Danny Robins and his team of experts will welcome audiences to a terrifying and thought-provoking evening, next month, when he brings his show Uncanny to Birmingham Hippodrome on Sunday 2 June. Chilling real-life stories experienced by ordinary people from ordinary places are brought to life on stage through a thrilling mix of projection, sound and spellbinding storytelling.

Danny Robins is the creator of the hugely successful BBC Radio 4 podcasts and global hits, Uncanny, The Battersea Poltergeist and The Witch Farm, the BBC TV series Uncanny and the award-winning West End play 2:22 – A Ghost Story. We spoke to him to find out more about the show and what it will reveal about the unknown.

What are you so fascinated about the paranormal?

“The paranormal is something that has obsessed me since I was a kid. I used to hang out in the school library, poring over books like the Usborne World of the Unknown, staring at alleged photos of ghosts. I think part of it was because I was brought up an atheist, so I had an entirely belief-free childhood. I became fascinated by the idea that there might be something more out there. Some people would have found God, and I found ghosts – I was intrigued by the stories I heard that suggested that maybe there were things about our universe we don’t quite understand yet.”

“As I’ve got older, I think the idea of an afterlife captivates me more and more. The paradox at the heart of ghost stories is that they are simultaneously scary and comforting; even the most frightening ghosts bring with them that amazing hopeful prospect that death is not the end; that those we have loved and lost might still be out there or that we may be able to communicate when we pass on. Whether it really is possible is the big question, but it feels like something that is bloody well worth investigating.”

So, has Danny ever seen a ghost?

“Never. I have spent most of my life desperately wanting too, but now I regularly interview people who believe they have, I often think, be careful what you wish for. To have one of these experiences is life-changing, both in terms of the level of fear it can create, but also in terms of the way it changes your whole concept of reality. I’m not quite sure I could cope with it!”

What is there to know about the show Uncanny, I Know What I Saw and what can audiences expect?

“The director, Sam Hodges, and I wanted to create something that feels like a truly magical night out. We’ll have two of our experts with us each night – one from Team Believer and one from Team Sceptic – exploring the cases and answering people’s questions. I love these shows because it feels like a brilliant live version of the conversations I know people have after listening to the podcast, trying to work out what went on in each case, sending me their questions and theories.”

“I think whatever your view on that question “do ghosts exist?” you’ll be gripped and enthralled. It’s scary but not too scary. We even have lots of kids who have been to see it – I think this is a subject that grips everyone, young and old.”

There seems to be a real appetite for the world of the paranormal and unexplained and your work seems to be reaching an ever-widening audience, known as the Uncanny Community – why do you think these stories are resonating with people now?

“I think there is an enduring fascination with the paranormal. It’s not surprising really, it is the biggest question of all, isn’t it? What happens to us when we die? It’s what every religion ever founded has attempted to answer. But I agree that there is a particularly intense interest right now and the paranormal does seem to be being talked about in mainstream culture in a way it hasn’t for decades.”

Are you Team Believer or Team Sceptic?

“I’m a sceptic who wants to believe. I feel like I am on a journey. I love the fact that the stories we feature on Uncanny force both sceptics and believers to challenge their stances. Each case is an individual mystery, a puzzle to solve. If you are a sceptic, it’s a howdunnit – could it have been caused by environmental or psychological factors? And if you are a believer, it’ a whodunnit – who is the ghost and why are they haunting this place? But there is always enough doubt and uncertainty, enough twists in the tale, to keep you on your toes, uncertain of what really went on.”

“I think that between these two camps there is a very large group of people who are like me – not quite sure what they believe…”

Uncanny: I Know What I Saw comes to Birmingham Hippodrome on Sunday 2 June. Tickets can be booked here.