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Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Wednesday, 5 January 2011
Cheltenham's first paranormal festival being planned
Ross Andrews, organiser of the Cheltenham Paranormal Festival
Organiser Ross Andrews claims he chatted to a ghost in Cheltenham

Organisers of the first ever Cheltenham Paranormal Festival are asking for people to share their ghost stories.

The event, taking place in February, will be centred on the town's Playhouse Theatre which has a haunted reputation.

It will feature talks, experimental demonstrations and ghost hunts, as well as ghost walks and films.

"We decided to put on a big event and show everybody how haunted the place is," said paranormal investigator Ross Andrews.

'Most haunted village'

"We can hardly have a paranormal festival without including the most haunted village in the whole of the UK - Prestbury," he added.

"Prestbury is one of the most haunted places in the entire world.

"There's a hotly fought title of 'The most haunted village in Britain' between Prestbury and Pluckley in Kent.

"In my opinion Prestbury is by far the most haunted place."

Organisers are asking for people to contact them before the event with any ghost stories they may have experienced in or around Cheltenham.

"If they work in a haunted shop or pub, or anywhere like that, because we're producing a ghost map of Cheltenham so that people can go on their own ghost walks around town," said Ross Andrews.

We're trying to concentrate on some very haunted venues and trying to get as many people involved as possible.
Ross Andrews

"Ideally we'd like to hear from as many people as possible with brand new ghost stories."

Ross claims he has experienced a haunting at the Playhouse Theatre.

"I went in to speak to the manager," he said.

"There are some very low balconies in the auditorium, and as I walked in I heard him walk directly above me - clear as day footsteps - so I started chatting away and I turned round and looked up and there was nobody there.

"He hadn't actually been in there, so without knowing it I'd been chatting to a ghost!"

Organisers are hoping the event will become another regular fixture in the Cheltenham calendar, along with other annual festivals such as those for literature, science, music, jazz, guitar, and folk music.

"It's not a massive festival to start with, we only have three or four venues," said Ross.

"We're trying to concentrate on some very haunted venues and trying to get as many people involved as possible."

The Cheltenham Paranormal Festival takes place 1-6 February 2011.




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