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THE CRCMH - A PARANORMAL REALM?

Welcome people. This page exists to cover an assortment of mysterious tidbits that don't really belong anywhere else. The accounts of The Flincher reside in their own section for the reason, if nothing else, that they are quite celebrated these days (and indeed were the central cause for this website coming into being). Similar treatment has also been given to the security guard's account of The Soldier of Ward 13 and the seemingly impenetrable force-fields around Taplow Lodge. However, not every unexplained occurence at the CRCMH should be automatically attributed to The Flincher or The Soldier.

Other unexplained things connected to the hospital - conveyed either through writing or visuals - have a habit of emerging every now and then from a variety of sources. And this is the place in which you'll find the more specific and intriguing phenomena (for more common tales, such as general feelings of "eerieness" or hearing loud bangs, check out the Your Tales section). Some of these seem truly laughable, whereas others might make your spine tingle. So let your own judgement lead the way as you prepare to enter the potentially paranormal realm of the CRCMH...

Lurking In The Shadows
More Mysterious Shapes
Who Is Colin - And Why Won't He Leave?
Black-Eyed Dogs?
Utter Nonsense
Cause Or Effect?
Coming Soon - Actual Ghost Photos?
Dr Kaye - Ghost Hunter Extraordinaire - Pt.I
Dr Kaye - Ghost Hunter Extraordinaire - Pt.II
Dr Kaye - Ghost Hunter Extraordinaire - Pt.III
Ethereal Noises and Glowing Faces
Dr Kaye - Ghost Hunter Extraordinaire - Pt.IV
The White Figure at the Corridor Window
The Gates of Doom

Lurking In The Shadows...

  It is well documented in the tales of The Flincher that, "nice" though it is to imagine a beast with black wings and red eyes, nobody has ever actually seen The Flincher. However, new photographic evidence has come to light that appears to show, well... "something." Could it be The Flincher, or a different apparition? Or is it just a trick of light, a routine casting of shadows? Read on, examine the evidence, and decide for yourself...

Webmaster Owen has been sifting through a large number of recent photos of the CRCMH site. Whilst doing so, he had an uncanny feeling that in one of the photos he would come across something standing in the distance, lurking in the shadows. And Lo and Behold - there was. Or so it appears. Take a look at these (click on thumbnails to enlarge):


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  This is the whole photo in question - a view of the "sentry box" near the old entrance. Look in the bushes on the far right, about the height of the sentry box's window. Anything of interest?
     


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  Here we see a close-up taken from the above photo, featuring an even closer zoomed-in area of the "apparition." Fluke or not? It's blurry, but either way, it appears to have a face similar to a couple of things you may have seen before...

 

Remember these?

The one at the top is perhaps the most famous ghost photograph ever taken. The Reverend K. F. Lord was photographing the interior of his church at Newby, North Yorkshire, in the early 1960s, and saw nothing unusual at the time. It was only when he developed the films that he found a ghost on one frame, an eerie hooded figure standing close to the altar. Many people assume that it is a fake, but when Kodak tested it for the absolutely wonderful "Arthur.C.Clarke's World of Strange Powers" TV series in the early 80s, no evidence of tampering with the negative was discovered.

Below that we have that ubiquitous horror mask from the movie "Scream". Both icons appear to bear some similarity to the shape in the photograph. So, what do you think?


Webmaster's Notes:

In all seriousness, it is of course very very likely that what we can see in this photo is an interesting random form created by shadows from the bushes. I don't think that any of us would like to destroy people's opinions and thoughts about The Flincher by proclaiming that this is definately an actual photo of The Flincher - because it most probably isn't. It is nevertheless a bit of fun, and rather intriguing...or not, depending upon how much like an inanimate blob you think the image is.

Owen: Evidence? Judge for yourself...

Damon: Well, there's only two options really. I mean, it has to be either a friendly shadow or a terrifying underworld being. It also looks quite skeletal from a certain angle too. But I think I'd be far more frightened if I knew that The Flincher looked like the Newby ghost. Even if it was a fake, it is still just about the scariest image anyone has ever come up with - give me black wings and red eyes any day. Still, my motto is "never say never', so I'll leave it at that.

Contact us if you have any thoughts or comments on the mysterious shadow in the photograph.

More Mysterious Shapes...

I don't think that these are "supposed" to depict anything out of the ordinary, but we'll chuck them here for want of anywhere better for them. What we have is two photos taken by CRCMH enthusiast Bob Hurley (no relation to our own eccentric intrepid explorer), and this is what he had to say:

I thought that I'd put something back into The CRCMH Shrine. I have some pictures of the hospital from when I went there in December 2001. They aren't that good - they've been exposed etc. The first shot is of the Animal Lab, the first building I saw when I entered. The second is of the end of one of the wards to the south. Regards, Bob Hurley.

Well, they're not quite like any other photos on this website, I'll give you that much. But they are rather atmospheric and seem to be full of interesting shapes and things. The first one seems to have almost the same general effect as the front cover of Black Sabbath's first album (i.e. just a tad eerie). It's nice to see some trippy hospital snaps for a change anyhow. And if you look closely enough, who knows - you might even spot yourself a Flincher or two (or indeed none). Enjoy...


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Shot One
 
Shot Two
These 2 photographs
Bob Hurley 2001-2002


Who Is Colin - And Why Won't He Leave?

Darren King writes:

I was just wondering if anyone has recently visited the hospital and discovered any inmates in there. I don't know exactly where we were, but it was somewhere near the nurse's rooms when a northern-accented voice started calling at us. Naturally of course, after a few seconds, we pegged it and got lost. I doubt that it had anything to do with The Flincher, as firstly it was on the other side of the building, and secondly it sounded like Johnny from Big Brother! Who ever heard of a scarey brummie? What baffles me is who the hell in their right mind would sleep in a place like that? Just wondering if this could have been Colin, as we had earlier noticed graffiti on the wall saying 'Colin will not leave'.

Later, I saw something move from inside Ward 13 (coincidently the location of the soldier ghost sighting), but when we went to have a look there was no one there. We were filming at the time, but unfortunately you can't see anything on the video. I only saw something move in the shadows, I didn't actually see anything in particular. And by the time I moved the camera in that direction, there was nothing there. I reckon Colin was stalking us! WHO IS COLIN????

Webmaster Damon says: It's altogether possible that there's a deranged monster like Sloth from "The Goonies" locked-up in the nurses' block. It's equally plausible that its name might be Colin. It's an eerie thought anyway.

Ray Hurley-Castle adds: Indeed - I've also read his message and have a photo of it somewhere amongst the thousands (literally thousands) that I've taken. I have a subtle feeling that this "Colin" may have been lying... or perhaps he starved to death as there's only empty Lucozade bottles left to munch upon in the Canteen these days. Oh, and the occasional box of Myron Heel-Seats but I foraged them for Webmaster Owen as he does enjoy a sweet tasty heel-seat. Perhaps he is hiding in the recesses of the recently named 'Wheel Room'...? Colin? Coooolllliiiinnn? Pardon my possible illiteracy but perhaps 'Colin' is actually a coded anagram for 'The Flincher'? Maybe one (or both) 'C's in CRCMH actually stands for 'Colin'? Just in case, from this day on, my pet name for the hospital shall be Colin. Fare thee well, and fear not, for it may be that you are actually mad.

Any advances anybody?


Black-Eyed Dogs?

Jack, James, Antony & Chris write:

In October 2002, we all went in through the main entrance and up to the canteen. Jack and Antony were looking at the sign which says "canteen and shop" when all of a sudden we heard a smashing sound. We then saw two dog-like creatures jump out the window and set off in different directions. One had a big fluffy tail and looked like it was hovering in the air with no legs. It turned left and then it disappeared around the corner. Everybody saw the other one. It ran around a green abandoned Beetle car (Webmaster: It's actually a Morris Minor) and kept on running for another 100 yards before disappearing into the trees.

Webmaster Damon says: Hmmm... plausible I guess - because it seems to me like a similar sort of beast to the one encountered by our very own Ray Hurley-Castle earlier this year, his account of which reads:

"...at the gap between ward 11 and 12 something new was spied. And this time it had legs. And wasn't a table. Some creature, possibly a wild dog, maybe a discoloured fox, too large to be a domestic cat. Low to the ground, large and fast, maybe a mutant leopard or something. You know the type. Sandy in colour it seemed - a kind of dark tone of lion, and it darted for cover in the now-thick undergrowth quite noisily just after it had been spotted and it spied us. Damn thing was too impolite to pose for a photo. I decided against going 'here beasty beasty, let me get a piccy.' Typical. But now you know the exact location of where I encountered the infamous Taplow Beast."

Strange goings-on indeed. Thanks for your note guys.

Ray Hurley-Castle adds: Further to the above mentioned incident, I also encountered something similar in the central courtyard, behind the main entrance. This time I didn't actually see it but didn't need to as it was stamping around quite belligerantly, definitely letting me know that it was there and that it didn't mind me knowing either. It probably had fangs as long as my arm. I bravely threw my porter - Dolmal Filfan Carrond - into the fray, but the damn thing was tricky and must have a lair there somewhere, be aware.

Utter Nonsense...

The maidenhead.net e-group was graced with this message from "M.K" on November 2nd:

"
I was exploring the hospital today in Cliveden and we heard lots of things and then we saw a black figure zoom quickly across infront of the main building! Then we threw a rock or stone at the lodge and it came flying back at us!! I was shit scared!"

Webmaster Damon says: Yes, I nearly died laughing - but please refrain from sending us similar literary masterpieces. Unless they're true, that is.

Cause Or Effect?

Alright, so the following might not be a classic tale of the paranormal (or even strictly speaking "unusual" given the routine nature of death in relation to hospitals), but it is the sort of eerie information that makes you pause for thought...

David Webb writes:

"My mother had an operation at the CRCMH in approximately 1982. Immediately after the operation, the surgeon jumped into his car, turned right out of the hospital, and drove a short distance towards Maidenhead. Misjudging the tricky S-bends (you surely know the ones I mean), he ran into a tree on the left of the road and was killed."

Webmaster Damon says: Hmmm. Was "something unexplained" lurking around the hospital the true cause of the accident? Or is the accident the true cause of "something unexplained" lurking around the hospital? Perhaps neither, or perhaps both. You decide.


COMING SOON - Actual CRCMH Ghost Photos?

John Keep writes:

On Sunday 24th November 2002, a group of three explored the ruins from approximately 3.40pm until 4.20pm. During this time we covered the hospital's central structure including the wards, theatre, maternity, x-ray, reception and the animal testing labs.

Upon entering Ward 13, several photographs were taken, as were several in the x-ray area and maternity. Two 24 exposure films were used and 5 pictures were identified as having unusual discoloration and misting that cannot be explained.

A professional photographer from Reading College could not identify the 'errors'. 2 photos were at the entrance to Ward 13, 2 by the animal testing labs and one in the "Flincher area". The latter photograph seemingly shows either a figure or a face - and both can be seen when looking from a distance. Just prior to this photo being taken the party felt unusually uneasy and hurried past the area. One of the group who had experience with the hospital felt particularly spooked.

I suggested we venture down into the heart of x-ray, which he had done previously, and he simply replied...'no fucking way'.

Webmaster Owen says: Very Doomy. Interesting photographic occurrances indeed! We'd LOVE to see your psychokinetically charged pics. Do you know whether the 'errors' were only from one film, or scattered over both? Did the face in the Flincher area look human? What expression, if any, can you see on it? Feel free to give us a more in-depth account of your experiences, as we are always seeking more information on esoteric CRCMH happenings - and this one seems to be a pretty VIVID encounter.

Webmaster Damon says: I wholeheartedly agree with Owen's sentiments. It sounds fantastic, and I can't wait to have a look. All along, I've had this incey-wincey feeling it wasn't just me who thought that strange things were afoot inside the CRCMH. And now the mystery deepens...

(NON) UPDATE - February 2003: Although we hoped to be able to display copies of these intriguing photographs for you here on The Shrine, we are still yet to hear anything back from the elusive Mr Keep. So, John, if you're reading - do get in touch, because - provided that they actually exist - your photographs would make a very interesting additiion here indeed.

(NON) UPDATE - May 2003: Ditto. Perhaps it ain't ever going to happen...

Dr Kaye - Ghost Hunter Extraordinaire - Pt.I

The following first appeared in the Hole in the Roof update of Sunday 22nd December 2002, where it remains in the archive. However, we also thought it would be appropriate to include it here as well - all in the name of a laugh of course. A reader writes...

Dear Damon and Owen,

I recently took this photograph of a ghost at the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital on a ghost hunting trip. Find it attached. Regards,

Dr. Spencer Kaye
(Ghost Hunter Extraordinaire)

 

Dr Kaye - Ghost Hunter Extraordinaire - Pt.II

Well, well - here we are in February 2003, and the good doctor is at it once again. His first "ghost photograph" may have started a debate on the messageboard of late, but I can assure you that his latest effort - revealed here for the first time - surpasses it and then some. To say that the following had me in stitches is an understatement. So enjoy - and do keep up the, er, ... "hunting", Doctor - because it's "nice to see them (to see them, nice!)" etc etc. Ah, my liver hurts...

Dear Damon and Owen,

I was recently on another ghost hunting trip and took what turned out to be some very interesting photographs.  When looking closer at a particular photograph taken in the Flincher's 'home', I noticed a spooky face on the floor of the corridor. 

Using the latest digimazoom-phonolomotographamy techniques, I zoomed in on and enhanced what looks like Bruce Forsyth's lovely face. From this evidence, I have proposed a theory that explains the exact identification of the Flincher. 

I believe the 'flinching' that you speak of is in fact the sporadic motions of Bruce's legs as he tap-dances his way around the corridors of the Canadian Red Cross Memorial Hospital.  The noises you have heard may just be the echoing of his taps combined with his hideous singing.  Also, the strong gusts of wind could possibly be explained by his toupee flapping about as he dances so gayfully.

I am honoured to have shed light on the Flincher and I hope to be researching more into this theory in the upcoming weeks.  I am as fascinated as you are as to why Bruce may be hiding out there, or indeed why he tap dances around instead of walking like any other other person would. 

I have also heard rumours that Lionel Blair joins him every third Wednesday for a 'tap-dancing marathon' (a tap-a-thon) - in which the last person standing is declared the winner.  This will also be researched soon.

Yours honourably,

Spencer Kaye
Ghost Hunter Extraordinaire


 

Dr Kaye - Ghost Hunter Extraordinaire - Pt.III

April 2003: Andmoreagain...

Dear Damon and Owen,

I was lucky enough to capture on film the person who committed the arson attack on the CRCMH. This photograph was taken just minutes before the attack, and it clearly shows that the arsonist is no other than CBBC's Arthur.

Just in case you can't quite see him, Boo Boo is kindly pointing him out. If I were you, I'd print this picture out and take it to your local police station.

Regards,

Spencer Kaye
Ghost Hunter Extraordinaire
and Crime Stopper

 

Ethereal Noises & Glowing Faces

This account from April 2003 comes from Darren and features a potentially interesting photograph at the end. Read on...

After doing an internet search on Skindles and being amazed at the amount of decent bands (Buzzcocks, Thin Lizzy, Stones, Stranglers) that had played there in the past, I somehow discovered the CRCMH where I was born in 1970.

I had never seen the place let alone been inside and wasn't even sure if it was still standing. So, after being engrossed with the idea for a good week, I was driving nearby and decided to look through the gates. I was amazed to see the place standing there silent.

I checked out how to get in and looked for any presence of security. Suddenly, I saw movement - then a group of school kids came running over to the gate - looking a bit freaked out. Their faces were a picture when they saw a head poking through the gate - they didn't know which way to run. I had to shout at them it was okay.

I wanted to find out if they had ever seen workmen or security. They told me that there were loads of kids from their school in there with catapults, and by the sound of it, they were wrecking the place. After chatting for a while I told them about the website and the ghost stories - The Flincher and the Solider on crutches. After seeing there reaction, I think at least half of them won't being going back again.

I didn't fancy going in while there were loads of school kids around so I arranged with my brother to visit once again, early on a Sunday morning. We pulled up and parked in the Feathers car park under the sound of a woodpecker pecking away. We walked down to the hospital, over the wall, and we were in. We instantly headed over to the main foyer and took a couple of photos. I had forgot my map so I would have to refer to my memory.

We went inside to have a look about and then decided to walk around the southern section - the maternity wing (Was this Ward 19? My mum says she was in 19 and then Ward 1). Had a good look around the lab and then walked up along the west hand side before re-entering again towards the boiler room, taking a good look down the very impressive long corridor. We went back out towards the front, taking in the collapsed Stage Room and out by the nurses' rooms.

We climbed the stairs on the outside of the building, bearing in mind I was assured by other stories this was as far from The Flincher as could be, and felt most at ease knowing this. We found nothing too interesting apart from the smell of an old bonfire, probably from kids the night before, so we headed back to the main entrance and headed upstairs.

As I had a hat pulled over my ears my hearing was not quite as good as my hatless brother. We ventured in a few of the rooms taking in all the junk including an old mattress. At this point I heard a strange noise (bearing in mind it was early on a Sunday morning and there wasn't much traffic on the road). It was a quiet but deep rumbling noise as if an underground train had just past by beneath us. I turned to by brother and said "What the hell was that?"

It was the first time I had heard it, but he had heard it a couple of times before as we were climbing the stairs and again when we were in another room but didn't want to say anything in case it spooked me out. Well once I had heard it too, it spooked us both out, so we made our retreat down the stairs and over the wall.

Our adventure was over but there was so much more I want to see. Still, when I was scanning the following photo in, I noticed a strange glowing face-like image in between the pillars on the right hand side of the door on the second floor. Cue shivers down the spine - zoom in and have a look.

Damon Says: Hmmm... it is indeed a strange one. I doubt that it could be a reflection of the pipes on the ground because the angle would be wrong. Perhaps the window was ajar and it's a reflection of the pillar. Or an undead menace from the otherworld, naturally. Thanks for that though Darren. Oh, and if you find the history of Skindles interesting, check out the former Old Trout/Thames Hotel in Windsor - everyone from Hendrix down to me played there and it was great. It's now been bastardised by a generic restaurant chain of course, pretty much like everywhere else.

Dr Kaye - Ghost Hunter Extraordinaire - Pt.IV

May 2003: and on and on and on and on he goes...

Dear Damon and Owen,

The photograph and story you were sent recently by some chap who goes by the name of 'Darren' intrigued me. I could not see a 'glowing face-like image' no matter how close I zoomed in. All I saw was what could be described as a 'glowing blur-like image'. I think someone is pulling your proverbial legs.

However, upon closer inspection, I spotted the small and vague sideways profile of my good friend, and fellow Ghost Hunter, Morgan Freeman - you know, the nice chap from "Shawshank Redemption".

Is Morgan Freeman actually dead? Or has 'Darren' kidnapped him and locked him inside the hospital.

Only time will tell . . .

Regards,

Spencer Kaye
Ghost Hunter Extraordinaire, Crime Stopper & friend Of Morgan Freeman

 

The White Figure at the Corridor Window

Andy G says:

I was in the hospital last year and we took about 100 photos. In looking at them more closley, one of them looks like there is a spook at the end of a hallway! Have a look and see what you think.


Close-up of strange figure
  Holy Mary Mother of God!
Click on thumbnail to view larger version of the photo - 37kb

Damon Says: Indeed. This is perhaps one of the most interesting "supernatural" images to come from the hospital that I've seen for some time. The "spook" can be seen through the window at the very end of the corridor (which looks more like the eastern (Flincher) corridor than the western (Grand) corridor. A seemingly human-shaped figure draped in a cloak with a raised hand - it almost looks like one of those Virgin Mary sightings which keep popping up all over the globe. Or a statue of Jesus perhaps.

It's also worth bearing in mind that a colleague of the security guard interviewed here on The Shrine said she thought she saw a spectral nurse pushing a pram down in that area. Provided I'm correct with my inkling that this new photo shows the eastern corridor that is. What if the white figure is the nurse and the pram is the dark object (complete with white "baby's head" no less) in the bottom right of the window? Well, it all depends upon how the shape might be interpreted of course.

Is it just part of the hospital fittings? Is it an action figure toy sitting on the window ledge? Or is it something far more sinister? Who are we to guess? Either way, it's probably the first "mysterious blob" photo from the CRCMH that I've seen which actually has some conceivable form. Whatever it might be - thanks Andy, it's a nice one.

 

The Gates of Doom

Our long-time friend and correspondent Jeanne Hopkins didn't intend to send us a "supernatural" photograph. Having very recently visited the hospital environs for the first time in half a century, she told us about a digital photo that her daughter had taken of the boarded-up entrance gates which appeared to show strange images. These were subsequently examined by a well-known Cornish writer and lecturer who interpreted them as...

"...very angry nature spirits guarding the hospital. And the hospital has more than one owner. So beware those that dare trespass!"

Jeanne however forwarded us a photograph of the same gates that she had taken herself with a trusty old Canon, stating that there was "not a nature spirit to be seen." Well, perhaps she was right, but upon closer inspection the image seemed to reveal something different - and rather sinister in itself. For example:


A pair of devilish gargoyles lurk near the base of the right-hand gate.

How Bizarre?
Click on thumbnail to view full photo
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An imposing - almost bird-like (Flincher-like?) face - outlined here - guards the right-hand side of the gate.

Now, I don't think for a moment that Jeanne was particularly aware of these intriguing shapes (presumably they are a different sort of thing from that which appeared on her daughter's photo) - but they certainly appear to be there, along with many other possibilities if you look closely (there's some deep-set eyes on the left gate for instance). Are they the Evil Guardians of Eternal Doom? Or just tricks of light? It doesn't really matter either way (he says talking rubbish - because if it's the former, I think we'd all like to know!) - but, hey - it looks groovy doesn't it?! - and perhaps we'll be able to contrast it with the "nature spirit" photo at some point in the future.

Has anybody else ever noticed anything strange about these gates?


COMING SOON: Hopefully some potentially real ghosts for a change, and not just made up or incredibly dubious ones. This naturally depends upon you keeping them coming. So, without trying to encourage people to start intentionally faking them, please do send us any genuinely interesting images from the hospital that you've taken and cannot explain. Why? Because we all love a good ghost photo, don't we?

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