The Cromwell Hotel – Room 100

The Cromwell Hotel Brief History
The Cromwell Hotel

The Cromwell Hotel in Stevenage dates back to the middle of the 18th century, but there was an earlier building on the site. The earlier building was a farm, which may have stretched back as far as Church Lane. Perhaps the farm was acquired by John Thurloe later as one of several that he owned during Cromwell’s time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he lived there.

The 1911 census places the Solicitor Cuthbert Corbould-Ellis and his wife Eveline at number 25 High Street, now the main part of the Cromwell Hotel. Uniquely for the time Eveline has an occupation separate from her husband listed, which was that of an artist or painter. In fact the reality was that Eveline decorated miniatures. These would occasionally come up for auction with an alternative spelling of ‘Evelyn’. Her daughter Enid, not listed on the census, but would have been around 15 at the time was also an artist. Enid later moved to Australia where a portrait of her mother Eveline and Grandmother is on display in the New South Wales Art Gallery.

The marriage between Cuthbert and Eveline was actually rather unique. This was because they had combined their surnames; Cuthbert (Ellis) and Eveline (Corbould-Haywood). Corbould was actually Eveline’s mothers maiden name. At this point Eveline was a fourth generation artist and she was very proud of it too.

The couple also had two servants, a cook and housemaid.

Next door at number 27 at the Temperance Hotel (currently the Cromwell Hotel’s Old Business Centre under refurbishment) were Mr and Mrs Hood. At the point of the census the Temperance Hotel was empty.

In the local area to the Cromwell Hotel there’s a lot of possibly connected history, such as the great fire of 1807, which destroyed and damaged many buildings on the High Street.

Also, across the road and a little south is the White Lion pub (recently renamed). This was often used as a staging post on route to Peterborough’s prison of war camp around 1796 to 1816. At this time prisoners were often held in the stables and possibly the tunnels rumoured to be beneath the pub over night. The tunnels are believed to run from the White Lion cellar to the Cromwell Hotel across the road. However looking at this logically, the nearest point of the Cromwell Hotel to the White Lion is the Old Business Centre end, originally number 27. I wonder if the tunnel possibly connects there.

Reported Paranormal Activity

As far as physical activity goes the reports from the Manager and Staff members seem to indicate possible low-level poltergeist activity. This included a couple of the rooms having linen messed up after being tidied up and lights being switched on too.

One room, number 100, which is located in the older part of the building is particularly interesting. This has a couple of reports from the staff and guests. In this room the TV has been known to switch on by itself, the hangers have been heard to be moving by themselves for no reason, there have been notable temperature changes, some have heard children’s laughter, some have reported being touched, some electrical issues, knocking has been heard and possible object movement.

Other physical phenomena has been reported in other parts of the building, but not as many as in this one room.

However, a lot of possibly related information was picked up by Medium Michelle Crate during a tour of the location. This included quantifying some of the above for room 100. Although some was very vague and possibly had relation to the current staff rather than the location history, it was interesting and much was quantified.

The main cellar in the Cromwell was interesting and Michelle picked up on people being touched, light anomalies (which were also mentioned I believed), some heavy breathing or growling too. There was also a feeling that there may be something more dark in nature in the cellar, but there was nothing to support this.

In the old Cromwell Business Centre Michelle picked up on some information that had possible ties to Witches and Witchcraft. There’s no current research that supports this though. Could this be triggered by the ‘1667’ plaque above the fireplace. However that said Michelle did make reference to Books and Documents in the building, perhaps something behind the walls. Also, a man with a pipe that sat near to the fireplace was picked up.

The Plan for Room 100

As Room 100 seemed to stand out distinctly from the rest of the individual rooms, with its wide range of activity being reported, this stood out as a good location to attempt an initial overnight investigation. The previous reports seemed to have been made by most of the guests that had stayed there too, so this appeared to be the logical approach for me.

Through the Manager I arranged an overnight stay at the Cromwell Hotel in order to experience Room 100 for myself. It’s important to realise at this point that location investigation isn’t always something that can be successful in one visit. Often with any investigation of a location we must keep an open mind and gather data continuously drawing conclusions as we do so. During my first overnight investigation of Room 100 I kept this in mind and kept a balanced mindset.

Knowing the previously reported activity I decided the best approach would be to spend some time looking around the room for logical explanations to the reported activity, both internally and externally to the room. Then I would spend the night as a normal guest would and hope to experience what previous ones had too. A simple approach you may think, but often this can be the best way. After all we have to start based on the data we have to start with.

My Stay in Room 100

I began my stay in Room 100 by familiarising myself with the room in relation to the reported activity and noting the associations to obvious auditory and visual contamination. This initially focused on the wardrobe and its reports of the door opening and the clothes hangers rattling. My theory on this was related to vibrations from the near-by railway or the High Street below. However after being present in the room for a few hours I soon realised that this wasn’t the case, as neither had any effect on the wardrobe.

Next up, I conducted a quick sweep of the room with MEL Metre to check the EMF and Temperature readings. Now, it’s very important to understand that I didn’t do this in search of ‘ghosts’, the reason was simply to gain a better measurement of my environment within Room 100. This paid off too, as it highlighted some high EMF readings around some ceiling light fittings. These levels of EMF and their location probably wouldn’t be considered cause for the activity or conception of it,  but its good to know it’s there. Temperature was pretty much normal throughout though.

I spent the next few hours just being present in the room as someone might in Hotel room. This albeit slightly mundane is specifically useful in understanding the relative aspects of the location. In this case the traffic and external noises to the room, which on observation noises from outside the room were obviously identified. Also, the radiator nearest to the bed made a continuous low-level noise which was a little similar to white noise.

Just before I went to sleep I decided to attempt a very basic version of the Ganzfield Experiment (Effect) by laying on the bed wearing a blindfold and listening to white noise through earphones. This would create a simple sensory deprivation scenario and should the theory be correct, allow me to be more able to tune into other possibilities. During this mini experiment my right leg from just below the knee down felt freezing cold.

Following the Ganzfield Experiment I checked the temperature where my leg was situated to see if I could locate a reason for this feeling, which I could not. Interestingly enough though when I first visited Room 100, both the Manager and Michelle picked up on a cold draught just close to where my leg was situated. Was I now picking up what they had or perhaps because I knew what they had picked up was I now recalling the scenario? How confusing is the human mind and the paranormal?

I took the opportunity to sweep the room with the MEL Metre too, which proved that once the ceiling lights were off the EMF spikes dropped dramatically. Switch the lights back on and the EMF fluctuated again.

I decided to leave a Voice Recorder setup in the room with me whilst I slept. The Voice Recorder would only come on and record should there be a certain amount noise in close proximity to it. However on this occasion on review the Voice Recorder didn’t record any anomalies.

The Morning After The Night Before!

I woke up the next morning without having experiencing any physical phenomena during the night. There’s probably a joke in there somewhere too. Still there was a very odd feeling which left me a little uneasy. During the night on a few occasions I felt as if I was being watched. This ‘sense of being starred at’ originated from different parts of the room too. A couple of the corners, near the window and also right up near the bed on one occasion. A little weird to say the least.

Although the night wasn’t massively eventful I believe that the Cromwell Hotel still has more to investigate within its walls. I feel, lets call it a hunch, that the place still requires a more fuller team investigation at some point. So, with that in mind I look forward to returning to the Cromwell Hotel to investigate further.

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Wardown Park Museum – Case Notes

On the 26th January 2013 the Farsight PRS Team returned to the paranormal to investigate the many claims made about the Wardown Park Museum in Luton.

In fact this case was highlighted to me by a fellow investigator and author Damien O’Dell of APIS. His team had recently investigated the location with some excellent results and knowing that I wanted to get the Farsight PRS Team back together investigating he suggested it as a good starting point.

I won’t go into too much detail here as the investigation report which I will post once I have completed reviewing any CCTV footage, digital audio, etc. As you can image this can be a time consuming task when you have to fit it around a full time job and your family too.

Our initial research, provided by Mathew Robson seemed to indicate a known local ghost story which linked in with two apparition witness statements too. This along with other reports of paranormal activity helped me to focus our investigation perfectly. One of the witnesses told of footsteps being heard by him and his work mate on the basement stairs as they worked there. They looked up expecting to see the caretaker, but instead were confronted by the ghostly apparition of a women in a kind of uniform. He mentioned that in his mind it seemed to be a nurse perhaps, but the local story indicates that this ghostly figure is that of a housekeeper that worked at Wardown Park many years ago. The story basically states that following a fling with a gentleman that scorn her, she committed suicide in the nearby river. Although Farsight PRS have not been able to confirm this story as yet.

Below is a picture of the basement stairs, where we believe the apparition may have been seen.

The basement staircase where an apparition may have been seen!

Wardown Park reminded me a lot of our investigation at Peterborough Museum. The house itself had a similar background history and created a similar investigation approach. This also included using the same audio for the Singapore Theory Experiment to stimulate some activity. Whether this was as successful though I am not entirely sure.

The investigation went really well and we managed to cover all three floors at one point or another too. The more sensitive of the team picked up on some interesting pieces of information which helped us direct our investigation at times too. All in all a good first investigation for 2013 and after being off the paranormal radar for the last year.

The investigation has also highlighted a few areas for improvement which I am already working on. After all in a field where everything is really theory you have to keep changing and adapting to new ideas and approaches to find more.

Please continue to check back with the website as I will be posting the full report for Wardown Park Museum very shortly.. If you have any comments please don’t hesitate to post them..

We’re Going Deeper Underground – Case Notes

,The Farsight PRS team ventured to Essex last weekend to investigate the Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker. As ever we headed out armed with what we had hoping to capture some paranormal evidence within the underground bunker.

I have to admit though, a part of me, a childlike part who still finds an underground base pretty cool was really looking forward to this one. I studied the plans and found myself slightly excited about the trip as I set off. Sad I know, but I find it really interesting. Anyhow, its good to know where a good base is located, just in case there is a deadly illness breakout and zombies do actually roam the countryside looking for brains to eat. If that did happen i would head straight for Kelvedon Hatch as its ideal.

Anyways, back to the investigation. We arrived on site around 7pm ready for our full night of investigation. This time there was only five of us, but still plenty to thoroughly investigate the location. Following a brief tour of the bunker with some questions, we made a few decisions on CCTV locations and began to set up the kit.

In fact, I think our setup went rather smoothly apart from one tangled video/audio cable which i think may have been my fault. So much for trying to make things easier!

We then cracked on with the investigation, exploring, monitoring and trying to make conact with the any possible spirits within Kelvedon Hatch. Our hosts had kindly given us all night to investigate and even offered up a few bunks if we so desired to stay before heading home in the morning. An unusual concept, but not something the Farsight PRS have not done in the past.

We monitored our CCTV system and other tech, noting down important information and relaying information back to the investigation team from Operational Command. We now have a dedicated person monitoring our CCTV system throughout the night, which is on a rotor so they dont get too tired. The system also has audio on four of the five cameras, so that is monitored too. The idea is to become proactive, so if something does happen and the investigation team are not in the right place, Operational Command can radio through and advise them where they could be. Hopefully this idea will work in the end proving its worth.

However, we had a few things occur during our investigation that we can’t really explain. I think Kelvedon Hatch Bunker was a really nice and pretty cool location to investigate. Wish I had a bunker like that!

As ever keep your eye out for the full report coming soon in Paranormal Magazine (, i hope you enjoy it. Feel free to comment on any of these posts on my Blog, about the articles and anything paranormal really..

Apologies that its a bit short, just wanted to update you all really.

A Trip to the Theatre

Last Saturday night saw some of the Farsight PRS team head down to Eastbourne and investigate a supposedly haunted theatre.

The Royal Hippodrome Theatre has reports of strange noises on and off the stage. Unusually there are also a high number of apparition sightings within the theatre. This was something that intrigued me, after all every investigator would love to capture an apparition on film! The higher the number of sightings the more chance perhaps?

We arrived in Eastbourne and were immediately faced with our first problem, parking! In fact it took us a little while to find anywhere to park and even then it wasn’t particularly close! We didn’t allow this to stifle our pans though and soon met up in the Box Office area of the theatre.

Two members of a more local investigation team also joined us, Amy and Tori from PIGS ( It would be interesting to see what they thought of how Farsight PRS investigate locations.

We soon cracked on with the investigation and our hosts for the evening gave us a quick tour detailing the activity that had been experienced at the Hippodrome. In fact one of the guys had investigated the theatre many times himself, which meant he had plenty to tell us.

Following the tour we setup our new CCTV system, trying to cover as much of the hotspots as we could. In fact our system is a little gem, with eight possible video feeds (we only have five cameras currently) and four audio feeds. With this setup and some radios we can have a member of the team monitor the investigation noting any oddities and readings on a laptop, whilst watching and listening too. The geek in me loves it!

As we went through the night there were a few oddities to mention, mainly audible. All in all though it was a good little investigation I think. The Royal Hippodrome Theatre in Eastbourne is an excellent and certainly atmospheric location for a paranormal investigation or even just to visit for an evening show. I look forward to taking a look at some of our footage and audio to see if we caught anything. I hope we have something to back up our own personal experiences though.

The full investigation write up will be coming soon to a future issue of Paranormal Magazine, be sure to catch it to find out more. Perhaps we will find something in our evidence review too.

One last thank you to my team as ever and the two girls from PIGS, good work guys.

As ever if you have any questions or comments, please dont hesitate to add them.

The Hidden Fort – Case Notes

The Farsight PRS team headed to Harwich this weekend to investigate the Redoubt Fort.

After I drove past the entrance a couple of times, realising that the small road which resembled a footpath was actually where I needed to go, I pulled up outside the well hidden Fort. I say, well hidden as that is exactly what it is and in fact what its original design intended. Rather than being built on a hill, it has actually been built in the hill so to speak, making it a very hard target! However, its still very effected as a defensive unit.

These days the Fort is surrounded by a bush, then allotments and finally local houses. All things which were never there in its day, but make it very hard to find!

However, once you cross the bridge over the moat and actually enter the Fort you are presented with an abundance of history, which has been well preserved for us all by the volunteers who have dedicated their time to making the Fort the best it can be. In fact they have done amazing work over nearly forty years to preserve the Fort. In fact one of their displays shows the work they have done over the years and I have to admit they have gone to some impressive lengths.

Following some traffic issues on the A12 the rest of the team began to turn up. So once we had settled in, cracked a few jokes and got some provisions for the night, we were given a tour.

I think its apt to mention that whilst a few of us headed to a local shop for coffee and biscuits, Martin felt the need to remain and ‘hold the fort’, his words!

Following our tour we were left to setup and investigate. However, this was going to be unlike the other investigations we had done. For the first time I think we were actually evaluating and planning how to proceed on the fly. Which was interesting, but not exactly how I like to run investigations.

Even so we cracked on, made decisions and done what we could. Please keep an eye on our website and Ghost Voices Magazine for the full report on Harwich Redoubt Fort.

Please feel free to comment on this or any other post.

Peterborough Museum – Case Notes

The latest issue of Ghost Voices Magazine will be available very soon online and in your local news agents! As ever contained within its glossy pages of paranormal activity is the latest feature of Farsight Files and what article this one is! This month, if you haven’t guessed from my Blog title it’s about our investigation at Peterborough Museum back in June of this year..

With positive reactions to our Singapore Theory Experiment, moving objects and odd sightings the museum delivered brilliantly in terms of a paranormal investigation. Peterborough Museum I applaud and thank you for a brilliant night! As I mentioned recently on Haunted 911 Radio, the museum is probably top of my list as far as investigated locations go. Well worth a visit if you get a chance!

Peterborough Museum 19062010 (21)

In my previous Case Notes I gave a little history and bits on past activity, but I think going forward I will make it a little more less in depth. The reason for this is because the magazine article contains most of this information, as will our website and hopefully a book I am trying to put together!

So, what to include now! Well I can tell you a little more about us and the night itself really. There’s always plenty to chat about as we spend hours at a location investigating.

In this case myself and what we call the ‘film crew’, which is basically Leanne, Lucy and Keith arrived around lunch time. Once we negotiated the town and found the museum, and yes I have managed to get lost on a previous visit, we decided to head in and take a look around. I felt that the building even carried itself in a slight eerie ambience during the day. However, this could be down to ‘large old house syndrome’, which basically means because its a large old house with a few quirks and you have the knowledge of a possible haunting, you automatically associate it as being strange all the time! We browsed the exhibits, but also took time to realise where previous activity reports were referring to, giving us the opportunity to plan ahead. We made some decisions on CCTV locations and got a feel for how things might progress throughout the night.

Peterborough Museum 19062010 (11)

We then left the museum, as it was due to close, and headed towards the town. Leanne and her team wanted some photo’s and establishing shots, so we got them on the way. I managed to even have a go on my sisters camera, although I get the feeling she wasn’t overly impressed with my filming ! As we waited for the Museum to reopen for us we grabbed a bite to eat and discussed the investigation ahead.

When we returned the Museum we waited for the rest of the team in the Car Park. It wasn’t long before Simon, Kev and Judith arrived and we made our way in to meet Stuart.

I feel I should pause briefly to describe Stuart, as he helps to make the investigations at Peterborough Museum truly unique. Stuart works for the Museum and has an extensive knowledge of the place, both historically and paranormally. Information from both areas he keeps well and truly to himself, only sharing it when a team or individuals discover something very specific. Oh, he has also had numerous experiences in the building himself, again information on which he keeps to himself. He does tell of a few choice stories though, but these are already well known.

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Once in we established the plan for the night and then got setup straight away. Following a quick break, we split into two teams for the evening and cracked on with the investigation. The main details of the investigation are in the Ghost Voices Magazine and will be on our website soon, so won’t go into that to much.

However, suffice to say we had numerous little occurrences of activity throughout the night. In fact the investigation had it all, strange feelings, knocking doors, light anomalies, moving objects, dark masses and a few odd noises. All in all a blinding investigation.

Was this stirred up by the Singapore Theory Experiment, not all as some occurred before hand and some after. Most importantly though, the moving object is caught on camera. However, if you look at it objectively, then its not a conclusive piece of footage! I reckon a sceptic would tear it apart! Saying that though, unless I experienced it myself I would!

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Although Most Haunted reported a darker character in the cellar, for me the more intriguing element was that of the ANZAC Soldier that has been seen on the stair case. So, much so in fact that one day I may return purely to investigate that area alone! Basically, the story tells of sightings of the ANZAC Soldier gliding up the staircase and disappearing. When I first heard this I believed this to be a Residual Haunting and the sightings and reports I read would seem to agree. With this in mind I created an experiment in the area of the staircase to attempt and capture (hopefully) a picture or video of the Soldier. Research had presented the Singapore Theory to me and from that I formulated an experiment using period music from the time the Soldier was said to have died. All in all it had a little promise and when we kicked it off at about one thirty in the morning things did change after a while! In fact at one point, Stuart said ‘you have certainly stirred things up a little’, which was my aim. In fact it was whilst the period music was playing in the stairwell that myself and Judith saw light travel up the last flight of stairs. Once I realised that chasing the light, which simply disappeared lead me nowhere, Stuart helped us recreate it. As the colour and the way it flickered reminded me of a candle he tried a couple of variations, with a large candle in a lamp fitting what we saw almost exactly. All I can say is ‘wow’! I can’t explain it, I have no idea what it was and there was no reasonable logical explanation for it! I felt like a kid at Christmas afterwards and to an extent still do when I recall it. I think the best thing is that Judith saw exactly the same thing as me, at least that means I’m not going mad!

Other team members and myself experienced activity of varying types that night, which places Peterborough Museum proudly at the top of my list of places to investigate. I will have to return and try for some more conclusive evidence to support our experiences.

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We left Peterborough as the sun began to rise, but still very excited by our investigation! In fact it was one of the best so far I had attended!

Perhaps this was how things were to be going forward !

For more details check out the Ghost Voices Magazine article this month or our website at

As ever, please feel free to leave a comment as I love to hear what you think..

Peterborough Museum 19062010 (44)  Peterborough Museum 19062010 (65) Peterborough Museum 19062010 (52)

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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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