Jon Ward

Jon has been working at SciFi channel for a year now. Although he has a background more in acting than producing, he says he finds the latter far more satisfying: ‘Actors spend most of their time taking orders – it’s nice to be issuing them these days.’

Jon has very clear memories of what was, he thinks, ‘an Usborne book of Mysteries and Monsters or something like that – I read it until the covers came off and the whole thing fell apart.’ Ever since then he has been fascinated by the paranormal and the unknown – ‘Although its not something I thought I’d ever be making a living from.’

He is very excited about joining team, however, saying that he has two main reasons for his enthusiasm: ‘obviously this is potentially an exciting and, if we’re lucky, unique TV show – but it’s also a fantastic opportunity, personally speaking – to take part in a real paranormal investigation… I’ve never done anything like this before – I’m really looking forward to it.’

Jon definitely believes in the paranormal, and is really hoping to see experience something before the week is out.

Louisa McMurray

Louisa is not psychic – she is, she says, simply sensitive.

Louisa has been chosen by the SciFi to complement Steven Millington’s approach to the project. Louisa says that to attempt a scientific approach to the paranormal is to simply misunderstand what it is you are dealing with and will never produce any useful results.

Louisa does not believe that the paranormal is paranormal – she says that such things are as much part of the everyday world as we are. And her stories aren’t for sharing, apparently.

New arrivals

Hello there, Stephen here, with news of two new arrivals. Since I’ve just made Jo say hello to the website in her first blog, you’ll know that she has now joined me in the house. But I just wanted to draw your attention to the blog post that was made in the small hours of this morning: more of our mysterious text.

Again some of it looks very much like a selection from Ranulph Williams’ introduction to his book of short stories, but some of it doesn’t. Obviously, since my encounter with Harry Rose in the house, I’m a little suspicious of it being someone tampering with the equipment, while Gary is still convinced that someone has ‘hacked in’ as he calls it, and is interefering with the blog from somewhere else on the internet.

But I still think its a mystery worth investigating, so I’ve asked both Gary and Jo to work together to come up with some way of determining where the messages are coming from. So hopefully I’ll be able to let you know more soon.

Jo Cargill

Jo is the technical brain behind the Maze House investigation. An engineering graduate, she has known Steven Millington since University, where they became firm friends.

Steven engaged her for help setting up the Maze House project back in February 2001. She helped plan the investigation and built the system of electromagnetic field monitors that lie at the heart of the project.

It is a mark of what a good friend she is that she has done all this work on the investigation in her spare time. She says she finds the work ‘challenging and, more importantly, interesting’.

‘I think we have a rare chance here to examine something in a wholly new way, with a whole set of new technical solutions,’ she says. ‘It’s fascinating.’

Following the involvement of the SciFi channel in the project, she has come back on board to help Steven install more and better equipment in the house. She currently has the free time to devote herself fully to the project.

Jo isn’t sure if she believes in the paranormal and certainly hasn’t experienced anything remarkable.

Background to the investigation

The Mazehouse has its origins in the paranormal investigations previously carried out by Steven Millington. When a couple of friends found out about his interests they told him the stories of another friend’s house in which they had both had strange experiences. One described, having sat down after lunch with a book, finding himself suddenly standing in the kitchen with really no idea how or why he had ended up there. The other told how she had, on a couple of occasions had conversations, one with several people present, recounted to her that she had absolutely no memory of and a number of times had dreams while in the house that she could not remember beyond the fact that they were absolutely terrifying. Apparently the friends who owned the house had plenty of stories about it – the usual presences felt, sounds heard, movements of air and light and temperature. One story that had stuck in both their minds was one of their friends saying how he had, a couple of times, got ‘lost’ in the house – a house he had grown up in – an experience that he had described as the most terrifying imaginable. What intrigued Steven Millington was that he had never heard stories like this before – while The Mazehouse had a lot of the traditional signs of a haunting, these stories were unique and his interest was peaked. When he discovered that the owners were going to be leaving the house unoccupied for at least a year, Steven jumped at the chance of carrying a long-term study of the house. The investigation officially began in March 2001, and was intended to run until the end of November. Up till now the project has consisted of gathering EMF data from monitors around the house along with Steven’s regular visits to collect video, audio and personal impressions. With the involvement of the SciFi channel, the number of EMF monitors has been increased to cover the entire house and the intention is to feed this data, along with some fixed cameras, out to a website in due course. Steven is currently staying permanently in the house where a full time team will join him for the last week of October. So far he says he hasn’t experienced anything particularly odd in the house but admits that it is, in his words, ‘somewhat creepy’.

Welcome to the Mazehouse

millingtonHello there, I am Stephen Millington and I am delighted to welcome you to the Mazehouse and what I hpe is going to be a unique and extraordinary experience for us all.

The Mazehouse project is unique in a lot of ways: the length of time available to us to carry out the investigation, the technology anf equipment we have at our disposal and, most of all, this, you: this website and you, our audience.

The Mazehouse is unique itself – a place with a continuous record of habitation stretching back centuries, and with a lot of that history filled with stories of hauntings and unexplained phemomena. It first came to my notice when the owners, old acquaintances of mine who recently bought the Mazehouse, sent me some puzzling video footage they had filmed there. I’ve been in touch with them since early this year, with them keeping me up to date with their experiences in the house.

I would have jumped at the chance to investigate, no matter what, but when I was offered the chance to spend this whole month in the house, and to share that chance with you, then I was doubly enthused.

To have you along with us, involved in all our investigations, contributing to what we do here, and then to add to that the television audience who will join us at the end of the month – to be able to show and explain to all of you what exactly it is that we are oing here: that is, indeed, a unique experience.

And the extraordinary experience, well: we shall have to wait and see what the next month brings, but even the act of serious, scientific paranormal investigation is extraordinary enough, I think. So welcome, all of you, to the Mazehouse.

Gary Mitchell

Gary is the team’s webmaster – or, as he would have it, web monkey – and in house video specialist. His primary role is designing, building and maintaining the project’s website. He has also been working with Jo Cargill to bring the project’s own equipment online – creating and interface for the EMF monitors, putting the web cams online, helping to finish the analysing application. Gary will also be helping to edit video for the TV shows and the site. All this and being a full time member of the team as far as the investigation goes. Gary has a long background in web related activities – his involvement in the industry goes back six years in various capacities. Gary is currently freelance and has joined team as part of SciFi’s involvement in the investigation. Gary doesn’t think he believes in the paranormal and says his only paranormal experience so far has been dealing with Netscape browsers. We assume this is a joke.

Stephen Millington

Steven Millington has been involved in psychical research for over ten years. He has been involved in a number of investigations and examinations of various paranormal phenomena, but the Maze House investigation is the largest he has undertaken. Steven studied philosophy at Edinburgh University and did not become involved with the paranormal until some years later, when he was writing a book about his local area in the early nineties: ‘Some of the older members of the community insisted that I wouldn’t understand the place until I had seen the local ghost, so I hauled off to some ruined bothy in the middle of nowhere to sit up all night. ‘Of course we didn’t see anything, but these people just spent the whole night telling me ghost stories, and some of them were things they had experienced themselves, and they told them so matter-of-factly, just as they might talk about the weather or the farm – because they were so convinced that these things had happened to them – they knew they were real experiences. ‘It was that that got me interested, that started me taking the whole seriously, because people like that, if they took it seriously, I had better…’ Since then all things paranormal gradually taken over Steven’s life. He has taken part in several investigations of haunted houses and places associated with the paranormal, and has written widely on the subject. Steven instituted the Maze House project as part of an ongoing fascination with the way the paranormal is experienced and how this is associated with place and physical conditions. He is delighted that the SciFi channel has become so interested in his project and looks forward to welcoming them on board. Steven does believe in the paranormal and has had too many experiences to tell here.