Burton Court with Phil Whyman’s Dead Haunted Nights – 30th October 2010

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.

Burton Court DHN 30112010 (1)

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.

Burton Court DHN 30112010 (6)

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.

 Burton Court DHN 30112010 (9)

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. .Burton Court DHN 30112010 (5)

Photo’s By Aaron Hardy


EVP – Fact or Fiction ?

    For as long as I have had an interest in the paranormal I can remember an association with Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP). Even years back when I remember some friends trying out some EVP work with a cassette recorder. They sat there in a circle, with some atmospheric candle light asking out into the semi-darkness. Then after a short while they would rewind the tape and listen, most of the time the result was pure static, but now and then a few oddities would pop up!

    Since those early days, things have moved along a little more and its had a bit more high tech spin applied to it. With investigators using handheld digital voice recorders during investigations and then analysing the recording on computers after the investigation to find anomalies. However, the human ear is still the tool of choice for finding voices or sounds amongst the static.

    With EVP featuring on many paranormal TV shows now and almost always popping up as evidence for an investigation team, I find myself constantly questioning the integrity of this source of evidence. Hands in the air, on many occasions I have jumped up with excitement because I thought I had something paranormal on a recording. You have to ask yourself though, how certain am I that there is no other source for this? I have also watched many paranormal investigation TV shows where they have pointed out a captured voice, but alas I was unable to hear the voice let alone what they thought it might say!

    So, my question is quite simple, as an investigation tool or piece of evidence, how reliable is EVP to our cause?


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NECAPS Environment & Geographic Correlation Study

    For quite a while I have been in contact with a couple in the US (Michael Baker & Annette Victoria) both with a very keen interest in the paranormal. I have also followed some of what Michael has been up to, which has mainly been involving the more science side of the paranormal. The New England Centre for the Advancement of Paranormal Science (N.E.C.A.P.S) was setup to make some significant advancements in the field of paranormal research.

    Keen to progress my own team into some science based research in the paranormal and not just investigate haunted locations. I believed this would be an excellent opportunity to assist Michael and also advance my own team.

    Following a recent discussion with them, Farsight PRS signed up to become an NECAPS Affiliate, the first UK based team to join. Now all I need to do is enter information in the Study’s database on the locations we have investigated and that will be utilised to make comparisons to the local environment to see if their are any patterns. Something Michael and co have been doing for a while now in the US..


    Who are NECAPS?

    The New England Centre for the Advancement of Paranormal Science, founded by Michael Baker and Annette Victoria push to make advances in paranormal research. NECAPS use intensive research, tedious investigation and hands-on interactive experimentation in a laboratory environment to gain a greater understanding of paranormal activity.

    NECAPS started off life as a personal research effort by Michael Baker back in 2003. He used his experience in electronics engineering and the experiences he gained during the production of "14 Degrees", his film, to gain an excellent insight into scientific based paranormal research.

    Today NECAPS has grown and continues to research not only the paranormal, but more of the science behind the field. Exploring electro-magnetic spectrum studies, the mysteries behind electronic voice phenomena and the complex environment and atmospheric changes which are associated with paranormal occurrences.

    It is through this strict scientific methodology, controlled experimentation and grounded logical approach which NECAPS strive to find the answers.

    Check their website out at www.necaps.org for further details..

    What is the Environment & Geographic Correlation Study?

    NECAPS aim is to hopefully uncover noticeable patterns and similes between measurable natural environmental phenomena and reported paranormal activity. There have been many theories regarding the environment and haunted locations to be directly connected. For example large bodies of water close to a haunted location have been attributed to the increased paranormal activity. Whether this is actually true or not is, like most paranormal theories, still in the testing phase ! However, NECAPS Project to gather this information and then compare paranormal activity to its surrounding environment should hopefully take us in the right direction to discover if its true.

    Information of paranormal activity is gathered and inputted into a database (via the web). Then the data is sorted and applied to a map using GIS software, which allows the comparison between collected data and a variety of recorded natural conditions for the that area.

    As the Project progresses, more reports are added world wide, hopefully the patterns will begin to emerge.

    For more information please visit the NECAPS website at www.necaps.org. If it interests you please join up and help them out by adding to their database. I think this is a very interesting and worthwhile study, which should deliver results as it continues to grow.

    Well done NECAPS..

    Which reminds me, I better get logging in soon and adding the Farsight PRS investigations to the Database.

    I will probably add more about NECAPS to my Blog and the Farsight PRS website (www.farsightfiles.co.uk) in the future, as I would like to get Farsight involved in a few more studies and projects just like this one.

    Sorry for this post being a tad short, but wanted to mention it at least !

    If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to comment??

Farsight PRS and the Ganzfield Experiment

One of the first real experiments I tried on an investigation was the Ganzfield Experiment, excluding some of the more normal techniques of course. I wanted to try something newish, something that maybe wasn’t associated with an investigation that much and certainly something different. It wasn’t an attempt to make the team look and possibly feel a little silly, but that was a comical by-product. My first attempt at our first investigation was a bit of a failure, assisted by me bringing a screw fit light bulb for our bayonet lamp, but we soldiered on with poor results. With this in mind I wanted to re-vamp the experiment a little and put it out there for others to try, so we can all benefit and learn from the multiple results. Participant of the Ganzfield Telepathy Experiment

An Explanation

Used in the field of parapsychology to test people for extra-sensory perception (ESP), the Ganzfield Experiment (German for “entire field”) is uses homogeneous and unpatterned sensory stimulation to produce a kind of sensory deprivation.

Parapsychologists Dean Radin and Daryl Bem have said that Ganzfield Experiments have given results which deviate to a significant degree from random results, that they present strong evidence for the existence of telepathy. However, some critics such as Susan Blackmore and Ray Hyman have stated that these results are inconclusive calling for further study before they can be scientifically accepted. Such is the norm in the paranormal field though!

A Little History First

Wolfgang Metzger devised the technique back in the 1930’s during his investigation into the Gestalt theory. Then later in the 1970’s Charles Honorton decided to use the Ganzfield method to achieve a state of sensory deprivation in which it is believed that psi can work.

Since Honorton and Harper published the first full experiment in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research in 1974, the experiment remained a big part of Parapsychological research.

Typical Method

A ‘receiver’ is left in a room relaxed in comfort, with halved ping-pong balls (yes I am serious) over their eyes, with a red light shone on them. They also wear headphones playing white noise. In this state the ‘receiver’ is in the state of mild sensory deprivation for half an hour. At this time the ‘sender’ observes a randomly selected target and tries to mentally send the information to the ‘receiver’. The ‘receiver’ speaks out loud during the half hour, describing what they see. This is recorded by someone who is unaware of the target. Following this the ‘receiver’ is taken out of the Ganzfield state and given a set of targets, from which they must identify the one the ‘sender’ communicated to them.

Lab to Field Experiment

This is obviously a Lab based experiment built on a set environment with conditions that can be repeated to ensure it fits to the usual regime of science. However, as I am a paranormal investigator, I wish to change that slightly, probably incur some criticism and adapt it for paranormal field investigation. We are all familiar with the use of mediums on investigations or even those in your team who in your experience have tended to be slightly more sensitive to the locations you investigate. Well my aim is to adapt the Ganzfield Experiment to do just that within your investigation. Making one of your team a ‘receiver’, but this time hopefully from you and possibly spirits. Of course I am not claiming this is so, but just thought it would be an interesting experiment for paranormal teams to try. After all I could try it, but would have to repeat it many many times to assess it properly. Whereas if many teams try it an submit their results we can document it and see where it takes us. Its for us all to try !

What You Will Need

Right to ensure we are all doing this the same way you will need the following:-

  1. Halved Ping Pong Balls for your eyes, yes you will look silly and of course you can use a marker to draw pupils on the outside, so you look like that guy from ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’
  2. Head phones, connected to a device like an iPod (I use one, it works well) playing White Noise.
  3. Lamp with red light bulb, use to fill the room with red light, focus it on the ‘receiver’.
  4. Two Digital Voice Recorders – ensure that the date/time stamp matches on both.
  5. Two Video Camera – again making sure the date/time stamp is matching on both.
  6. A comfortable place for the receiver within the location you are investigating. A cold dungeon probably wont do although it would be quite atmospheric!

The Farsight Field Method

This is how I want to perform this experiment in the field whilst investigating a location, use it as one of your vigils I will!

  1. The ‘receiver’ is sat alone in a room/place at the location selected by the team which is comfortable within reason. The ‘receiver’ has halved ping pong balls over their eyes, ear phones playing white noise on and a red lamp shone in their face. They should relax alone in the room.
  2. At the ‘receivers’ location a digital voice recorder records close to them and a video camera records them visually.
  3. The rest of the team setup in another room as far away from the ‘receiver’ as possible to avoid any audio seepage.
  4. The rest of the team select one individual to call and ask questions, this person is the ‘sender’.
  5. A digital voice recorder is setup close to the ‘sender’ to record what they say.
  6. A video camera covers the groups movements. If you have more than one that would help to prove all are present and correct.
  7. Once settled and ready to go, the ‘sender’ starts by asking a series of questions directed at the ‘receiver’, asking them to answer. These questions should be simple like EVP questions, but in no particular order, so the ‘receiver’ is unaware of which questions are being asked!
  8. Then the ‘sender’ should utilise a photo from a selection of photo’s and try and mentally send the image to the ‘receiver’.
  9. Lastly, the ‘sender’ should ask any spirits present to communicate their answers to some basic EVP questions (asked by ‘sender’) to the ‘receiver’.
  10. If at any time during the experiment the ‘receiver’ feels they have some information in their head, no matter how random, they should say it out loud for the digital voice recorder and video camera to record.

Looking at the Results

This part is simple, you just compare the questions to the answers as they were recorded on the devices. Hence the time stamp being so important. What we are looking for is anything that seems to match up questions and answer wise. In addition any information the ‘receiver’ may get that can be supported some how. We have to bear in mind that they may pick up on things a bit like a medium and thus must be researched for supporting evidence.

I am interested in all of your results, so please let me know how you get on good or bad, and if you do get some odd results please please let me know.

You can either post your comments, thoughts or results on here or email them to me at ashley.knibb@farsightfiles.co.uk.

I look forward to hearing from you all..

Lastly, I don’t expect overnight results on this one, so it will be ongoing now until the end of 2010. I hope for Farsight PRS to put it to the test at our next investigation in October.

Remember though, Farsight Files is not just about the paranormal, its about those that investigate it…

Pre-Investigation Thoughts…

Tomorrow see’s my team head down south near to Bournemouth to investigate a little pub which has caught my interest in a very unique way. The case itself was brought to me by fellow investigator Aaron, who will be joining us tomorrow night. However, from our first initial visit to the pub I realised how different this case was going to be.

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Landguard Fort – Case Notes

Landguard (40)

With the latest issue of Ghost Voices Magazine hitting a news agents near you, thought I should post something on my blog ‘all about it’!

We investigated Landguard Fort back in March of this year and with that I learnt a valuable lesson! If a location is predominantly outside with little heating, then at that time of year you’re gonna get pretty damn cold! However, putting that aside I think the investigation still went pretty well.  Landguard (111)

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The Farsight Way

Whilst I wait to see the next Issue of Ghost Voices Magazine and our report on Landguard Fort, due out next week I think, I thought I would quickly run over our kind of approach to paranormal investigating here at Farsight PRS.

First up, top of the bill is always to investigate a location thoroughly and hopefully capture good evidence. By good, I mean supported video and audio, which we can’t explain away through logical explanations. This alone is harder than it sounds, actually I would go as far as saying its quite literally nearly impossible sometimes! Why ? I hear you shout ! Simply because we set ourselves such high standards that finding that piece of evidence becomes very hard. As a team we don’t generally jump to conclusions regarding certain scenario’s and often present logical reasonable explanations for oddities! However, this can sometimes present us with a paradox, to which a team divide can develop! A divide only in opinion and belief, which is why I like working with the guys I do! If everyone sat there stating every little thing as being paranormal without a good argument to support it, then I don’t think I would want to be a part of my own team, lol !

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A Bit of an Update !

Well its been a busy few months that’s for sure ! In fact its not stopping as it seems the moment we get back from an investigation we are off on another one, hardly having the time to review footage and write the report! However, we will soldier on and do our best to deliver hoping you all enjoy reading the Ghost Voices Magazine articles and watching our online show Farsight Files. I know we have enjoyed making it!

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