Tuesday 26th June 2007 ~ More Theatre Ghosts.




Click on this link to go to GroveTalk



The Palace Theatre in London, has three ghosts. The first two, Ivor Novello and Anna Pavlova, are still famous names today; but the third spirit is perhaps less well-known to the general public, yet according to the theatre manager is the only ‘real’ one…

…It was early 2006 and we had moved our production of “Whistle Down The Wind” into ‘The Palace’ for a West-End season. “Whistle” is itself a very spiritual piece, as are many of the works of Andrew Lloyd Webber, even if it’s present musical incarnation, a collaboration between ALW and Jim Steinman (of Meatloaf fame) has taken the original story from Barnsley in the North of England and re-planted it in ‘Elvis’ country around Memphis and the Mississippi..

It was quite late one evening, just after one of our technical rehearsals. The cast had either returned home, or were helping to prop up the bars of the various Soho watering-holes behind the theatre. I’m never in a rush to leave a theatre after rehearsals or a performance – I like to stand or sit quietly and feel the energies…

…I was leaning over the orchestra pit-rail, looking at the empty stage, when I had the distinct sensation that someone was with me. At first I didn’t bother to turn, thinking that a member of the cast or theatre staff had joined me, but hearing no comment, I glanced to my left…

…for an instant I saw a man watching the stage. Then he disappeared.

I looked down into the orchestra pit. Our musical director was pottering about with his keyboards, but I knew it was not a reflection or optical illusion, as I had D in my central vision, at the same time as I saw the apparition. Not only that, but I experienced a familiar ‘Tangy-Twang’; a feeling like an electric thrill running through my body, but especially in my lower stomach and in my third-eye area.

It was hard to recollect what I had seen; the mental image began to fade, as quickly as I had perceived it - ‘feeling-seeing’ would be the closest to describing a man who was smart and who had authority; a man who was aware of me, but who (like me) was leaning over the pit-rail - just watching the stage.

The next night, D (the MD) and I met at a function in Park Lane. D, who upon occasion dips his toes into the spiritual world, was at first only mildly interested. When the prospect of Anna Pavlova and especially Ivor Novello becoming spirit allies to the production was raised however, D’s interest increased somewhat. “What did he look like?” he

“What did he look like” The question was quite difficult to answer. As a dancer and choreographer, most of my visual-experiences are quite physical in the way they manifest inside me – in short, I “See-Feel.” But I tried to answer his question…

“He was leaning over the pit rail – just watching”

“He was smartly dressed, in a dark suit with a white collar”

“He wore cologne”

“He seemed big or at least strong.”

“He had curly hair”

“He was important – He was a Boss.”

“No, I don’t think it was Ivor Novello. I think it was a theatre manager.”

. D is a great fan of Ivor Novello and of musical and theatre history. (and his impression of Gracie Fields singing “Sally” is part of theatre legend) So my last statement came as something of a disappointment…“Not Ivor Novello”…. D’s eyes de-focussed and his attention turned to Hayley Mills, the original girl in the film “Whistle Down the Wind” who was the star guest of the evening…

On the other hand, I had become more excited than ever about the apparition. I realised that my spontaneous “I think it was a theatre manager”, had unlocked a “Felt-Truth” inside me.

The next day I went to see the theatre manager. “So you’ve seen him” said L. I followed her into her small office, where she showed me cuttings and articles. “Anna Pavlova and Ivor Novello are only legend,” she said “The real ghost is Charles Morton.”


“The Palace started life in 1891 as the Royal English Opera House, but by 1892 had been sold, redecorated and renamed the Palace Theatre of Varieties. Charles Morton was the manager. For Morton this marked the height of his career. Having made his name and fortune in setting up music halls, including the Canterbury and the Oxford, he was at last running a West End theatre. He was a hardworking and fit man, who rarely ate meat and rarely smoked (unusual in those days). At the age of 83 he was still running up to the top dressing rooms of the Palace two or three times a night.


As the review states “He was a hardworking and fit man.” I had received such an impression of strength and fitness from the spirit that it further convinced me that I had sensed his presence. L then went on to describe how he normally is sighted in the dress-circle. “A woman complained that there was a man, sitting on the lap of a female member of the audience!” she related, “but what she was seeing was the transparent image of Charles Morton, superimposed over the lady, who was presumably unaware that she was being sat on!.” L was really pleased at my sighting and I was equally pleased that she hadn’t thought I was a total weirdo…

After L and I had finished talking, I wandered down to the lower bar, which is below street level and wandered along a long corridor, full of photographs and illustrations of some of the many productions that have opened (and closed) at the Palace.

Then I found it…



It was the word “Watching” that clinched it for me.



The term ‘clairvoyance’ literally means ‘Clear Seeing’ Originating from 17th century French, it is often used as an umbrella term for psychic awareness. Although I often get an impression of ‘seeing’ a spirit, it is much more a physical impression – or what I call “See-Feel”. What I did at the pit-rail, was first to ‘feel’ that someone was with me (that was indeed my first impression) and then to turn and see the apparition. My ‘seeing’ moment however, was very fleeting but had with it, the impression of a man of considerable importance and most of all “Strength”.


So I had ‘seen’ Charles Morton, but like being in company with someone with a large personality, I had also ‘felt’ his presence. Clair-sentience means ‘clear-feeling’ and this instance, together with most of my encounters with the spirit world, was very typical of the awareness process I go through.

I receive most of my spiritual impressions as a combination of Clairvoyance and Clairsentience – a sort of spiritual sense crossover. Many people experience sense crossover, finding that they can ‘hear’ paintings and even taste music.

In other words, I am a spiritual synaesthete (a synaesthete, is a person who involuntarily experiences a crossing over of the senses) So there!

Note: I’ve put two new audio answers for Clairvoyance and Clairsentience in the FAQ section http://www.soulmerlin.com/faq.html


Around 1977 I was booked as choreographer for a production of Aladdin that was due to open at the Beck Theatre in Hayes (Hillingdon) Middlesex. http://www.ents24.com/web/venue/1708/Hayes/Beck_Theatre.html

It was the day before the grand opening and time was running out; so I (young, ambitious and stupid) elected to paint the stage-floor overnight, so that it would resemble a grassy glade, rather than the platform of a school prize-giving ceremony.

The final dress rehearsal ended at 10pm and the stage manager prepared me for my overnight stay, telling me to stay within the confines of the stage and dressing room areas, as the rest of the building was covered in ‘electric-eye’ security. I have always found adventures such as this, to be really exciting and so, after locating the dressing room where I would eventually sleep and collecting paint, brushes and rollers, I set straight to work.

I must have been working for around an hour, when I became aware of a sensation. I worked on for a little while, but the sensation was growing. It seemed to start right at my pubic bone, curving upward and going at first back to my lower vertebrae; then upward and forward toward the centre of my chest. I knew that I was being watched.

I remember feeling quite scared and unable to move, but I fought the feelings down and continued to roll the green paint onto the floor. Then the goosebumps happened; my whole body tremored and shivered and I could hardly move. I carefully turned my head, just a fraction and looked out into the auditorium – and there they sat.

Through the corner of my eye, I could see two dim, hooded figures, sitting at the back of the auditorium. I continued slowly painting and wondering if the stage manager had come back – but I knew he hadn’t. Eventually I could take it no longer; I decided to ‘call it a night’ and headed down to the dressing room area below the stage.

Once below stage, my fears subsided. I made a cup of coffee and settled down for the night on a beaten-up old settee, with my feet sticking out into the cold-air and my head cricked at a sharp angle. I pulled an old bit of black ‘tat’ over me and tried to get to sleep as best I could.

I woke suddenly to the sound of footsteps on the stage above me. Just two steps and then silence. I remember my heart rate going up, the goose-bumps returning and the sensation in the pit of my stomach. Then the footsteps happened again – and again – and again - all through the sleepless night.

The worst moment was the last. It must have been near dawn, (although I’m not sure as I was under the stage and I have never been able to wear a wrist watch), when the footsteps came right up to the stairs leading down to the dressing room area – and stopped. “Please, please don’t come down” I thought. Perhaps the spirits understood just how scared I was and took pity, as the footsteps did not descend the stairs – but I was very glad to see the cleaners arrive.



‘till the next time


Wednesday 20th June 2007 - ‘Psychic’ ~ Well Are You?





Let’s look at five areas. (not listed in order of importance)

a)Telephone/Radio/TV contact from beyond.

b) Moods and emotions affecting electrical apparatus, especially lightbulbs

c) Hearing Voices

d) Spirit Guides

e) Dreams and Visions



Telephone Contact

It’s only when something really odd occurs that some people pause and consider that perhaps they are experiencing something paranormal. That’s why the story of Christina’s Telephone was so important to me http://www.soulmerlin.com/christina1.html

Suffice to say that my experience with her mobile phone, led me to go to spiritualist church the following Sunday. When I walked through the front door of the small church, I could feel her with me. It was no surprise therefore to hear the Reverend Eileen remark to me from the pulpit “There’s a lady with you; a ‘proper’ lady. She’s wondering why no-one can see her but me.” Christina was a ‘proper’ lady – the daughter of a Methodist preacher and brought up with the good manners and style of someone who was born in 1915, into a respectable and devout family environment. Ok – good guess by Rev. Eileen perhaps.


Electrical Interference

Lightbulbs are another thing. Whenever I get angry or upset, lightbulbs start ‘blowing’. So much so that people who stay with me, remark that it must be very expensive to keep on constantly replacing them. In my car, the offside headlamp blows at least twice as much as the nearside one, (come on drivers – the offside headlamp is the one in front of the driver and the nearside one, in front of the passenger – in the UK that is), and the dashboard lights are constantly needing replacement.


Hearing Voices

I don’t hear voices too often. There is one ‘spirit’ that calls my name and then gently (but not unkindly) laughs, sometimes when I am in bed. This usually happens when I have a problem I am trying to solve, or when I’m feeling lonely. Perhaps ‘voices’ are the most worrying for people. I’ll put it very simply – If you hear a voice and it is telling you to do something destructive – say ‘No!’ very firmly. It matters little to the outside world if your ‘voice’ is a discarnate entity, or a subconscious illusion – but your actions will certainly matter - either in a positive or a negative way.

For the latter reason, I tend to steer away from ‘Ouija’ (Weegee) boards. Unless all the intentions of the various circle members are sincere, people dabbling with cups, glasses, pointers and cut-out alphabet letters (and sometimes slightly the worse for drink at the end of a party, for example) are creating a recipe for trouble. Chris the psychic, at ‘Mysteries’ in Monmouth Street, London, explained to me that using the board, bypassed the influence of a person’s spirit guide or guardian. In other words ‘going it alone’ without help. The time honoured statement at the start of a Ouija-Board session is usually “Is anyone there?” This is the psychic equivalent of leaving your front door wide open at night when you go to bed, but not before shouting out that statement into the night and therefore to anyone who might be lurking in the darkness.


Spirit Guides

It was also Chris who explained to me that my mother was now my spirit guide and that she was ‘opening me up’ to psychic happenings that the spirit world had so far protected me from, in case the resultant experiences were too much for me to handle.

Sounds far-fetched? Well during the session, Chris had been doing my Astrology chart and he gave out the proclamation that Christina was my Guide. “Look at this line” he said. “It runs from bottom-left to top right. That is your mother’s influence.”

“Hey Ho” I thought, as it all sounded very nice, but a tad unbelievable. Then I looked again; “What is the sign that the line starts from” I asked.

“Capricorn” he replied.

(Capricorn was my mother’s birth-sign – I hadn’t told him.)

One occasion, which I am due to put in the ‘Spirit’ section, involved two thugs, a nurse who appeared as if from nowhere and an open door which was always locked. I was running from the two thugs, to try to escape a savage beating, or worse. With seconds to spare, I hurried up to the door of a large private house (it was 2am in the morning) and prayed that the door would be open – and it was! As soon as I was inside, a nurse appeared. I shouted at her to lock the door. Amazingly she did at once, even though from her point of view, I could have been a dangerous man. The thugs hammered on the glass-front of the door, shouting and swearing. It looked like a scene from a nightmare. I was so lucky. Later the nurse (the house turned out to be a private nursing home) said two things which I’ll never forget:

“I never come this way on my rounds.”

“I don’t understand - that door is never unlocked!”

“Spirit Guides”, “Guardian Angels”, or “Instinct” – whatever. One thing I know for sure: it was not my time.


Dreams and Visions



Can you relate to of the above experiences? It might be a good idea to start your own ‘psychic diary’. Relax and think back over your life, then jot down any events that were similar to the five examples above. I’ll do another batch in my next Almanack entry, which will be on-line no later than midnight this coming Sunday (UK time)




I was really pleased to see that ’sitepal’, the international company that makes the animated characters I use on the site) have included soulMerlin’s Grove in their showcase. It’s a good feeling to be recognised, as the site has only been on-line since late March of this year. Thank you.



Finally for two people I know very well and who have suffered bereavements; one tragic and one natural. I was lying on a couch in my dressing-room between shows, when I noticed that the sky was full of really beautiful clouds. I had been thinking about both of my friends and so I decided to take a photograph. I reached for my camera and at the same instant I clicked the shutter…






The Conditions of a Solitary Bird

The conditions of a solitary bird are five:
The first, that it flies to the highest point;
The second, that it does not suffer for company,
not even of its own kind;
The third, that it aims its beak to the skies;
The fourth, that it does not have a definite color;
The fifth, that it sings very softly.

these are the words of
San Juan de la Cruz in his “Sayings of Light and Love”
and quoted in “Journey to Ixtlan” by Carlos Castaneda

‘till the next time


Sunday 10th June ~ Bathing in Ectoplasm.


For now we see through a glass darkly…but then Face to Face



I sat at the top of the stairs, waiting for the mist to return…

I had been unable to sleep the previous night and I had decided to get up and make a cup of coffee. It’s illogical that I often have a cup of coffee to get off to sleep; but there you are, it works for me. It’s sometimes difficult in theatre ‘digs’, to roam around after ‘lights out’, many landlords and landladies, get very insecure when their guests, especially rather strange ones, start wandering about in the small hours, but that’s the way I am and after some 40yrs on tour with various productions - if I want to get up and wander - then I do.

I had ( as our American cousins would say) ‘gotten’ up, restless and nervous about the next days work and had decided to go to the kitchen and make a pot of coffee. When I reached the middle of the stairs, leading to the front-door (straight ahead) or to the kitchen (turn right), I noticed that the hallway and especially around the hallway light, was shrouded in mist. At first I blamed my spectacles; many spectacle wearers will empathise with me when I point out the curse of condensation - when I wiped the lenses however - the mist remained.

It was very beautiful (the mist); looking like the frozen haze above a late autumn field, it hung in the air and seemed to cover everything from the stair-rail to the front door and even to the pictures on the walls. I was fascinated but not afraid because the atmosphere was calm and loving.

I turned right toward the kitchen; the kitchen door was open, but a mist, like a gauze-screen, covered the whole of the door-frame. I walked carefully through it, noting that the temperature had seemed to drop.

When I returned from the kitchen with my coffee, the ‘ectoplasmic’ mist was still there. I had the sensation of a ‘presence’ in the middle of the hallway - an ‘area of power’, which I knew I should respect…

The next day I mentioned this to the landlady. “Yes” she confirmed, there had been an old lady, who lived in the house, many years ago and she had died at the very spot I felt the ‘power’. She had also experienced the ‘presence’ but not for a few years and I sensed that she did not want to dwell on the experience again.

Personally I have no fear of discarnate entities, in fact programmes on TV, such as ‘Most Haunted’ actually anger me. I know it helps audience ratings, but after going to such lengths to locate a spirit or ‘haunting’, the sight and sound of the presenter screaming in shock (real-good for ratings) makes me wonder what the spirit must feel. To contact from another dimension is one thing, but to then have the people who are trying to contact, start to run around like silly children in theatrical shock, is I feel an insult to any ‘passed over’ spirit who may have been trying to contact, or who may be in need of earthly help.

The next night, I determined to ‘meet’ the spirit. Around 1am, when everyone else was in bed, I tiptoed along the corridor and sat a couple of stairs down - and waited…

Very soon the mist appeared, like fog descending, covering the whole of the hallway and hanging like suspended vapour. It was very beautiful and I felt a simple sensation of peace and calm. I walked down to the hallway and walked into the mist…

I was wearing a short sleeved shirt and so I reached into the cold air and layered the ‘shroud’ onto me, bathing and rubbing my arms and hands. It was cold, but not uncomfortably so. I took handfuls of mist and smoothed them over my face…the feeling was again peaceful and also loving.

Don’t be afraid if you experience this. Chris, my favourite clairvoyant from ‘Mysteries’ in Monmouth Street London, says: “It isn’t the discarnate spirits that we should be afraid of, it’s the spirits that still have bodies around them – they’re much more dangerous.”

How wise he is…..

If you’ve found this site through Google or any other search machine and haven’t found the ‘home’ page (the Grove) click this link and have a wander.


‘till the next time


Tuesday 5th June ~ A visit to a Glasgow Psychic



Last Wednesday (30th), was the day before the second anniversary of my mother’s death, so when Jeremy, one of our keyboard players told me he had spotted a “Fortune-Teller” in the Savoy indoor market at the town-end of Suchihall Street that he thought might interest me, I made a mental note to visit her the following day.

Our daily matinee ends at 4.30, so I knew I had to get a move-on. I was out of the stage door within ten minutes of the show coming down and striding out along Glasgow’s most well known street. I had (I thought) remembered Jeremy’s instructions, but found myself lost between HMV, John Lewis and Virgin. The time was ticking by and I began to give up hope. It was almost 5.20 and I reckoned that, at the worst the Psychic would be finishing work at 5.30 - at best 6.00pm. So I had 10 – 40mins only, not really enough time to find the place, presuming the psychic was indeed available and not in the middle of the last consultation of the day.

I was starting to feel sweaty and fatigued and a bit exasperated. Jeremy’s directions had been simple and clear, so I upped my walking pace and at last found the Savoy centre. In I went and hurried around the stalls and trinket shops - clothes, sweets, socks, jewellery and even a café – but no psychic. It was now around 5.25, so I gave up and walked out of the centre and back onto Suchihall street.

Now I had understandably felt very close to Christina all day and I had the distinct feeling that she wanted to contact me. I find I have to be very careful to separate my self-generated fantasy thoughts and feelings, from genuine insight – but the feeling that she was around me, like a sort of pixie-dust; covering me from head to feet was unmistakable.

I had first felt her ‘covering’ on the night she died. I remember lying in bed and feeling her all around me. I remember reaching up and touching my face and discovering it felt like her face - to be embraced by a spirit is unlike any other sensation.

By this time, I was walking in circles outside the Savoy centre. I stopped, looking back toward the large John Lewis store complex, where Suchihall Street turns sharp right into Buchanan Street and the rail station. I thought, “If you really want to talk to me mam, then you’d better help.” I turned and there was Jeremy the keyboard player! Events like that make me smile and go warm all over. Coincidence? I think the odds against meeting Jeremy at that moment, especially as I had just asked Christina for help, must have been extremely high.

Jeremy led me back into the centre and around the right-hand side of the café and there it was. Jeremy said goodbye, but I was already intent on getting a session if at all possible, so I went straight in and sat down on one of the chairs in the little waiting-room

Almost at once, Maura the psychic appeared from a nearby stall. “Can I book a consultation”, I asked “Or will you do one now?” As it turned out, Maura was able to fit in a short consultation, offering a twenty minute ‘short reading’. That was good enough for me, so in I went, through dark curtains, into her consulting room…

“I can feel your mother all around you.” Maura’s opening gambit, especially as I hadn’t said anything more than “hello”, was encouraging, “she is guiding you”. She continued, gazing astutely from the other side of the small, velvet-covered table. Maura had chosen the ‘soul’ cards for the reading, remarking that she felt I was a very spiritual person, a loner and ‘one of a kind’. (all very true) As she continued, each detail became part of the repeating pattern that has occurred since Christina passed over; “You are writing a book, but it is a book about your life!”… (again that was true)

At this point, I realized that all the messages I had received over the past two years, were being again repeated…

Maura then gave real proof of her considerable ability. “There is someone else who is very dear and loved”…..(I thought of Liz, my ex-wife, who was very close to my mother – in fact they were the best of friends)….. “The name Elizabeth is coming into my head.” I was stunned. If I needed proof that my feelings of Christina being ‘around’ were correct, “Elizabeth” provided it, especially as only my mother called her by her full name. I have always called her ‘Liz’ and her family usually chose ‘Betty’ in conversation.

Maura, with her black headscarf, long skirt and white blouse, then turned to her crystal ball…

“I see 100….you may live a long time” (eek!)

“You will receive unexpected riches – though not financial” (tsk! tsk!)

“I see a young girl” (I have two grandsons – could a granddaughter be arriving?)

I walked back to the theatre with the broadest of smiles. Maura was excellent. If you’re in Glasgow, I suggest you ring her and pay a visit.



MAURA 0141-332-7375 Home:0141-334-0565


The Politically Correct and the Emotionally Immature

I noted in the news last week, that in order to spare embarrassment, the RNIB has censored the use of the word ‘C**k’ in their literature, often using asterisks *, when describing a male bird. They have however, failed to censor the word ‘Tit’ as for example in Blue Tit. Therefore we can have ‘Tits’ but not ‘C**ks’. A clear case of s**ism I fear.



A Weather C**k

By censoring it, attention is drawn toward the most unsavory of the double-meaning they are trying to avoid.

(in any case, the weather’s been fowl this week so far)

‘till the next time


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