Is this a picture of ghostly dog in haunted Conisbrough alleyway?
There’s something strange in the neighbourhood. Who y’gonna call?
Well, there may not be any ghostbusters in Conisbrough. But a group of friends are currently trying to piece together stories behind some of the historic town’s old ghost tales.
And they even have photos they have taken that they reckon show the spirits!
They are members of Conisbrough Paranormal Research Association, which has been running for around eight years now.
They may not be ghostbusters, but they love nothing more than investigating the town’s many ghost stories and parts of the town that have a reputation for spooks.
Since it was set up, the group has spent its time looking into some of the spooky tales which have been handed down from generation to generation in the town, which sits in the shadow of the 900 year old Norman landmark Conisbrough Castle, using a combination of mediums and modern electronic equipment.
Some of their work has had to be put on hold because of the coronavirus lockdown.
But Dean and Veronica Buckley, two of the long serving members of the group, are hoping to get back to the task again as soon as lockdown rules allow it.
They are just two of a larger group, along with fellow association members Gail Cowell, Sandra Dunne, Paul Bell, Caz Rooney, Henry Morris, Melissa Morris, Sarah Woodley, and Jayne Danby.
Dean is particularly keen to get back into researching what locals call ‘Bogie Alley’ a narrow passageway which runs between Castle Avenue and High Street, coming out close to St Peter's Church.
They were doing work on it before lockdown, and even came up with some spooky photos. The group believes one of the pictures shows a ghostly dog running towards the camera, and that the second shows the image of a man in historic costume, with a large, white collar or rough.
The picture which they believe shows the spirit of a dog was one of four that Dean took on High Street, with one showing the strange image.
Conisbrough resident Dean said: “We’ve known about Bogie Alley for a while, but we had started to do more in the area just before lockdown.
"We took those pictures, and we’re just waiting until the end of lockdown to go back and do more work there.
“The legend locally is of a dog from the 1500s. The story is that a large dog ran out from near the castle, and the legend is that it attacked someone in Bogie Alley. Over the years it has been said that you can hear the dog howl as you walk through the alley.
"People have talked about seeing a shadow of a dog going past them or feeling uncomfortable.
“People say when you walk down Bogey Alley, you feel uneasy, like there’s someone watching you. Mediums have picked up the spirit of a man there who is afraid of the dog. They said he's been coming from the St Peters Church area, and that the dog came from somewhere near Castle Avenue, but no one knows exactly where.
“There’s supposed to be a spot where a man has been seen over the years.
"There’s lots of interest in it locally because all the locals know about it, with tales passed down over the generations."
When the country comes out of lockdown, they plan to return and take more videos and take more photographs. They have also used sound equipment to look for so-called ‘electronic voice phenomena’, which involves making a sound recording and listening back for noises. One device scans different radio frequencies and they believe they picked up the words ‘we can see you’ in the white noise.
Dean, aged 38, originally from Edlington, comes from a family which was part of a spiritualist church in Warmsworth.
He was interested in ghosts after seeing what he thought was a man on a horse at Conisbrough Castle as drove past with his parents as a child. He went on to take a mediumship course, and carried on with it.
He has done his investigations as a part time hobby, alongside day jobs which have included working at Doncaster Racecourse, retail work, and factory jobs. He is currently working as his wife’s carer.
He initially set up a paranormal investigations group called Cool as Ice, 17 years ago, and then started his current group in 2012.
He met his partner Veronica, aged 47, when she was giving a talk on the paranormal at a spiritualist church in Mexborough.
Originally from Somerset, Veronica developed an interest in mediums after losing a baby, a son, who died aged just nine weeks old.
She said she was helped by mediums following her loss, and learned about becoming a medium herself, although she says has never managed to contact the son that she lost.
The mum of two started taking part in ghost investigations after watching the television programme Most Haunted, and later started going to a spiritualist church with a neighbour.
She said she found most people supportive of what she does, although some dismissed it as hocus pocus. However, she finds that it helps her with pain that she suffers from a stomach condition that requires her to take pain killers.
“I feel if it helps with pain, then I’m doing something right,” she said.
The alleyway is one of a number of locations they have investigated.
They have also looked at Conisbrough Castle and Dean has previously described a grey monk said to wander the ruined walls of the 11th century castle.