On the hunt for spooks at historic Wakefield gallery

The Orangery in Wakefield.
The Orangery in Wakefield.
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The restless spirit of a woman mauled to death by a dancing bear will be hunted by a crack team of paranormal investigators.

The ghost will be among those that will be searched for by the team when they are given unprecedented access to Wakefield’s historic Orangery building next month.

Investigators from Pontefract Paranormal will be allowed to use their skills at the Grade II-listed building for the very first time as the group of mediums look to uncover the truth behind some of the Back Lane gallery’s stories.

The Orangery was built in 1790 and is now an art gallery, business centre and wedding venue.

But Pontefract Paranormal say they want to unearth some of the secrets of its rich past.

Emma Southward formed the group last year with her fiancé David Booth.

She said: “We’re really looking forward to getting inside The Orangery – it has quite a past.

“It was built as a place where they grew oranges and other fruit in the 18th century.

“Later it became a zoo with dancing bears and tigers. “

A famous story about a woman who was killed by an escaped dancing bear is one that will be of particular interest to the group.

Emma added: “It also has a graveyard, lots of tunnels and catacombs to the church next door.

“We’re the first group to be allowed in and I can’t wait to see what we will find.”

They ghost hunters will take with them an arsenal of specialist equipment including Ouija boards and thermal testing kits.

The group will also be using scientific experiments to verify their findings.

Leading the investigation will be three experts.

Amanda Jane Shead-Squires has appeared on ITV’s This Morning and the cult TV show Most Haunted.

She will be joined by Neil Jackson and Debbie Cauch. Miss Southward, 35, said: “Our mediums have already picked on some signs so it will be
exciting to see what they find once they’re actually inside.”

The Orangery ghost hunt takes place from 8.30pm to 12.30am on Saturday, February 2. Tickets cost £25.

To book, or for more information, call 07938665446 or log on to: www.pontefractparanormal.co.uk

Cori Braham.

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