Do They Know It’s Easter?

Ghost stories have always been popular. There are millions of accounts of people throughout the ages having had a phantom, banshee or ‘live’ spiritual experience. There are thousands of Spiritual Churches with congregations anxious to make a contact with ‘the other side’. Professional psychic mediums attract millions of viewers with their riveting shows that are bought up by television channels all over the world. A few come to mind immediately: American John Edward, Colin Fry and Derek Acorah, whose appeared on my show. They all make a living out of something that only they can ‘see’, with followers who believe what they say. Equally the gothic pull of vampire tales have proved to be irresistible through generations of fright ‘junkies’. The intrigue of things created by fiction yet based sometimes on reports of human experiences are undoubtedly compelling, even if such experiences cannot be fully proved, and it is this that lies at heart of the matter. It all revolves around two words: faith and belief. Cast iron proof of any credibility in a belief system renders it, by its very nature, futile. Belief is a strange thing, invariably based on the unseen: every religion on earth is grounded on this premise. Why, for example, are millions of people quite happy to believe in Flying saucers or the wandering spirit of a loved one, yet there is an equal amount of people willing to denounce the faith that millions of people have in religion? On Thursday 13th November 2003 the Evening Telegraph ran the following story. ‘Broadcaster Richard Oliff brushed aside his scepticism about tales of a big black cat on the prowl after he saw the panther-like animal for himself. Mr Oliff, 48, and his {partner} were driving along Gretton Brook Road, Corby, towards their home in Gretton when they both saw a big black cat lurking by the side of the road. Mr Oliff, who fronts his own consumer affairs programme on BBC Radio Northampton, said: “We were driving back from Asda and we both saw the face of it down at the brook.”It looked like something you would see in a zoo – as big as a lion, with yellow eyes and a black coat.”We both said to each other ‘did you see that?’ It was staring straight at us from about ten yards away.” There have been more than 30 sightings of a panther-size cat in Northamptonshire in the past ten years, but so far no-one has been able to provide proof of its existence, despite an ET reward of £500. Mr Oliff’s sighting on Saturday, 1st November, brings this year’s total of sightings up to five. He said: “I was very sceptical about the sightings of these big cats – it’s a Loch Ness Monster job – but I know what I saw with my own eyes.” Mr Oliff said he and his {partner} saw the big cat near railings across the entrance to a tunnel in the brook.’ May I wish you all a happy Easter weekend.

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