Landguard Fort is another one of those Military installations which is surrounded by an abundance of history and some paranormal activity.
As ever, I wanted to investigate some of these paranormal claims for myself, see what we could explain or indeed what we could prove. I contacted the friendly guys at the Fort, booked the location and prepared to take Farsight PRS in.
History and Activity
Landguard Point has been home to a number of fortifications over the years. Two blockhouses which rapidly deteriorated were built by Henry VIII in 1543, and in 1552 the guns were returned to the Tower of London. Then in 1628 a new fort was built, which was square with a bastion at each corner.
1717 saw the construction of a new brick Fort, which was later replaced with a new structure in the shape of a pentagon with bastion at each corner in 1744. It is these walls which remain today.
The Fort was remodelled in 1871 from and a seven gun casemate battery was constructed facing the river. Accommodation was added in a semicircular block connected to the casemates to form an inner defensive position.
In 1951 two of the old gun casements were converted into a ‘cold war’ control room.
Landguard no longer had a military purpose from 1956 when Coastal Artillery was disbanded. Following nearly ten years of military neglect, the Fort was sealed and left to deteriorate. In 1998 the English Heritage took over the care for the Fort, with the Landguard Fort Trust opening it to the public on their behalf ever since.
Over the years the fort has had a few reports of paranormal activity, from footsteps, to voices, to cold spots, all the way through to sightings of a full apparition. Not only has some of this been documented by the men that lived and worked here, but also experienced by more recent visitors and staff. It would also seem that the Fort has some possible resident spirits with last Musketeer in the Holland Bastion, and the Portuguese woman and the sick soldier in the Chapel Bastion.
The only witness reports are those of a few soldiers who apparently noted the sighting of the Musketeer in the Holland Bastion.
Richard Bradshaw the resident historian / ghost expert told us of his experiences in the shop area, where some items fell off the shelves by themselves and he saw an odd apparition at the back of the shop.
Ashley Knibb – Lead Investigator
Jim Bridgeman – Lead Investigator
Leanne Knibb – Documentarian
Lucy Harkness – Assistant Documentarian
Keith Huckfield – Photographer / Interviewer
Ian Pegg – Tech Manager
Martin Gregory – Sceptic Investigator
Liz Egan – Sensitive Investigator
Siobhan Evans – Guest Investigator
Kai Allen – Guest Investigator
Location Hotspots & Equipment
We set up our HQ for the night’s investigation in the Staff Room on the inner courtyard. From here we setup our four CCTV camera’s trying to cover as much of the Fort’s hotspots as possible. Our first camera was placed on the wall covering the Bath House and Main Entrance. Our second camera was near to the HQ on the inner courtyard covering the shop. Camera 3 was placed in the Chapel Bastion covering the two inner rooms. Finally, camera 4 was in the corridor. We also placed a Camcorder in the Holland Bastion.
Team Walk Around
Our team walk around remained brief on this occasion, with the aim of just familiarising the team with the location and its hotspots. Following this we returned to our HQ, then split into two teams, the first would concentrate on the more scientific logical approach, whilst the second team would try a few more spiritual approaches. Team One would be made up of Jim, Ian, Martin, Lucy and Keith, whilst Team Two would be Ashley, Leanne, Liz, Siobhan and Kai.
Vigil 1 – Team 1 – Corridor Area
Team One entered the corridor area and it wasn’t long before our investigation began with a bang! The Team heard some knocks and investigated with no conclusive results. They also had some interesting temperature changes.
Vigil 1 – Team 2 – Holland Bastion & Gun Room
Team Two entered the Holland Bastion on the far side of the Fort. Whilst attempting to call out Leanne thought she heard some ‘faint far away voices’ through the headphones of the main camera.
Vigil 2 – Team 1 – Holland Bastion & Gun Room
Team One’s experience in the Holland Bastion saw the return of the odd temperature variations, with a total drop of 4 degrees. Jim also felt his arm gently nudged on two separate occasions during the vigil. As the Team left the room the temperature dramatically rose again, returning to normal.
Vigil 2 – Team 2 – Chapel Bastion
Team Two entered the Chapel Bastion armed with a Glass and a table! The team experienced some audible phenomena here, from taps to possible sighs. As the vigil drew to a close we attempted glass divination for a second time. Siobhan spoke attempting to connect directly with Maria. After a lot of effort from Siobhan, the glass moved ever so slightly and slowly.
A brief discussion with both teams during the break revealed simply that everyone was happy to continue as we were.
Vigil 3 – Team 1 – Chapel Bastion
The team experienced a very slight temperature variance.
Vigil 3 – Team 2 – Corridor & South Sully Area
The team walked straight through to the South Sully, a ramp to the outside dry moat. As she stood at the top of the ramp Leanne thought someone had walked behind her and Liz believed something brushed over her face.
We decided to stand in the area for a bit to see if there was anything there. Whilst calling out, Leanne had her elbow gently gripped, then the same thing happened to Siobhan moments later. Myself, Siobhan and Leanne also thought we heard a kind of mumbling groan too.
Vigil 4 – Team 1 – Corridor & South Sully Area
The team heard a door slam once again, but this was soon debunked! It would seem an exterior door was open allowing the wind to blow through and slam the door! The team recreated this to confirm it and subsequently ruled it out.
Vigil 4 – Team 2 – Bath House’s & Rifle Corps
In the second bath house, Leanne thought she could smell or even taste iron.
Vigil 5 – Team 1 & 2 – War Room & Joining Rooms
Liz thought she heard something in one of the joining rooms. Jim, Ian, Lucy on Camera and I headed to investigate. Jim lead and on his way he looked back and thought he might have saw a face between me and Ian. He then heard a noise from a nearby room. On further investigation we soon identified the noise as that similar to the keys being very gently tapped on one of the tele-typers.
Whilst Martin, Jim and Ian were back in the main War Room, they identified some more oddities! At the bottom of the stairs to the raised area, Martin felt the temperature drop dramatically in front of him. Leanne moved into the same area and felt something similar. Then Jim saw what he believed to be a shadow block out some light on the stairs behind Martin. Whilst trying to recreate the shadow we realised that this would only occur if someone stood between Martin and Leanne. We continued to monitor the area in front of Martin and the temperature continued to drop.
As the vigil ended and we were heading towards the door, Lea, Jim and Ian thought they heard something that sounded similar to a woman on a radio!
I don’t believe Landguard Fort has presented any conclusive hard evidence such as video or audio, but there are some oddities which I can’t entirely explain.
Throughout the location we were presented with some variable temperature readings with what could possibly be the most significant in our final Vigil. A drop in temperature has been theorised to be associated with the presence of a spirit. At Landguard we monitored a few drops in temperature during our investigation, from a few degrees in the Holland Bastion, to a drop of 6 degrees in the large Gun room, when the gathered group should have created a warming effect. Finally, in the War room following a sequence of events, we experienced and monitored a localised drop in temperature. This time it was also physically felt by two members of the team. We also investigated to find a source, but we found no conclusive reason to explain it. The sequence which didn’t involve just one member of the team, but several. Beginning with Liz hearing, Jim thinking he saw someone, Jim hearing keys tapping, Martin having some strange feelings, Leanne feeling something similar, Jim deeing a shadow, then the cold feeling felt and finally as we left the room a sound similar to a woman on a radio.
The team did encounter a door which appeared to close by itself. However, they debunked this as being closed by the wind flowing through an open external door, which makes sense. Or does it? At one point we caught a white blur on camera which seems to move around the door, which is then followed by the door closing. Is there a logical or natural explanation for this?
Please feel free to take a look at the investigation for yourself at http://www.farsightfiles.co.uk/fstv. Just select the On Demand button at the bottom, Farsight Files and then Farsight Files – Landguard Fort.
Landguard Fort was a milestone of an investigation for my team! When I first saw the Fort for the first time I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to investigate and on that freezing night in March, we battled the elements to see what the Fort had to offer. Although not highly active there are certain things which I cannot ignore!
We had a few personal experiences through the night, some temperature variations, some knocks and closing doors. All of which are really inconclusive due to the lack of supporting evidence! However, in my mind the course of events which occurred in the War room is significant. Although the balance tilts more towards the personal experience side rather than solid evidence, we have something that cannot be ignored. The addition of a personal experience and a localised temperature drop does make the event that little more interesting. Could this ‘cold spot’ have been a spirit attempting to manifest?
However, to approach from a slightly different angle, we can’t rule out that this sequence of events was some kind of psychological contagion (see Jim Houran’s research)! Basically, the event occurred at the end of a long cold night where we were all looking for some proof of. Perhaps one experience evolved into several, with a final association of the temperature drop with a cold spot? I’m not so sure it was a psychological effect, but I guess we can’t rule it out!
Is Landguard Fort haunted? Possibly, there are definitely some strange things occurring there! However, on this visit solid evidence seems to be slightly out of our reach.