Originally from Braintree in Essex, Ian John Shillito, is a sensitive and ghost hunter. After studying fine art and theatre design, he ended up working as a Stage Manager in London’s Theatre land. Since he was a child, he had many spiritual and paranormal encounters but put it all to one side.
The spiritual side of his life resurfaced in 2002 after a visit to Ayers Rock in Australia. Things changed from then on. He ended up developing his awareness and discovered a latent passion. He was fortunate to be asked to participate on series 8 of MH and MH live. He is the first psychic to be buried alive on national television in an experiment to discover whether a psychic can pick up on residual energy deep within the earth of a haunted moat.
Ian now runs The London Paranormal Society.
Interview by Paul & Mandy of Paranormal United
Q: Hello Ian, firstly may we thank you for taking the time to answer our questions today. So Ian can you tell us a little about the London Paranormal Society and how it came about?
A: The London Paranormal society was created in order to give the people of London and the south-east a chance to participate in a paranormal vigil. I want to try and dispel the fear created by the current trend in the supernatural as I feel it can hamper our spiritual connection. London is one of the most haunted cities in the world and this is due to its 2000 year history and 2000 year habitation. Wherever there is history, there are ghosts. I feel most haunted locations are full of visual memories, thought forms and masses of psychic energy. I feel spirit have better things to do rather than hang around in turmoil rattling chains.
Q: When we last spoke you where in the midst of having your first book published. Can you give us an update on how pen and paper have gone and what’s in store for us?
A: ‘West End Theatre Ghosts, a paranormal journey’ is released Halloween 2007 Tempus Publishing, Myself and co-author, Becky Walsh, have investigated and compiled all the theatres ghost and paranormal stories in London’s West End. We have interviewed many West End stars and backstage staff, including Judy Dench and Donald Sinden. I’m busy editing and researching photographs. I am also working on another ghost project which will remain secret for the time being – but its great fun.
Q: It’s now over two years since you began working as a psychic medium. How old were you when you recognised you had ‘the gift’, how did you develop it and what made you make the move professionally into this field?
A: Things change so rapidly, I never really like to label things especially myself. If I have to, I prefer to call myself a sensitive these days. Society makes tremendous assumptions regarding psychics and mediums, and immediately put you into a box and expect you to act in a certain way. I am just plain old Ian from Essex. I do what I do. In hindsight I noticed strange things happen throughout my life, I seemed to attract some sort of paranormal activity. When I was very young, I remember talking to, what looked like an elemental. The being sat on top of my wardrobe most nights chatting way.
I went through a fairly traumatic time in 2002 and ended up taking myself off to Australia, it was here whilst standing alone at Ayers Rock that something happened. A wake up call I can’t really explain it. There is something very spiritual about Australia. I came back to London and started to meet people on the same path. I went to the college of psychic studies in London (a great first port of call for anyone interested in this field, tho they are not a great fan on the paranormal) I am and always will be developing or as I call it unfolding. I learn new things every day. I am not one of the x – men or have a special gift. I have what we all have – The ability to listen to our inner psychic.
Q: You are best known to us through Living TV’s Most Haunted. What is/was it like working on the show, and has it affected your professional career positively, or do you feel being in the public eye has been detrimental?
A: It was a great experience working on the show, I learnt a lot. More than anything I realised my passion lay with understanding the paranormal, after all I have experienced it for most of my life. I had the chance to travel across the country as a guest of paranormal companies. I wanted the public the experience the night vigil but more importantly I wanted them to feel something, more often than not, it is only there own psychic energy- but sometimes that is enough to open a doorway to their own spiritual journey. It is something that I continue to do. I am very bemused by the whole psychic celebrity thing and don’t really understand the nations current obsession with fame. I’m not in the public eye and don’t get recognised and I am happy with that.
Q: Would you want to go down the line of Derek Acorah & Colin Fry, to name a few, and become a regular on a TV show, which of course can bring about some criticism, normally thanks to the British press or would you prefer to stay at a less publicised level?
A: To be honest, its time to move on. It was very important a few years ago for the then minority grouped psychics to have a prime time slot. It opened a pathway and got spiritual awareness into many people’s homes. This had a time limit. They now have to pull away for a while in order to let the dust settle and let people make up there own minds up. Some of the best mediums in the world work normal day jobs although it is good to have role models, however the sceptics and press are always there sharpening there knives. It is certainly a road I would not go down now.
Q: Parapsychologists are always looking for the scientific evidence to endorse mediums gifts. Have you ever undergone any ‘tests’ of this kind and how do you warrant them?
A: I haven’t had any tests done. It’s not an area I wish to enter. If the parapsychologists need evidence then they ought to be attending some of the closed physical mediumship circles that are happening recently. Actual spirit manifestation – what more proof will they need?
Q: What would be your advice to any reader who has a gift but is unsure how to channel and develop it?
A: For starters it’s not a gift – we all have an ability to communicate, however some are highly tuned. Also stop trying! Let it happen naturally, if you are seeing actual manifested spirit forms, then go to your local spiritual church, it ok for a first port of call. If you are running around haunted locations, sensing spirit then the chances are you are psychically picking up on residual energies. Still very paranormal and interesting. Enjoy it, read as much as possible but don’t take everything on board, make your own mind up.
Q: You often hear mediums being asked if they can foresee the lottery results or help at casino. How would you answer such a question?
A: I don’t feel it is possible to foretell the exact future, as we all have fee will. It is said that one can’t use ones abilities for financial gain. However we can start to use the universal law of attraction – like attracts like and positive thinking. Create a positive thought and put it in the present – ‘ I am financially abundant’ visualize yourself sitting in a bath of dosh – the day I did it, I received the phone call from my publisher!
Q: Returning to your paranormal experience. Of all the sites you have investigated in your career we must ask what’s the most memorable experience and why?
A: Bodelwydenn Castle in North Wales, with my mates from Haunted Experience. We all witnessed, what can be only described as a mini universe of light and starts appear all over a wall and ceiling. One sceptic guy started crying at the beauty of it all. Then a small blue light appeared in the centre pulsing. It was amazing.
Q: Last year you were buried alive for two hours with Karl Beattie (Most Haunted) in the grounds of Southsea Castle. Many viewers saw your initial reaction. Can you tell us about this extraordinary event and your thoughts now you have had some time to reflect?
A: It was all very quick to be honest, after the first 30 mins I relaxed. I came out of it realising that we all have residual images flicking continuously through our sub conscious mind. If we takeaway a sense and other distractions then we start to go into a mild medative state. The images then become more apparent. It’s a great ice breaker at parties!
Q: We have read you are going to investigate the Secret Nuclear Bunker 20 miles outside London in March 2007. What made you want to investigate such a place, what do you hope to find, and will you be covering the whole bunker, including the laboratory, dorms, military HQ etc?
A: I am very interested in proving history and time can create ghosts.( residual replay) I am also interested how we all create psychic energy under certain psychological conditions. The bunker is a three floored concrete cell hidden 100 feet in the ground – the longer one stays the stranger one feels. Turn off the lights and anything thing could happen. I am planning to concentrate on light anomalies created by our fear. I adore this location. I am fed up with haunted castles and pubs
Q: What other sites you are planning to investigate in the near future and what interests you about them?
A: That’s a big secret – I am currently going on rekkie’s in London and found some hidden gems I never knew existed. I try to find places that haven’t been investigated before. However, I have been asked to participate with this years paranormal trade show 12th+13th May – The Mystic Arts festival. LPS are holding 2 special events that weekend. On Sunday 13th, we are very privileged to investigate The London Dungeon. To book – www.themysticarts.co.uk, also we are coming to Sunderland and the North East Aircraft museum on march 17th to book – firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Is there anyone in the paranormal field today that you would like to work with on such an investigation and why?
A: I would like to work with Chris Fleming (Dead Famous); I like his enthusiasm and passion. Also I would like to work again with Steve Parsons (Para-science) I like his attitude, sense of humour and his interest in the science of spirit.
Q: Of the many paranormal programmes that are now on television which ones do you watch or rate?
A: To be honest, I rarely watch them anymore. I did see a few episodes of USA show – Ghost hunters a while back- very down to earth.
Q: We know of late you have been asked to become the patron of The Alex Galpin Foundation. Can you tell us about the foundation and why it is so important to you?
A: The Foundation was created in order to raise money for a care home for the spiritually minded. Alex was in tune with spirit and unfortunately became very ill. Eventually, he had to go into a care home. His spirit awareness was seen as a side effect to medication and not treated sympathetically. Obviously, this was very frustrating for Alex. We hope to raise awareness to this issue and in term open a suitable home. I am first on the list!
Q: What else do you have planned for 2007, any plans for you to return to the TV screens in the paranormal field in the near future?
A: I want to concentrate getting the society up and running and also establishing my series of Ghostly Encounter workshops throughout the year. There is always space for paranormal TV, but I feel the psychic programmes are becoming tiresome. I have several projects that can eventually morph into possible TV shows but at present it’s all on paper. Who knows what lies in store? Not knowing is part of the fun
Many thanks to Ian Shillito for taking part in this interview, and we wish him every success with his new books and investigations.