Nathan Harrison
Johan Jansen

Ghostbusters search for spectres in the bowels of the town hall and have an encounter with the former Chief Constable.

Brighton and Hove is a hotbed of paranormal activity. Ghosts and spirits have been spotted at a number of spooky properties and pubs in the city. One of the most popular haunts is Brighton Town Hall where, more than 160 years ago,the town’s chief constable was killed by a crook in the building’s basement.

Is There Anybody There? The Argus, Monday, November 30, 2009

Reporter Tim Ridgway joined a group of paranormal investigators in the search for the ghost of Henry Solomon. There are not many people who would choose to be locked up in a dark empty police cell on a Friday night, but for a group of eager ghost hunters this was one of the most exciting nights of the year.

The subject of the hunt was Henry Solomon, the only chief constable in British policing history to be killed while on duty. The aim, according to the Sussex Paranormal Investigators (SPI), was to make contact with the police chief and discover more about the final hours of his life. The group of four friends, who all say they have had their fair share of other worldly experiences, were guiding a small group of brave ghosthunters around five locations in an eerily quiet city centre building. SPI member Johan Jansen explained the reasoning behind the hunt. Before the lights were turned off, he said, “I don’t think ghosts is the right term for it – they are more like spirits. Anything can happen. There have already been a number of energy blackouts, with batteries going dead. That’s normally a good sign, so we should be in for an interesting evening. Our job is to record anything that happens and present a balanced review of it.

As soon as the lights were turned off strange things happened. Throughout the evening Nathan Harrison, the group’s ‘intuitive’ (person who makes contact with the spirits), led the group in calling out and encouraging the ghost of Henry to make contact.

It did not take too long before Henry allegedly made his presence felt. Nathan shouted out, declaring the Chief Constable had struck him on the arm. Nathan, who claims to have seen ghostly things since he was young, said,“To be struck like I was is pretty rare.  I think it was his truncheon. I often get feelings and emotions from a place, but tonight I have had this piercing headache, which began as soon as we entered the building. I don’t think the spirit was being aggressive. I think he just presumed we should know who he was. Henry is obviously a man who is used to control.” Johan, who was busy shining red light across the walls, claimed anybody could join the hunt. He said, “The equipment we use is not anything too specialist. A basic kit can include dictaphones, digital cameras, thermometers and camcorders. We also use an electromagnetic field meter to see if we can pick up any disturbances. But, essentially, paranormal activity can be anything – it may be a slight headache, it may be a drop in temperature, any changes in emotion – it all points to some form being present.” Kerry Robertson, 32, from Shoreham, came on the escapade with two friends. She said, “It was a very interesting evening and something I think I’ll do again. At one point I did see some little lights cross the room, which was a little weird. There were also some moments when the temperature of the room definitely changed – whether that was something, I do not know.” Johan  said,“Tonight has definitely been a success. I’ve been on nights where we have been sat out and not seen anything. So for Nathan to have been struck is pretty impressive. It’s obviously a haunted place and I would look to come back, make contact with Henry again, and find out a little bit more of his story”. Have you had a spooky experience?
Email  Maybe they’ll focus on the upper parts of the building next time, which, according to local legend, are haunted by a monk, a phantom memory from when a monastery stood on the site.  ?



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