Friday, 24 December 2010

2MG Christmas podcast!

It's here! Our very first podcast Christmas special! It comes to you live from Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield amidst the hustle and bustle and all the festive anticipation.

Or maybe not. Maybe we couldn't be arsed and stayed at home instead, swapping seasonal ghost stories and telling Christmas cracker jokes...

You can stream the podcast up there, download the full 37 minutes at the bottom of this page, or subscribe to us on iTunes.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Hans and Olaf from Bovaria

Wow! The plot thickens. Just received this email from Mike:

Hi Wooders,

I don't believe it! So there I was checking out loads of dusty old files in the 2MG Mansions basement, when I suddenly came across the attached picture. Totally up to you if you feel you'd like to use it.

Reading the background information, it appears that after Sir Reggie Droppings received the charter to set up 2MG from Queen Victoria, two members of the original team came from Bovaria. Hans and Olaf Biggiedickiesonn were sent out to investigate the Beast of Baildon Moor, but whilst nothing is mentioned as to what really happened, it appears that Hans returned to live out his days in Bovaria, whilst Olaf went to live in Sheffield. It seems that he opened a joke shop in Fulwood called Olaf A Minute!

Just as a side note, I discovered that many years later in the '60s, Sister Betty of The Holy Order of the Bearded Lady and Donkey equally tried to look into the case of the Beast of Baildon Moor, but with no success.

All amazing stuff, isn't it?


Mike ... covered in dust!

PS. Forgot to mention, I think that Olaf is the one on the right.

PPS. I was just thinking, do you think it possible that either Hans or Olaf were ever married? I couldn't find any details of a next of kin. I'll keep looking.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Another revealing document

Exclusively revealed here is another document from our basement which was revealed to me by Mike. (Click on the image above to reveal the full-sized version and read the revealing text.)

As you can see, it reveals more about our origins and is very revealing.


PS. Did I say it was revealing?

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The founder of Two Men and a Ghost

Following on from yesterday's revealing blog post, here is another startling document from the anals of time (or should that be annals?).

Could it be true that Two Men and a Ghost was founded by a Sir in 1859 rather than two struggling comics professionals over a cheap milkshake in Meadowhall Shopping Centre?

The truth is out there...

(In other words, it isn't here...)

Monday, 20 December 2010

Important documents come to light

Mike found the above while ferreting around in the basement of 2MG Mansions. He was trying to find the box of well-used Christmas decorations for our fold-up plastic tree, but instead he unearthed some important documents relating to the history of our organisation.

Turns out Two Men and a Ghost started decades before our casual chat in Meadowhall Shopping Centre two years ago. None other than royal personage Queen Victoria may have had a hand or two in setting us up, before we were even born! Anyone would think we were Torchwood or something.

More intriguing documents to come...

Sunday, 19 December 2010

The 7 posts of Christmas

As a special treat to our thousands of ... er, hundreds of ... er, couple of followers, we will be posting something each day for the next seven days, leading up to a specially designed Christmas card, appropriately enough on Christmas Day itself!

Call it our own special Two Men and a Ghost Advent calendar, but without the tiny chocolates and the snakes and ladders game on the back.

Today's tasty treat is our appearance this morning on Rony's Panel on BBC Radio Sheffield (listen at this link while you can - the file will be out of date by Boxing Day). Hear what the men behind Two Men and a Ghost think about faith schools, the nativity story and what our favourite Christmas songs are.

We are joined by the legend that is Van Morrison, Ulster musician who has entranced millions throughout the decades with his soulful voice and catchy compositions.

(What was that? Sorry. Got it wrong. It was Val Morrison, moderator of the general assembly of the United Reformed Church. But we're sure she's just as soulful and catchy.)

Monday, 13 December 2010

8th podcast - Yorkshire ghost stories!

Amazing! Eight podcasts in ... and still going strong! Just...

This time we have a natter about true-life Yorkshire ghost stories, take to the road for the mad monk of Stocksbridge bypass, wear out the batteries on Mike's novelty sound machine, and try (but fail desperately) not to go off on too many tangents.

You can stream the podcast up there, download the full 40¾ minutes at the bottom of this page, or subscribe to us on iTunes.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

7th podcast - What exactly is a ghost?

In our latest podcast, we confront the thorny question at the heart of our endeavours: 'What exactly is a ghost?'

Along the way we listen to a story from the making of Doctor Who's 'Revenge of the Cybermen', we read two entries from our ghost story competition and announce the winner, and Mike dances naked to torchlight while humming the theme to 'Tales of the Unexpected'. Good job this isn't a video podcast...

You can stream the podcast up there, download the full 36½ minutes at the bottom of this page, or subscribe to us on iTunes.

Amy Wake is the winner of our ghost story competition, and her entry will be featured on this very blog shortly, along with a specially drawn cartoon which will be winging its way to her in the post.

In the meantime, here is the runner-up's entry from Keith Webster in Sheffield. The runner-up's prize is ... erm ... having your story read out loud on our podcast and published on this blog. Sorry it's not a car or a package holiday in Marbeya or anything...

I used to live on Broomgrove Road in Sheffield. Our accommodation consisted of two rooms on one side of hallway, one room other side. I had to stand at bottom of staircase to unlock the door to room.

One evening I was unlocking door when I saw someone standing at the side of me. I said, ‘Can I help you?’ No answer when I looked round at the person. I saw it was someone in uniform. The uniform was from the First World War type. The person just smiled at me. I turned my head away to put key in door, and when I turned back, the person had gone.

They could not pass me on the stairs, and the entrance door at the end of the hallway was too far away for them to have reached it and gone outside in such a short time. The building at that time was a block of flats.

A couple of weeks later we heard screaming coming from one of the upstairs flats. We ran up to see what was happening.

The young lady who lived in the flat was terrified. She had been laid on her bed, watching TV, when she felt as if someone was watching her. She looked over to where her chair was and saw a man sitting there. Her windows were locked and no one had come down the stairs. When we asked her to describe the man, it was the same as the man I had seen.

A few months later, I was clearing out an old attic room for the landlord when I found an old chest inside it. I found old account books, NAAFI price lists for Blanco, moustache wax, etc. Also were account books for wages for staff and running of premises, wages, food and sheets and shrouds.

When I approached the landlord with these, he decided to look into the history of the building and found out that during the First World War it had been a home for wounded and badly injured officers.

The house number was 39. It now belongs to the university.

Friday, 19 November 2010

6th podcast - celebrity ghosts!

Here's the fantastic (ish) 6th podcast from Two Men and a Ghost. This time, Mike and Andrew talk into a crappy laptop microphone about celebrities and ghosts: Lady Gaga, Karen Gillan, Liberace, CS Lewis (and more). Also, do animals have an afterlife? All this, and Mike's annoying sound machine.

We've already had some nice feedback from Dave in Huyton, who said he ... 'stumbled upon your podcast and it has cheered me up no end'.

So if you want to cheer up your end, stream the podcast up there, download the full 34 minutes at the bottom of this page, or subscribe to us on iTunes.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Halloween podcast (just a little bit late...)

Only the good folks at Two Men and a Ghost have the guts to bring you a Halloween podcast that's two weeks late. That's just the sort of guys we are.

And what a podcast!

Recorded on two continents, Andrew found himself in southern California during the Halloween festivities, and Mike found himself in ... er ... Butlin's, Skegness.

Is Halloween different in England and America? Mike had a chat with a zombie, and he describes the world's worst ghost train. Andrew, meanwhile, experiences the House of Horrors at Universal Studios and has a lengthy chat with a rollercoaster addict at Knott's Scary Farm, who reveals that she's taking her ex-boyfriend to court.

It doesn't get much better than this.

(Actually, it probably does.)

Stream it here, download the full 30 minutes at the bottom of this page, or subscribe to us on iTunes.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Happy Halloween from 2MG!

Halloween greetings from your friends at Two Men and a Ghost!

Currently, the two men (but not the ghost) are on holiday in two separate continents: Andrew's in sunny Southern California, while Mike is living it up at Butlin's in Skegness.

Not wanting to neglect their 2MG duties, they have gone armed with tape recorders and promise to report on the differences between Halloween festivities in the UK and the USA.

Their conclusions will be expertly edited together into a seamless multinational podcast. Just as soon as Andrew's managed to find a cheap tape splicer at a car boot sale...

Friday, 22 October 2010

4th podcast ... with voices from beyond!

Yes, we're proud to unveil our fourth podcast, with voices from beyond ... sanity: namely, Mike Kazybrid and Andrew Wooding.

They swap ghost stories in a car down a dark country lane in the appropriately named Hell-Clough. Mike reveals his ghostly globes, and Andrew unveils his EMF recorder which appears to record sounds from the spirit world.

Eavesdrop on their conversation as they natter about death, revenge, infidelity ... and Des O'Connor!

Stream it here, or download the full 30 minutes at the bottom of this page.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

3rd podcast live from Meadowhall shopping centre

In our 3rd podcast we rave about the latest issue of Haunted magazine, now on sale in WH Smith's shops all over the UK. We start off in the WH Smith's in Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield and are gobsmacked to discover that it's already sold out. Then we wander down the escalator to Costa Coffee to crunch ice cubes and have a lively natter about ghosts in the House of Fraser, the joys of Poundland, Rolf Harris, hoovers, and quite a lot more.

Stream it here, or download the full 40 minutes at the bottom of this page. The paranormal was never as abnormal as this...

Sunday, 3 October 2010

2nd podcast from Two Men and a Ghost!

This time we go out and about on the streets of Sheffield really late at night. While trying not to bump into clubbers or get run over, we natter about local sightings of Dick Turpin, an infamous goosing ghost, the spectral smell of smelly vegetables, Kate Bush (nothing to do with ghosts - we just like Kate Bush), and the fact that we desperately need the loo. Do we manage to hold out till the end of the recording...?

Stream it here, or download the full 39 minutes at the bottom of this page. You will ... I mean, won't regret it.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

1st ever Two Men and a Ghost podcast!

At last. Here it is. In all its primitive audio goodness! The first ever podcast from the men (and ghost) behind Two Men and a Ghost.

We ventured forth to Bunting Nook at night in search of that which cannot be found. Then afterwards we retired to Mike's car to pick our noses, crunch a few Polo mints and record our thoughts ... and get stopped by the police twice, live on mp3.

Stream it here, or download the full 37 minutes at the bottom of this page.

Then listen in the dark under the covers at night ... if you have insomnia.

Friday, 10 September 2010

The Buddhists like our videos! (by Andrew Wooding)

Every now and then I'm going to scour YouTube for the best, most convincing and highest quality ghost videos ... then write about them here.

And speaking of the best, most convincing and highest quality ghost videos ... our own efforts (if Google is to be believed) have been cropping up in the most unlikely of places.

One such place is the Buddhist Clips website. Their motto is: 'to abstain from bad action, to do good and to purify the mind', and to promote these noble aims, they've included some of our fine, uplifting and purifying videos for the edification of Buddhists around the world.

Just type twomenandaghost into the search engine on their home page (and do the same for the other fine websites listed below).

The World News site, as well as reporting on matters of peace, international politics and social justice, has included videos of Mike with Marmite smeared on his face and close-ups of his green plastic lizard.

Formula1 movies does just what it says on the tin ... mostly. Alongside countless exciting videos of Grand Prix races and other breathtaking tournaments, there's me and Mike pootling up the Stocksbridge bypass in the dark and getting completely lost. Maybe they included it as an example of how not to drive?

Finally, there's Klub Site (Football Club Videos Online). It promises the 'best football club videos', so why do they also include our ghost hunting exploits? Simple. Our videos are a load of balls.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

5 days to the end of our summer competition...

Here's the final reminder for our summer 'ghost story' competition, which ends on the last day of August.

We haven't found any ghosts yet, but you probably have. So jot down your true life experience (doesn't have to be more than a paragraph or two) and include it in a comment at the end of this post, or email it to

Entries received so far include a ghost in First World War uniform, piercing screams from an upstairs floor, and a paranormal encounter in a bathtub. All good stuff, but we want to read more!

Best submission gets turned into a newspaper-style comic strip like the one above, drawn by our very own Mychailo Kaybrid who is currently illustrating the hugely popular Wallace & Gromit strip in The Sun.

The strip will be published on this blog, and the winner will be sent the highly collectable original artwork, signed by our very selves. I am sure you will agree that this is a prize to treasure for ever. So get scribbling and send us your tales!

On a side note, the strip above refers to our expedition to Beauchief Abbey last summer. You can read about it here.

Eager to relive that momentous evening (when, significantly, we spectacularly failed to find anything), we are about to set forth again to the haunted abbey to recreate our non-experiences in video form.

Soon to be uploaded to YouTube and embedded in this blog, it promises to be a visual feast, an aural treat and an anti-climactic extravaganza.

So watch this space ... but not for too long or your eyes will go funny.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

2MG on the radio with top comedian!

This morning, our very own Mike Kazybrid - first man of Two Men and a Ghost - was interviewed on BBC Radio Sheffield by none other than Phoenix Nights star, Toby Foster.

The subject was the unexplained, which is appropriate because one of life's great unexplained mysteries is how the two of us manage to keep this ghost hunting blog going when we still haven't found any ghosts!

Mike reveals all - about the origins of 2MG and more - and his words of wisdom can be found here, starting at 2.47.10. But listen quick - it's only online for another seven days.

And don't forget to tune in to The Toby Foster Bigger at Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Sheffield, every weekday from 7am to 10am, with a topical phone-in every final hour.

Monday, 2 August 2010

What the men behind 2MG are really like!

Have you ever wondered what the men behind Two Men and a Ghost are really like? No? Don't blame you.

But if you had, then wonder no more. Along comes a brand new site, called Typealyzer, that analyses the contents of blogs and lets you know the personality type of the authors.

A quick cut and paste job reveals that Mike and I are 'Mechanics' (maybe we should form a pop group).

Are we human? Are we dancers? No, Typealyzer reveals that we are:

'The independent and problem-solving type. They are especially attuned to the demands of the moment and are highly skilled at seeing and fixing what needs to be fixed. They enjoy adventure and risk such as in driving race cars or working as policemen and firefighters.'

Uncannily spot on, in every detail. You may have imagined that we were hopelessly inept with our ghost hunting exploits, following up half-baked leads with the most basic of equipment, shambling along cluelessly, frequently getting lost, then giving up at the slightest hint of tiredness, thirst or hunger ... or anything.

Well, you're wrong. Typealyzer confirms that we are a lean, mean paranormal machine, on call 24 hours a day at 2MG Mansions. We wait for the alarm bell to sound so that we can slide down our pole, strap ourselves into the state-of-the-art spookmobile and speed through the urban cityscape with the Starsky and Hutch theme blazing at full volume out of the battery-operated megaphone that's gaffa-taped to our roof. Impressive, eh?

Test your own blog on Typealyzer. It's totally, utterly, 100% accurate.

Would I lie to you?

Friday, 23 July 2010

Flat caps and ancient rites (by Andrew Wooding)

You may remember that after Mike and I conducted an extensive and detailed search for the ghost of Mary Queen of Scots on the Manor Ruins in Sheffield (we lasted about 9½ minutes – read about it here), we decided to retire to an establishment serving beverages of a fermented variety (otherwise known as a pub).

This we did. Mike’s choice of poison was an Orange and Passion Fruit J2O. Mine was an obscure German beer that cost an arm and a leg, as well as the best part of a fiver.

We retired to a dark corner to debrief about our failure to find old Queen Mary and to plan our next move. But we couldn’t help but be distracted by the conversation at the table opposite.

Sitting at said table were two elderly Yorkshiremen with flat caps and jackets, both of them hugging frothy pints of bitter while sharing a bag of pork scratchings. They looked harmless enough, and from their looks you might expect that they were nattering about whippets, or racing pigeons, or Hovis, or the Tetley tea folk.

Imagine our astonishment, then, when certain words or phrases wafted across from their vocal cords into our earlobes: ‘ancient rituals’; ‘druids at Stonehenge’; ‘the power of the Norse gods’.

Mike and I gave each other a troubled glance, then promptly shut our traps so that we could listen more intently. But how to be nosy at such close proximity without making it seem obvious? We adopted different strategies.

Mike stared up at the ceiling, pretending to study a stain (or something) in great detail. Me, I bent over to tie up my shoelaces. Took me about fifteen minutes.

During the course of our non-suspicious eavesdropping, we learnt of illicit nocturnal encounters of the earth-worshipping variety in the forests of Sheffield; nearby covens of witches, Wiccans and whippets (well, maybe not the whippets); and things you can do in circles of stones that boggle the mind.

These lurid revelations eventually proved too much for our frail sensibilities, so I finished tying my shoelaces (which was a feat in itself because my trainers are fastened with Velcro), Mike painfully cricked his neck back into place, and we staggered out the pub back door into the crisp night air.

If you happen to stumble across this new brand of Yorkshire pagans (we call them the ‘Flatcappians’), don’t say we didn’t warn you. The shock might prove too much, and you’ll need a strong mug of Tetley tea and a pack of Hovis digestives to calm you down.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Competition extended!

From Mike Kazybrid’s recent interview with Rony Robinson on BBC Radio Sheffield:

Rony: Have you seen any good ghosts lately?

Mike: No.

Rony: Have you ever seen a ghost?

Mike: Erm … no.

Rony: Isn’t it a bit odd to be a hunter of ghosts if you’ve never seen one?

Mike: (mumbles a half-hearted embarrassed defence)

As you can see, Rony rumbled us immediately, live on air, and Mike’s insightful, eloquent and well-thought-out responses did little to convince him. So, if we haven’t found any ghosts yet, we need you to tell us about your ghost encounters. Doesn’t have to be long – just a sentence or two. Either comment at the bottom of this blog, or bung us an email at

Out of all the stories received, we’ll turn our favourite into a comic strip, like the one above which relates to our adventure in Bunting Nook (you can read about it here and here). For more examples of Mike’s excellent artwork, see his latest graphic novel about the legendary Humph the Cat, completely free to download here.

Just imagine, your story can be illustrated by a top UK artist (Mike is currently drawing the Wallace & Gromit strip for The Sun), and you will also receive his original artwork through the post, signed personally to you.

Our original deadline for this competition was the end of June, but we so love reading your stories (they turn us green with envy) that we’ve extended the deadline to the end of the summer hols (last day of August). Many thanks for Martin Dawes of The Star for promoting our competition here.

Please get scribbling and scare us with your true-life tales!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

A right royal ghost

In the year since we started this ghost hunting lark, we’ve been on the lookout for mad monks, jilted lovers, Victorian couples and even a hag. What have we found? Not a sausage.

After doing a spot of googling (painful), I realised that Mike and I have been setting our sights too low. Forget all these common-or-garden spooks. If various internet sites are to be believed, there’s a member of royalty hovering right on our doorstep: namely, Mary Queen of Scots.

Extensive research (a couple of minutes on Wikipedia) revealed that she was called Mary, she was a queen and she was Scottish. She’s also been spotted at the ruins of the Turret House at Manor Castle in Sheffield, where she was held for many years.

So, Mike and I compared our diaries (mine’s A4 with a brown cover and a pen-holder; Mike’s is green and pocket-sized) and we agreed to meet by the ruins on the edge of the Manor Estate.

Mike pulled up in his car by the vast, impressive ruins that dominated the landscape in front of us.

‘So,’ he said as he got out to greet me, ‘where’s these ruins then?’

A quick inspection revealed that the ruins were fenced off and inaccessible at all times to the general public. Something to do with health and safety and trespassers being prosecuted.

No matter. We weren’t going to be put off. This was the big one. This was it! Full of eager expectation, we were most definitely going to spot our regal ghost, photograph her, write it all up, bung a video on YouTube, send out frenzied press releases, and live off the inevitable fame and glory for the next few months.

After five minutes of patrolling the fence and shivering, Mike said to me: ‘Bit nippy, innit. Fancy going down the pub instead?’

‘Yeah, all right,’ I quickly agreed.

So we did.

Hope you enjoyed this full and true account of our dedication to the cause.

Monday, 7 June 2010

When we finally find a ghost...

One year in, and we still haven't seen a ghost.

But here is a song that encapsulates perfectly what our reactions are sure to be when we finally stumble across one...

Don't forget to use the handy subtitles to sing along!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

2MG's fabulous 1st birthday competition!

Rejoice with us! Today marks the first anniversary of our debut blog post. Yes, back in the distant past of 26th May, 2009, we uploaded the breathless account of our very first adventure: our frenzied attempt to track down the so-called mad monk of Stocksbridge. You can experience the original post here, but the gist of the whole sorry story is summed up in the brand, spanking new comic strip above.

It's been a fun year of ghost hunting for us. We've frozen our socks off at various locations throughout Sheffield, gone and got some new socks at Primark, nearly been arrested in the woods at night, been seriously distracted in the basement of Sheffield Central Library, told our stories on radio stations worldwide, secured a regular feature in the nationally distributed Haunted magazine, dabbled in the vast and scary world of YouTube, and we've indulged in more Haribo Mix than you can shake a Diet Coke at.

But we still haven't found a ghost!

And that's where you come in...

If we haven't seen any ghosts, maybe you have. Send your own personal ghost account to and the best story received by the end of June will be turned into a newspaper-style comic strip, just like the one above, and published on this very blog. You will also receive the original artwork in the post, signed by Two Men (but not a Ghost).

If you're in luck, you may also receive a lovingly handled pack of Haribo Mix, but without the red and white ones ('cause I like those).

Thursday, 20 May 2010

2MG hit the newsstands with Haunted magazine

2MG are proud to announce that our ghost hunting misadventures round Sheffield will now be a regular feature in the fun, glossy Haunted magazine, a sort of paranormal version of Loaded. 2MG's Mike Kazybrid has also provided a colourful 'summer special' cover for the latest issue (number 3) hot off the press.

Haunted comes out six times a year, and from issue number 5 will be available in WH Smith's. But to grab a copy of 2MG's debut in this great new publication, go to the official Haunted website and click the Subscription link. They also have a page on Facebook.

It's £4 for the new issue, or £8 for this issue and the three previous ones (it started with issue 0), or £16 for a year's subscription starting with the new issue, and you get the three previous issues thrown in, so that's nine issues for £16. Bargain!

Haunted magazine promotes sCare in the Community. Remember: don't be normal and natural. Be paranormal and supernatural!

Reggie Droppings Endorses Two Men and a Ghost

Sunday, 25 April 2010

The hag of Hagg Hill (by Andrew Wooding)

Our latest excursion started with a tip-off from a text: ‘Strange sightings at Hagg Hill in Sheffield. People seen hanging from trees.’ I normally only get texts from Orange asking if I want to top-up my account, so naturally I was interested.

Mike was interested as well when I told him. I suspect he was just as surprised as me that I’d actually got a real text at last. So, being Two Men (but still no Ghost), we decided to investigate further.

Synchronising our watches and stocking up with supplies of Vimto and Haribo Mix, we set off separately, agreeing to meet at the top of Hagg Hill at 8pm on a Friday.

But as they say, they best laid plans of Mike and men gang aft agley (whatever that means).

I looked up Hagg Hill in my Sheffield A-Z and worked out a foolproof route to get there. This ‘foolproof’ route eventually took me to Hillsborough, Crookes, Broomhill and beyond. Everywhere, in fact, except for Hagg Hill itself. Where exactly was it, and why was it so hard to get to?

One thing I did discover on my Friday-night travels was that strange, exotic creatures roam the streets in the evening, making up for what they lack in the skirt department with body mass and volume of make-up. Whatever we might encounter at Hagg Hill couldn’t possibly measure up to the gruesomeness of these swaggering lifeforms, tripping off trams and buses and swinging sparkly handbags at each other.

Turning down a side street, relieved to put some distance between myself and these heffers who travelled in herds, I texted Mike to inform him that I had a map, I could point to Hagg Hill on it, but getting there was sadly eluding me.

No sooner had I pressed ‘Send’ than I got a text back from Mike relaying a similar tale of woe. His sat-nav was apparently up the spout. He would type in the precise postcode for the top of Hagg Hill, but would always somehow end up at one end of Crookes.

A change of plan was needed. It was time to join forces. I knew where Crookes was, even if I couldn’t find Hagg Hill, so within minutes I was pulling up by Mike’s car, then knocking on his window.

‘Yikes!’ went Mike. I could see through his window that he looked a little jumpy. When he realised it was me, he seemed relieved and motioned me to join him inside.

‘Why so tense?’ I asked him as I slammed the passenger door behind me.

‘Sorry, old chum. I was getting a little paranoid,’ he admitted. ‘I’ve been parked here a while and I keep getting odd looks from people walking past. I thought you were one of them.’

‘Odd looks?’ I said. ‘Why?’

‘No idea,’ admitted Mike, and he immediately plunged both hands towards his groin area and started shaking and vibrating. The car was shaking along with him. More strange looks from passers-by.

‘Er … what’re you doing, Mike?’ I admit I was worried.

‘The wind-up torches,’ he explained. ‘I’m charging them up for our investigation.’ And he thrust a hot and sweaty one towards my face.

‘Right,’ I said. ‘Er … great.’

Mike sensed it was time to make tracks. So make them we did. Through Crookes. Through Hillsborough. Through narrow country lanes. Through Crookes. Through Hillsborough. Through more narrow country lanes. Do you ever get déjà vu? How many times have you seen Groundhog Day?

Finally, more by fluke than navigational skill, we found ourselves approaching a street sign that looked promising.

I’m short-sighted, so I squinted as we approached and the letters became sharper and clearer until finally and unmistakably they spelt out the name of our elusive haunted side street … HAGG HILL!

Raucous cheering. The sound of the Hallelujah Chorus. Bells chiming. Horns hooting. A crowd applauding. Triumphant cannons firing. Yes, rejoice with us – we’d finally reached the bloody place!

Except we couldn’t turn into it because a ginormous lorry was in the way, selfishly parked on the corner. It didn’t seem to be in a rush to move – the driver was picking his nose with one hand, opening a thermos flask with the other, and consulting a fold-up map sprawled out in front of him.

Mike revved his engine and the driver took the hint. Folding away his map and disposing of the thermos, he quickly turned out of Hagg Hill and we quickly turned in. Happy to be there, we drove up and down it a number of times.

Yes, there were trees aplenty on either side of the road, stark and leafless, forming eerie silhouettes. Their presence was unsettling, and if you were scared down here, your frenzied imagination could quite easily make out any number of menacing shapes in the gnarled and random branches.

But people hanging from them, there were none.

Disappointed, we parked by the side of the road and had a natter for a while, mainly about our puzzlement over Mike’s sat-nav and my map reading skills failing us so badly. We rounded it off with a robust and in-depth discussion on the sexual undercurrents to be found between the various colourful characters in children’s TV classic, Balamory. We eventually came to a number of firm conclusions.

Feeling that our evening wasn’t entirely wasted, we turned to leave Hagg Hill just as the slowest gritter in the world trundled past, trapping us there for a while. Why? It wasn’t as if we were in the middle of winter or anything. Just our luck.

To add to our woes, Mike lost control of his car just as we tried to turn right out of the road. He kept stalling and rolling backwards. It was almost as if someone – or something – didn’t want us to leave.

Mike and I have a theory. We don’t believe it’s a coincidence that Hagg Hill is so named. Rivalling the so-called mad monk of Stocksbridge bypass, we reckon there’s a spectral hag causing chaos amongst motorists and pedestrians alike. She momentarily muddled my brain as I consulted the Sheffield A-Z. She reached into Mike’s sat-nav and sabotaged the directions it gave. She arranged a lorry and a gritter to block our way in and out of the road that’s her domain. And she caused Mike’s car to sputter and fail as we attempted to make an exit.

Who knows what this hag looks like? Maybe she has one tooth, warts all over the place, and smells of fags and cheap cider.

What do you think of our theory? Are we bonkers?

Don’t answer that.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

The fifth 'Real or surreal?' by Mike Kazybrid

Most of us have a story that we simply can't explain. Perhaps it was that strange noise in the dead of night, or the sudden movement at the foot of the stairs that appeared to be a person rushing by. No matter how hard we try to seek an answer, we can never completely find one.

Here’s another one of my stories. It's the summer of '76. I'm a student living in Edgbaston, Birmingham, and I, along with three other mature students, have been asked by the college if we will clean out a number of large houses that they’d recently purchased. Once cleaned and re-decorated, they were to become homes for the new students.

So there we were: three Yorkshiremen and a Scotsman. No, I'm not about to embark on a series of jokes! I can honestly say that they were three of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet.

The spooky bit begins when Tom, the guy I was working with, had to go and obtain certain materials for the house (Mac and Alan were working on another property). So there I was in this beautiful three-storey Victorian house, feeling somewhat useful with every bit of dirt and plaster I was able to clean up.

I was content with the world, until I happened to hear the faint cry of a woman. As it continued, I remained both still and silent, unsure as to its origin. All I was sure of was that the cry came not from the neighbouring houses, but from the attic itself. I was frozen to the spot, unable to ignore the clear human cry that carried down the stairs and filled the hall where I stood.

Now, I'm uncertain if my actions came from a sense of deep-rooted bravery or perhaps, looking back, plain stupidity, but I decided to slowly walk up the old staircase towards the beckoning cry.

I tried to avoid each and every creak that the old wooden stairs offered but was totally unsuccessful. By now, standing before the attic door, I was mindful that the person on the other side would be aware of my presence, perhaps in the same way I was now aware of hers!

The cry, or sobbing, was clearly coming from a woman. One didn't have to be intelligent to realise that she was in a state of deep emotional pain. Something really bad had clearly happened to her to move her to this point. But what I couldn't understand was: if I was on one side of the door and she was on the other side, why was I informed that the house was empty?

But the house was empty. ‘It is empty,’ I kept on telling myself. Yet here we were, the frightened young man on the one side, and the sobbing woman on the other, only a large piece of Victorian wood standing between us.

I decided to announce myself to her. I told her not to be afraid, that I was only there to clean up the place (thought not in a Charles Bronson or Dirty Harry manner, of course). Still, the sobbing continued. I moved slowly towards the old door, ever mindful that by now there was no mistake that this was very real. Believe me, it was real enough for me not to want to open the door.

Finding myself rushing down the stairs faster than I'd climbed them, I contacted the local chaplain who was linked to the college. Explaining the situation, the chaplain, a serious but good-hearted man, shared with me a possible reason for what had taken place. As we walked back to the house, he shared a little of its recent history.

The property was last owned by an elderly lady who, in her latter days, had lived with a number of cats. These were her only real source of company. For reasons unknown, she lost her feline companions and turned to her belief in spiritualism as a means of comfort. Perhaps the realisation that she was finally to say farewell to her home was the factor that created the end. The old lady died of a broken heart ... in the attic!

Having now returned to the stairs leading up to the attic, we stopped for a moment. And another moment.

Okay, five minutes later, I finally asked the question: ‘Aren't we going to go inside the attic?’

Following a short period of silence between us, the chaplain advised me not to worry. If he stayed where he was, on this side of the door, she would be able to hear him pray.

I questioned that comment. I'd seen all the Hammer Horror movies, and according to them we were now meant to rush into the room, him holding a large cross and shouting something loud in Latin, whilst I splashed ten gallons of holy water everywhere! (Okay, I admit, it was a bad movie.)

Nope, he was sticking to his guns. He was going to yell out a prayer and that would do the trick!

Truth be told, I didn't hear the sobbing any more after the chaplain had gone. Perhaps the power of faith had sorted out the issue. Or maybe the old lady had been somewhat peed off, thinking that some idiots were about to rush into her little attic bedroom, carrying a large cross and yelling something loudly in Latin, whilst the other fool wanted to pour ten gallons of holy water on her head! (Yep, she'd seen that movie too!)

On a serious note, the sound of the crying woman seemed real enough and could be pinpointed to that very room. Could it have been the total sense of grief that had allowed the poor lady, beyond her death, to remain in the house?

I'd like to think that in some way she had moved on to a place of peace. I'll never know. However, I can truthfully confirm that there was one outcome from this experience: I never did finish doing the dusting!

In the true spirit of that which is real or surreal, this has been another tale from those you've come to know as Two Men and a Ghost.

Sleep well.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

The year so far... (by Andrew Wooding)

Being April Fools’ Day, it’s probably appropriate to take a quick look back at the year so far for two fools in Sheffield (three if you count the ghost).

2010 started out rather encouragingly, with what you might call a media frenzy. Our friend Martin Dawes of The Star gave us another nice write-up, which you can see here. He says: ‘So far, despite their best efforts, the duo have been spook-free. But that doesn't stop them trying.’

We also did an extensive interview on The Paul and Spike Show, but unfortunately a gremlin (or was it a ghost?) crept into the Skype line, rendering the entire interview unusable. The proof of the pudding can be found in the short extract 24½ minutes into the finished podcast (which can be found here), in which Mike and I sound like we’re gabbling in tongues or channelling the spirit of the late lamented Pingu.

As for the rest of the media frenzy, well … er … that’s it.

But to compensate, we’ve started bunging stuff up on YouTube. (Check us out on The 2MG's Channel.) There’s our two-part visit to Sheffield General Cemetery, including reader feedback and an exploration of Egyptian mythology. The visit seemed like a good idea at the time, except Sheffield General Cemetery turned out to be the muddiest place in Sheffield that evening, and it was so dark that you couldn’t see any of the background in the finished videos, just our noses as we shone torches at each other. Actually, big secret now: we shot the whole thing in the broom cupboard at 2MG Mansions. (And if you believe that...)

There’s also our three-part video set in the basement (or ‘the stacks’) of Sheffield Central Library. Watch Mike explain the music hall background of the library’s location on Surrey Street; see us get distracted by various titles on the shelves, including an exhaustive book on tripe; and look out for various ghosts hovering in the background of the video (or are they just random librarians trundling along with trolleys of books?).

That’s it so far. So what about the remaining three-quarters of the year? Rest assured, there’s lots of good stuff to look forward to, and we might even finally spot a ghost.

In the immediate future, there’s more YouTube videos in the pipeline, the start of a regular lively podcast with a brilliant spooky theme tune, more ‘Real or Surreal?’ features from Mike, and my spine-tingling account of our recent nocturnal excursion to Hagg Hill in Sheffield. There we found our new nemesis. Move aside, Mad Monk of Stockbridge. Our latest foe is…

Ah, but that would be telling.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

The fourth 'Real or surreal?' (by Mike Kazybrid)

Before starting this fourth ‘Real or surreal?’ feature (the previous three are here, here and here), I’m sure that the first thing you want to ask is: ‘Where's the ghost?’

I’m sorry to say that there isn't one this time! But before you surf on over to another website … no wait, don't do it yet … it’s still worth reading. This is a true tale of mystery and suspenders!

It didn't start out that way. It began as a simple, chance meeting of two strangers in a coffee bar way back in 1972: myself and a young guy of similar age, called Tom.

We got talking over a coffee or two about everything from Woodstock and flower power to bikers and rock bands. As the time passed with fruitful conversation, Tom invited me back to his pad for a few beers and to play on our guitars.

At this point, let me educate those of you who are much younger than me. First of all, back in the ‘60s and early ‘70s, we honestly did use the word ‘pad’, along with many other terms such as ‘cool, man’, ‘groovy, baby’, ‘all outta bread’ (money) and ‘squaresville’.

Now that I've totally embarrassed myself, on with the tale… Look, it's my tale and I'll tell it how I wish, warts and all! Er, where was I? ‘Tom's pad!’ I hear you cry with a hearty moan.

So, for the rest of the afternoon, Tom and I played our guitars, hoping to capture the same sounds and chords of our music heroes of the day. When our jamming session finally came to a close, he asked me if I'd be interested in helping him move to his new flat next week. Jumping at the chance of more musical get-togethers in the near future, I said yes.

The next day we met at his flat with the intention of calling in on his new landlady. The new dwelling was a good half-hour walk away, so we made haste to get there in order to sort out the finances and a moving date.

Over the following few days, I didn't see him. But come the morning of the Saturday move, I found myself standing on his doorstep, keen to help.

It's now that the tale begins to take on a twisted shape. Instead of my new mate opening the door, it was his landlord. He didn't quite take to those of us who preferred the hippy way of dress and life. However, he was willing to pass the time of day.

I explained that I was there to help Tom move his things, but his reaction was one of confusion and he enquired as to who exactly Tom was.

I went on to explain what had happened during the past week, almost insisting to be taken to Tom. My insistence wasn't required.

The landlord invited me to look at the back room flat occupied by my friend. I quickly opened the door, expecting to find him in a sea of carrier bags, suitcase and, of course, guitar.

But a cold chill ran down my spine as I found myself standing in the middle of a totally different room, a room that hadn't been used for ages, full of dusty old furniture and a deep-rooted smell that shouted out the word ‘damp’!

Having now firmly explained to the landlord that Tom was indeed real and that a number of days ago I was in that very room, that very different room, I could see from his disbelieving expression that I was wasting my time.

Angry and frustrated, I had in mind a new plan, and that was to call upon Tom’s new landlady. Surely she would remember me? She was a small no-nonsense Eastern European lady, close to 50 years old.

When I encountered her for the second time, I was taken aback by her response. She not only claimed that she didn’t know me or Tom, she also insisted that no room was available.

I left not knowing where or whom to go to. Tom was real. I knew it. We'd spent time together. But now...

That was 37 or more years ago. From time to time, I still think of my all too brief friendship with Tom.

I don't have and can't offer any answers to this mystery, but in the true spirit of that which is either real or surreal, it's yet another tale from those you've come to know as ‘Two Men and a Ghost’.

Sleep well.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

I Tube, YouTube, We All Tube... (by Andrew Wooding)

You may have noticed that in the last few weeks 2MG has branched out into video production (if you can call it that). Shot over the Christmas period on his iPod nano, every expense was spared as Mike risked being arrested for late-night heavy breathing in a certain Sheffield graveyard. The fruits of his creative endeavours can be seen in our five ‘Sheffield Ghost Hunt’ videos here, lovingly presented in their raw, non-edited state for your perusal.

So far it seems that lots of people have been perusing them. So, encouraged by our initial success, we will soon be uploading our sixth ambitious production, called The Rear Itch Project. Can you guess which well-known movie we’ll be spoofing? With a title like that, I dread to think how Mike aims to film it with his iPod nano…

As I uploaded our first forays into viral video promotion, I couldn’t help but become aware of the dozens, nay hundreds, nay thousands of similar such videos scattered throughout YouTube. Intrigued, I decided to check some of them out so that you don’t have to.

Remembering our many attempts to seek out the mad monk on the Stocksbridge bypass, typing the words ‘Stocksbridge’ and ‘ghost’ into YouTube’s search engine yielded a number of results. Some of the more notable ones are here:

stocksbridge ghost OMFG! - This video is disturbing, for all the wrong reasons. A million times worse than fingernails down a blackboard, there is nothing more irritating than shrieky, giggling teenage girls who’ve overindulged in shandy.

Not sure what OMFG stands for (Oh My, Freaky Ghost?), but YouTube viewers seem to be convinced that the indeterminate smudge in a tiny portion of the screen, 41 seconds in, is conclusive proof that paranormal activity is real. Myself, I’m not so sure.

Research also reveals that this is a tunnel in York and nothing to do with the bypass outside Sheffield after all. Ah well…

Ghosts of Stocksbridge - Haunted Road, Parts 1 and 2 – Now, this is more like it. A quality 20-minute video, well put together, with down-to-earth convincing interviews and little in the way of sensationalism.

The video reveals that the bypass was opened in 1989 in the vicinity of a Cistercian monk who broke his vows and was buried in unconsecrated ground. Some eyewitness accounts say that the monk was sighted either hovering or walking below ground – could they have been peering back through time when the ground was at a different level?

There is also talk of the bypass being criss-crossed with pylons and substations. Could the electrical and magnetic fields be influencing people’s frontal lobe experiences?

The only thing that bothers me is that just about the entire population of Sheffield seems to have been interviewed in this video. How come me and Mike are the only people in the area who’ve never actually seen the mad monk? Do you think he’s got something against us?

Stocksbridge Bypass Ghosts, Parts 1 and 2 – This excerpt from ITV’s Strange But True? is presented by Mr ‘Ask Aspel’ himself, the legendary Michael Aspel. Only, instead of presenting viewers’ requests for favourite clips from The Goodies and Bagpuss, he introduces the world’s most popular ghost accounts.

In this clip, he gives us the same story as the Haunted Road video above, with some of the same interviewees. Yes, it covers old ground, and I wouldn’t even be recommending it, if it wasn’t for its one unique endearing feature: reconstructions!

Yes, each interview is accompanied by a ‘Strange But True?’ reconstruction of the sighting in question, by rejects from Equity who look nothing like the interviewees they are supposed to resemble.

Of special note are the security guards in Part 1 who specialise in gibbering horror (they prepared for their roles by watching the annoying girls in the ‘OMFG!’ video above). They deliver the immortal lines ‘It’s disappeared into thin air!’ and ‘Let’s get out of here!’ with as much conviction and sincerity as Olivier’s star turn in the definitive film version of Shakespeare’s Richard III.

STOCKSBRIDGE BYPASS MONK – More annoying teenagers, this time of the male variety. It is obvious that they have partaken of one too many rootbeers as they zig-zag across the late-night bypass in their car. Blurry mobile phone footage shows a monk at the side of the road, accompanied by an (EXPLETIVE DELETED) that is as convincing in its delivery as the security guards in the video above.

One of the comments left beneath the video is from yellowsub1966: ‘Lauged my bollocks off at their attempts to feign surprise.’

I’m slightly disturbed by this comment. I am not entirely sure what the obscure word ‘lauged’ means. Could it be youthspeak for gouging? Did he really gouge off his genitals? If so, this is eerily appropriate as the mad monk would have taken a vow of celibacy. Maybe encounters with the ghost of Stocksbridge bypass lead to random acts of self-mutilation?

Beware: The video concludes with the words ‘Go down baby. Go down baby. Go down baby.’ Maybe it’s the monk himself, speaking through their radio and condemning them to everlasting torment in the underworld below (in other words, hell). Maybe the monk can reach out through our tellies, radios and computer screens? Hmm.

I will conclude this initial trawl through the neverending delights of YouTube by pointing you to my favourite video of the lot. In fact, you could say it's special. Widening my search to ‘Sheffield’ and ‘ghost’ brought me to this 5-minute classic. Enjoy!

Monday, 25 January 2010

A closer look at Sheffield Central Library, part 2 (by Mike Kazybrid)

In the first installment of my findings about Sheffield Central Library (read about it here), I mentioned that the library opened in July 1934. When I visited with Wooders, I was taken aback by so much that obviously remained of the original: the oak and walnut library furniture with its custom designed wooden shelves and fittings, not to mention the beautiful art deco lights that greeted us in the foyer.

After we had left the ladies loo - (er, you do remember that Wooders and I were only in there to check out one of the many ghost stories ... don't you?) - we wandered beneath ground to the area I was looking forward to most, namely the Stacks.

It's a wonderful maze, consisting of what appears to be miles of shelving, two book lifts and a chute which is used to transport books from the Stacks to the main library. Six strong rooms protect the rare and old valuable books, anything from world-renowned volumes on patents to detailed tomes on metallurgy. White lines can be seen leading to the strong rooms so that if there is a fire, the valuable books can be quickly removed.

It was in this area that yet another paranormal appearance took place, but nothing in Victorian garb. The strange dark mass which appeared to librarian Eunice somehow contained light and energy, but didn't give the same sense of welcome that the other spectral visitors seemed to offer.

Another ghostly encounter moved me to dig more deeply into its possible origins. As already mentioned. Eunice and another staff member recalled that they were working in the main reception area when they were suddenly interrupted by a voice clearly calling to them by name. Having quickly established that one hadn't called the other and that they were equally alone, a sudden strong and wonderful scent of flowers seemed to fill the room.

Attempting to locate the source of the beautiful odour, Eunice had checked outside the doors, but that revealed nothing. All that continued to remain was the smell of a bouquet of flowers which could not be readily named.

‘The game's afoot, Wooders old chum!’ said I when we recounted this story to each other after our library visit.

We realised that following this up required a different approach to our normal methods. Wooders agreed that our usual equipment - consisiting of a wind-up torch, variety packs of crisps, various choccie bars and a well-chewed biro - would not suffice. I was just grateful it was winter so I wouldn’t have to endure my hay fever!

Having knocked on the doors of various companies and individuals, seeking information on popular flowers of the Victorian period, that veritable wizard of floristry, Shaun Lawrence, kindly mentioned that primroses or violas would be popular in spring through early summer, and possibly lavender later in the summer.

If you remember, the site of Sheffield Central Library used to be home to a thriving music hall. Imagine in the grand old music hall days a lady in Victorian dress about to leave, following a wonderful evening of entertainment. To complete the evening, her husband rushes to purchase a bouquet from the young girl selling flowers outside.

Could the good folks at Sheffield Central library have caught a glimpse of past events? Could the barrier between then and now somehow have weakened in the vicinity of the library? Do the people from the past somehow glimpse the people from now, and vice versa?

I was both pleased and grateful when leading parapsychologist, Rosemary Breen in Australia, offered encouragement and advice. She was introducing us to the subject of clairalience ('clear smelling') which is the alleged phenomenon of sensitive people smelling the odour of a person not on the same plane as ourselves. This could cover items such as tobacco, food and flowers. Some even profess to smell the places where the deceased person worked - ie, a factory, the docks or a mill.

(For more on Rosemary Breen, visit her here.)

The spectral visitors at Sheffield Central Library somehow break the rules: ghosts that appear during the daytime; ghosts that seek to interact. Whatever their reason, it doesn't really matter. Their presence only adds to what is truly a beautiful building with a depth of history freely offered to the city of Sheffield.

But how will Wooders and I feel when left alone in the Stacks with only a Twix and a wind-up torch between us? For that, you'll have to wait for the next part of our library adventure…

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

A closer look at Sheffield Central Library, part 1 (by Mike Kazybrid)

Late last year, we were invited to check out certain paranormal events at Sheffield Central Library. Why do ghosts walk amongst those engaged in the daily life of the library? To read the account of our visit, go here. Since then, Mike has been doing some research on the history of Sheffield Central Library. Why has he been doing this - and what has he discovered? Here are some of his findings!

The music hall

When we first became aware of one of the library ghosts, Wooders and I stood in the place which all men hold to be a great mystery … namely, the ladies’ loo! The enchanting story of Eunice, a staff member, suddenly coming upon a lady dressed in full Victorian outfit in this very room, sparked off my imagination. Not only that, but the first of a number of questions that were to haunt me in the following weeks.

In order to begin our journey, we'll have to travel back in time to 1823. A number of memorable events were happening that year.

On 13th April, we find an eleven-year-old Franz Liszt who, having come to the end of a concert, is congratulated by Ludwig Van Beethoven.

15th July sees the Papal Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome almost totally destroyed by fire.

On 22nd September, the world of religion is introduced to Joseph Smith Jr, who declares that God has directed him through the angel, Moroni, to the very place where the Golden Plates are stored. These were purportedly bound and engraved metal plates that would become his source for the Book of Mormon.

And while all these things were taking place in the world, a music hall was being built on Surrey Street in Sheffield, England, in the exact same place that the Sheffield Central Library would be located a century later.

It was the clear description of the ghost of a Victorian lady, standing with her back to Eunice, that provoked various questions in me. The first was: What exactly was she staring at? Whilst she might have been occupying the same space, maybe she wasn't occupying the same time.

What also made these ghosts very interesting … though I’m not by any means suggesting that some ghosts are boring … what I mean by that is, I don't believe we'll ever encounter the ghost of a stamp or envelope collector. Oh great, now I've put my foot in it. As I can't dig my pit any deeper, I'll move on... (Apologies to readers of our blog who engage in the act of philately.)

My meaning is that these ghosts would freely interact with certain members of library staff. They would walk down the back stairs, sharing greetings or bidding someone goodnight.

Had our Victorian ghost come to the end of a very enjoyable concert? After all, the music hall was used as a venue for a great deal of variety shows, as well as oratorios and concerts performed by local choirs. Perhaps she’d had the pleasure of seeing luminaries such as Paganini or Liszt, who had once appeared there.

Who knows what her social standing was? The hall wasn't there just for the middle class audience; thanks to reduced prices, it also allowed the working class of the day to enjoy the same music.

It wasn't just a concert hall. It was a building that provided rooms for the Mechanics Institute. It was also a place where the local Literary and Philosophical Society would meet, inviting the greats of the day, such as Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins to perform readings.

Graves mail order company

I'd spent so much time considering the possible connection of the library ghosts to a bygone musical era, that I had to remind myself of a very important man who, if not looked into, would make my research incomplete.

The man was John George Graves, who was born in Lincolnshire in 1866. It wasn't the fact that he had once been one of Sheffield's Lord Mayors, nor that he had once received the Freedom of the City in 1929, that makes him so memorable.

It was the fact that in Sheffield he established one of the first mail order businesses in the country, selling a wide range of goods. At its peak, he employed 3,000 staff, producing an annual turnover of £1 million. After he died in Sheffield in 1945, the company was absorbed by Great Universal Stores.

Sheffield Central Library

Things were changing, and the building that housed the music hall and the Mechanics Institute was to take on a new life as the original public library. Although the Mechanics Institute had its own private library, Sheffield became the first place in Yorkshire - in fact the 11th in the country - to create its own dedicated lending library for the use of the public.

Graves was a very keen art collector, and certain monies of his - almost £60,000 - were donated towards the development of art galleries in Sheffield. This would include Sheffield Central Library.

The small cutlery works in Surrey Street’s neighbour, Tudor Square, contributed to this area developing into the city’s cultural quarter.

And then, in July 1934, the proud new building of the Sheffield Central Library was opened.

If by now you're thinking you’ve logged on to Two Men and a Local History Book by mistake, you'd be wrong! It's not enough to blog about the ghost in a Victorian dress. (Nope, I'm not referring to my great grandmother!) In order to understand what this represents, you've got to check out the past … their past.

(You’ve also got to check out part two of Mike’s findings, to be posted in the next few days…)