Spectre Detectors is a group of paranormal investigators based in County Durham England and on September 8th, 2018 we travelled to London to investigate The Whitechapel Murders. I had arranged for us to be taken to the murder scenes by Ripper expert Russell Edwards. Russell has a book published about the murders titled Naming Jack The Ripper and is the owner of a shawl believed to belong to the murderer, thought to be Aaron Kominski. Kosminski was a Polish barber and hairdresser and was a suspect in the Ripper case.
We started our tour with Russell and the area where we were stood was where the destitute went and was a very violent area. When regular people came it was for three things, alcohol, drugs, and sex. No one drank the water because of disease, they drank ale instead and people brewed and sold gin from their homes. Drugs back then were laudanum (which was an alcoholic herbal mixture containing 10% opium), opium, and arsenic. Wives were being hanged, accused of murdering their husbands when in fact they just overdosed.
In the old days, prostitutes were called unfortunates – unfortunate meant you lived a day-to-day existence. You got up and if you couldn’t get matches or flowers to sell or anything you could find, you had to sell your body because you had to get yourself a bed in a doss house. The doss houses had tons of beds crammed into one room and you were sleeping with all and sundry. It really was just somewhere to put your head down for the night.
As we were making our way to the next site, we caught some EVPs on the voice recorder. A man said to, “Help him,” and a lady said, “Look…Mary.” The five murder victims’ names were Polly Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Kelly. Before Polly Nichols was murdered, someone called Martha Tabram was also killed.
Russell walked us down the streets where the doss houses were, trying to give us an insight into what it was like in 1888. One of the former doss houses was split in half, no. 11 and 11 ½, with two doorways. This is the type of dwelling where you would find an unfortunate (prostitute). You would get your 4 penny ‘seen to’, and this area was a hive of activity. Families sometimes used to rent a room and would share the room with all and sundry. The beds were called pits and they used to stink.
At this point, about 2 minutes from where the 2nd murder victim was found, we caught on EVP saying, “Help him,” and, “Mary.” We continued to the 2nd murder scene, located at 29 Hanbury Street, where a lady used to sell rotting horseflesh for cat meat from her living room. We’re told that 16 people lived there.
On 8th Sept 1888 at 5.45 am the victim was found (exactly 130 years to the date of our visit), and her name was Annie Chapman. He had cut her from the ribcage down past her pubic area and had laid a flap of skin to the side of the body. He then pulled out her intestines and threw them over her shoulder. Her uterus was missing, and he had also tried to cut her head off.
It would have been dark at 5.45 am and the murderer will have stood exactly where we were stood. He would have been covered in blood and somehow, he just vanished into thin air. This really caused an alarm as the 1st victim had been murdered just a week before and 3 weeks before that Martha was stabbed 39 times. This led to a public outcry forcing police to have double shifts.
Russell then showed us where the Ripper lived, and we visited the scenes of the 3rd and 4th victims. We stopped at the site of the Frying Pan Pub, where Mary Anne Nichols (the first victim) was drinking on the last day that she was alive. Mary Anne, or Polly as she was known, lived on Front Street.
We continued with Russell to another site, we felt that someone had been attacked there and suffered real pain in the genital area. Russell told us about a victim called Emma Elizabeth Smith. She was followed by 3 teenagers; they beat her to the ground and shoved a stick between her legs so badly that they ruptured her perineum. It is believed that they may have done it to take her livelihood away because she wouldn’t pay protection money. Emma died of peritonitis the next day. Emma wasn’t one of the Ripper victims, but she was still a victim, nevertheless. Life around the East end of London for an unfortunate was extremely dangerous.
We came back to the story about Martha…Martha Tabram was on a pub crawl, it was a bank holiday, and it was raining. At about 11.30 pm she along with another unfortunate, named Pearly Poll met 2 soldiers but decided to split up to do their business. Pearly Poll took hers for a 4p knee trembler and Martha took hers to a building archway. Later, when another resident was on his way to work, he found Martha’s body on the first stairwell covered in blood. She was stabbed 38 times with a penknife and once with a blade, a total of 39 times – mainly in her private area. Poor Martha is buried in an unmarked grave.
We carried on walking in Martha’s footsteps. We made our way through a park where I caught an EVP saying, “You’re joking.” Dean also saw a dark shadow figure, wearing glasses, very slim, tall and wearing some type of wide-brimmed hat, and he appeared to be medically trained. He also connected with a man who seemed to have mother issues, as if his mother was a prostitute in his eyes and he looked at her like she was dirty. I started to feel sick and had stomach pain and so did Shayna. I also felt a burning feeling in my throat, and Lorraine felt like she had something stuffed into her mouth.
Next, we entered the road where Aaron lived, his brother Woolf lived nearby and there was an old synagogue at the end of the road. When the protection was at its height, Aaron lived right in the centre of it.
From there we went to the murder scene of Mary Kelly. Mary was the only victim that was murdered away from the streets. He could take his time with this one. Mary had her heart ripped out, and Hannah felt that there was a child there who witnessed the murder. Hannah felt that Mary was pregnant. It was believed that she was pregnant, and he took her baby. Russell was once again with the information that the mediums were picking up as some of this isn’t common knowledge, and we didn’t know which scenes we were going to in which order so would be almost impossible to cheat.
We did a portal session here. The voices coming from it seemed to be female. Were we talking to the victims? They told us that the ripper was mentally ill, but that he was also abused as a child. The lady told us she was Annie. Could it be Annie Chapman? Dean became aware of something and started panicking. He ran away and left something behind as someone was coming. He got up fast and was worried about his face. There was something wrong with his chest, like pneumonia. He found the energy to run but left something behind.
Next was the site of the 3rd victim Elizabeth Stride. Shayna felt the ripper hiding in the shadows. He wore a mask like a highwayman. Russell said it was the scarf. I started to get severe pain in my Left ear. Russell said that he had chopped the Left ear off. Elizabeth’s body had been where the drain was, her face facing the wall. I was doing some spirit photography and when I looked I had caught a dark figure stood behind Russell which was amazing but what was even more amazing was that I had caught a photo of a figure laid in the exact spot where Elizabeth was murdered. The lady in the photo was in exactly the same position as the body was found.
Hannah told the group that she could see him lurking around the corner. He was hiding behind the wall. Shayna felt that one of the ladies had been raped and had ended up pregnant by him.
We decided to do another portal session here. I asked if Mary Kelly was pregnant and the portal said, “Cutting me across my stomach and it got took.” Was Mary Kelly pregnant and was the baby taken? She also said that she knew the murderer. A man also spoke through the portal and said, “Kosminski”. I asked if it was his DN on the shawl and he responded with “all over it”, and “Michaelmas”. Michaelmas was significant as there were Michaelmas daisies on the shawl. I asked how many of the ladies were with us and the portal said, “Five.” The portal then screamed, “Just around the corner!” Is this where he hid? I asked Russell what this victim was called and he replied, “Elizabeth Stride, Long Liz.” The portal said, “Elizabeth Stride” and “Swedish”. Elizabeth Stride was in fact from Sweden.
We headed towards the 4th murder victim. Hannah felt that Mary Kelly already knew the murderer as did Catherine Eddowes. Russell agreed that he thought the girls knew him. He also wondered if The Ripper was impotent because he was schizophrenic as from a professional point of view schizophrenics can have a tendency to masturbate excessively, and Aaron was prone to self-abuse. He ate half of the kidney of one of the victims and sent the other half to the police addressed to George Lusk. The letter said that he’d eaten half of the kidney fried with bacon. We did another portal session. This time the ladies talked about abortion and a man was laughing as he said “Jack” and talked about cutting. The portal also said “Aaron, Ripper, Kosminski”.
So, the man that committed the 5 murders was called Aaron Kosminski and just after the murder of Mary Kelly he totally lost his mind. He tried to murder his sister and his brothers had finally had enough, so they handed him over to the police. He was taken to a police seaside home in Hove which still stands and is called Clarendon Villas. He was identified by Israel Schartz, and he gave an unhesitating identification that this was the man that attacked Elizabeth Stride on the night that she was murdered. Unfortunately, under Jewish law, if you don’t report the incident to the police, you are as good as the perpetrator so he couldn’t testify. This immediately certified him; everybody was watching for the Ripper as there was a lot of anti-Semitism back then. The police quietly put him in a workhouse and watched him so that he couldn’t commit another murder, this was in 1889, and in 1891 they put him in the Leavesden asylum where he died of gangrene at the age of 54 on the 24th March 1919.
And just like that, at the end of the day, we had covered every area that these poor ladies had risked their lives working in, so that they could have a bed for the night. People were down alleys sleeping rough and injecting drugs. People were begging for money to buy drink and drugs. It was a totally different place in the dark. As we were walking those same streets at night, we became aware that not much has changed, and the area is still the same as it was back then.