apparent that in order to view and analyze any of the photographic and video evidence one has to buy their book and wait for the documentary to be completed and picked up by a major broadcasting station before we can speculate on the poltergeist case. I am all for making money to sustain yourself by selling books about your research, but withholding evidence in order to make more money goes against the basic reason why one pursuits a job in the paranormal field; the quest for truth.
Like many other charades that we have seen in the past few years, like the “Bigfoot body” or the video of the “Alien peaking through a window” and the more infamous “Johor Hominid hoax” as well as many others, this case followed the same path.
Darren W. Ritson and Michael J. Hallowell are withholding the evidence that they claim is “… one of the best-ever documented cases of poltergeist infestation…” and are following the path of the Johor Hominid all over again. In the end of the Johor hominid, the presenter of the evidence were made out to be a charlatan and his reputation tarnished. All because he refused to let the world analyze the evidence that was given to him. Not until he had a book deal.
Why would any Paranormal Researcher refuse to share the evidence that they captured with the rest of the world, if we are all in it for practically the same reasons? If there was legit evidence captured on tape, I would assume that an investigator would be thrilled to have it analyzed and continue working on the case. Building their reputation as a legitimate researcher, and not a novel writer.
So where does this leave us? The South Shields Poltergeist website does not give us any data to go off on, but instead has a long and argumentative Q&A section where it’s obvious that both Mr. Ritson and Hallowell are on defensive and protective mode.
The video alone does not prove, nor does it disprove anything. The video of the water bottle does not prove that there is something paranormal about it. Just like the several videos on YouTube that show how the trick can be replicated, do not disprove the original video.
The video above was uploaded by the YouTube user in order to show that the “Water bottle Poltergeist” video can be replicated easily and it’s a matter of simple physics.
To this day, there has not been any new video or photos released about the case. Their website has not been updated and still stands as a website designed to sell a book, more than help the study of the paranormal.
Was this all just misidentified natural phenomenon? or was there a true haunting in play?
Until the documentary comes out on cable, and explains this a little better, I will always have my doubts.