Being a cherished number plate dealer I advertise nationally for registrations, so when a lady phoned me during November 1996 to ask my opinion on a certain number plate I took it as just another inquiry however as she spoke I felt she had a worried tone to her voice. She told me that a good friend of hers had purchased a Ford Capri bearing the registration "ARK 666Y". She then continued to tell me that since owning the vehicle her friend had encountered numerous problems with his neighbours who found the registration and car gave them "bad vibes".
I told the lady to get her friend to phone me as I might be interested in purchasing the number. Within ten minutes the gentleman in question was talking with me on the phone. I immediately realised he was agitated about the ill feeling towards the car from his friends and neighbours. At this particular time we could not get a deal together but when I contacted him again in January 1997 I was successful in purchasing the vehicle and he delivered the car to a spot only three miles from where I lived in Eastbourne, Sussex, United Kingdom. I thought this was very strange as he lived sixty miles away in Chatham and on that day (9th January 1997) we had very heavy snow storms in the south-east area and he telephoned me two hours before our planned meeting time saying he was already there waiting for me. So he obviously wanted to sell the car quickly and at this point I should have realised something was not right because he had agreed to accept only a small sum for the vehicle and registration number combined. On receiving his telephone call I collected my friend who was going to drive the Capri to my mechanic.
As soon as he saw the vehicle my friend refused to sit in it and would not give me an explanation other than he did not feel right near the car. Hence I drove the Capri and my friend followed in my car. When we reached the garage my mechanic inspected the vehicle and showed great reluctance to work on it because of "ARK 666Y" being a sign of good against evil. He relented when I explained he was over reacting and being somewhat silly.
I left the Capri with him and a mot failure slip which the previous owner gave me. Over the next week the work needed for a mot pass on the car trebled, different things going wrong each time it went for retests. A few days before I finally got the vehicle back my mechanic phoned me in a state of shock telling me to come and collect the car. I went to see him and he explained that whilst welding underneath the car he suddenly felt he was not alone and the car started rocking as if someone had got in it. (At this point it was up on axle stands to give him room to work underneath) He carried on welding but then started to hear a mysterious murmuring like a woman talking softly coming from the inside of the car. On jumping up to look inside there was no one insight anywhere and the noise had ceased. I explained he must have imagined it all and left him to get a mot on the car. This he did and I collected it a few days later. I parked the car in my lock up garage, turned it off and got out. As I shut the garage I heard the engine running again and I checked the ignition switch which was definitely off. I put the key back in and turned it on and off and the engine stopped. I am sure the engine stopped the first time but restarted itself!
At this point I contacted the high priest of British Witches to explain to me exactly what significance "ARK 666Y" had. He explained that "ARK" comes from the bible and "666" comes from the "beast" Alistair Crowley, a black magician, hence the car is a meeting point for good against bad. On later viewing the car he confirmed that he experienced a very bad feeling when near to it.
A little while later I was present when a very good friend, whom I have known twenty one years, experienced a strange happening. My lady friend was interested in seeing the Capri as she had read about it in the papers. I started the car and drove it out of the garage, she then sat in it next to me. Whilst looking around she suddenly screamed, pointed to the back seat and jumped out the car. I looked round to see what I thought was a "shadow", at this very moment the interior mirror fell to the floor and the engine stopped. My friend would not go near the car afterwards. She insists a woman was sitting on the back seat looking at her with a strange fixed stare. In all the years I have known my friend I have never seen her so worked up and frightened before.
Another strange occurrence began the day before a film shoot on the South Downs. I had taken the car to fill up with fuel at my local garage. When I pulled up at the pumps I noticed the front passenger side wheel was on fire. I managed to extinguish the flames and called my garage for assistance. When they arrived all was back to normal but as a precaution they took the car to their garage premises on their breakdown truck. They removed the wheel to examine the car and although they could not locate a problem they advised me to change the brake caliper. I organised for the job to be done that afternoon.
The following day I finished filming about 5pm, it was wet and rather cold, and I prepared to leave the location which was up on the South Downs. Firstly I decided to put all my gear into the front of the car from the rear hatch where I had stored it during the shoot. I moved my coat, lunch bag and various other pieces. The last item was the brake caliper which had been changed the previous day and I had put in the rear hatch of the car to take to a friend who was going to inspect it for me. When I went to pick it up I immediately realised it was hot and I asked the film crew and members of the Witch coven present to witness it. They all said "it was too hot for them to hold" and would not even touch it. I actually tried to pick it up but believe me although I have no explanation I can assure you it was hot and I quickly decided to leave it alone. Also there was a strong smell of burning brake fibre coming from the caliper which I did not mention for fear of being laughed at, but later when I spoke to the people present they confirmed that they had also noticed a very strong strange burning smell. All other objects including any metal ones in the rear hatch of the vehicle were at normal temperature.
I then moved the vehicle to a different lock up garage and strangely the following night a shed only twenty yards away burnt to the ground but not before catching fire to the roof of the block of garages the Capri was in.
Yet more strange coincidences occurred when a national television company did a day long film shoot. On the evening before whilst the crew were travelling to Eastbourne the car belonging to the sound man suddenly stopped and he discovered the clutch had broken. His car had to be recovered and repaired on the day of the filming. Two magazine reporters on their way to the shoot had trouble with their car when it failed to start after they had a refreshment stop. They returned to the car after the shoot and as the vehicle still refused to start they called out a mechanic who looked over the car but could find no fault. Giving it one last try the vehicle started much to the amazement of the mechanic and the owner.
First thing in the morning I went to The Haunted Capri "ARK 666Y" and moved it from my driveway, without warning the driver's door window fell down inside the actual door and my mechanic had to repair it. Again no real explanation and this window had been winding up and down without a problem ever since I purchased the car. During one of the interviews the microphone transmitter of Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe, the presenter, fell to the floor. Lionel insists this has never occurred before in the thirty years he has been a television presenter and the transmitter had been securely placed in his inside jacket pocket. This information was backed up by the sound man who definitely placed the transmitter properly as they are not a cheap item and must be treated with care. As Lionel points out how could this item have accidentally fallen from his inside pocket as it would need to travel upwards first! Also whilst filming outside, the camera man fell with the camera and injured his chest, only his second accident in a long career. It seemed that a strange force was trying to stop the filming from taking place.
On February 4th 1998 I changed address and all was well until out of the blue the lady living opposite complained about the Capri being parked along the road near her house. I explained I was not parking outside her property so what was the problem. She replied that I was being very selfish parking a vehicle with such a strange and uneasy history near her house. She never spoke to me again and in order to stop me parking too near her property she parked her only car along the road from her house so I had to park even further from there. According to the neighbours this lady had never parked on the road but always put her vehicle in her garage when not in use. Obviously something was troubling her to the extent she did not want the car parked near her property.
On yet another occasion my son, Dean, was looking at some photos of the car and as a joke I showed them to my pet goldfish. That night I saw the figure of a person on the upstairs landing and next morning the goldfish was dead in the kitchen sink about six feet away from his fish tank. No explanation of this weird occurrence has been found.
In June 1998 I decided to transfer the registration to my partner's Celica and scrap the Capri. One evening we put the "ARK 666Y" number plates on the Celica just to see what it would look like. Having viewed the vehicle we returned the plates to the Capri and went out in the Celica. After approximately ten minutes there was a very loud explosion and on examining the car the next day we found the exhaust had exploded apart. It was so bad that she had to purchase a full exhaust system as the old one was beyond repair. This is very strange as only three weeks earlier it passed a mot inspection with no problems. Also after trying the "ARK 666Y" plates on the Celica the Capri developed starting problems and cut out a lot more often for no apparent reason. Needless to say I decided not to transfer the registration to the Celica.
At 4.30pm on 20th July 1998 I was driving the Capri when I saw a friend in his Jaguar, I waved to him but he did not see me so I continued my travels. Ten minutes later on the return journey I passed the same spot where I had waived at my friend, to my amazement, one hundred yards along the road his car was on fire and the fire brigade were fighting the blaze which resulted in his Jaguar being completely burnt out. Yet another strange coincidence!
Two hours later on 20th July 1998 the Capri was parked on the drive between the neighbours house and mine. A very violent thunder storm started suddenly and lightning flashes came down near me. Suddenly the house was hit and a very bright light dazzled me as I looked out of the closed upstairs window. I was thrown a foot into the air and approximately three feet backwards and at the same time a spark shot from my toe to the floor. My partner was downstairs just about to unplug the television cables for safety because of the storm. Just as the lightning hit me the television and video exploded and smoke came from both. My partner was very frightened as she was leaning over them at the time reaching for the plugs. Her hand print was clearly visible on the top surface of the television several days later. Both items needed renewing because of this incident. I found out later that the neighbour's house adjacent to the Capri also received a strike (from television aerial to television aerial I believe) but their electricity tripped off before any damage was caused. To add to the mystery there were no signs of damage or burn marks anywhere. However as I said the television and video were beyond repair. The storm went as quickly as it started and a bright beam of sunlight shone straight onto the Capri afterwards which gave a really weird scene because the hot car covered in rain water gave off a misty type of effect in the light and the Capri seemed to glow eerily.
Another strange occurrence happened just after I had a live phone in with radio Shropshire. I replaced the telephone and within a minute I was phoned back to go live again as the station's compact disc player had gone wrong on the tune right after my interview. It had been playing perfectly up till that point and during the conversation the radio commentator hinted I might be the reason for the bad luck, to which I jokingly warned him to be on his guard because the car would get him. Little did I realise what would happen!
On 22nd July 1998 Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe, of Fortean TV fame, came to Eastbourne for a blessing ceremony on the Capri. The following are his actual words a few days later: "Keith asked me to go over to Eastbourne to bless and exorcise his car. I've performed many exorcisms over the years, but this was the only one where I'd felt the Holy Water actually getting hot as I sprinkled it into the back of the Capri. Was it meeting some sort of stubborn, evil resistance, perhaps?" When finished he returned to London and caught the train to his home town of Cardiff. During the journey the train struck an object on the line and the brakes were damaged so making it impossible to finish the trip by rail. Lionel eventually arrived home at four in the morning by coach. Was this the Capri seeking revenge for the blessing ceremony?
On a lighter note, but still a coincidence and following the pattern of things going wrong around the car, in July 1998 the Radio One news beat team wanted to record the story of the Capri and I arranged to meet them at my friend's garage early in the morning. The garage is in Westham Sussex and Radio One eventually phoned us from Westham London where they were desperately trying to find the correct premises!! Incidentally when the Capri story was about to be broadcast on Radio One the jingle machine for news beat broke down.
On 25th July 1998 a few days after the car had been blessed by the White Witches, the television I was using as a temporary replacement for the one destroyed by lightning exploded and smoke poured from it. Two hours later one of the White Witches phoned me in a panic saying that his partner, also a White Witch, had cut straight threw the electric power cable of their lawnmower while mowing the lawn. She was in shock and suffering from a numb effect in her arms but told me she had always mowed the lawn and never had problems before and could not explain why or how she had run over the cable as she kept well away from it. They sought medical advice and their doctor advised her to take things easy and rest a while. Heeding this advice they sat quietly in the front garden only to be disturbed minutes later by a very nasty crash involving two cars right outside their house. Only two days earlier these two White Witches had performed a pagan blessing on the Capri. Was it fighting back?
Also in July 1998 I took the car to the house of my friend who had seen the ghostly face of a woman sitting in the back. I parked it outside and as it was a hot day I left the windows undone. Sue, my friend, advised me to shut them as one of her dogs has a habit of jumping in cars parked outside the house and sitting there waiting to go for a ride. Before I could reach the Capri her dog got into the car and immediately growled, started acting very strange and scared and then jumped out and at top speed ran back into the house closely followed by Sue's other dog. They went into the front room and we found them cowering down in the corner, shaking and whimpering with fright.
Several weeks later I was again filming for a national television company and yet again we had problems with the sound recording equipment. In the same week my partner gave an interview regarding the Capri and how it seems to give off bad luck which was starting to effect her. Two days later she went on a coach trip to France and during the outward journey the coach would not run above approximately forty miles per hour. When they reached their destination the driver told them that he was getting the coach repaired before picking the passengers up that afternoon. A garage did try to repair the vehicle but on the return trip the coach broke down about three miles outside Paris so stranding all the passengers in a deserted, non-secure lorry park. Instead of returning home at eleven o'clock that evening all the passengers finally got back in another coach, which incidentally was overcrowded by some eleven people, at nine o'clock the next morning. The coach firm refuse point blank to accept any blame and say the coach was only put through a major service one week previously. If this is true why did it go wrong??
Could it be the force of the Capri yet again affecting other motorised transport?
On August 24th 1998 a German TV crew were filming the Capri. After a blessing ceremony over the car they opened the driver's door to film inside and immediately the interior mirror fell to the floor, a nasty smell filled the car and a distinct drop in temperature was felt by all of us. A distinct uneasy presence was also felt by the people present.
In October 1998 I discovered that a person closely involved with the Capri had been selling the story and photographs to media agencies without my knowledge or consent by saying he was my agent and working with my full backing. This is just another instance of the incredible bad luck generated since owning this vehicle.
In December 1998 my partner and I were watching a programme on television called "Mysteries" and I said "I own The Haunted Capri "ARK 666Yand that is a mystery". My partner laughed and replied "Yes indeed" in a joking manner. Immediately a chocolate decoration fell from the Christmas tree and the Christmas lights flickered for five to ten seconds. We were both rather stunned and frightened with this experience. Five days later we were again watching television when I turned to my partner and said "Perhaps The Capri will be on the end of the year show". At that precise moment two crackers fell from the Christmas tree to the floor. On no other occasion during the Christmas period did anything fall from the Christmas tree.
On 26th December 1998 I was talking with my partner in the kitchen and the subject of what to do with the Capri came up. I suggested I take the registration from the vehicle and scrap the car. Suddenly we heard a loud bang and we both went to investigate. In the hallway we found a batch of four balloons had dropped down from the ceiling and one had burst. There were no sharp objects near and the balloons had all been put up securely by double knots and two pins to each batch. Both pins were still in the ceiling so how did the balloons fall on their own without the knots being untied?
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