Everyone has their own opinion on ghosts. Whether you believe in the afterlife or not, it’s undeniable that it can be a very emotive subject for many.
Believers arm themselves with EVP’s, photographs of strange figures and stories of things that cannot be explained, while sceptics are convinced that everything does have an explanation if you try hard enough to find it.
Red Moon Events and PSI Ireland aims to put an end to this age old debate once and for all, hoping to finally answer the question “do ghosts exist?” with The Great Paranormal Debate.
Held in the Crumlin Road Gaol on October 1, The Great Paranormal Debate will bring together a mix of believers and sceptics to deliver presentations supporting their own viewpoint.
One person keen for the debate is Cormac Donnelly of PSI Ireland.
“Since my childhood, I have always had a fascination with the paranormal” he explained.
A civil servant by day, Cormac has been a part of the ghost hunting team for a number of years now, briefly going through a sceptical stage along the way.
“I began to think that perhaps the combined heightened sensory expectation of the group and generally dark setting is perhaps the reason for paranormal teams finding evidence of the paranormal” he said.
Cormac explained that part of his role within PSI is doing a full check in and around the location for a plausible explanation for any alleged phenomena.
“I want to make sure that the public don’t have a false representation of what we can achieve.”
However, it was during filming in Prehen, Derry on the second series of Northern Ireland’s Greatest Haunts for the BBC that Cormac had his scariest encounter.
“The main house was a large two floor estate manor, which was colder inside than the ice cold December air outside.” he said.
“The BBC crew filmed various footage used in the show and wrapped up around midnight. They then took all their equipment and left for a hotel.
“The idea was that the PSI team would remain in the building after the entire crew left and do our work in the now quiet house, so as to not have interference in EVPs.”
After a full night of ghost hunting, the team grew weary and decided to call it a night.
“One of our members seen something walk past the window. However we were cold and tired and were uncertain of what had been seen” said Cormac.
They switched off all of their equipment and had begun to pack up their belongings when Cormac and one of his colleagues made their way downstairs with only the light from his mobile phone to guide them.
“When we got to the bottom floor of Prehen, instantly I heard what sounded exactly like a baby crying. Very loudly!
“It was impossible that anyone else was in that house with us. None of us had children with us, and there were no neighbours close by. The baby sounded like it was in the hallway with me.”
Not one to stray far from his old sceptical ways, Cormac added: “If that sentence was written by someone else and I read it, I would say that it maybe a cat, or another sound outside, but I know what I heard and I felt the hairs on the back of my neck instantly stand on end and I stopped dead in my tracks.
“I shouted up the stairs to check if any microphones may have been on, in case we could have captured it on tape. The rest of team were quite far away and I heard muffled replies of no. At this point, the crying started again.
“All my investigator thoughts went out the window and I couldn’t think rationally. All I could think of was fleeing. It sounded like this baby was between me and my front door exit. It lasted a few seconds this time. As soon as it stopped my colleague pushes me, shouting to run and we sprint to the exit.
“I get outside and can feel my hands trembling, not just because of the cold. It seems quite a small thing with an easy explanation, but in all my investigation experience I have never seen or heard something that has caused me such sheer terror.
“Speaking about it the next day, the BBC asked me to talk about it on TV for the episode. I declined, as I had no evidence from microphones. Despite that, this experience shook me. I don’t have a logical explanation. However, I know I heard a baby crying in that house that night.”
Brought to you by the team behind PSI Ireland, who featured in the BBC’s successful series Northern Ireland’s Greatest Haunts, The Great Paranormal Debate will attempt to answer to common questions, such as; What happens when we die? Does the afterlife exist? Does Science or Faith have the answer to what happens after we die?
The event, the first of its kind anywhere in the country will culminate with speakers participating in a panel debate, discussing the cases put forward.
Telly star David Meade will chair the debate and a Q&A session from the audience, and guests will be polled on whether views change over the course of the day.
Tickets to The Great Paranormal Debate, promoted by Red Moon Events, are £45 and available from www.redmoonevents.org. #TGPD16
Watch Cormac and the PSI team in Northern Ireland’s Greatest Haunts – Prehen House