Matthew Manning is a best-selling British author and alleged psychic healer who claims he and his family were subjected to a large amount of paranormal activity during his early years.
One of the most intriguing mysteries of modern times involves a young Englishman named Matthew Manning. Mathew was 16 when in 1971 he first came face-to-face with a 300-year-old ghost. It was a meeting that had a profound effect on his life - a life affected by the supernatural, paranormal and bizarre.
Since then he has developed strange psychic powers - such as the ability to bend forks, stop watches, and prevent electricity from flowing. But all this was yet to come on the day Matthew saw the shadowy figure on the staircase of his 17th-century house in the village of Linton, in Cambridgeshire.
At first, he thought it was a burglar; then he realised it was a ghost. He spoke to the ghost - and the spirit replied. It even remained long enough for Matthew to sketch it. This was the start of a long and fascinating association.
Matthew learned that the ghost's name was Robert Webbe and that he was born in the house in 1678. He added the front portion of the house, where he was usually seen, in 1730, and died there about three years later.
Webbes clothes and wig were of the 1720s style, and he walked with the aid of two sticks, complaining of his "troublesome legs." Matthew said, "when I saw him, I thought he was completely solid. He was wearing a green frock coat with frilled cuffs and a cream cravat. He said, "I must offer you my most humble apology for giving you so much fright, but I must walk for my blessed legs."
"I grabbed an old envelope and pencil and sketched him where he stood. A few moments later he turned, walked up the stairs, and disappeared." Sometime later, Matthew discovered he had the power of automatic writing: when the writer lets his hand and a pen be guided by another mind. In this way, he exchanged many messages with Robert Webbe and was able to check the historical accuracy of some things he was told.
Then Webbe began writing on the walls of Matthew's bedroom, although he was never seen doing it. Over a six-day period in July 1971, more than 500 penciled names and dates appeared on the walls. They were in a variety of styles of handwriting and were the names of Webbe, his family, and other families who had lived in the area. The majority were from his own lifetime, but there were some from periods ranging from 1355 to 1959.
Matthew was not the only member of his family to be caught up in this supernatural world. His father, architect Derek Manning, told of vividly real sensations he had experienced while lying in bed. He was often awakened by the sensation that someone had climbed into his bed and superimposed another body on his. He even heard the scratching of a man's unshaven chin on the sheets beside him.
Sometimes he felt as though he was "standing in a cage, looking out onto a purple sky, with rocks all around the entrance." Then it seemed as though he was "in the centre of someone's mouth, looking out through their teeth." At the same time, he experienced a prickling and tingling in the lower right leg, which eventually spread through both legs - similar to the symptoms of gout. This is almost certainly what pained Robert Webbe and may eventually have caused his death.
The ghost has sometimes played mischievous games on Matthew and his family. Strange antique objects have been found on the stairs. Some of the family's possessions have been spirited away. Things like old prints from the walls, a scarf, and a 50p from a money box which was later found abandoned on the stairs.
The bed in Matthew's parents' bedroom was often found with the covers thrown back, and sometimes the pillows have been defined as though a person has been resting his head on them. Pyjamas left unbuttoned and neatly folded under a pillow have been found buttoned up.
Other strange happenings included the sudden smell of strong pipe tobacco - although no one in the family smokes - the sound of footsteps ringing from empty rooms, the aroma of old, musty books, and the stink of rotten flesh. Sometimes the family would hear the ringing of a handbell from the hallway - although there was no such bell in the house. On other occasions, a candle was found lit on the cloakroom floor.
When Matthew asked Webbe about these strange happenings, he admitted he was responsible. It was his house, he told Matthew, and he could do whatever he wanted in it.
The eeriest experience of all was when Matthew came face-to-face with Webbe in his parents' bedroom and attempted to shake hands with him. His outstretched hand went right through the hand of the ghost. Nevertheless, Matthew managed to give him a present - a doll's wooden clog which belonged to his sister. He held it out in friendship - and experienced an eerie feeling of timelessness. The ghost grabbed the clog and thrust it into the large pocket of his coat.
The next occurrence startled even Matthew, by now well used to the peculiar. The ghost of Webbe gradually faded away to grey and then nothing, and the doll's clog vanished with him. Who is the ghostly Robert Webbe, and why has he haunted this house so constantly?
Matthew said, "He was a grain trader who was very proud of the house he enlarged so grandly but did not live long enough to enjoy. He wanted to take the house with him."
"I think that is why he is going round and round in a strange sort of time loop, trapped by his own will in infinity. From time to time, someone in the house provides him with enough psychic energy to allow him to make contact."
Ironically, when Matthew once got in touch with the ghost to ask him questions raised by his research into local history, Robert Webbe said he did not believe in ghosts, and there were none in the house! Now you have read about Matthew Manning, make sure you read about the Marine Ghost Demands Justice: The Restless Spirit Of A Young Man Who Wanted The Truth To Be Known