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Brad and Sherry Steiger

Please Visit his Official Web Site ~ edwardshanahan.com

Conscious Channeler Edward Shanahan



The original witches hanging tree does not exist anymore, and the deep crevasse where they tossed the dead bodies of the poor wretches has closed in upon itself.

T.Stokes paranormal studies lecturer copyright © 2003 ARTWORK RICARDO PUSTANIO © 2006

As a paranormal investigator of many years standing, one is often asked,

“What was the most frightening thing you have ever experienced”.

Strangely, it was something so extraordinary as to still defy an explanation, all these many years after.

Of all the stories I have told on radio, this tale evokes the greatest response.

It began when I a young child, was on my way home after school, several of us children, of around 8-9 years of age would play in a ruined church, in Prospect Hill in East London., England.

Local history said that the church was destroyed in a V 1 attack in world war two.

Winston Churchill and “Bomber” Harris, decided on “Total war” which meant taking the bombing not to the German army, but to their families, wives and children at their homes in dormitory towns all across Germany.

Hitler’s revenge weapon, was the V1 and V2, and one had destroyed the church, in the 1940 s

Churchill’s awful reply was to deny Germany an honourable surrender, insisting on it’s total destruction.

We as children, would play hide and seek in the ruins, we would climb walls, we would get a plank with a brick under each end as a trampoline, and jump on the springy middle bit, and we would make dens out of bricks and planks to shelter from the rain, and do all the things kids do, in the days before computers.

Adults passing by would just see us kids as playing in an unusual playground.

But one day this “playground” was to be the venue for the most sinister of happenings that I have ever had to undergo.

We always played for about an hour, before pangs of hunger demanded we go home,

However, one of these hide and seek games, had me feeling that I had to discover a new hiding place as we knew all of each other’s favourite places.

It was this mindset which took me to a part at the back of the church building that we had not explored before, as there were deep piles of rubble.

Standing in the buildings shadow, I became aware for the first time that there was a small door, let into the side of the main body of the church, this small gothic, pointed, shabby door, with a ring pull handle.

Which I can see now as plainly now in my minds eye as all those years ago.

Calling my friends to the discovery of this door, which to a child was so exciting, I exclaimed my desires to see what it contained.

I was disappointingly met with my friends wishes to go home, as both darkness and childhood hunger was setting in.


We did all agree to meet the next day which was a Saturday at 1-30

I arrived, having not slept all night with all the excitement of an Amazonian explorer, to find no one else had bothered to turn up so, curiosity being my middle name,

I approached the small gothic, pointed shabby door with the ring pull handle.

On gently opening the door, the cobwebs that were about the doors base, stretched for ages before giving way, and as I watched them it occurred to me that the door had not been opened for many years.

Stepping inside as my eyes adjusted to the darkness and my nostrils to the smell of damp and decay, I became aware of old cast iron banisters leading deep down some stone steps, so fumbling in my pocket for a box of matches, taken from my dads little smoking table, to see if I would be the first child to find a casket of treasure.

Descending the staircase while striking the matches, the smell of damp now palpable,

The only sound was an occasional drip of water dropping from a great height into a puddle in the dark.

When I suddenly noticed that piled up against one wall was a “coffin stack”

Coffin upon coffin neatly piled all along one wall, how strange I thought, and walking along while using up the last of my matches, the thought flickered across my mind,

“well there was no treasure just coffin stacks” so having walked around this under ground vault, I disappointedly decided to leave.

So, looking up for the light at the small door’s entrance high above, I groped my way back to the stone steps and with the help of the cast iron hand rail, slowly found my way back to the entrance, thinking, “no treasure, no nothing, how boring”.

It was actually as I had come out from the darkness, and left the stench of death, damp and decay, emerging into the daylight, when as I was closing the ring handle to the little shabby pointed gothic door that it happened.-

Before the door closed, it was wrenched in, almost pulling me in with it.

And there with a brown skin like old parchment, and a shock of white hair flowing round the most mad staring eyes I had ever seen, was a little old lady dressed in rags, she appeared not to see me, and I guessed she was blind.

I was a nine year old boy and in utter terror I ran home as quick as I could, I could not tell my parents as they would tell me off for playing in what were called,

“wartime bomb sites”

The thought occurred to me that all the time I was in that dark damp place, lighting matches and looking round at the “coffin stacks” the old woman was in there too, and she said nothing, the cobwebs at the base of the quaint gothic little door, said no one had been that way in a very long time, so how long had she been in there ? and living on what ? and what could she have been doing ?

I could find no rational explanation for what really was not a paranormal situation but a physical one, but with paranormal undertones.!

The ruined church of St. Columba. are now a block of flats, but whenever I pass by I always have a quick look out of the corner of my eye, for a little old lady with brown parchment like skin and, a shock of white hair flowing round the most mad, staring eyes I had ever seen, I do not know what happened to her but, local legend has it that when the V1 or revenge weapon hit the church, a man and his son were in the building as it collapsed, and on moonlit nights, a small lady would be seen looking amongst the ruins for her men folk , her husband and son, and she swore never to be taken away from their bodies, and was inconsolable.

Whatever the truth, the sight of this white haired old lady to me is unforgettable,

The old ruined church of St Columba which became a block of flats, perhaps even today, hides a grisly secret.

T.Stokes paranormal studies lecturer copyright 2003