My first-ever real-life paranormal investigation was certainly fascinating and memorable.
Right from the off, two things indicated that there was a least one presence with us. And as the night wore on, we made direct contact, both verbally, and visually through a Structured Light Sensor (SLS) camera.
I'd been invited to a private session at Hinckley's Haunted Antiques Paranormal Research Centre, by paranormal investigator Vicky Grant, of DeadXCentral.
Haunted Antiques, run by Neil Packer, comprises a growing collection of objects, including clocks, chairs, wheelchairs, dolls, mirrors, military uniforms, telephones, bones, and numerous other items which are haunted or hold energies.
"It wasn't like this when we were last in this room," he said.
Unlike the bulk of the collection which contains largely positive energy, the Occult Room is home to dozens of objects said to be infected with negative energy - the most frightening being a large, arched, cracked mirror.
"I acquired it from a medium who had carried out a house cleansing, and said a lot of negative energy was coming through it. Many people experience bad energy when they touch it."
When Neil got the mirror it had just one crack in it. Now it has seven, none of which happened while anyone was in the room.
It's thought the mirror could be a portal to the 'other side,' as several investigators have used SLS cameras which have picked up stick figures in it, walking towards our world.
And it was when Neil took my photograph with the mirror that we realised something was with us.
In the seconds between the camera flash activating and the picture being taken, Neil saw a ball of light manifest itself at the bottom corner of the mirror and move in front of me diagonally, disappearing above my shoulder.
Ahead of starting the proper investigation, Vicky and Neil explained their philosophy as to why inanimate objects can be haunted or contain energy.
Vicky says if a spirit had something special to them in their Earthly life they could still have an attachment to it after death, and revisit it, either by choice, or when someone calls them to it.
And Neil believes that some of his collection contains energy of people who've been connected with it.
For example, a wheelchair which had been used in a mental health asylum, and later in a World War ll hospital, had been sat in by hundreds of patients and injured soldiers.
"I believe that when you touch things throughout your life you leave a trace of your energy behind. It's this energy that we're now tapping into.
The Ovilus also contains a 20,000 word dictionary which spirits can access to communicate verbally with us. The child gave us a number of intelligent and relevant single word answers and comments. For example, my stomach rumbled at one point, and the voice clearly said: "Stomach," with the word appearing on the screen as well.
Vicky also used a special teddy bear containing a number of coloured lights to communicate with the child. The lights are triggered by an Electro Magnetic Field, and as spirits are said to be built up of energy, they can readily manipulate that type of device.
But for me, the highlight of the night came when Vicky's SLS camera clearly identified a small figure sitting on the table near the teddy bear, and then moving to Gary's outstretched hand.
Later, in the main room, with Gary sitting in the wheelchair and me in a rocking chair, Vicky suddenly smelled a powerful fragrance of Lavender.
Overall, my first paranormal investigation raised more questions in my mind than answers. But isn't that what makes this enigmatic realm so amazing?
Vicky Grant Twitter: https://twitter.com/vickyparanormal
DeadXCentral blog: https://deadcentral.blog/
Haunted Antiques Twitter: https://twitter.com/AntiquesHaunted