Green, Andrew Malcolm (1927–2004) English investigator of Ghosts, Poltergeists, Hauntings, and Possession; author, lecturer, and media personality. He was known as “Britain’s Specter Inspector.”
Andrew M. Green was born on July 28, 1927, in Ealing, London. From childhood, Green was interested in the unknown. He was in his teens when he first saw a ghost. While visiting an aunt and uncle in Sidmouth, he awakened one morning to find a smooth fox terrier sitting on his bed. He said hello to the dog and got up to get dressed and take the dog out, for his aunt and uncle did not allow their own dogs upstairs. When he turned around, the dog had vanished. Green’s uncle told him that he was the seventh person to see the ghost dog. It had been the beloved pet of the previous owners of the house and had always slept on their bed. The dog had gotten out of the yard one day and was run over in the road and killed.
The experience taught Green never to laugh at others when they said they’d seen a ghost. He realized that sensitivity to paranormal phenomena varies from person to person.
Green was 17 when he became seriously interested in the paranormal, again because of his own experience. In 1944, his father, who then worked as a rehousing officer, was called upon to assess a Victorian era house at 16 Montpelier Road in Ealing that had been vacant for 10 years. The elder Green found the structure acceptable for the storage of goods, but noticed a peculiar, sulphurous smell in a small room on a mezzanine. He reported the smell and was informed that the floor and plaster in the room had been replaced, but the smell persisted. Workmen who later brought in goods to be stored in the house claimed it was haunted. They had heard footsteps and objects being moved about. They sensed an “atmosphere,” including a strange smell in one of the rooms. They heard doors opening and closing where no doors existed. Some workers so disliked the house that they refused to return to it.
His curiosity aroused, Mr. Green senior visited a friend at the metropolitan police and inquired about the history of the house. He was told that the house was built in 1883 and had been vacant since 1934. During the years it was occupied, 20 SUICIDES and one murder had taken place there. All suicide victims had jumped from the integral 70-foot-high top tower. The murder involved an infant that had been tossed from the top of the tower.
Green and his father then visited the house. At his father’s suggestion, Green took along a camera. During the tour of the empty building, young Green thought he felt invisible hands at one point helping him up the staircase to the tower top. Looking out from the roof, he thought he heard a voice whispering to him urging him to go into the garden by going over the parapet. He nearly went over the edge when his father grabbed him from behind and showed him that the drop was certainly fatal.
Green photographed the exterior of the house from the back garden. Although he noticed nothing strange at the time, one photograph revealed a shape in an upstairs window. The image appears to be that of a female in Victorian- style dress. The figure might be that of a 12-year old girl who either fell, jumped, or was pushed from the tower in 1886. The photograph remains unexplained.
Years later, Green met a woman who had worked at the Montpelier house as a maid. She told him that she never knew exactly what went on in the tower, though it seemed to have been strange activity. Every Friday, she said, the butler would come downstairs from the tower and hand her two large silver candlesticks and two black candles to put in them. He also handed her a mat with “strange patterns” on it for her to brush. It is possible that these items might have been used in magical rituals.
The Montpelier case launched Green on his second career as investigator of hauntings. His work included assisting authorities in alleviating possession phenomena, lecturing, and writing.
Green spent two years in the military and then in 1949 founded the Ealing Society for the Investigation of Psychic Phenomena. He served as its first chairman until 1953, when he resigned, having moved to another part of the country. He was cofounder of the National Federation of Psychic Research Societies in 1951.
In the late 1960s, Green conducted a trial survey of psychic sensitivity and established that children of seven years of age seem to be at the peak of this faculty, which then diminishes with age, learning, and increased reliance upon intellect rather than intuition. Thus, seven-year old children might be helpful in assessing an allegedly haunted site. Green’s research concerning peak sensitivity was subsequently confirmed by research conducted by another parapsychologist at Surrey University, England.
During the 1950s, Green worked at a variety of jobs, including chemist, office administrator, advertising and publicity manager, publications editor, and tutor. He founded his own publishing house, Malcolm Publications, which produced house journals and tourist material. In 1951, he married Hazel Hunter; they were divorced in 1971.
He did paranormal investigations in his spare time. In 1956, he investigated “the poltergeist girl of Battersea,” a girl who seemed to be plagued by “Donald Capet,” the spirit of an illegitimate son of the French monarchy.
The poltergeist produced Rapping and other unexplained phenomena. Green received a letter in mixed English and French purportedly written by the spirit. It earned him a place in The Guinness Book of Records as the only man ever to receive a letter from a poltergeist. The letter in fact was written by the girl.
In 1971, Green wrote his first book, Our Haunted Kingdom, which was published in 1973. Different from other ghost books of the time, it focussed solely on haunting phenomena and not folk stories. Also in 1973, he published his second book, Ghost Hunting: A Practical Guide. Until then, most ghost hunting involved Séances and attempts to communicate with spirits. Green argued that Telepathy and Psychokinesis projections from the living and electromagnetic factors were responsible in most hauntings. He promoted the use of equipment in investigations.
Green joined the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) in 1972. He felt that many Mediums took advantage of bereaved people and criticized the SPR for not taking a more active role in defending the vulnerable. Nonetheless, he had respect for some mediums; he heldEddie Burks in high regard and worked with him.
He earned a bachelor of science degree in 1971 from the London School of Economics, and in 1976 he received a master of philosophy degree from Goldsmiths College, London University.
During the 1970s, Green was a founder of the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalies (ASSAP) and was voted honorary president of Borderline Science Investigation Group.
In 1979, Green married Norah Bridget Cawthorne; they lived in Robertsbridge, Sussex.
After 1987, Green devoted himself full time to paranormal investigations and writing. He especially enjoyed working with Tom Perrott and Alan Murdie.
His last major investigation was in 1996, when the Royal Albert Hall in London asked him to look into a host of reported haunting phenomena there that included apparitions of two Victorian girls, feelings of unease experienced by people in the late night hours, and a ghost believed to be that of Henry Willis, who built the famous concert hall’s giant pipe organ.
Green was accompanied by a crowd of media while he spent a 12-hour night vigil in the hall. Nothing eventful occurred, nor did anything unusual register on Green’s electro-magnetic equipment—he even had a bat detector— except for an inexplicable increase in static on one occasion. His digital thermometer registered an unusual temperature fluctuation in a corridor formerly known as the Garden Room, where others had reported ghostly experiences. The room temperature registered 71 degrees Fahrenheit when Green arrived, and within a few seconds rose sharply to 81 degrees. It then fell back to 71, where is remained for the rest of his stay. He concluded that there were isolated incidents of unexplained phenomena in the hall, which he said might be related to stress experienced by the living. The hall, built in 1871, was undergoing extensive renovation.
Green suffered from emphysema, which increasingly hampered his ability to travel and do research. He died on May 21, 2004.
Paranormal Views and Works
Green did not believe in Survival After Death, saying that the possibility would need more verifi cation than is currently available. Ghosts do not have personalities or intelligence, but they are impressions created by the living at times of shock and stress. When a person receives a severe shock, such as learning of the unexpected death of another person, he or she immediately and uncontrollably creates a mental image of the deceased in circumstances under which they were last seen, according to Green. Under certain circumstances, the dying may create their own ghosts through mental impressions. Apparitions of the living, he says, are created under similar conditions that create an intense desire in a person to be in another, distant spot.
He believed that the most disturbing hauntings are not genuine impressions left at a site, but are created by imagination and Psychokinesis (PK) on the part of the living. A successful Exorcism alleviates the mental conditions that create the haunting.
When Green investigated a haunting disturbance, he accepted the beliefs of the witnesses and then looked for a rational explanation and solution to the problem. For example, he found that Smells associated with hauntings usually have natural explanations. Odors can be absorbed into various materials and remain for considerable periods of time, he said, becoming noticeable periodically under the right conditions of moisture and temperature. Sounds likewise usually have natural explanations; or, they can remain imbedded in a building for long periods of time.
Green’s own experience bore this out in an interesting way in 1976, when he met his wife-to-be, Norah Cawthorne. A mutual friend asked him to look into a mysterious smell of perfume in her old farm cottage. The perfume pervaded the sitting room inexplicably at times, usually in the evenings. Norah was not worried or frightened, but was curious to find an explanation.
Together they established that the smell was that of an old Victorian perfume based on the mignonette flower. It had been used heavily for years by a previous tenant, an old woman thought to have died in the cottage. The perfume aroma apparently seeped into the exposed oak beams. When a fire was lit in the inglenook fireplace in the evenings, the heat warmed the beams and released the smell.
Green wrote and lectured on ghosts and hauntings and made frequent appearances on radio and television shows throughout the U.K. His philosophy inspired novelist James Herbert to base his parapsychologist protagonist, Chris Bishop, on Green in Herbert’s bestseller, The Dark.
Green authored more than 15 nonfiction books and numerous articles on ghosts and hauntings.
, with foreword by Tom Perrott.
He contributed “The Ghostly Army” to Famous Ghosts and Hauntings (1998) and “The Ghosts I Have Known” to Weird World 1999 (1999). Famous Ghosts and Hauntings also includes a contribution from Norah Green, “The Haunting of Hampton Court.”
- Murdie, Alan. “Andrew Green.” Available online. URL: https:// www.ghostclub.org.uk/green_obit.html. Downloaded September 20, 2006.