Saturday 30th October saw me travel across the country to Herefordshire to join Dead Haunted as a team leader once again. However, this time Aaron would be joining me and I would be leading a team alone!
After picking up Aaron from the Watford Gap Services on the M1, nothing seedy, just he was heading south at the time. We headed off to Hereford and Burton Court, which in all admission wasn’t quite as close as I had first thought !
Myself and Aaron arrived in plenty of time, in fact I think we were a good hour early and two hours prior to the DHN guests arriving. We took this opportunity to bring in our equipment, grab a quick break and take a couple of photo’s.
The location itself is actually quite impressive and for Halloween (or near enough) carries all the essentials. For starters its out in the sticks a little, with nice little drive up to the main house. The exterior of the house was nicely lit with a very atmospheric looking main entrance! Perfectly setting the scene for ours and the guests arrival. The interior didn’t disappoint either, with a large Main Hall which had high ceilings peaked at the top. Not to mention the huge fireplace, very nice indeed. There was also the Billiards Room too, which didn’t disappoint with its table full of artefacts and other historical items dotted around the room.
Our base camp for the night was the bar which was close to the kitchen and the back stairs. A perfect little room to setup for the evening. And with a good hour to go that was exactly what we did in preparation for the DHN guests.
It was slightly odd, as the four DHN team leaders left the bar for a brief moment to grab a coffee and on return we were greeted with half a room full of guest, with more arriving! No turning back now! We ushered them in, sat them down and began taking the register.
Following Paul’s ‘Welcome to Burton Court’, Ed took the guests on a tour of the areas they would have access to for the evenings investigation, which included the cellar, great hall and billiards room, some rooms on the first floor and the second floor servants quarters. He also informed them and me of some of the activity experienced at these locations, but held back on most of the history. This I believe would be for reference purposes later.
When we all returned to the bar, Mark gave the equipment talk, explaining its uses and that al important fact that none of it is designed to find a ghost!
Following a break we kicked things off! I took my first team up to the first floor for a vigil there. The group was made up completely of people that had never been on a ghost event such as this and expectations were varied. I started with some basics, a touch of glass work, a little calling out. I think one of the team had a voice recorder throughout..
However, when it became apparent that things were a little flat, I decided to find out a little more about my team, which always fascinates me. As ever they were a varied bunch with differing reasons for coming, but the usual came up, looking for a personal experience to solidify a belief, complete sceptic looking to be proven wrong! There was also a few who had experienced activity first hand, but not in a while and wanted to know more I guess! Suffice to say that vigil ended with little occurring. Which seemed to be the same for all four teams.
We took a break! Then I took a new team up to the second floor. This team had all come together and had past experience of investigations. Made up of some firm believers and some steady sceptics, they knew what they wanted. As ever I made some suggestions, but mostly let these guys run their own vigil. We pretty much started in the small room 3, asking out in a circle, with the K2 meter in the middle. Now the K2 did pulse slightly once, but we think this may have been a phone! For me I think this room held the most atmosphere for the entire evening! We moved down the corridor and split into boys and girls. The girls attempted some glass work whilst the more sceptic boys and I spoke a little about the paranormal. As ever another interesting conversation. Again with nothing of note occurring we headed back at the end of our vigil.
The third vigil placed me back with my first team of newbies down in the cellar. With the cellar being massive, housing its own well and without lights pitch black, you would hope for some atmosphere there. However, once again I was out of luck. We tried glass work, the human pendulum, moving two members of the team to the far end of the cellar, but I guess it wasn’t our night. This is the luck of the draw, sometimes the most active locations can just simply be flat..
However, as my team were experiencing no more than pitch black, another team managed to get some communication on the ouiji board going. They believed they made contact with a boy and a master who may have abused the boy. Obviously using the board its often hard to accept the information, sometimes way off, and then other times spookily spot on! I am not personally a massive fan of communication methods which involve too many variables or simply contact like glass work or the board. As an investigator though, you have to be open minded to all forms of information in regards to a location. The communication continued into the forth vigil and also into free time.
The forth vigil saw me back with the second vigil team, confused ? It can be, I never remember names! However, in this case I managed to remember one ‘Laura’ I think! The only reason for this was because she was simply the spokes person for her team. Well, actually I don’t think anyone else managed to get a word in edge ways and thus had just handed her the title! We started in the great hall, but following a little calling out and glass work headed off to the billiards room. It was here that I had an experience of my own! Nothing paranormal! I witnessed the nicest politest piece provocation I have ever heard! With things seeming a little flat I advised the team to attempt to demand or anger the spirits into showing their presence. To which Laura responded something like ‘I demand you to show us a sign of your presence’ then after a brief pause ‘if you don’t mind please’ ! She made us all laugh with that one! So, I won’t mention ‘peripheral space’, but that got me too! It wasn’t long before the vigil came to an end and we headed back to base.
The teams then had two sessions of free time, but as it was late and Paul had things well in hand, we decided to head off and make the long journey home. I must say though, I had another enjoyable night with Dead Haunted as ever!
I left Burton Court with an urge to return and investigate, looking further into its history and paranormal activity. Although my night was more than a little flat it hasn’t made me believe there is nothing at Burton Court, weirdly quite the opposite! So hopefully I may return with my team to investigate.
As for Burton Court being haunted? Well for me the Jury is still out for now, but I certainly wouldn’t write it off over one nights inactivity! Especially given the reports I have heard on the place, I just hope I manage to experience it first hand next time.
Thanks as ever to DHN for allowing me to team lead on this occasion. Thank you to Paul, Mark and Aaron (the other team leaders) for making it an enjoyable night. Also, thanks to Ed at Burton Court for allowing us in, great place , fantastic location. And thank you to those guests that attended you were great. .
Photo’s By Aaron Hardy