Junior Paranormal Events

The Next Generation of Ghost Hunters: An Interview With Junior Paranormal Events

The world of ghost hunting could be perceived as something suitable only for adults, but Junior Paranormal Events are on a mission to make ghost hunting accessible for everybody, writes Fiona Dodwell.

Many of us associate ghosts and investigating the afterlife with darkness, the occult, and mysteries – things we don’t usually connect with children and childhood.

Yet passion for the paranormal can begin at any age, and for many young people, exploring, investigating, and understanding this fascinating subject can be life-changing.

As a child myself, I was passionate about the mysterious side of life and often became engrossed in shows and paranormal books (often ones aimed at people far older than me) that left me deeply curious about what may be on the other side of this physical world. As adults, many of us have the luxury of investigating this subject, but it’s not often as easy or accessible for young, wannabe paranormal students. 

In steps Junior Paranormal Events, a family-focused paranormal organisation that holds events at venues across the UK, giving talks to younger enthusiasts about each location’s history and helping them participate in scientific investigations.

At an affordable price, this group is doing something unique for the paranormal world: making it family-friendly and allowing the subject matter to become relatable to a younger audience. 

The team consists of Gemma, Michael, and Jade, and they work with Junior Ambassadors Aubrey, Finlay, Kate, Alfie, Harrison, and Olivia. It’s easy to see how passionate the team is about bringing the paranormal to life for younger members.

Asking Gemma about how it all began, she recalled how her children were curious. “My husband and I attended adult events regularly; when we returned from them, our two children would ask us about them. They have always had a keen interest in the paranormal. After attending an event at Halloween in 2021, our children again asked us when they could go to an event with us.

“We reflected momentarily and thought about it; why couldn’t they? We looked to see if we could find something for them, but we couldn’t, so we decided to set up our group using my background as a qualified teacher and my experience running an educational business with children and young people.

“Fast forward 18 months, and we have built up a wonderful community that includes friends in the USA & UK, being part of Haunted Magazine, and having an awesome bunch of young people, our Junior Ambassadors, that help us to challenge the ‘norm’ in the paranormal.”

Ghost Hunting Events for Kids

The fact that locations being investigated have a dark history may concern some. It may often be why so many paranormal teams shy away from allowing under 18’s to attend. How do Junior Paranormal Events tackle this?

Gemma explained: “Through thorough research into the locations that we use, this includes looking at the history of a venue to ensure that we aren’t exposing juniors to anything inappropriate – there are several locations in the North West alone that we won’t use because of this.

“We also avoid using spiritual-based approaches within our events – there are no mediums, Ouija boards, or seances. We focus solely on cause and effect equipment and adopt a scientific approach.”

Junior Paranormal Events are passionate about what they do; it’s apparent that they are keen to achieve results during their investigations through their methods, but have they experienced anything compelling so far

“We have had many experiences. At Ashbourne Town Hall during small group activities, my group was in the council chamber and we had the heavy council door open and slammed shut. I ran to the door and checked; no one was around, and the other group was in a different building area. The door was weighty, and we saw the handle move.

“At Champness Hall we heard heavy banging on an internal door that copied the knocking pattern we were doing; no one else was in the building.

“At Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker we heard the sound of a lady sobbing loudly, an old phone ringing when there was no phone in that area, footsteps and creaking of wheels down the corridor. We could go on and on.”

Not a team to become complacent; Junior Paranormal Events are always looking for ways to try new things, explore new methods, and work with other investigators.

One such way they have done this is by teaming up with My Haunted Hotel, an ongoing paranormal investigation based at the historic Ye Olde Kings Head in the Chester.

“The team at MHH had been wanting to do junior events for a while, but they weren’t sure how to go about it, as that is what we do; Brett reached out to us to see if we would be interested in running the junior events for them. They have a similar arrangement with Afterlife and Spooky Events, who operate adult paranormal events for them.

“We met with Brett, with our daughter representing the juniors, and we feel that we have put together something that juniors will love. We are having a test event at the end of July with our team of volunteers, our junior ambassadors, and their grown-ups.

“Following this, we will operate a junior event there once a month. It will be suitable for budding junior investigators that are 10+. We can’t wait to get started and are all super excited.”

There is a vast array of paranormal equipment available in today’s market, and I wanted to know what Junior Paranormal employed as part of their investigations. What was it they used, and why?

Gemma expanded on this: “We prefer cause and effect equipment because this is easier to use with juniors and also easy to debunk and challenge – it helps them build up their objectivity.

“Favourites of the team and the juniors are Spirit the REM Bear and Maglite torches. Maglite torches are very popular and something that we have only just started to use. We use them for Q&A, often having one torch for yes, another for no, and a final one for not sure. We don’t always get interaction with them, but when we do, it is incredible.”

Junior Paranormal Events
Junior Paranormal Events – Junior Ambassadors with Spirit the REM bear

Often, those joining have wondered if younger investigators of the paranormal may actively encourage a rise in energy from child spirits in venues. Gemma believes this is only sometimes the case – but it has occurred. “I don’t think it necessarily has to be a child spirit, but we have had some encounters at Champness Hall – our HQ – where we have a spirit called Mary (a former member of the sisterhood there) who only seems to come out when we are there with our juniors.

“We caught her on camera during our first event there, and she regularly appears. When I researched Champness Hall, I found Mary – she was responsible for contributing towards the church services and working with the children who were a part of the church. We think that she likes to see the juniors and keep a watchful eye on them.”

The Junior Paranormal Team has a huge array of potential properties and haunted locations to investigate, and I asked Gemma which places she has investigated with the team.

“Mill Street is a favourite of ours, not just for the activity that we have experienced, but also because we have made some wonderful friends through going there – Jamie, Jonathan & Marie from Access Paranormal. We have been on several private investigations with them we love working with them.

“Samlesbury Hall was also incredible,” she adds, “and we typically go there in October on the run-up to Halloween. In the last event, we had voices, footsteps, and banging, and my small group was playing hide and seek with a spirit in the long corridor.”

“We are trying to go to more areas of the country at the moment; other locations that we go to include: Ripon Workhouse, Castle Street Old Police Station, Healey Dell Tea Rooms, Hack Green Secret Bunker, Penn y Lann, Steelhouse Lane Lockup, Castle Cottage and Eden Camp. We have many more new locations coming along with new types of events.

“We are very lucky to have Champness Hall as our base, and so we get to explore here as often as we like; I have just written an article about our experiences for Haunted Magazine, which we are also part of.”

For every investigation undertaken, there are mixed results for most teams – at times, absolutely nothing occurs. But there’s always that hope that a group will hit the paranormal jackpot. “For us, the picture of Mary that was captured during the launch event of JPE at Champness Hall is up there in the top pieces of evidence that we have,” Gemma says.

“We also have captured a lot of voice phenomena at Champness Hall. We also have video footage of the door in the council chambers opening. Most recently, we have captured some incredible EVP recordings at a new venue for us, Healey Dell Tearooms. We also have an incredible shadow figure that was captured at Samlesbury Hall last year.”

Junior Paranormal Events have gained a lot of interest and respect over recent years, and the interest in taking part in their investigations has grown. Gemma tells me: “We have built up a lovely community, are all friendly (there are no egos here!) We always love to see new faces joining us. We are on Facebook and Twitter, where you can find information about us and our events.

“Anyone can join us at an event, provided they are 10+ (this is 9 years+ in some locations) and are joined by a grown-up. We have a website where guests can book onto our events”

After learning about the team and the investigations they have undertaken, the paranormal world is one that can be safely experienced and accessed by people of all ages.

A subject that is as fascinating as any academic one taught in school, it’s easy to see why such a group has grown in popularity in recent years.

Find out more about Junior Paranormal Events at: juniorparanormalevents.co.uk

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