Wow here it is the final blog for series 1 of Ghost Chasers! This episode brought us to the historic city of Bruges. It is hard to improve on Bruges with its picturesque cobbled walkways and beautiful canals linking its market squares adorned with historic churches with soaring towers the history is all around you and an ideal place to come in search of ghosts.
Built on wealth from the textile trade, the town’s fortunes eventually faded and by the 1800s was wracked by poverty. It’s long been reported that ghosts haunt the atmospheric winding alleyways and canals. First stop for the team is the 700 year old ‘Old Stone Prison’, once infamous for the extreme cruelty meted out to inmates.
Located in probably one of the oldest historical European prisons, "De Oude Steen" ("The Old Stone") brings a gripping exhibition of cruel instruments engineered to cause unbelievable pain and suffering on human body and mind. The more than a hundred torture and execution devices in the museum are placed and commented in a chronological, judicial context which brings a new light and significance on the origin of torture and the use of these horrifying instruments. Firstly the atmosphere in this building was very foreboding a lot of the exhibits were the real deal and had been used to exert extreme torture on its victims. Dirk the owner of the prison is meticulous with his collection and only wants authentic pieces for his macabre collection.
While exploring the hundreds of hideous instruments of death from spiked chairs to skull crushing machines, Ian makes contact with what he believes is an executioner who once plied his grisly trade here. For myself and Paul this was a quiet night paranormal activity wise although we did experience some abnormal readings. It was Ian who stood out in this episode with what was an incredible piece of mediumship. He was drawn to an arm breaker which had been used to crush its victims arm and then told the story of how the unfortunate criminal had been killed in a not very well known method of execution. In fact with what Ian had come up with we had to ask Dirk Van Den Bossche the owner of the museum to come and tell us if this information was correct. It was is fact spot on and was a great demonstration of Ians Abilities.
There is some unseen footage from this part of the show as I had a night vision camera filming the segment where I was sat in the neck breaker. So to take part fully turn out the lights and join me on the ghost hunt.
The next evening we headed to the Old St John’s Hospital. Built in the 11th Century it is one of Europe’s oldest surviving structures. From 1300 onwards their monks and nuns lived here. Located next to the Church of Our Lady, the premises contain some of Europe's oldest surviving hospital buildings. The hospital grew during the Middle Ages and was a place where sick pilgrims and travellers were cared for. The site was later expanded with the building of a monastery and convent. In the 19th century, further construction led to a hospital with eight wards around a central building. The building ceased to be a hospital in 1977, at which time it was moved to a newer modern hospital in Brugge Sint-Pieters. Today part of the hospital complex holds the popular Hans Memling museum, named for the German-born Early Netherlandish painter, where a number of works, such as triptychs are displayed, as well as hospital records, medical instruments and other works of art.
The building we had chosen to investigate was the Brothers Convent.This building did have a darker atmosphere where you could feel the history around the empty rooms. Ian was drawn to the spiritual energy of monks who succumbed to a plague. What was more interesting on our initial walk round of the building was that Paul himself was picking up on the energy of the place and even feeling breathless in certain areas. This is unusual in that Paul himself will admit that he normally will not pick up on the energy of a location. In the Attic Ian picks up on Monks seemingly having a party, drinking from a secret beer barrel.
After nightfall we returned to investigate and using Pauls new found senses he joined Kay to try and tap into the enegy of the building. With Kay suddenly staring to rock and a feeling of being pulled he did try to rationalise this by stating that his eyes were closed and could have caused him to lose balance. In the dormitory Paul sees a white shape go past the team and calls out for more interaction. While Paul was calling out I spotted somebody stood in the doorway at the far end and also seen by Ian. There was nobody in the room when we got there!
While investigating the side room of the dormitory Kay suddenly spots and chases after a shadow which leads him back to the room where Paul had picked up on energy in the afternoon. Without warning a piece of masonry fell to the floor which Ian feels is a spirit trying to get our attention.
We spaced out around the room to try and pick up on any spirit activity from within the room when we heard footsteps back in the main hall when chasing back there, the room was empty.
With the sudden chime of a church bell in our final seance the atmosphere of the building seemed to lighten and Ian felt that the spirit had moved on and so this concluded our final investigation for series one of Ghost Chasers.
After filming we had time to finally relax for some after show drinks and a day to enjoy the sights of Bruges before finally returning home to the UK.
How our intrepid cameraman Steve Robson felt at the end of the shoot
Finally I would like to end this series blog with our last prank video. Kilo McLaren was our shows 2nd cameraman and data wrangler (meaning he looked after all the raw footage and guarded it with his life) We decided to borrow his hotel room key on the final night and play some sounds into his room while he tried to sleep. Here you can see what happened when myself Paul and Tim Boylan our soundman stayed up late!
A massive thank you to all our supporters of Ghost Chasers you are very much appreciated please keep talking and who knows we may get a series 2!