Braunstone Hall Photos

As the title suggests, I thought it would be nice to follow up yesterdays blog Awakening Memories with a collection of photos taken on the night in question. It took me a while to find them as I feared they had been deleted many moons ago… But after some careful searching and file treasure hunting, I was able to recover all the photos! *Grin*

Naturally these are very boring pictures, I’m afraid the inside of a ruined Hall in the middle of the night, does not make for marvelous photography. There was also a dreadful amount of dust… Or are they Orbs?… Could be dust… Who can say? Some are more vivid than others, but that could just be the flash? Despite my experiences and sensations that evening, I still remain happily skeptical  … You are invited to form (and share) your own opinion …

 

Once again I would like to express my thanks to carolinecuttingblog and the beautifully written blog Stories and Histories which deeply inspired me and unintentionally instigated  a frantic photo search …

 

Anne Harrison 21.07.16

Awakening Memories

Reading through carolinecuttingblog recently and I had this weird moment of déjà vu, her recent post Stories and Histories triggered memories of my own experience at Braunstone Hall in Leicester and after commenting, mentioning this fact, I have put together a little tale of what happened one warm July night back in 2003…

***

For a brief time I was actively involved with a local paranormal investigation group, until it folded. Most vigils were uneventful, cold sleepy nights with nothing to report. Yet others stand out above the rest. I think the investigation which made the biggest impact on me was Braunstone Hall, Leicester. The Hall was later converted into a public school in the 1930’s.

From the exterior the building instantly made my flesh crawl as a strange déjà vu feeling set in. Inside the sensation only grew stronger and I found myself aware of locations such as dining hall, kitchen, changing rooms etc before even exploring the whole hall or referring to a map. So I was already feeling a nervous anticipation before the investigation had actually started.

However the majority of the activity that night took place in and around the area of the Headmasters study. I was with a good friend a very gifted and emphatic psychic (Who I will refer to as ‘D’ to be polite). He had already warned me of the ‘Grumpy Gent’ spirit, that he had encountered upon an earlier vigil at the hall, who roamed the school especially near the location of the study. As soon as I entered the location I felt a cold dread, the area was devoid of any heat, as our instruments also confirmed a sudden and drastic drop in temperature. We could see our breath in the air, thought his was a mild July night. It also felt difficult to breathe, the atmosphere thick and heavy.

‘D’ was instantly aware of the ‘Grumpy Gent’ who ranted at my companion and physically shoved him off his feet. However it was not the gentleman I picked up on, it was the Children’s fear, not the spirit of any children but their emotions. Fear, dread, anxiety, panic, desperation, depression, hopelessness and pain all this powerful cocktail of negative emotions had left an imprint upon the very soul of the property, and the ‘Grumpy Gent’ remained there, still feeding off this negative energy made me feel even more uncomfortable, reducing me to tears. ‘D’ helped me away from the area as I was so distressed and to this date this has been the most powerful experience or reaction I have encountered of a haunting.

Though it wasn’t until some months later, that the subject of schools came into conversation among friends. It turned out that one of my companions had attended Braunstone Hall as a child. She went on to tell us about an infamous Head Master, whose punishments were cruel, sadistic and twisted. From physical punishments, such as cane, ruler or belt to more mental cruelty, locking children in cupboards or empty class rooms. Not allowing them any food or water and other degrading acts of humiliation, which I prefer not to recall. My blood ran cold as she recounted events which mirrored the sensations I had experienced at my night there a morbid conformation of one man’s savage cruelty that still resonates upon the property.

***

Hall Notes Only ← Spooky Photos ← Basic Information ← Scruffy Handwriting

→ Apologies, original source for ‘Basic Information’ has been lost over time…

***

Anne Harrison 20.07.16

Reverse Technology

no-internet

 

Once upon a time there was a world without the internet, we didn’t have computers  and our phones clung to the wall by a wire. We didn’t text or Tweet and actually wrote letters to Great Aunt Fanny in Norway, hard to imagine that now, especially when sat before a screen writing upon a web page.

It’s easy to call these ‘good olde days’ and it’s nice to be nostalgic, remissness about playing on street corners and no seat-belts, but times have changed and even the internet has changed… Initially there wasn’t much more than Google, MySpace and Porn this was accessed through a phone line with a dial up tone and you couldn’t call anyone to talk dirty to while you jerked off…

Now we all (generally) have the internet in our pockets, on mini screens we obsessively check every few minutes to see if we have any more ‘likes’ … Or chasing cartoon characters which exist half way between cyberspace and reality…

But that is not the purpose of this Blog… Our lives have become so tightly interwoven with Cyberspace and technology that the internet commands far more than we realise…

… Now, if we woke up tomorrow and there was no technology, can you imagine how fucked we would be? Beyond chasing ‘likes’ ‘Selfies’ or ‘Pokemon’ … we could not access any money, cash points would not work, cash cards would be pointless as card readers could not connect to banks to access funds… and chaos would quickly follow… I mean I could not do my job, I have a computer (which I’m using) which talks to my machine… No connection between computer and machine – no work, but seeing as money is practically virtual anyway, you wouldn’t be earning anything anyway… Not that you could ring in anyway, your phone doesn’t work, your car is computerised and by now people will be rioting and looting, widespread panic because you cant snapchat your Great Aunt Fanny in Norway… No news, no media, no digital radio… No Pokemon!

I am speculating, this is a hypothetical mind vomit of ideas, half based on conversation spurred by my dystopian dreams (detailed in this morning’s blog) half based on existing tales which have a ‘life after technology’ theme – The Time Machine instantly pops into mind – silently formulating a plot in my mind to weave these schemes together into a collection of poetry… Which is my current brainwave… Maybe…

…Maybe the world would be a better place without all this suffocating technology, maybe we would be free, to live our lives in peaceful communities, bartering for goods and supporting our neighbours. Or maybe we would destroy each other, until only a handful of the population remain, cowering in holes in the ground, dreaming of a better world with ‘Likes’, ‘Selfies’ and sharing photos of your dinner…

…I also understand the irony of using the internet as a platform for my ideas relating to destroying the internet… Maybe…

 

Anne Harrison 19.07.16

Dreamscape

My dreams, when I can remember them are surreal to say the least. Though I find them all very similar, the settings, the scenes, the people and the colours… It is as though I somehow reach into the same world inside my mind each time I dream.

My Dreamscape is quite dystopian, rugged landscapes and ruined cities, I always feel this urge to ‘clean’ my dreams… But cleaning is the last ting I have time for in my head. These sepia dreams are usually very action packed, the people are sometimes those from reality, but mostly they are not real people at all, some aren’t even people. Yet these archetypes appear time and time again in my nighttime realm. I know them, I live an entire different life with them.

The colours are always muted, or it’s dark, dusk, dawn? That surreal half light tinged with an over wash of brown, like when you leave your shades on too long and forget you are wearing them, though it is the colour of the sky… Buildings are ruined, yet technology has advanced, there is no where to live, just holes to rest between fighting.

I have even been known to dream within my dream… and when I dream within my dream, my dreams are set here in reality… the normal world outside my window… and I will wake, usually violently, within the dream to find myself having to fight for my life!

Sometimes I’m not always so active in the war like dreams, sometimes there are vast lengths of conversation in a language I don’t understand, yet speak perfectly … Plots drawn up again a faceless enemy.

I never feel distressed upon awakening, I can sometimes grasp lingering fragments of the dreams as they dash quickly from my thoughts, replaced by mundane needs to fall into an early morning routine. Sometimes I find myself feel exhilarated, especially if there has been a battle… But this never lasts long into the waking world and then the dystopian realm within my mind is forgotten until the next dream…

Sometimes, if I am really tired, or just slip from concentration, I have these little slips, like visions or flashbacks into the dreamscape, even when awake…

I expect a dream analysis, would be quite fascinating (if I believed in such things) but this isn’t a recurring dream, it’s just that all my dreams are in the same world, that realm within my mind, where I can only find, at times, this overlaps reality…

… But they’re just dreams, right?

 

Anne Harrison 19.07.16

90th Blog Post

I had thought about writing something really profound and deep and meaningful…

… But then I decided I would share some photos instead, highlights of my year (so far)

 

… 2016 has been an interesting year to say the least, with an interesting cocktail of (family) tragedy, stress, worry … with generous amounts of adventure and experience thrown in for diversity, today I chose to focus on the positive, to grasp hold of the fantastic memories I have collected in a few short months to balance out the ongoing family situation. If you dwell too much in the negative, it becomes all consuming…

 

The same goes for the world beyond our own little lives. there is so much hate in the media, so much pain and disaster, we forget to see the beauty which surrounds us…           … It’s hard to see sometimes, but it’s still there, hidden away like a subtle secret.

For my 90th blog I am sharing these images to remind myself how grateful I am…

 

Anne Harrison 15.07.16

 

The Orphan King … falling into the plot trap

Part II… Following on from Writers Block and St Petersburg.

I want to introduce you to The Orphan King, the story, the character and the concept which emerged in my little befuddled mind during my visit to St Petersberg …

As the title tells you, my main protagonist is a King and he is an Orphan, this already provides you with some unspoken information. Firstly his sex, apart from my use of the pronoun ‘he’ a King generally refers to a Male. (though I expect someone, somewhere has altered Regal gender roles in their literature).

In this case my King is male, he is described as an ‘Orphan’ … Now an adult who has grown up, sired children of their own and outlived their parents are not generally referred to as an Orphan… Hence my King is very young… The ‘Orphan’ title also suggests that a major tragedy has befallen our young King, instantly providing my character with a whole back ground story which has lead him to the position of a King… and how does one so young maintain a grip upon his precious position?

Intrigued? Hooked? Bored?  … instantly compared to ‘Game of Thrones‘… (Which I confess I have not read) but anything fantasy based with regal conflicts automatically appears to get referred to Game of Thrones… IMO… However this is always going to be a challenge for any writer, that their work is instantly compared to existing examples of literature within the same genre, usually the most famous names and most popular stories…

However, I was hooked by my own plan and spent any free moment I could grasp frantically scribbling down ideas, names, characters, place names, guild names, relations, countries, days of the week and even religion… My world development flourished as swiftly as I had a plot structure and timeline for my young King, his kingdom and closest companions, deadly enemies and love interest…

The pencil skipped across the pages in my notebook in a flurry, my handwriting resembling arcane hieroglyphics as my hand struggled to keep up with my flowing thoughts.

Then I hit a sudden horrible realisation in my work… I had reached a stage in my story where everything ‘classically’ goes wrong, that point where the whole kingdom falls down around his ears and everything I had built up, his trials and tribulations dissolves into chaos… The character ‘crisis’…

My pencil skidded to a halt when this understanding finally gripped me… I had fallen into a plot trap… as much as I wanted to create something unique and intriguing, as much as I thought, believed, fooled myself into believing… I had still hopelessly (and unconsciously) followed a classical story outline… I’m not sure how I had fallen into this trap… but there is was staring me straight in the face and I ceased writing.

How could I pull myself up out of this swamp? How could I prevent my story and my sweet young King from becoming another cliche?

Do I kill him? Or do I go with the flow and keep to ‘The Heroes Journey’?

Truth is, I don’t know – I stopped writing at this point and since then I have not written another word of this story. My young King as his entire empire is frozen in time, static and immobile trapped within writers block, as I struggle between complying with the rules that we are expected to adhere to, or creating a path of my own.

 

Anne Harrison 11.07.16

 

 

 

Writers Block and St Petersburg

You have all these great ideas in mind and none of which surface when you have time to write.

I have been watching both Penny Dreadful and American Horror Story recently to try and empty my head of swirling thoughts and negative emotions and within these shows I have started to see fragments of other works of fiction carefully woven into new tales. Like the infamous Doctor Frankenstein rebuilding life from lifelessness, I see two wonderful series’s creating a jigsaw of work from all other sources to develop new franchises.   I’m left with the lingering feeling that there are no more original ideas…

…News that Back to the Future maybe facing the reboot treatment, ignite comments which reflect my own thoughts, what really is ‘new’ anymore?

There are an astounding amounts of writers out there in the real world and here in cyberspace. I am always staggered by the amount of books I find to add to my never ending reading list. Yet the greedy chappies in Hollywood keep churning out the same old shenanigans, but there’s got to be some unique ideas right?

Or maybe the system is flawed, creativity regulated and the whole process from idea to publishing is so very challenging, that many would be writers give up and take up knitting instead!

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When inspiration does strike you feel invincible! Words pour freely onto the page and in your mind you are already seeing your glorious characters wearing a celebrities face on a glowing big screen in Hollywood Nothing can stop you, this is it! The breakthrough you’ve been grasping for, the road to fame and fortune is within reach and you become obsessed to get the whole thing down on paper, these moments are fleeting you have to cling onto them before they drift away like a dream chased away by the mornings alarm…

… Once gone only gloom remains …

I had been stagnant, all ideas were all hollow clones of existing stories, written in an inferior tone and (as above) I felt like nothing was new and my mind was my own worst enemy. However, sometimes inspiration appears when you least expect it and sometimes triggered from the most curious sources…

 

My recent travels took me to St Petersburg, Somewhere I never thought I would visit! Yet here I was surrounded by a unique culture, by exotic palaces and a deep rich heritage. Laced with a history scattered with tragedy, betrayal, murder, revolution and conspiracy… I was inspired, my mind awoken by the garish colours, lavish gold, marble and tapestries, all next door to old crumbling apartments, neglected from Communist regime…

My pen flowed through pages with ease and grace as my story developed from the sights around me, days were spent in lazy sunshine, scribbling notes and playing through scenes in my mind. I never expected to visit Russia and I never expected Russia to inspire me so deeply…

… And how could it not?

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To be continued…

 

Anne Harrison 07.07.16