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gattino

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Jul 30, 2003
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From the old ITV series "Strange But True?"


(As an aside I was waiting for the obligatory professional sceptic to turn up for "balance" and say "I believe that THEY believe it, but...". Interestingly there was none, which makes me think this must have been the last show of this kind in the UK before such a set up somehow became mandatory on TV.)
 
A lawn mower factory in Cardiff...the owner, his wife, his work colleague, an insurance man , a university professor and the clergyman next door all giving accounts of a long series of poltergeist activities in the factory/warehouse starting with and principally involving the throwing and landing of stones (never seen in flight) but progressing to the point where "it" made requested objects land in front of them suggesting intelligence and awareness. Finally an apparition of a small boy is purportedly witnessed.
 
good summary thank you :)
 
interestingly there's a further alleged witness in the comments section under the youtube video:

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Anyone know where this mower shop used to be, i could pop round and have a look
 
The company moved from its original premises to a business park, and anyway the polt latched onto one of the staff and was eventually seen off by th breaking of a piece of pottery. All very murky.
 
Naughty_felid you are spot on not the original premises but started by pat and john matthews whereabouts unknown, moved there shortly after the incident.
Called in young guy with large holes in his ears, thought i was the village idiot and tried to sell me a lawnmower. Older guy out back was aware of the story but did not know where the original premises were or what happened to the owners.
Intresting link
https://www.british-paranormal.co.uk/the-cardiff-poltergeist-mower-services/
 
I haven't watched the Video (above) but was the entity called `Pete`......if so i think i read about this years ago..............
 
Naughty_felid you are spot on not the original premises but started by pat and john matthews whereabouts unknown, moved there shortly after the incident.
Called in young guy with large holes in his ears, thought i was the village idiot and tried to sell me a lawnmower. Older guy out back was aware of the story but did not know where the original premises were or what happened to the owners.
Intresting link
https://www.british-paranormal.co.uk/the-cardiff-poltergeist-mower-services/

At the time of the poltergeist activity the lawnmower shop was located on Crwys Rd where Crwys Mews now stands.
 
*bump*

I am no longer a student of a university and so don't have free access to scientific journal articles. If someone on here does could they please have a look for this article:

Fontana, D. (1991). A responsive poltergeist: A case from South Wales. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 57(823), 385–402.

This is the academic who was interviewed in the 'Strange but True?'and investigated this case, writing at least two articles for the Journal for Physical Research (now a part of APA I believe)
 
*bump*

I am no longer a student of a university and so don't have free access to scientific journal articles. If someone on here does could they please have a look for this article:

Fontana, D. (1991). A responsive poltergeist: A case from South Wales. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 57(823), 385–402.

This is the academic who was interviewed in the 'Strange but True?'and investigated this case, writing at least two articles for the Journal for Physical Research (now a part of APA I believe)
Are you a public library member? Libraries subscribe to journals.
 
*bump*

I am no longer a student of a university and so don't have free access to scientific journal articles. If someone on here does could they please have a look for this article:

Fontana, D. (1991). A responsive poltergeist: A case from South Wales. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 57(823), 385–402.

This is the academic who was interviewed in the 'Strange but True?'and investigated this case, writing at least two articles for the Journal for Physical Research (now a part of APA I believe)
After much fiddling about I've managed to download this one for you (and also a connected one in the following volume). If you PM me an email address I will send them over :)
 
After much fiddling about I've managed to download this one for you (and also a connected one in the following volume). If you PM me an email address I will send them over :)
Thanks, have replied to your message
 
From my younger experiences, I can say that it is probably true a poltergeist will bond with a particular person or family.

It is probably true over time you give this poltergeist a nickname as in the video.

I think this story is believable.
 
Have now had a chance to read two of Dr Fontana's papers, many thanks @Eponastill

There was some interesting new information and for the record the 'Strange but True' version wasn't that far off the actual narrative.

For me, the fact that they found small hoards of the stones that 'Pete' allegedly threw stashed away up behind the false ceiling tiles opens up some interesting possibilities, especially as sometime the staff would pretend to throw a stone and yet still receive one back. Of further note is that the stone throwing ceased when a certain employee left and they reorganised the workshop.

Then there is the fact that the landlord of the premises tipped off the press about the goings-on at a time when the business owners didn't want publicity and numerous calls made to the house of one of the owners but no-one answered when the phone was picked up. These two facts couple with them finding that disturbances were taking place in the workshop overnight does make me wonder if either a former employee had a grudge or the landlord was trying to unsettle them (they would eventually move out, but did the landlord want them out sooner?).

To my mind these facts give the skeptics a bit of ammunition. How big was the space above this false ceiling, who had keys to the workshop other than them and how were they getting on with their landlord? Or was there a former employee with a grudge at work here?

That said, there ere numerous witnesses to these events and it is certainly not easy to make the case for human trickery. I have personally witnessed some minor poltergeist activity I wasn't able to explain and I do feel that at the very least there was some poltergeist activity at the core of the goings-on. Perhaps this in turn created a heightened state of awareness amongst the staff to the extent that a customer dropping their £5 note change on the floor would be attributed to 'Pete' gifting them money. However, the possibility of human trickery at play remains a nagging doubt and I feel that more questions ought to have been asked about key holders, relationships with current and former employees and their landlord.

( @Eponastill - are you happy for the papers you found to be posted to this forum as attachments?)
 
An edit to the above.

Despite knowing the "hot corner' where the stones were coming from and that 'Pete' was stashing stones in the false ceiling, it seems no-one thought to get out a stepladder and climb up into that corner and then have them start throwing stones etc. and awaiting a response from 'Pete'. You have to wonder why not? I get the sense that they liked 'Pete' so much that they almost didn't want to cast any doubt on the narrative.

Also, Fontana's investigation was in June 1989, so where is the photographic and/or film evidence? Even if you don't catch any activity then at least get the first hand testimony of the witnesses on tape, To remind ourselves, this is the standard of portable film camera used by railway enthususaists in 1989:


This technology is evidently advanced enough to capture the activity at the mower shop, so why was no-one doing just that? In fact, the more I think about it, the more I find it difficult to believe that neither the staff nor Fontana had access to a film camera, it seems such an obvious step to take. Remember, the staff all sat in the locked building and called on "Pete' to manifest objects and 'he' duly obliged.

Incidentally, unless I am mistaken the workshop was not the one shown in 'Strange but True?' but was in fact on the ground floor of an end of terrace house. There was a floor above that Fontana states was occupied by a firm of accountants who didn't want any involvement or publicity. There was a false ceiling of suspended white polycarbonate tiles. It was not a quiet location, with heavy traffic on the road outside.

It is not that I am desperate to disprove this story, more frustrated at the missed opportunity...
 
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