Mercurius and the Shattered Mirror – Neil Packer

I grabbed a copy of this while over in the UK recently. I was speaking at a Parameet event, (in my opinion one of the better paranormal conference weekends I’ve attended, and I’ve been to a few.)
I’m glad I did grab a copy now, as I’ve just finished reading it and thoroughly enjoyed the journey.
It is centered around the Haunted Antiques Paranormal Research Centre; a multi-leveled museum in Hinkley, full of oddities and allegedly haunted items collected over many years. Its curator and owner is Neil Packer, a guy I initially knew nothing about, until my last trip over in 2022, and instantly had an affection and growing respect for. The museum is his spooky little bastard child. The items in it range from the absurd to the downright horrific.
The book’s title, Mercurius and the Shattered Mirror, is taken from two quite separate, but equally fascinating incidents occurring in the museum. One involves an odd ”spiritual” creature witnessed one evening, the other a rather intense moment involving a huge mirror. No spoilers here, you can read and decide for yourselves.
In essence, the book is a full rundown of the museum. Its contents, its creators, its curious activity.

Ringmaster, Neil’s obsession with the paranormal started as a teen. This was also around the time he had his first encounter with what he described as a ”full-bodied apparition”. With an oversaturation of paranormal TV fuelling his fire it did not take long before Neil had crossed that proverbial point of no return.
The book reads as a collection of journal entries. Pre-museum, to its inception, and thoughts for the future. There are articles, testimonials, and viewpoints from various museum attendees, helpful tips to get one started in the field, some intriguing photographs taken during sessions, and many personal opinions to ponder over.
I admit I did feel a resonance while reading this. Possibly due to the fact I was now familiar with the building and some of the featured items housed there, as well as knowing a few of the contributing writers involved. So I think I may have connected a little more than say someone on the other side of the world that has never been and possibly never will.
One aspect that has always pleased me about the museum from those who are involved as well as those who support it from the periphery is the level of loyalty, dedication, and how welcome one feels stepping through the door into their world.
During my first time there I was welcomed with open arms and a warm feeling of kinship.
The Haunted Antiques Paranormal Research Centre is a special place indeed. Down-to-earth and not too overly produced or pretentious to the point it becomes hard to take seriously.
I recommend this book.
It’s a biography. It’s a tribute. It’s a ”how-to-paranormal” manual.
It’s a testimonial…. and it’s a bloody good read!

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