By Black Shuck Cambridge Ghost Tours, Jun 22 2015 07:07PM
Aside from Halloween, our busiest time at Black Shuck Cambridge Tours is during the summer months. Despite our tours often selling out - our guests are still very sceptical that they will witness anything paranormal, let alone photograph it, due to the lighter evenings. It just doesn't feel as spooky as October to them!
However, statistics prove otherwise - as do our personal experiences. There is no rhyme or reason why ghosts are only around at night - stories and horror films set spooky situations in the dark to give that aspect of the unknown and you may feel more scared at night simply due to the fact you cannot see!
Ghost Hunts are usually at night for more practical reasons. It is considered that the hours of 9pm - 5am are the Psychic hours, where you may be more likely to contact spirits, not that they will appear more during those hours. It is thought that you may be more likely to be in the correct state of mind to be open to the 'other'. It is this late night state of mind that shows in our company ticket sales - interestingly we sell 60% of our online tickets at around Midnight/1am as people are thinking about ghosts at that time of night as they browse on their laptops. Ghost Hunting at night allows the noises of the daily grind to not distract from the sounds of the paranormal. Roads, streets, phones etc are quieter at 3am, thus allowing a clean slate to observe and record 'things that go bump in the night'.
None of this means however that ghosts are not active during the daylight! Those of you who have been on our Haunted Cambridge Tour will know that many of the college spirits turn up in broad daylight, or use the morning to disrupt buildings rather than the dark of the night. We do a mini Ghost Hunt on the 'Most Haunted' spot, and there is as much activity on the EMF reader during the light evenings as in the dark. In fact, Saturday 13th June this year saw a hive of activity - EMF readings off the scale, phone batteries draining, the guide experiencing an electric pulse through her and guests complaining of their chests being pushed or feeling tight. Last year, a number of mist photos were taken in August on Little St Mary's Lane - which may be the spirit of the little girl said to haunt there.
The photographs show some of the most famous daylight ghost photos taken, including a little girl 'who wasn't there' with a pony on the moor, a dead grandfather appearing in a photo of the grandmother at a nursing home, another dead grandfather at a family christening and a famous ghost lady spectre at a Norfolk Church.
Fenella, our chief guide explains that to her, Midsummer and the light evenings are always connected to the mystical side of life. The Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, is one of the Wiccan Sabbats (a major festival of modern day Witchcraft, celebrated by other modern pagans, and by our ancient ancestors). It is thought to be a time where the veil between ours and the next is also thin, and the fairy world too - hence why Shakespeare sets his fairies in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'! Fenella's favourite stories of folklore, myth and spirits are set in the summer - imagine 'The Wicker Man' being filmed in darkness! For centuries Midsummer's Eve was thought to be a time spirits can out to play, and it was the tradition up and down England to light bonfires and torches to keep spirits at bay.
Lastly - Ghosts appear in every culture over the globe. But whereas in the West connect them with dark nights in winter, many Eastern Asian countries such as Japan, Taiwan and China have their ghost season in high summer! Hence why we see our Japanese and Chinese student groups screaming with terror throughout July and August!
So in our experience, our Haunted Cambridge tour in summer is no different to the tour in Halloween, in fact you just might be able to distinguish when the temperature drops suddenly a little more...