Sage Paracon 2017 – Warwick Castle Investigation

Some Thanks First

I want to first say a massive thank you to Jo Woolley for inviting me along with her to investigate Warwick Castle as a part of the kick off for this years Sage Paracon. Jo was lucky enough to win two tickets to the overnight investigation of Warwick Castle about a week before the event.

Due to my personal commitments I couldn’t make the entire weekend this year and in all honesty I was probably in a slight para-sulk because I was going to miss out. For me it wasn’t just the chance to stay at Warwick Castle all weekend, meet and talk to a number of big names in the paranormal field, but also that I wouldn’t have my annual catch up with some great friends that I have met over the years.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank MJ Dickson, as ever she has worked really hard to deliver a fantastic event. Overcoming many challenges along the way.

Enough of all that emotional hugging, let’s get knee-deep into this awesome investigation.

Gathering in the Undercroft

Our evening began with us all meeting up in the Undercroft Restaurant area of Warwick Castle, as this would be our base for the night. Most of the group were staying in the near by Knights Village, which is a beautiful spot in the woods along the river. A mixture of beautiful wood cabins and medieval glamping tents makes the Knights Village an excellent place to stay. Especially if you happen to find yourself investigating the historic Warwick Castle too.

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As the gathering of paranormal investigators grew, we were joined by many of the guest speakers too. During the investigation the guest speakers were in various locations around the Castle and in groups we would move between these in order to experience the varying locations and different styles that they each had in regards to the paranormal.

This was also an excellent time to catch up with old friends, make new ones and this time  round say hello to a couple of my actual family. My cousin, Medium Clare Hinks was a guest speaker at this years Sage Paracon UK 2017. It was amazing to catch up briefly with her and her husband Richard whilst we waited to begin our investigation.

After a short wait MJ placed the investigators in groups and started to send us off to our first location with our first guest speaker. As my cousin headed off to the Kenilworth Room with Robert Murch to play with Ouija Boards, I took my place in a group with Richard. After all this was Richards first ever overnight investigation and what a way to start.

The Stonemasons Den with Brian J Cano

The first area that my group headed to was an area of the Castle called the Kingmaker Area and our for this area we would be with Haunted Collectors Brian J Cano. Brian is a fantastic investigator, that I first met back in 2014 and I soon realised there was more to him than what you see on the TV. Actually a hell of a lot more. I really enjoy Brian’s approach to investigation too.

We kicked things off by walking around the area to find anything that may pick up our focus. Straight off, Paula and Wayne believed they saw a light anomaly float towards the stairs near the map of the UK. I have a feeling that they may have caught it on film, but I’m not sure.

After a little while the whole team gathered in the Stonemasons Den with Brian to work as a group together. Brian had us stand in a circle so that we could give a group EVP session a go. Now what I found fantastic here is that Brian took the time to explain the EVP concept for people new to investigations, like Richard. He also told us better ways to perform the session rather than a clinical approach, which just isn’t a natural conversation.

Brian began to record and we each asked a question in turn around the circle. As we did so we tagged any noises too, including the chiming church bells towards the end. Once completed Brian plugged in a handy speaker and we reviewed the audio for possible oddities.

First up was a slightly breathy voice, but this was a little bit of a stretch and if in doubt ‘chuck it out’ right.

However it wasn’t long before we realised that we had captured something odd. Just before Amelia asked her question, there was quite a clear ‘two’ that could be heard. After further review this did sound a little like a sequence of numbers too, possibly like ‘4 3 2..’.

We followed up our EVP session with a little bit of pendulum work. Now I am going to just put this out there, as I have a funny feeling that the launch of the new Apple iPhone may have influenced our possible communication with spirits. Brian decided to use his Apple earphones as a pendulum on this occasion, which was interesting. That said the session did yield some interesting responses. We established a ‘yes’ and ‘no’ before proceeding to ask a few simple questions.

Whatever was communicating through this setup seemed to associate itself with he numbers captured in the EVP. We then tried to establish the location of our communicator and oddly this was confirmed to be with John Zaffis. Brian then decided to try and send the word ‘stab’ back to John as he would most likely be using the Echovox.

As we came towards the end of our session with Brian we decided to give the Psychic Projection Experiment a try. Once again Brian explained this experiment in good detail for those new to it. We actually tried this twice. On the first pass, we focused on the recording device using the word ‘stab’ and on the second pass we used the word ‘believe’. Unfortunately on these occasions the words didn’t appear on the device. This is an excellent little experiment, which is so quick that I think we should be trying it more and documenting it too. At least the circumstances in order to understand why it may work and why it doesn’t.

After a fantastic start to our nights investigation, we headed back to the base room for some refreshments, before moving on.

The Music Room with John Zaffis

Next up we headed to the Music room with the ‘Godfather’ of the paranormal, John Zaffis. John has forty plus years experience in the paranormal field and has studied under his aunt and uncle; Ed and Lorraine Warren.

We setup in the Music room by sitting pretty much in a circle near the piano. John kicked things off with an Echovox (I think, I didn’t get a great look at the app) session, but what I found quite interesting was the way in which John communicated with this ITC app. I have seen many use various ITC apps in the field used, but often investigators will pose more clinical questions. However John pretty much spoke to the app as you would a normal person, responding to its answers and attempting to keep the flow of the conversation going.

A few times whilst using this the name ‘Ed’ could be heard too, which was very interesting. Especially as John would respond by asking him to let others come through.

However it wasn’t long before the focus of this session was gained. Richard picked up on the name ‘Robert’, which John confirmed as being picked up by a previous group too. As we asked questions, we seemed to establish that possibly Robert may have been gay, but had to hide this from everyone. It was possible that he was a member of the family that resided at Warwick Castle, but this was a little vague to be fair. We did establish perhaps that Robert was stood in the corner of the room behind Richard and I.

We done our best as a group with John’s assistance to continue communication with Robert and other spirits by using classic knocks for positive and negative response.

I time with John passed at speed and before we knew it we were heading back to the base room wondering where we would be heading next.

The Bear Tower with Greg Lawson

Our next location was the Bear Tower with Greg Lawson, which was going to be an odd one of course. Simply because the Bear Tower is one small room above a large pit. Plus I also knew we would be in for a treat as Greg’s approach is a little different.

After a brief discussion outside the tower, Greg lead us inside and advised us to read the three pieces of information on the walls. As I stood there I found myself wondering about more than paranormal aspects, but the historical back stories that related to them; just like Greg had mentioned.

Then Greg took the rest of the group outside for a few minutes and left three of us in there alone in the dark. Oddly Danny, Amelia and I seemed quite at home in there, so I decided to ask them both what they were feeling. Which was interesting. Some relating to the probable history of the location, but otherwise certainly not too scary.

When Greg returned with the rest of the group I communicated that I was finding myself questioning what we were presented with, the evidence so to speak wasn’t quite right. Greg continued to tell us of how he had spoken with Frank Cinelli about various things which had lead to his own re-evaluations of how he looked at the paranormal. Something which places us as probable important elements within the paranormal experience. An approach which I totally agree with, as without an observer we must question if the activity ever occurred in the first place. Its the old; if a tree fell in the woods without anyone around would it make a sound analogy.

This questioning of the facts lead us to grab a torch and peer into the pit below us to at least quantify that it was bigger enough to house bears. Which it was, but it was evident from all this that where we stood was more like a gallery area with the bears below. Still I wanted to understand more about this area in order to tie in any probable paranormal elements.

Closure of the Bear Tower vigil came around far too quickly for me as I was getting into research analysis mode. So, I would just like to stop here and thank Greg for reminding me of the importance of following the facts.

Debunking a Strange Light with Carl Hutchinson

When I returned to the base room I bumped into Carl Hutchinson, who asked me to take a look at a couple of pictures he had taken in the courtyard of the castle. In these pictures there was a odd looking little light and in the Live Photos the light danced around like it was alive.

Carl instantly knew that it was something to do with the Apple iPhone (seriously this post isn’t sponsored by Apple) that was causing the oddity, but wondered if I had ever seen something like it.

Weirdly I actually had looked into recently as I had been sent a picture by someone that featured this very strange light. It’s a blue colour around the middle of the picture below.

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Also seen in this picture too.

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After receiving these I too like Carl thought they were a technical issue and soon concluded it to be so. This was proven though when Francesca Chiorando (Access All Areas) posted a beautiful picture on Facebook of the sun breaking through into the dark wood. Sure enough in the picture was that little blue light again.

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However this wasn’t quite enough for Carl and I we had to go through the recreate process to ensure that this was a phone fault and that we weren’t seeing some kind of weird supernatural animal. So, I headed back out into the Castle courtyard to see if I could create a little blue light of my own.

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Turns out that whilst you take a photo in low light scenarios like this and when the phone is slightly angled the small little light appears. It also seems that once the little light falls into the focus box this becomes more prominent. Tech issue for sure, debunked!

It’s fantastic to catch up and chat about stuff like this with Carl again.

 

The Chapel with Jeff Belanger

My groups next location was to be the Chapel with Ghost Adventures and prolific paranormal author Jeff Belanger. We began by discussing a little of this areas history and sharing some of Jeff’s candy corn. I’m still not sure whether accepting candy from Jeff was a good idea, especially given that it was a little addictive and full of sugar. Still thank you Jeff for the candy. Yes I am aware we call them sweets in the UK, but when in Rome.

The actual front of the Chapel wasn’t accessible, but Jeff explained how the motion sensors had triggered the alarms earlier even though there was no one there. As we all discussed this we theorised the possibility that the IR lights from the teams cameras may have set off the motion detectors. Shame we couldn’t test the theory.

Oddly or not so oddly the Chapel was relatively calming for me, well up until Wayne started using a FLIR device. As he scanned the device around the room identifying the various temperatures he discovered something a little odd. There appeared to be a warm patch on the floor registering around 22 degrees. What was particularly interesting is that this warm patch on the floor just wouldn’t dissipate. We tried comparisons by having one of the group sit near by to the patch. After they moved their heat signature soon dissipated. There also didn’t appear to be any light shining into the room that could cause it. It was certainly odd and we struggled to define an explanation.

Now unfortunately we don’t know if this appeared whilst we were there or if it was always there. So, understanding more about it is difficult. Still very interesting though.

Over the weekend this played on my mind a little and one possibility could be that this particular patch of flooring was more shiny than the rest. Thus the FLIR was bouncing back creating a false reading. I seem to recall reading about such a thing previously where during an investigation a false reading was picked up from a mirror, which in the dark wasn’t identified as such.

We all headed back to the base ready for our final location of the night.

The Kenilworth Room with Robert Murch, Nikki Folsom and Clare Hinks

The Kenilworth Room is best known and mentioned several times by me on this very website. Especially due to its connections Aleister Crowley and that very strange photo that MJ took in the room too. Its a part of Warwick Castle that has never really let us down activity wise and holds a certain fascination for me.

As ever our journey to the room was lead by one of the guest speakers, Robert Murch. We walked up stairs, along a corridor, into one of the bedrooms, past a few manikins and then along a long small passageway above the banquet hall to the room. As I stepped into the dark wood panelled room I noticed that my cousin Medium Clare Hinks was playing with a Ouija Board.

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Robert quickly filled us in on some what had already occurred and then a little about the board. Then he invited some of us to join him and Clare on the board. I jumped at the chance of course.

As we played on the board listening to Roberts instructions, some information came through. A little perhaps related to Crowley, a little perhaps related to the resurrection ritual which is reported to have taken place there and other information related to those in the room.

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Many of us including Robert, MJ, Clare, others in the room, on the board and I asked questions and the board appeared to respond. Obviously there are a whole lot of probable reasons why Ouija Boards work, but in situations like this I often find it best to go with it and simply see what happens. I often see divination tools such as this as a kind of link to the unconscious.

After a short while many of the large group that had gathered in the room decided to head down to the dungeons. However on this occasion I decided to remain and work with my cousin on the board a little more. We were also joined by Nikki Folsom and on occasion Robert too.

There was some interesting information coming through board associated possibly to the location. However all of a sudden communication just a appeared to stop! We tried a few things, but still the connection remained absent. Then weirdly we began to receive a little information. I think it was fair to say that at this point both Clare and I may have recognised our spirit communicator. This was confirmed shortly when the board spelt out ‘H W Knibb’. This was our grandfather and in all fairness not the first time he’s turned up during an investigation.

Obviously there’s a distinct possibility that as we were both on the board our unconscious minds directed the planchet towards someone that has passed and connects us both. In all honesty, however it worked it was a really nice way to finish the night. If it was truly his spirit letting us know he is about, then that in itself is good to know.

In a flash it was over…

As many investigations for me, Warwick Castle flew by, but for all the right reasons. The location is undoubtedly haunted in some way, a location like it that houses so much history and still today has an abundance of visitors, really has to have something paranormal about it.

It was great to visit a few different locations from my last investigation of the castle, but also fantastic to return my very favourite room; the Kenilworth Room. As ever Mj’s setup of the investigation giving us access to the various guest speakers during the night, was spot on and enjoyed by all that attended.

This year saw pretty much completely different approaches from all the guest speakers too in the various locations. There was EVP, Psychic Projection, Pendulum Work, ITC, classical knock communication, analysing what you do and don’t know, adding yourself into the equation, looking at the history, debunking, looking at all possibilities and communicating through the Ouija Board.

To be quite frank there are not many investigation events out there that give you this many paranormal celebrities, techniques, approaches and all in a fantastic location such as Warwick Castle.

As far as paranormal events go, in my opinion this was a ten out of ten.

A Little Thanks

I would just like to say a massive thank you to MJ Dickson for putting the whole thing together, great job. I would also like to thank all the guest speakers that helped make this night a fantastic experience all the way through. So, in no particular order Brian J Cano, John Zaffis, Greg Lawson, Jeff Belanger, Robert Murch, Nikki Folsom and Clare Hinks; thank you all and great job guys.

Lastly, thank you to everyone that attended, what a great bunch of people you are. I believe MJ calls you all the Sage Tribe.

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3 thoughts on “Sage Paracon 2017 – Warwick Castle Investigation

  1. Great write up Ashley.. was definately a good weekend, and again didn’t get the chance to speak to you.. As reference to the chapel alarms going off, our group was with Brian the first time they triggered as we tried to work out where it was coming from. The second time we were actual in there with Jeff. The only 2 people with Camera’s were myself and Team mate Tony… We had not pointed them in that direction as we had only just walked in less than a minute before they went off.. The security guard had them reset, and after that my camera was pointing into the chapel most of the time we were in there, as i hoped to catch what was setting them off.. at no point during that time did they go off again.. so maybe this was the theory test you were looking for.. i will check the footage and let you know if either Tony or myself got anything in that area.

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  2. fantastic job mate 🙂 i also have some great evp’s caught with brian at the same time once i processed it and slowed it down there is something calling him a nasty word more than once

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