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Benny Hill.
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LIKE most people on these glorious summer mornings, when the birds are singing and the cool sea air blows white candy floss clouds across the sky, I awake and ask: “Will I die today?”

Sorry, when I say ‘most people’, I mean most middle-aged men. The brighter the day, the darker our moods. I mean, what is it all about? Honestly, why are we here, what is our purpose (bar the ironing and cleaning the toilets) and is there a grand plan for our existence beyond putting the bins out on a Tuesday?

Surely there’s more to our three score years and ten than this? We can’t just live, get older, and then WHAM! that’s it?

Rest easy. Within the pages of the Sunderland Echo all those questions are answered.

What happens when we die? Well, we become ghosts.

I read it last week. The proof was provided by the Ghost Hauntings Overnight Surveillance Team (I forget their acronym so will call them the Ghoverllance Team for short) whose incredible findings featured on the pages of the Echo.

The Ghoverllance Team consist of, among others, Fiona Vipond, 42, and her partner Drew Bartley, 47, of Tunstall.

They’re paranormal investigators. Not full-time paranormal investigators, of course. It tends to be a night-shift occupation. Like glass collecting and exotic dancing.

By day, Fiona runs Park Grange Advanced Skin Clinic, in Grange Terrace. As we know, there’s a natural affinity between the beauty industry and the supernatural. Some of the greatest ghost-hunters of our time started in the skin care game. It’s not widely reported, but vampire hunter Doctor Van Helsing was an Avon Lady in his early 20s.

The Ghoverllance Team appeared in the Echo because their investigations into Wearside hauntings proved so compelling that the hit American TV show My Ghost Story agreed to screen their findings.

I’m a bit of a sceptic about these things, but after reading this terrifying story, I was forced to reconsider my position.

Fiona, in particular, we reported, had experienced some hair-raising encounters during her 10 years in the ghost-busting business.

The colour drained from my face as I read her quotes.

“I’ve had my bottom pinched a few times,” she told our reporter. Even I, a grown man of 47, was forced to stifle a scream as she went on to reveal: “I don’t know whether it is cheeky kids or randy old men.”

My blood ran cold.

And the Ghoverllance Team are no bunch of cheap, fly-by-night sensationalists. In fact, they’re not even ghost-hunters, if the truth be know. They are, like me, sceptics who work scientifically to disprove paranormal theories.

“Nowadays,” said Fiona, “you can’t just tell people what you have found, you have to have evidence to back yourself up.”

So what does the Ghoverllance Team have that sets them apart from the many scientists and theologians who have struggled for centuries to confirm the existence of an afterlife? Why the K2 meter, of course.

“Even I can’t disprove the K2 meter,” said Fiona. While that’s good enough for me, I get the impression you may want more.

The ghost-confirming K2 meter measures electromagnetic frequencies. And what are electromagnetic frequencies?

Well, they are variations in wavelengths of electric and magnetic fields formed from the induction of... erm, well, they’re ghost fingerprints aren’t they?

You can buy a K2 meter from eBay for about £45.

The K2 meter measures ghost activity by providing instantaneous responses to EMF fluctuations and spikes... the indisputable scientific evidence of paranormal activity, erm, according to ghost hunters. Batteries not included.

We struggled long and hard for a headline for this incredible story. I wanted to go with “Proof of Afterlife Revealed at Last.” The editor preferred “God’s Existence Questioned After Ghost Team Revelation.”

In the end we pooled our resources and gave this story the gravitas it deserved.

We settled on “‘Randy Ghost Pinched My Bum,’ Claims Sunderland Spook Hunter.”

It was good to be alive that morning.