Wyley, Graham

Graham Wyley (1936–2000) was an English investigator of hauntings, ghosts, Poltergeists, and related paranormal phenomena. Graham Wyley investigated more than 500 cases throughout the United Kingdom. He was called “Britain’s Number One Ghostbuster” by the media and was consulted by numerous celebrities and members of the British aristocracy.

Wyley was born on February 24, 1936, in Harrow, Middlesex, to a middle-class family. He had a private school education at Harrow. He graduated in 1951 and then worked in fi nance in the City of London. In 1955, he joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a salesman and engineer. After 17 years, he left to become self-employed as a precision engineer. Health reasons required him to give up that line of work after eight years, and he turned to running a fl orist and greengrocer shop in Lynton. In the mid-1980s, he sold that business and devoted himself full time to investigating the paranormal. Wyley lived in Brixham, Devon, with his wife, Thelma, who assisted him in investigations. They were married in 1980.

From an early age, Wyley was interested in the paranormal. During his employment with NASA, he became interested in UFOs because of astronauts’ accounts of encounters with strange vehicles. This interest eventually shifted to poltergeists and ghosts, and Wyley began to investigate reports of hauntings.

His investigations initially involved ghost-hunting techniques popularized by Harry Price, Peter Underwood, and others. He soon discovered he had a natural clairsentience for detecting unseen presences and began to rely upon his own psychic sense in assessing a situation. He took photographs, using regular film, if he felt there was a presence at a site. The photographs and negative often showed unusual or unexplainable phenomena.

Wyley believed ghosts are earthbound spirits, the lowest form of the spirit world. They belong to persons who do not live out their intended life span, but die prematurely of accident, illness, murder, or SUICIDE. For various reasons, some of these spirits remain earthbound because of unfinished business. They usually haunt the place where they were happiest in life or the place where they died. Few of them are negative; those that seem so because of the phenomena they produce are usually frustrated or angry at being earthbound. When their unfinished business is discovered, the ghosts are released from their earthly imprisonment and move on to the next higher spiritual plane. Successful exorcisms require the projection of loving thoughts and energy toward the trapped spirits (see Spirit Releasement). Psychic investigation itself can lead to releasement of the earthbound spirits: as soon as their unfinished business is discovered, they seem to be liberated. Wyley said he could communicate with ghosts mentally and learn their identity. He performed numerous SPIRIT releasements and has done so on live television. However, he did not consider himself a Medium, because he did not access the higher planes where the ghosts go after releasement.

Wyley said that ghosts retain a low-level intelligence that enables them to make their presence known and to communicate with a psychically receptive individual. About 1 in 12 persons is able to sense a nonphysical presence. He experienced a range of marked physical symptoms when he came into the presence of a ghost. His body temperature dropped dramatically, the hair on the back of his neck and arms stood up, his arms tingled, and his eyes watered. He felt rooted to the spot. He was fond of staying up between midnight and 4 A.M., for he experienced these as the most active hours for hauntings.

Poltergeists, he said, are created under the same circumstances of premature death as ghosts; however, the individuals concerned suffered great abuse during childhood, which, postmortem, creates a negative emotional content to the haunting. Wyley said he encountered no poltergeists that seem to be nonhuman entities.

Wyley’s investigations led him to conclude that poltergeists manifest according to a three-year cycle. During the first year, they make their presence known. In the second year, they cause violent movement of objects. In the third year, they make physical contact with their victims, causing accidents, marks and bruises, and perpetrating sexual assaults. Their purpose, according to Wyley, is to force humans to vacate spaces they feel belong to them. He released them in the same manner as ghosts, by attempting to discover their unfinished business and by projecting loving energy to them.

Wyley also believed that some hauntings are not due to earthbound spirits but are merely the psychic vibrations of events that linger in a spot. These “recordings” have no intelligence and are not threatening in nature; thus no releasements are effective. Some of these recordings inexplicably fade with time.

According to Wyley, ghosts and poltergeists take energy from three primary sources in order to manifest phenomena. One source is leys, which are believed to be invisible lines of earth energy. Many haunted sites sit on top of intersecting leys. A second source is static electricity. A third is bioelectric energy, the body’s own force field. Poltergeists in particular draw bioelectric energy from children.

After years of investigating and exorcising spirits, Wyley found that his own psychic healing powers developed, including the ability to perform absent spiritual healings. He used these powers to help individuals who sought his assistance.

One of Wyley’s more interesting possessions was a miniature skeleton purported to be that of an adult man. The shrunken form, 10 inches tall, is called “William” and “The Little Man.” It was found in 1974, walled up in an old sea chest in a Brixham cottage. Reportedly, whoever has owned or touched the skeleton has fallen into bad luck and disaster. Wyley came into possession of William in 1990. He kept the skeleton in a box with a glass lid. Apparently he and Thelma were impervious to its alleged curse, for they have been able to keep and touch the bones without ill effect. The skeleton was examined by a Home Offi ce pathologist, who pronounced it genuine.

According to mediums consulted, the skeleton is that of William Young, an 18th-century slave trader from Brixham. Young had been 5 feet, 11 inches in height. In Gambia, Africa, he was cursed by a witch doctor and began to shrink. He died of illness at age 48 in 1747, only 10 inches tall. Local church records document that a small casket was paid for by the church at about the same date. The sum was sixpence.

Wyley worked on ghost-related television and film programs, and interviewed celebrities about their paranormal experiences. One featured Dame Barbara Cartland, best-selling romantic novelist with more than 500 books published, and the step-grandmother of Princess Diana. Cartland held a strong belief in the supernatural since she was a girl in the 1920s. While on holiday in Corinth with her elder brother, Ronald, she encountered a phantom building. Villagers later told them that a real building had stood on the site but had been destroyed many years earlier.

Cartland also called on Wyley to help her with a haunted guest room. He identified the source of trouble as the restless spirit of a German student who had died in the room at the turn of the 20th century.

Wyley wrote Strange West Country Hauntings (1989); Ghosts of Brixham (1990); and Witches (1998), as well as books on magic, curses, and the entertainment industry and celebrities. Wyley died in 2000 after a long battle with cancer.


  • Moran, Sarah. “Freeing the Spirit.” Paragon Online. Available online. URL: https://binky.paragon.co.uk/ features/ Paranormal_ft/wyleyfeat.html. Downloaded Aug. 10, 1999.
  • Wyley, Graham. Strange West Country Hauntings. Brixham, England: G. & T. Books, 1989.
  • ———. Ghosts of Brixham. Exeter, England: Obelisk Publications, 1990.


The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits– Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – September 1, 2007