Forthcoming Belfast event asks: do ghosts exist?

From left: Cormac Donnelly, Darren Ansell and Tony Armstrong from the Paranormal Study & Investigation (PSI) team
From left: Cormac Donnelly, Darren Ansell and Tony Armstrong from the Paranormal Study & Investigation (PSI) team

A team of Northern Ireland ghost hunters are hoping to answer the question

“do ghosts exist?” at an event in Belfast later this year.

A team of Northern Ireland ghost hunters are hoping to answer the question “do ghosts exist?” at an event in Belfast later this year.

The well known faces behind the hugely successful BBC NI series Northern Ireland’s Greatest Haunts are bringing together some of the top names in paranormal investigation at the Crumlin Road Gaol in October.

Darren Ansell, Tony Armstrong and Cormac Donnelly from Paranormal Study & Investigation Ireland (PSI) hope that The Great Paranormal Debate will attempt to answer everything from the existence of ghosts to whether or not an afterlife exists.

Tony Armstrong, from Paranormal Study & Investigation Ireland, said: “As a research team made up of believers, sceptics and fence sitters, who have fiercely debated the many cases we have been involved with over the years, we have discussed the need for an event like this for some time.

“I am very excited that it is our team at PSI and Red Moon Events who will finally bring this ground-breaking event, the first of its kind in the UK and Ireland to Belfast.

TV mentalist David Meade it set to host the exciting afternoon of debate and discussion on the emotive subject of life after death.

He will introduce a panel of six speakers, a mix of believers and sceptics, which includes leading academics and paranormal investigators, to deliver presentations supporting their own viewpoint.

Darren Ansell from added: “Having been involved in researching claims of ghostly experiences, hauntings and spirit communication for 18 years, I have been left with more questions than answers.

“Everyone has a view or a belief and I hope this debate brings to the public a sensible and educated debate that everyone can get involved in.

“Being drafted into the debate are filmmakers Don Philips and Steve Mera from the Phenomena Project and documentary maker Edward White who will be joined by clairvoyant medium and stage psychic Billy Roberts who will be presenting their reasons why an afterlife does exist whilst psychologist Dr Ciaran O’Keefe who specialises in parapsychology and forensic psychology and is a senior advisor to The Ghost Club - the oldest paranormal research organisation will be joined by Northern Ireland author and teacher Dr Bob Curran who has dedicated his research to culture and society and John Fraser, who’s on the Council of the Society for Psychical Research and has also been Vice Chair Investigations’ of the Ghost Club.

“It’s a pretty formidable line-up of people who are passionate about their research, their findings and their stance, we’re expecting a very lively day indeed.

“We’re also going to be asking members of the audience for their opinion and questions throughout the day.”

Telly star Meade will chair the debate throughout the day as well as demonstrate a few of his own “tricks”.

Cormac Donnelly of PSI said the team behind the event felt that not only was the Crumlin Road Gaol the perfect location but now was the time to debate whether or not ghosts or the afterlife existed in Northern Ireland.

He added: “Born out of arguments and polarising views within the team the idea was to bring this debate into the public sphere, we hope the researchers and arguments for and against will cause the audience to debate and question belief systems within themselves.

“The Crumlin Road Gaol is the perfect location given the stories and theories surrounding whether or not it might be haunted.”

Tickets for The Great Paranormal Debate are £45 and available from www.redmoonevents.org.