The Mill Theatre in Sharnbrook NGHD Investigation 

National Ghost Hunting Day – Worldwide
National Ghost Hunting Day

I won’t go into excessive detail about what National Ghost Hunting Day was, as its kind of self explanatory. Plus I would much rather redirect you to their website in order to ensure that everything is covered and you can get involved next time around.

So, please check the National Ghost Hunting Day Website for more details on the event itself. Also, please check my previous post  Haunted Collector’s Brian J Cano Talks To Me About What Could Be The Worlds Largest Ghost Hunt For my interview with Brian J Cano ahead of the event. 

Fundamentally, the aim originally was to hook up as many paranormal investigation teams as possible across the US in a kind of synchronised ghost hunt. However this soon grew and went international bringing in a few teams from England, Scotland, Australia and more I believe. The idea was for all the teams to follow a couple of broadcasts over Facebook by Brian whilst also broadcasting themselves onto Facebook. As they did this they would take part in an experiment using very specific questioning, Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) and Instrumental TransCommunication (ITC) devices to capture possible responses. This part was called the Bridge Experiment I believe. The EVP part was in the first hour consisting of four questions and the ITC part in the second hour consisting of another four questions. 

It still amazes me how the technology of the internet can bring us all so much closer together, but as this experiment shows, many groups worldwide can work together towards a common goal. This working together approach is the only way that we will see results, gather data and eventually begin to gain an understanding of the unknown world. I understand it doesn’t quite fit the materialist version of standard science, but sometimes you have to try things a little differently before a true understanding can be found. 

Our NGHD Location – The Mill Theatre

The Mill Theatre in Sharnbrook was formally known as Stokes Mill and was exactly that an old working water mill. The Mill itself was mentioned in the Doomsday Book, but its highly possible that a Mill has stood on the site for a number of years prior to this entry.
The Mill Theatre

From about 1500 to 1817 its possible that the property was owned by St. Johns of Bletsoe and Melchbourne, who made substantial improvements to the building. Some of these are still present in the current building which date back to around 1703. 

From 1817 to about 1929 the building underwent considerable changes, this included refurbishments, extensions and also an extra storey. They literally raised the roof of the building by 12 feet, which is odd considering its function as a theatre nowadays. 

By this time Frank Hipwell had taken ownership of the property and it seems they invested heavily to make their business a success. 

These days Stokes Mill is the home of The Mill Theatre which opened back in 1979. The original Mill House is now a lovely hotel with the same name. The former Mill yard and buildings have become a small business park. 

All in all its a location that holds considerable history, set in the beautiful picturess countryside next to the Rive Great Ouse.  

Previous investigation teams and those that frequent or work at Mill Theatre have reported numerous types of activity throughout the building. The Main Foyer has been a location where Mediums have picked up on the presence of a spirit woman, possibly called Helen that may have committed suicide. Also, the presence of a man called Don has been encountered here too. 

Down in the Cellar Mediums have picked up on a man dressed as a woman, each to their own or pantomime perhaps. In the props and set design area of the Cellar the presence of a Mr Godfrey, a young girl called Lilybett, a small boy called Tommy and a Labrador Dog have made themselves known to Mediusm. This area also has reports of the smell of tobacco and the odd sensation of someone blowing on the side of a persons face. 

Up in the main auditorium the activity gets a little more physical with reports of some seats moving by themselves from one position to another. However even more interestingly is that this has sometimes occurred on request, not an easy thing achieve. There has also been some interesting EMF interaction in this part of the building. 

A Combined Effort – Meet The Team

This particular investigation was lead by the Sage Paranormal Team, but included some other excellent investigators that were invited to join them on this monumentus event. 

Making up the team from Sage Paranormal were MJ Dickson, Carl Hutchinson and Liz Cormell; a great team with a lot of investigation experience between them. It was a great honour to be asked to be involved in this event by MJ and represent England. 

We were also joined by Alan Smith of Skepticide Paranormal, which took me by surprise as I actually knew Alan and had investigated (I think) with him once before. It’s always good to cross paths with investigators you know again especially when its been a while. 

Our last couple of team members were Lori Shaffer and Matthew Harris from WARTS Paranormal Society, whom I’ve not met previously, but as ever in this field its great to meet new people. It is one of the fundementally important aspects of the paranormal to me, meeting new people and talking about their interest in the paranormal is always quite interesting. 

I knew right away that we had an excellent team for this investigation and this very unique event, thank you to MJ for bringing us all together for this. 

Initial Walk Around

Once we had established our HQ for the night in the large room just off the bar area and setup a table ready for the NGHD experiment later we decided to have a walk around of the location.
Mill Theatre Layout

We headed down through the stage into the large dressing room to the rear of the stage. Right away the theatre began to deliver. Both Liz and Alan picked up on what they could only describe as a classic ‘spooky wind’, but we didn’t discount the possibility that this could be an outside vent. We also believe that one of the digital voice recorders batteries may have drained too, but again this one isn’t concluded. It was around this point that Liz heard what she believed were footsteps coming from the stage area. 

I followed Liz out onto the Stage where she said she believed she could sense something from the upper part of the stage set. She could visualise a man stood up there with his elbows on the rail and had his legs crossed. Liz sensed that he may have passed as recently as the last fifty or sixty years and maybe had been in his forties. 

Shortly after this the rest of the group joined us both on the stage and after a brief moment Lori mentioned that her stomache was hurting, keep your eye out for this as it becomes a running theme throughout the night with a few members of the team. Around the same time Carl also registered and EMF spike of around 6.2 MG around the first row of seats. 

At this point MJ picked up on a male conversation near to the auditorium entrance, then Lori said she felt watched and MJ agreed. 

After this we headed down into the Basement area and as we stood in the main area of the basement, a few of the team could hear talking or even a conversation coming from upstairs. Others like me couldn’t though, which is ficinating in its own right. Were some of the group becoming relatively tuned in to the more spiritual residents at the theatre? Perhaps there was a logical explanation like distant sound of the water passing under parts of the building, as this was suggested at one point as a possibility. 

We moved into the Props and Set Design Room also in the Basement, which I believe was incredibly close to the water flow. At this point on entering this area Carl mentioned that his legs felt weak all of a sudden. As we settled into the room MJ believed that she heard the voice of a child say ‘mama’.

Shortly after this we all headed back up to our HQ room for a break and re-group. 

Whilst in the HQ we tested our live feed to Facebook ready for the experiment with Brian J Cano and all the other National Ghost Hunting Day Teams later on in our investigation. 

Not long after this Mj returns from downstairs towards the Foyer stating that she feels as if she has been hit in the stomache. It was also during this time frame from about 1am to 1:30am that the group were acting a little odd, we all seemed a little more exciteable than normal and possibly even a little hyperactive. This could have been the sudden sugar rush of our break and being a littl tired, but it seemed to pretty much hit us all at the same time.

Our Second Walk Around

At just after 1:30am we headed back to the Auditorium for a more detailed investigation of the area. Alan, Carl and I sat on the seats overloooking the stage, whilst Liz, Lori, Matt and MJ sat on the Stage. We hadn’t been sat long and Carl heard tapping. We decided to chuck some tech into the mix and used the Spirit Box and Digital Voice Recorder. 

After a few questions, MJ asked ‘how did you pass?’, the Spirit Box reply was ‘drowning’!

Carl sweeped the area using a FLIR, but picked up nothing of note at this point. However all sat on the stage felt a cold breeze or draft from one side. Liz’s then noted that her right cheek was very hot and at this point MJ had moved to the seats and was pointing a camcorder at the stage. MJ points out that she has seen a mist on the viewfinder which appears to be located between Liz and Lori on the stage. This is swiftly followed by Lori stating that she felt something grab her right sleeve. If all that wasn’t enough, the Spirit Box then adds ‘the right’ then ‘trust me’ following MJ asking if that was the spirit that grabbed Lori. MJ then felt a light blowing on her neck. 

This was a remarkable sequence of events once you note it down, but was this a possible spirit interaction or even attempted manifestation? There are of course other alternatives, such as psychological contagion too. As ever we must keep an open mind. 

However this wasn’t completely the end of the sequence, as moments later Carl saw three red flashes at the back of the stage, then MJ felt really uncomfortable and then Carl saw a small shadow behind Liz on the stage. Of course I saw this as an opportunity to chase and headed onto the stage and behind Liz then upstairs to the raised area. Interestingly enough though as I headed towards the back of the stage where the shadows headed, it did feel a little different. However this could be directly related to why I was there in the first place, hence expecting to find something or even looking for something can change your perception. 

Shortly after this we returned to the HQ leaving a Digital Voice Recorder running in the auditorium.

Whilst in the HQ room MJ heard footsteps on the stairs to the Foyer. She felt this was an old gentleman that was very tall. It was also around this time that Lori saw a light anomaly around the stairs to the Foyer. It was becoming apparent that this area was relatively active in its own way too. 

NGHD Experiment – Hour One

3am for us meant part one of the NGHD Experiment and this didn’t kick off without a few problems. As we managed to login and see Brian J Cano live, shadows on those stairs to the Foyer were seen. Although it could have easily been a technical problem related to the device or network, I think its still worth mentioning that the ipad we were using decided to freeze too. 

Brian started things off with an invocation. He then ran through the four questions for the EVP section of the experiment. 

Following the second question some of the team heard footsteps downstairs. Then following question three more footsteps were heard in the Bar area. Then after the fourth question its possible that a male voice was heard, but this could have equally been background noise. 

Once this first part of the experiment is concluded Liz picks up on feeling stabbed in the stomache, there it is again.  

I believe the group headed back to the Props and Set Design room in the basement again where both Liz and MJ may have picked up on the same person independently of each other. Liz gets the name Reginald as MJ gets Regi. Liz then adds the surname ‘Smithson’. Alan throws what he feels is something very much like a football chant into the mix. 

Liz then tells me that she thinks the word ‘Habanero’ is in Brian’s envelope. This wasn’t the word in Brian’s envelope, but Liz did realise that this word was related to one of her friends a few weeks later. Sometimes stuff just jumps into you mind and often for no apparent reason. 

NGHD Experiment – Hour Two

4am brought with it the second part of the Bridge Experiment and our hook up with the other teams across the globe. This time it was the chance to use ITC devices whilst Brian asked another few questions to all the teams. 

For our part in the experiment we ran a Spirit Box and Obilis, with a Digital Voice Recorder to capture the audio. We also had an iPad broadcasting us to the world via Facebook Live. 

Following the first question, ‘Is the technician or anyone from timestream still able to communicate with us?’, the Obilis replied ‘automatic’. After question two, ‘Are any stations still operating on the other side?’, the Obilis responded with alright’, whilst the Spirit Box gave us ‘Habanero’. Curiously a word that Liz had mentioned earlier in the evening and would later relate to her friend weeks after the event. Then as we completed the third question, ‘How can we improve contact?’, the Obilis gave us ‘Alright, Lay, Video, Carol’, whilst the Spirit Box said ‘apple’ and ‘disaster’. 

It would be easy to work these words into the questions and attribute some kind of meaning, but personally the connection for me is rather loose and so much more work needs to be done in this area. However it was certainly interesting.  

Following this we decided to conduct a little more investigation of the location before calling it a night. 

Final Parts of Our Investigation

The last parts of our investigation consisted of a little walk around, but mostly a few Obilis / Spirit Box sessions coupled with a little Mediumship to see what we may pick up. 

Between them, the more sensitive of the group did begin to pick up on some bits related to the location. Although some may still require some additional research to confirm. 

Most of this did seem to be focussed around the concept of one or two hangings in the wheel pit. It wasn’t clear thoug if this hanging was a suicide or punishment, but if it was a punishment then it may be likely that it was something the locals may have seen through due to a horrific crime. 

As we were about to call it a night, pack up our kit and head home, MJ picked up some movement on the stairs to the Foyer. she also believed there was a name connected to this; ‘Molly’. Unfortunately as quickly as this had actuated it was gone. So, after a long eventful night we decided to head home. 

Investigation Round Up

The Mill Theatre was a brilliant location to investigate and personally I would like to return and try some other approaches in order to gather more information on the possible activity within its walls.
The Mill Theatre Entrance

The NGHD Bridge Experiment went reasonably well we believe and at the very least it was amazing to be involved in such a huge event. That’s not even considering that the event ran simultaneously across loads of teams across the US an the Globe. I have to admit from my perspective it was very interesting as part of my own research deals with telepathic interaction and the possibility of a global consciousness or collective unconscious as Jung would have likely put it. Which reminds me I must catch up with the guys from NGHD at some point to see where they’re at with the results. You see as a part of this experiment each team had to submit a report similar to this I guess, but with a timeline of the evening. This report was posted to the Paranormal Database Website for review and comparison to other teams. Hopefully this will show some interesting results. 

There is without doubt more to the Mill Theatre than meets the eye and we will need to return at some point for another investigation where we can focus on some of the information picked up on this visit. 

What was particularly interesting was the several instances where oddly three of the team all reported the same feeling. This was of course the pain felt in the stomache, which was both described as either ‘punched’ or ‘stabbed’ in the stomache. This was also reported by all three female members of the team and none of the males. These three also made reference to noises or activity in the stairs area which lead back down to the Foyer too. Perhaps they were all picking up on or even feeling the same thing related to perhaps one particular entity. 

The sequence of events that occurred on the stage was also very interesting. Whether it was an attempt by a spirit to make itself known or if it was psychological contagion, its not that often that we experience that number of oddities in one go. It certainly made for an interesting nights investigation. I’m looking forward to returning (hopefully in 2017) to see if the location was as active or if the Bridge Experiment actually increased activity there somehow. 

Either way the Mill Theatre was an excellent location and I thank the volunteers that keep the theatre running for allowing us in to investigate and use it for our NGHD location. 

If you’ve visited the Mill Theatre or even investigated there please feel free to comment, especially if there are any similarities in our report to our own experiences there? 

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