Hallowe’en Bexley special- meet the real life ghostbusters

PUBLISHED: 11:32 31 October 2012

Ginette Hobbs

Ginette Hobbs


Excitement was the overwhelming feeling. She could see him clear as day standing by the bar, a full apparition – a tall man wearing a flat cap and a tweed jacket.”

Sharon HobbsSharon Hobbs

So says Ginette Hobbs, one half of the real-life ghostbusters based in Welling.

Ginette joined forced with her sister Sharon Slatter to form Haunted Places Paranormal Investigations five years ago.

“We were watching television and a paranormal programme came on. My sister said she would like to do something like that and twisted my arm to get involved,” says Ginette.

“After a few ghost walks we thought this is something we could do ourselves, so we set up the group and have seen some amazing things.”

Heritage steward Barry Bower at Hall Place's gatesHeritage steward Barry Bower at Hall Place's gates

Haunted Places was very busy in the first three years but it has slowed up a bit in the past two. They used to do one ghost watch a month but now it is more like once every two or three.

Ginette puts this down to the state of the economy.

She said: “We conduct experiments on vigils throughout the night and encourage participants to get involved. We don’t summon up spirits or use ouija boards – they have free will so if they want to come out, they will.

Hall Place is one of Bexley's most hauntedHall Place is one of Bexley's most haunted

“But we do use tools to give them the opportunity to communicate with the living. These are a glass divination board, enabling spirits to give their names, ages, dates and so forth, and a wooden instrument on wheels called a Planchette where they can communicate via drawings and wiggles.

“It’s not foolproof but we’ve had people tell us they’ve received messages from loved ones and past residents of places we’ve been to.”

The duo seek out ghoul-spooked venues across Kent, Essex and Sussex.

Sarah Humphris in the White Lady's Tower where Lady Constance Hall was said to have thrown herself fromSarah Humphris in the White Lady's Tower where Lady Constance Hall was said to have thrown herself from

Their scariest ghost-spot in Bexley was three years ago at the Foresters Arms in Upper Wickham Lane, Welling, which re-opened a year ago.

The landlord asked the pair to come along after his daughter noticed some strange goings-on. She saw a figure sitting on her bed and spooky shadows whistling through her room.

Ginette said: “Children are very sensitive to spirits but my sister saw the spirit by the bar as clear as day. She says it’s the only full spirit she’s ever seen, so it’s always stuck with her.”

Sharon added: “As quickly as the spirit was there it was gone – that’s when I was sure it must be a ghost. I believe a spirit will go to a place where they were happiest in life, so this chap must have had a good time in the pub.”

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The ghostly figures that roam the corridors of Hall Place have been well-documented, but we look at the five spooky spots in Bexley. Don’t go to these places late at night....

1) Hall Place- The ghosts of Prince Edward and Lady Constance frequent the estate

2) The A2 from Dartford to Bexley: the ghost of infamous highwayman Dick Turpin is said to be one of many which roams the road.

2) Lesnes Abbey, Erith: A monk was allegedly caught with a woman and killed for his crime. He is said to return every year on October 31, but has not been seen since 1981 when a teenager spotted the monk wearing a brown robe and holding a lantern.

3) Abbey Road and Tavy Bridge, Thamesmead: An RAF pilot died when his spitfire crashed into Erith Marshes in Second World War. A tall, dark, uniformed ghost has been reported in many buildings along the road.

4) Thames River, Thamesmead: A collier rammed pleasure boat Princess Alice in 1878, killing more than 600 people, many by the outflow of dirty sewage in the London river. Their pitiful cries can still be heard.

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