AS a child, Tony Ferguson found visiting his grandmother’s house terrifying because of the “tall, dark man in a suit” he could see walking through the walls.
A self-described sceptic, known to his social media followers as the “ghost whisperer”, 37-year-old Tony now dedicates his free time to investigating and, where possible, debunking sightings of spooks and apparitions.
Speaking to the A&T, Lymington-based Tony said much of the “evidence” of ghostly activity he records ends up being edited out of his Facebook and YouTube videos because it seems like it could somehow be faked.
The 10% of recorded material that he does put into his videos are the encounters he just can’t explain.
He has conducted ghost investigations at Eling cemetery in Totton, where he recorded a mist-like apparition near gravestones.
“It’s a hobby for me to try to document the afterlife,” Tony said. “I had a lot of paranormal experiences as a child and I’ve always wanted to see if there is any truth to these stories about ghosts and sightings.
“From the age of about three or four I used to see quite a tall, dark man in a suit when I went to see my grandma in her house.
“I would see him walk through the walls and I felt it could have been a family member, perhaps my late grandfather, visiting me.
“It used to make me cry as a kid – the fact that I could see a figure that no one else could.”
Tony said the man in the suit was not the only other-worldly encounter he had at his grandma’s house.
“Quite a few times at that house I heard a little girl struggling to breathe. I heard that a few times over the years but I remember one time my stepdad, who is also a sceptic, heard the same thing I did.
“We heard a coughing so loud and so clear that we both ran downstairs thinking my mum couldn’t breathe – but she was sat there absolutely fine.
“I remember my stepdad saying we had heard someone choking and, when mum said it wasn’t her, he turned to me and said, ‘Well, what was that then?’
“This was grandma’s house in London, which was quite old, and when I looked into the history of the place I found a little girl had died there of whooping cough.”
Tony said that as he grew into adolescence he “stepped away” from paranormal investigations, focusing instead on his career as a personal trainer.
But in his late 20s Tony’s interest was reignited and he now spends his free time travelling the UK, and sometimes overseas, to investigate places believed to be haunted.
Locations include Knowlton Church in Wimborne Minster where he captured disembodied footsteps in the middle of the night in the grounds of the 12th century Norman church
“I think my most memorable encounter was at Fort Widley, near Portsmouth,” Tony said.
“There was a military themed investigation going on, and myself and some fellow investigators took along a very sceptical veteran.
“We got the veteran to ask if there were any military people at the fort and we caught on camera the moment he heard, just behind his ear, several voices responding to him saying, ‘Yes, I’m here’.
“I don’t think he’s quite so sceptical any more.”
Tony’s paranormal investigations have taken him to houses in Wales, Scotland and even to Malta where he heard “disembodied voices not speaking English” in the island’s ancient catacombs.
“I’m very sceptical about a lot of things,” Tony told the A&T. “I tend to poo-poo things until I go in and investigate for myself.
“I would say that 90% of what I record isn’t put out because I don’t know exactly what it is, or it looks like something that could have been faked.
“But the other 10% of what I record is the stuff I can’t explain, and that’s what goes into my videos.
“You have to be sceptical to investigate the paranormal, and I am still sceptical, even after my experiences that go back to my childhood.”