On Saturday, The Westway Cinema in Frome took a few steps closer to moving into the digital age as a healthy mix of spiritual believers and curious sceptics gathered for Paranormal Activity True – a fundraising evening of film, mediumship and ghost-hunting.
Led by Andrew Carter, from The Paranormal 5, the audience was first introduced to cinema owner Martina O'Connor (pictured) who talked passionately about how a picture house has stood on the site for 74 years and how her parents bought the cinema in the early 1980s. Everyone in attendance warmly shared her feeling towards the independent cinema.
Spiritual mediums Steve Howell and Pete Tomlinson got the evening off to an entertaining start and, despite struggling with a few technical gremlins, offered comfort to several people in the audience with messages of love from the other side.
Plenty of spirits of the alcohol variety was celebrated during a brief intermission before Steve returned to the stage for a second, more relaxed, session of mediumship and laughter. As a curious non-believer, it was with great humour to me that Steve focussed on my close friends, claiming he heard wedding bells for the happy couple in July ... and specifically the date of my birthday. We laughed it off as something of a spooky coincidence.
Following this second session of mediumship both Steve and Pete were happy to talk and give readings in the foyer, while the hit movie, Paranormal Activity 4 was shown in the main house.
Following the film, VIP ticket holders got the opportunity to go on a ghost hunt in the cinema – it was a fascinating insight into the history of the cinema and despite leaving sucking a thoughtful tooth, nothing occurred to make me believe in life beyond the grave ... on this occasion.
Following the event Martina said: "I was absolutely gob-smacked. Not only was it wonderful that we could raise a total of £2,000 for the digital funds, but it was lovely to help so many people with their bereavement and give them a sense of closure. It was an amazing night and I'd like to thank the paranormal team who gave their time and energy to help the cinema.
"I'd also like to thank all the people of Frome for once again supporting us. We will be definitely looking to replicate the paranormal night again in the future."