Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ghostbuster; Ghost Hunter Darren Ritson Has Spent Countless Nights Searching for Spooks in Some of the Region's Most Haunted Places. VICKY ROBSON Speaks to Him about His Passion for the Paranormal - and His Latest Book

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Ghostbuster; Ghost Hunter Darren Ritson Has Spent Countless Nights Searching for Spooks in Some of the Region's Most Haunted Places. VICKY ROBSON Speaks to Him about His Passion for the Paranormal - and His Latest Book

Article excerpt

Byline: VICKY ROBSON

STARING through his bedroom doorway late one night, a young Darren Ritson couldn't believe his eyes.

Shaking himself fully awake, he sat up in his bed to have another look at the ghostly figure of a boy the same age glaring back at him.

It was years later, after Darren had put the chilling childhood experience behind him, when he discovered the shocking truth about the incident.

"It was late one night when for some reason I woke up and saw what looked like the ghost of a young boy," says Darren, now 39.

"I rubbed my eyes and had another look, but he was still standing there staring at me."

The eerie encounter took place in Darren's first family home in Walker, Newcastle. It was one of several "strange experiences" Darren claims to have had as a child.

"I can remember feeling strangely embarrassed because I didn't have a top on at the time," he adds.

"I must have fallen straight back to sleep, but when I woke up in the morning I noticed I was wearing my T-shirt inside out.

"I knew I'd taken my top off before I went to bed and remember putting it on to cover myself up in the middle of the night.

"As stupid as it sounds, I wasn't bothered with the fact I was seeing a ghost, I was bothered about covering myself up in front of him.

"And as much as I like believing in stuff like this, I just thought at the time that I must have been dreaming and put it to the back of my mind.

"When I was speaking to my dad a few years later, I told him all about it and he just went white."

Darren then learned of the tragic death of a young boy who had lived in the house previously. It is believed the youngster had been chased out to play in the street by his parents, but had instead wandered on to some nearby railway lines and was electrocuted.

The discovery shocked Darren, but also sparked his interest in the supernatural.

"Looking back now, the way he was staring at me was almost as if he was saying 'Who are you and what are you doing in my house?'" Darren says.

Since the incident, Darren's passion for the paranormal has grown. The civil servant spends most of his spare time camping out in hotbeds of supernatural activity.

He's even spent a night in a reportedly haunted aircraft cockpit in a bid to try and snare some spooks.

Although Darren hasn't had a paranormal encounter for a few years now, it hasn't stopped him from becoming somewhat of a specialist in the field - with a string of books to his name.

His latest is Haunted Tyneside, which delves into the myths and legends surrounding some of the area's most famous buildings and landmarks.

"I just find it fascinating," says Darren, who lives in Howdon, North Tyneside, with his partner Jayne and their five-year-old daughter, Abbey. …

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