Satanists and early alien abductee cult leader among weird and wonderful topics up for discussion during Paranormal Week in Halton
AN EXPERT in unexplained phenomena is to share some of his vast archive and experiences of strange goings-on in Halton for a talk during the borough’s Paranormal Week.
Mark Rosney said 2011-12 has been a bumper year for weird reports in Runcorn and Widnes – from ghostly horsemen in Sandymoor and UFOs, to the ‘phantom hum’ in Hough Green, as reported by the Weekly News this year.
Mark, a published author who used to live in Runcorn, will be discussing the latest weird events alongside a selection of obscure and often bizarre newspaper stories from the borough’s archives including original Weekly News reports.
Topics include the world-famous alien abductee and cult leader James Cooke, who was among the first humans to claim to have been beamed aboard a spaceship. ‘Reverend’ Cooke later set up a cult in Runcorn called the Aquarian Society.
Others include a ‘sea monster dinosaur’ found in a canal and the activities of Satanists in the late 1970s and early 1980s. A second talk later in the week will look at alleged Satanic groups formed in wealthy neighbourhoods.
He told the Weekly News that Runcorn and Widnes have always been a rich hub of strange reports and sightings.
Some of the more unusual tales include pterodactyls flying above Moore and a ‘3ft-tall hobgoblin with pointy ears and a strange smell’ that was reported in Windmill Hill and later Castlefields.
Mark Rosney’s talk is one of the many events going on during Paranormal Week at Halton Lea Library, from Monday, October 22, to Friday, October 26.
Talks and public readings start every night at 7.15pm and end at about 9.30pm.
Apocalyptic predictions, contemporary horror readings and werewolves will also feature.
Authors Ramsey Campbell, Simon Bestwick and Stephen McGeagh will be serving up a feast of chills for the Twisted Tales event on Tuesday, while Mark Rosney will appear again for his ‘Satan In The Suburbs’ discussion.
‘Z:Prepared’ will look at the zombie threat with guest input from the Unknown Phenomena Investigation Association, which for one night only, will adopt the name of the The Undead Phenomena Investigation Association.
Residents may also want to sharpen their stakes and pack some silver bullets for a night of exploring the evolution of vampire and werewolf legends.
The week will conclude with a paranormal debate with DJ Roy Basnett and a panel of researchers.
Mark, whose book A Beginner’s Guide To Paranormal Investigation was reviewed in the Fortean Times, said: “We’re going to do a round-up of the phenomena that have been reported over the last year, and in recent years we have been digging into historic things to show that these reports are nothing new, and have been reported for donkeys’ years.
“We want to highlight the paranormal hotspot that this area really is.”
Mark’s research includes a collection of newspaper articles documenting claims and sightings given by residents down the years. They give glimpses into ideas and fashions at the time – including a reference by Ray Miller to a T-Rex as ‘a dinosaur; not a mental guru’ from 1972.
Mark Rosney is a freelance investigator and has been probing the strange for 25 years.
Janette Fleming, of Halton Lea Library, said: “We had just under 500 people attend in total over the week last year, and they came from all over the North West.
“It’s becoming a real community now. We’re really lucky to have volunteers who are willing to chip in and help out for free, especially with the current economic conditions, and also lucky to have such excellent contributors from around the region giving their time.”
For a full list of events visit the Halton libraries Paranormal Week Facebook page.