2010 Cases

Farsight PRS Investigation – Explosions! Museum

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The Brief
Explosions Museum actually has quite a bit to offer. Like Landguard Fort from earlier that year, it would be a sizeable location to investigate. However, along with that came many notable reports of activity, including audible, visual and physical. Types of activity I would like to get stuck in to.

Clearly we would have to check out the claims and look for some logical reasons which may explain these reports. It would seem also that there were specific areas which were clearly hotspots. Each with many different reports, from unknown noises, moving objects, apparitions and doors that close on command, this was a place that had to be investigated.

I intended to take Farsight PRS in to investigate the claims of paranormal activity, looking for more logical explanations. We shall debunk what we can and what we cannot will remain unknown.

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History & Activity
Priddy’s Hard Fort, completed back in 1757 and manned by the Army was the new location for the gunpowder magazines following a series of accidents.

After 6 years, 1777 saw the completion of the new powder depot for the Royal Navy. Then throughout the 19th Century further buildings were added including First Royal Laboratory Complex, C Powder Magazine, Shell Filling Rooms, Twelve Cartridge Rooms, and more.

The site saw continuously change during the early twentieth century to meet the evolving needs of naval ordnance technology, not to mention to improve security of the site from both landward and seaward attack. The site was fully utilised during the Second World War with the introduction of 2,500 women workers who filled jobs vacated by men on active service. The site was last used for significant naval activity during the Falklands Conflict in 1982, and was vacated by RNAD Gosport in 1988 when it relocated to Frater further north on the Harbour.

Currently the Priddy’s site is home to a Museum which opened in March of 2001. Explosion!, The Museum of Naval Firepower.

Paranormal activity at Priddy’s is varied and seems to have been found in multiple locations around the site. However, the main hotspots seem to be the Grand Magazine, C Magazine, Room 309, Room 316 and the Admin Block. These areas have had reports of footsteps, objects being thrown or moved, sounds having been recorded, apparitions, unexplained noises, battery drain and physical contact.

Attending Investigators
Ashley Knibb – Lead Investigator
Leanne Knibb – Documentarian
Jim Bridgeman – Lead Investigator
Ian Pegg – Tech Manager
Liz Egan – Investigator
Kev Ling – Investigator
Aaron Hardy – Case Manager
Claire Hickling – Guest

Location Hotspots & Equipment
The first CCTV camera was setup in the Grand Magazine covering as much of the large room as possible. This included the entrance and the area we would later use for our Ganzfield Experiment.

The second CCTV camera was placed in the Big Gun Room, in the furthest corner covering pretty much the whole room and both entrances. I don’t think this room is actually called the Big Gun Room, but with lack of a better title and considering its contents of guns including a rather large one, I thought it best.

The third CCTV camera was located in the Main Entrance covering the shop area and entrances to the cafe and other parts of the museum. We wanted to place a camera here to monitor any team movement through this area, as this helps us to detail where people are at certain times.

The fourth and final CCTV camera covered the main through corridor all the way up to the Grand Magazine. Again this would cover team movements, as it covered the exit from the cafe, a cross section further up and the door to the Grand Magazine itself.

Our HQ for the night was the cafe area of the main building, right next to the main entrance. This was located quite conveniently giving us access to all areas for the investigation.

We also tried something else in regards to logging baseline readings for EMF and Temperature this time around. During setup I had a couple of the team walk around the location visiting each vigil location, as they did so they would a make a note of a baseline reading. The difference is they would stick some tape on the floor where they stood and write a brief identification for that location. That way as we walked around visiting vigil locations during the night the teams could take readings on those spots, giving us a rolling baseline through the night. This could then be used for comparisons to any odd readings in those areas.

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Vigil 1 – Team One – Admin Block
Before we even headed off to the Admin Block, Aaron’s Digital Voice recorder seemed to suffer from battery drain.

On arrival in the Admin Block I thought I could hear whispers in the distance, but ruled this out as being the rain outside.

As the vigil progressed Kev’s Digital Voice recorder also lost power.

Following a walk around the building we stopped in one of the rooms on the ground floor. Aaron set his K2 Meter down on a chair and it wasn’t long before the LED’s lit up! Over excited by this, as we had never really had much of a result from the K2 we began to ask some questions. The LED’s continued to react, but it was hard to say if they were truly in reaction to our line of questioning. However, as quickly as they had began they stopped, which brought our vigil to a close.

One last thing to mention about this particular room was that there was what appeared to be a pentagram faintly drawn on the floor! Slightly odd, but I had been told of these kinds of markings being found over the years on the site.

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Vigil 1 – Team Two – Building 309
Unfortunately the team had only one thing to report from this Vigil, which was that the rain on the corrugated roof was very loud! In fact the rain made it impossible to do any kind of audio work, such as EVP or even just simply listening out was made impossible.

With nothing to report the team returned slightly disappointed.

Mid-Way Briefing
After the first two vigils we decided to hold a quick briefing to determine how to continue with the investigation

Given the heavy rain we decided to concentrate our efforts closer to the HQ, but still included one more solid building, the Admin Building.

Vigil 2 – Team One – 425 Grand Magazine – Ganzfield Experiment Receiver
We began this vigil by setting Aaron up as the receiver for the Ganzfield experiment. Basically, yet oddly enough this involved sitting Aaron on a chair in the Grand Magazine. We then taped half ping pong balls over his eyes, shone a red lamp at his face and played white noise through earphones that covered his ears. We also set up a camcorder close by to record him as the experiment progressed. There was also a CCTV camera in the room, which should capture any movement.

We then left Aaron alone to settle before starting the experiment. As we exited the room we locked the door way off with alarmed beam barriers.

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Vigil 2 – Team One – Big Gun Room – Ganzfield Experiment Sender
The rest of Team One then took up position in the Big Gun Room. The idea was to attempt to send information to Aaron either by talking about it or asking out loud to see what he may pick up on.

It may be important to note that at this time, even without earphones playing white noise, Aaron would not have been able to hear what we were saying. The distance between the two rooms and even the size of the Grand Magazine made that pretty much impossible.

We asked some simple questions, such as his favourite colour the date he is due to marry on, his age, things associated to him. We also tried something a little more random. We read out information from the exhibits to see if he picked up on any of that. We also asked any spirits present to affect him.

As the vigil came to an end we headed back to the Grand Magazine to release Aaron from the experiment.

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Vigil 2 – Team Two – Admin Block
Although Team Two didn’t seem to experience activity as dramatic as Team One, they did hear what they described as footsteps upstairs and in various other areas. This is not dissimilar to previous reports for this area.

At one point during the vigil Jim sat down in an old brown arm chair and after a short while felt a pain down the side of his face followed by nausea. Could this experience be associated with the arm chair?

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Vigil 3 – Team One – Admin Block
On this occasion we had some more K2 activity upstairs this time. Across what seemed like three different rooms. At times it even seemed a little like the activity was in response to our questions, but this remains inconclusive as we couldn’t get it to work on every question. It was more like hit and miss, across a conversation!

We also tried throwing some small objects to see if that would get a response, but on this occasion nothing happened.

Vigil 3 – Team Two – 425 Grand Magazine
For their final vigil of the night Team Two headed to the Grand Magazine to investigate. The team attempted the Singapore Theory experiment, which in the past has given us some positive results.

With the experiment up and running playing sounds related to the location and building they waited to see what would happen. Incidentally they believed that footsteps were heard outside the door.
However, as the vigil progressed things went decidedly quiet and the team returned with little more to report.

Captured Evidence
Often we leave a location, review our footage and audio hoping to discover something, even following a quite night. Explosions had presented the team with some experiences during the investigation, the most prominent being that of the reactions we seemed to get on the K2.

However, as ever the analysis of the investigation footage and audio laid ahead of us. I have to admit since we have began investigating these supposed haunted locations some kind of evidence or at the very least something that re-fires your interest has been a little lacking. Sure, we had recorded on video the K2 meter fluctuating and at the time it did seem a little to be connected with our questions. However, this was a very loose connection and I think our excitement at the time of any reaction may have damaged the results slightly.

Was the K2 fluctuations communication? It’s hard to say, but we did remove any possible cause from the area such as mobile phones or radios. We also used a different EMF meter to check for any other sources which there were none. The randomness of these fluctuations could have been the beginnings of a connection with a spirit, but unfortunately our questioning didn’t really produce positive logical responses from the K2, which leaves it difficult to determine.

The Ganzfield Experiment also produced some odd results, which Aaron mentioned at the time and later in analysis there are a few loose links to the sender team. However, more interestingly from my point of view, Aaron said he felt as if someone was walking around the room on a couple of occasions. Maybe this was due to the state of mind he was in created by the audio and visual deprivation. The CCTV camera and camcorder in the room certainly didn’t pick anything up! More significantly towards the end of the experiment Leanne asks someone to touch him on the head or shoulders, within a few seconds he touches his face! This could be coincidence, but it’s certainly something to think about! All in all I think the experiment proved relatively positive and created some good results, even if they are more along the lines of personal experiences.
Jim also documented a personal experience in the Admin Block. Whilst sat in an old arm chair he had a pain down one side and then felt sick. What made this personal experience even more interesting was during our analysis we discovered a possible voice in the background, in that very room. We have some ideas to what it might be saying, but nothing for certain. However, it appeared this wasn’t all for the Admin Block. We also discovered a further two odd sounds which didn’t fit and were not produced by the team. Then finally as the team ascended the stairs to the first floor, a distinctive voice is heard. In fact the voice is clear that you can even hear an accent. Usually with oddities like this I would keep my thoughts on what is said to me, to discover what others may think. On this occasion though it’s so clear it’s hard to imagine it saying anything else. As Aaron (holding the camcorder) and Claire begin to climb the staircase, the voice seems to call down saying ‘shitehouses’ ! I know this wasn’t my team as the accent doesn’t fit and the phrase itself doesn’t even fit with what we were doing or saying at the time. I know that due to the clarity it will be scrutinised and that’s fine, but I know it is unexplained, which is good enough for me!

That’s brings us to the end of the evidence, but in my mind I think it was a very successful investigation with quite possibly the best results today, in terms of what we can take away. The sounds and voices will be something that we can chalk up as evidence, but I know out there as proof, it’s not great! I also know how easily this evidence could be discounted. If these had been captured whilst no one was there then they maybe more valuable, but even then some sceptics would argue the presence of someone off camera making the noise. All this I understand, but simply for me I know that this audio wasn’t us and just fuels my personal desire to find better more acceptable evidence if I can.

Conclusions
The Explosions Museum was certainly an excellent close for Farsight PRS in 2010, presenting challenges and experiences alike. Following a few re-thinks on our approach to the investigation and changes along the way thanks to the weather, we soon pushed forward and produced some good results I think.

Reading some reports from other teams and individuals on the internet in regards to their own experiences at Explosions had left me hopeful, but as ever sceptical to how well our own investigation may pan out. I must admit, I thought some of the reports a little too good to be true in places. The abundance of activity reported should have made the Museum a good place to find something. In fact it didn’t disappoint either, although I don’t think we saw any apparitions, we did leave with a few personal experiences and following analysis found some of what we had been seeking.

Is the Explosions Museum haunted? Well this places me a little in the same position as I was at Peterborough I guess! We don’t have overwhelming evidence to prove it is, but we do have a few oddities which seem to give some credibility to previous reports. In fact some experiences even fit a little with previous reports. I think there is certainly something at Explosions worth a second shot and my money would probably be on the Admin Block, as that is where I think we experienced the most activity. If a haunting is defined as unexplained noises, voices and some odd goings on, then Explosions ticks those boxes. However, if I am honest whilst there I don’t think we felt particularly as if the place was very active. As we had so much though, K2 activity, four unexplained voices or sounds and some odd feelings, I am going to go ahead and give it. Explosions Museum may just be haunted and I for one would certainly want to return with my team to investigate further one day.

So, if not just for the possible paranormal activity within the Admin Block and possibly other locations around the site, Explosions is an excellent place to learn about Naval firepower with some excellent exhibits on display. Day or night, depending on your preference please pop down and take a look.

Farsight PRS leave Explosions behind us and take a little break until March 2011. As ever we take what we have learnt with us and over the next few months will redevelop the team adding some new faces ready for our first investigation in 2011. Join us next time when we take on the mighty Morecambe Winter Gardens Theatre made famous for its paranormal activity by the Most Haunted Live event in October 2009.

Categories: 2010 Cases, Cases, Explosions! Museum | 1 Comment

Farsight PRS Investigation – Royal Oak Pub Investigation

The Brief
In March 2010, Aaron Hardy brought a new case to me, asking for Farsight to assist him.

When Aaron first mentioned the case to me I have to admit I was a little apprehensive. However, after I read some of the reports on its website, spoke to Aaron a little more I decided to get involved.

Following a couple of visits I arranged for a small Farsight team to go in with Aaron to conduct the overnight investigation.

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History & Activity
On the day of the investigation Leanne visited the almost local Dorchester Archives to see what she could find. Although difficult to pin point she managed to unearth some information in the Kelly’s Directory in regards to possible previous owners of the pub.

The property itself dates back further than 1855 and has not always been a pub. Originally it was actually three or four small cottages. We know little about the residents of these cottages at the moment, another visit to the archives and a lot of digging may find something, but given our limited time and resources this was something for another visit!

It may be prominent to mention that over the last ten years as a pub it has changed landlords thirteen times, with Rachel being that thirteenth landlady! Also, in this time frame it has experienced two fires. One of these being very serious, which from investigation seemed to start both ends of the pub! I believe there may have also been one death on the property from natural causes, but have not been able to confirm this.

On our first visit to the pub on a relatively quiet Thursday afternoon, we were given the full tour by Rachel and Terri. They detailed some of the more active areas and where oddities had occurred, recently and in the past. I soon realised as our tour proceeded that they had experienced an abundance of activity. Rather than attempt to describe each here, I have listed them below;

People poked or touched on the neck
Sightings of possible full apparitions
Net curtain to upstairs moving as if someone is peeping out
Glass shattered by itself on the bar
Smell of hay or stables near cellar area
Sightings of whispy smoke in back room
Door movement
Pictures falling off walls – with force
Sound of footsteps on floor above bar.
Same footsteps heard outside the bathroom on first floor
Apparitions sightings or medium connections made in the top room
Rappings in / on the wall
Sighting of man apparition in garden, also the garden was as if it was centuries ago -S Haine
Sightings of apparitions in the corner of the main bar
Odd feelings in some of the rooms upstairs
Feeling cold in some places
Tugging on clothes

One final thing struck me as odd, well it was something I hadn’t experienced to date! What seemed the majority of people appeared to have a kind of spiritual connection. Rachel herself had worked in this pub in her younger years and now returned as its Landlady years later. Then there were the other locals that had spiritual abilities or a connection of some kind. Rachel also told me of many visitors to the area, possibly on their holidays which would wander into the pub and soon begin talking about things spiritual or have those abilities themselves. It was beginning to seem like a bit of a spiritual beacon from my point of view, but what significance this had, I didn’t know!

Witness Reports
As this was more of a private location investigation, after all the landlady lives at the pub, we wanted to collect as much background information as possible from several sources.

When Aaron and I visited the Royal Oak for the first time we took the opportunity to gather as much information as possible. We spoke to the locals, staff and residents alike to build up the picture. To back this up we interviewed a selected group including Rachel and asked them the same set of questions, only following up on anything that may require it. Suffice to say everyone we spoke to that night had either had an experience in the pub, felt it was haunted or repeated a previous report! None told us that they thought that there was nothing there!

I return to the pub in April 2010 alone! This was for a couple of reasons really. I wanted to go over what we had already learnt, speak more with some key people in the investigation, spend the night alone in one of the active rooms and also get a feel for the pub in its natural state. On that final point, I wanted to blend in with the locals to see how their night was. I already had some theories on the people themselves being some kind of conduit for the activity here! This assumption gained through what their spiritual beliefs were and that the activity experienced at the pub seemed to bind them together.

Following my night in the active room at the Royal Oak, incidentally this wasn’t active! Perhaps a more sensitive person would have more experiences? The next morning presented some more information. Rachel had managed to contact a previous Landlady, who had been in the pub nearly ten years previous. We spoke at length and I had her (like Rachel) give me a tour of the pub! Interestingly enough Sharan (ex-Landlady) took me to similar locations as Rachel, pointing out similar activity and stories from her days in the pub.

This included seeing a Gentleman standing in the corner of the garden from the window of the room on the second floor, the same room that Rachel had identified as active. Sharan also identified the first floor bedroom as having the unwelcome or trapped feeling about it. In fact it was Sharan and her partner that found the loft space above that room. They discovered a false wall which covered up the entrance, which they subsequently took down and gained access. Perhaps it wasn’t the bedroom, but the loft that had the feelings of being trapped?

Sharan also explained how her pets had acted oddly on this property, refusing to enter some rooms and reacting as if something was there, when there was nothing!

Finally, she explained how whilst working in the Garden they found what they thought was a human vertebra bone! They kept it behind the bar for a few days before taking it to the police. The police later told them that it was indeed human, but as it was dated 300 plus years old they would not be following it up. I contacted the local police to see if I could find out more, but as this occurred over ten years ago, their computer database couldn’t find anything! I did try contacting a local officer in Swanage too, but they are busy guys!

On its own this sounds quite sinister! However, the area has been reported to be the location of some Roman burial sites and thus we can’t rule this out as a logical explanation.

Sharan also added that over the years the neck area did appear to be one of the more popular areas to be poked by unseen hands! Rachel also noted this more recently.

Attending Investigators
Ashley Knibb – Lead Investigator
Leanne Knibb – Documentarian
Lucy Harkness – Assistant Documentarian
Richard Owen – Film Crew
Aaron Hardy – Investigator
Judith Hardy – Investigator

Residents & Pub Locals Present
Rachael
Terri
Andrew
Pete
Jon

Location Hotspots & Equipment
With our previous visits and detailed interviews with many people we had plenty of ideas for how to setup for the night and where to concentrate our efforts. The first two members of the team (Leanne and Richard) arrived on site on the Friday evening. I arrived Saturday lunchtime and from there we began to talk about our setup for the evening. We also had right up until after eleven PM before we could begin setup.

The first CCTV camera was placed in the far corner of the bar (under the TV), this was to cover most of the bar area.

The second CCTV camera was on the first floor at floor level, filming the corridor past the middle bedroom towards the living room door. This was to cover one of the areas that footsteps had been heard and the previous land lady reported her children seeing shadows under the door.

The third CCTV camera was initially to be placed in the first floor bedroom off the living room, as it had many reports of activity. However, at the last minute I changed my mind and decided to place it in the attic room above.

The forth CCTV camera was setup to cover the second floor bedroom which had activity reported. We setup the camera on the bedside table, so it filmed the room from that perspective.

Our HQ for the night would be the dining room off the main bar, where the equipment was based.

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Vigil 1 – Top to Bottom Walk Through
For this vigil Aaron, Judith and I made our way through the pub to the main hotspot areas, with intention of trying to debunk the reported paranormal activity.

The footsteps herd on the first floor could have been hot water pipes heating up and making the old building creek. Equally the noises heard could be the creaks and groans of an old building!

As other areas were more linked to individuals and what they saw or felt, this was even harder to debunk! EMF readings were pretty flat throughout the building, which ruled that out and only left the individuals themselves.

Vigil 2 – First Floor Living Room – The Spiritual Circle
Rachel, Terri, Pete and Jon began to go through the motions as they usually do when conducting their spiritual circle.

For me and some members of my team this was a first, having never experienced how some sensitive’s practice. To begin with we remained quiet and allowed them to go through what they usually do, but it soon became apparent to them that there were too many people in the room with them. Leaving Leanne and Richard behind, the rest of us left.

As the spiritual circled continued they managed to be more successful, picking up on more names, possibly people connected with individuals and feelings of the group themselves. A few names did pop up which could be linked to our research, but they were too vague and common to really raise an eyebrow!

Vigil 3 – First Floor Middle Bedroom
This vigil saw Aaron, Judith, Rachael and Andrew take a few photo’s in the room, as an odd photo of Andrew was taken in that room!

Vigil 4 – First Floor Bedroom (Off Living Room) & Attic Space
Terri, Jon, Pete, Leanne, Lucy and I headed to the room on the first floor to investigate the feelings of being trapped.

We settled into the room and began to call out. We tried some knocking asking for the spirit to copy our taps if they could, but without success. With this I decided to take myself up the ladder into the attic space above the room and Pete joined me.

I placed my Grandfathers pocket watch on the floor between us. At this point I spoke out loud asking for the watch to be moved!

A while later we realised that the watch had been running normally, for nearly twenty minutes. That would have been just after when I ask for it to be moved or there about. When I had asked for the watch to be moved I hadn’t considered it starting, but this was an interesting result.

As we reached the end of the vigil I picked up the watch, as I did it stopped again! It then remained stopped, exactly as it was prior to the vigil!

Vigil 5 – First Floor Bedroom (Off Living Room) & Attic Space
Rachael and Pete remained in the room below, whilst Judith, Andrew and Richard headed up into the attic space to investigate.

At one point Judith believes she felt something behind her, but couldn’t be sure. However, more interesting was what occurred as they prepared to leave the area. Richard left first and was sure that Rachael and Pete followed him out of the bedroom area! They then believe they heard someone in the room below! Could this be a simple case of Judith and Andrew hearing the other two or was it paranormal?

Vigil 5 – Second Floor Bedroom
The rest of us decided to conduct one last vigil in the second floor bedroom, but this was reasonably quiet.

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Captured Evidence
Although we had interviews from residents and locals alike detailing their own experiences at the Royal Oak, on this investigation we found very little to support it. However, this doesn’t mean there isn’t ‘something’ at the pub.

My team also experienced some oddities during their stay there and I have to admit there may have been an occasion where I looked over my shoulder into the darkness with the firm belief I thought someone was there. However, these are personal experiences not solid evidence.

The most prominent experience of our investigation I think was my grandfathers pocket watch! The watch which I use as a trigger object hadn’t been wound or working in while. I set it down on the floor of that attic and asked for it to move. Although I was initially unaware it did start and continued to work without being wound for the next 20 odd minutes. This was witnessed by me, Pete and Lucy. However, as the end of the vigil came to a close, the watch stopped as soon as I touched it!

It was during this same vigil that we also picked up a knock or tap possibly in response to a question, during our EVP session. However, this is inconclusive as it only occurred once for us. This occurred just before the movement on the pocket watch!

Please feel free to take a look at the investigation for yourself at http://www.farsightfiles.co.uk/fstv. The episode should be available over the next few months. Just select the On Demand button at the bottom, Farsight Files and then Farsight Files –Royal Oak Swanage. This is also accessible through our Facebook Page too under the Livestream tab.

Conclusions
The Royal Oak was certainly an eye opener for me as an investigator. Until now Farsight PRS have pretty much just investigated locations that are generally open to the public. Although a local pub on the edge of gorgeous Swanage, the Royal Oak investigation is more like a private residence investigation. With activity reported throughout the building from the bar to the residence area upstairs. This type of investigation creates challenges of its own, but as ever the Farsight PRS team stepped up and covered the location well.

Given this case is also one which is affecting the very lives of the pubs locals and residents alike, we ensured we gave as much time as possible to it. This included the initial visit by Aaron and I to collect as much information as we could. Then my return visit to the pub, where I questioned a few key people, talked to the locals during a normal night and then stayed in one of the most active rooms in the building. Finally Leanne and Richard arrived at the pub the night before the investigation and also stayed in the active rooms to gauge the place for themselves and leave plenty of time for research the next day. Then of course there was the overnight investigation by the team and a few locals. All in all we were very thorough.

For me the interesting thing about this case as it stands is the fact that there seem to be many witnesses who have experienced activity or oddities which are similar or at least located at the Royal Oak.

The most impressive is that of a previous land lady who was resident with her family ten years previous. If anything those who have lived there and drank there certainly believe the pub has some additional unseen residents.

However, beyond the possibility of ghosts or spirits the pub has an additional oddness about it, something I find relatively intriguing. In my personal opinion there appears to be a high number of sensitive, mediums or spiritually gifted individuals drawn to this place than I have ever seen. Every other person seems to be gifted in some way or another. The landlady Rachael also told me of how during the summer season visitors would come in for a drink and following a brief discussion it would be realised they are sensitive in some way. Odd to say the least!

Is the Royal Oak Swanage haunted? Our investigation returned little solid evidence apart from the EVP ‘knock’. We have a few personal experiences such as the pocket watch incident, but little more on the night. As ever without this conclusive evidence I am unable to state that the Royal Oak is indeed haunted, but equally I can’t say it isn’t. Is the activity picked up by the sensitive’s something we won’t be able to prove? I know one thing for certain Rachael continues to tell me of activity at the pub and in this case I don’t think Farsight PRS have finished. We will keep this case open and return to Swanage in 2011.

The Royal Oak was a new kind of investigation for us, but one we have taken on well I think. Our initial visit has given us some leads to follow up on and the nature of this case will require some other approaches I think, but still a good start. It’s not often an odd case like this comes up, with the complexities of an old location and interesting individuals involved. However, Farsight PRS will continue to investigate and try and find some answers for Rachael where we can.

As for Farsight PRS until we return to the Royal Oak we move onto our next investigation taking with us a greater understanding of private investigations. We headed to Portsmouth to end our 2010 investigations with a bang! And there’s no better place to do that than the Explosions! Museum.

Categories: 2010 Cases, Cases, Royal Oak Pub Swanage | 1 Comment

Farsight PRS Investigation – Llywernog Silver-Lead Mine

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The Brief
Sometimes when searching the UK for locations for Farsight PRS to investigate, new locations are far from your mind. Such a thing as a location which has yet to be investigated by a team seemed to be a luxury we would never encounter.

Luckily Leanne had her eye on the local newspaper and saw that the Mine just up the road was expanding from its usual historical.

My aim was to take in a small team in on this occasion to see what we can find.

History & Activity
Dating back to almost 1742, when the original mineral vein was discovered, the mine consisted of two shallow shafts. By 1790 two levels were being created in the hillside using hand drilling and gunpowder blasting. One of these tunnels struck a main lode of silver-lead ore, whilst the second tunnel was not so lucky.

The Williams family of Scorrier House, Gwennap, near Redruth in Cornwall leased the mine between 1824 and 1834. They were known as the Cornish ‘Mine Adventurers’ and it was the start of a long association between the Mining Districts of Cardiganshire and Cornwall, which continued into the 1900’s.

The mineral vein became increasingly unproductive and pumping costs grew! The company installed a 16 hp steam engine to assist the pumps in addition to the 40ft diameter waterwheel in 1869. To realise John Balcombe’s dream and explore at greater depths, a 50ft diameter overshot waterwheel was built around 1874.

By 1910, as the giant waterwheel slowly rotted and following a Scottish Companies attempt to prospect for zinc ore, the mine slowly became dormant. The waterwheel was blown up in 1953 for scrap and the mine became a shadow of its former self.

However, this wasn’t the end for Llywernog Silver-Lead Mine! Dr. Stephen Harvey (University of Leicester) and his son Peter Lloyd Harvey woke the mine and began to develop it as a Mining Museum in 1973. Peter Harvey continues to privately maintain and develop the museum today as a beautiful example of the districts mining heritage.

Peter told us about some of the activity that visitors, mediums and he had experienced at the Mine. This was varied, but some things I thought I may have a possible explanation for straight away! There had been reports of shadows and cold spots throughout the location. Mediums that had visited the location had picked up on a few things, the most predominant being that of a child spirit in our first vigil location the Big Stope. The usual reports of Orbs were present and given the location I had my suspicions to their cause. Peter also mentioned some odd things which had been experienced in the woods up the hill from the Mine, including his own personal experience. The one thing I did want us to look at was Peter’s picture of what he called ‘The Red Soldier’. This was a possible apparition photographed in Poole’s Mine Chamber.

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Witness Reports
Peter’s main experience was when he saw what he believes to be a Miner stood on the hill near the Mine shaft. The other thing that interests me about this report is the fact that Peter told me it occurred around the time the sun was going down, so it was still light enough to see the hill.

Attending Investigators
Ashley Knibb – Lead Investigator
Leanne Knibb – Documentarian
Keith Huckfield – Photographer / Interviewer
Jim Bridgeman – Lead Investigator
Ian Pegg – Tech Manager
Julie McNicholls – Local Reporter

Location Hotspots & Equipment
Once we had our guided tour containing a little historical information and some paranormal reports it became apparent where we should set up.

Our first CCTV camera was placed outside covering the entrance to the mine.

Camera two was placed behind the museum filming up the hill where Peter saw the apparition. As this had to cover quite a distance we used our long range CCTV camera.

Camera three was in the far end of the museum ground floor.

Our forth CCTV camera was placed in the Big Stope, covering the entrance and exit intersection.

Our HQ for the investigation would be the Restaurant Area. Following the usual brief we kicked things off. First stop was the kit room to grab our stylish hard hats, lamps and quite large battery packs. All necessary and great looking, honest!

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Vigil 1 – Big Stope Chamber
We stood quietly to acclimatise ourselves to the location. As you might expect from a mine there was a lot of background noise, mainly in the form of dripping water.

We did hear a possible whistling noise, but believed this could be birds outside the mine. Both Ian and Julie believed they heard some whispering through the Kanum device, which enhances your hearing ability.

We realised straight away that the environment we were in could easily trick your mind. The light from our lamps created many shadows and pockets of darkness.

Vigil 2 – Poole’s Mine Chamber
Again this area had some atmosphere created by the shape of the Chamber.

We took a look at the rough area where the picture was taken and quickly saw what we had already seen in the photo. A very rough outline or shape of someone could be made out, but it was a case of how you interpret it.

Vigil 3 – Wooded Area & Ruins on Higher Ground
Looking around this area gave us a good feel for some of the sounds we heard from in the mine. We soon identified a horse and several birds.

Experiment – Lock Off with Singapore & Trigger Object
Pete had given us a large drill bit which was found in the mine as our trigger object, so we leant that against the rock in the Big Stope. We setup a camcorder. We added the usual devices, a cell sensor EMF, temperature gauge and a digital voice recorder. We also added an iPod and speakers playing some sound effects specific to a mine.

We then left the chamber locked off with beam barriers for at least half an hour.

Vigil 4 – Museum Area
Again this area seemed quite calm. After a little calling out, we decided to give Jim’s experiment idea a go.

Experiment – UV Light Room Flood
Jim’s idea was something he had heard about from some friends in America. The basic idea was to flood the room with UV light, film and take pictures to see what was captured! Keith took a few pictures and Leanne filmed the moment.

Experiment – Unmanned EVP
This basically involved playing a recording asking location specific questions, as you would if you were conducting an EVP session. However, there were two versions, one with a normal silence after each question and one with white noise following each question.

Vigil 5 – Big Stope & Poole’s Mine Chamber’s
After spending some time in each Chamber we soon came to the conclusion that the location was decidedly peaceful. So we decided to call it a night and break things down.

Captured Evidence
Although an interesting, historical and as atmospheric location, solid evidence was a touch lacking.

However, one piece that does warrant some discussion is that photograph of the ‘Red Soldier’. I see this as a case of Pareidolia, which is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague or random stimulus which is regarded as being of significance. This wasn’t an isolated incident either, as we done the same in the Big Stope, believing we saw something on the CCTV which was clearly no more than a wet rock on closer inspection.

We had a few small personal experiences, such as Ian and Julie hearing whispering through the Kanum device. Other than that though, we had a quiet night.

Conclusions
Llywernog Silver-Lead Mine was very interesting and atmospheric location to investigate, presenting the team with a few challenges in regards to CCTV coverage. As we were the first team to investigate the location we had to go with our instincts.

Is Llywernog Silver-Lead Mine haunted? Our investigation lacked evidence and personal experiences to support it! However, we cannot judge a location following one night of investigation. It would appear that more of the reports were picked up by sensitive’s, something we didn’t have. So, I can’t say the mine is haunted, but equally I can’t prove it’s not.

Llywernog Silver-Lead Mine is an excellent place to learn about some of the Welsh mining heritage by day. At night remotely located in the rolling hills of Ceredigion the mine does take on a decidedly darker persona.

Take a look for yourself – http://www.silverminetours.co.uk/

Categories: 2010 Cases, Cases, Llywernog Silver-Lead Mine | Leave a comment

Farsight PRS Investigation – Peterborough Museum

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The Brief
With reports of activity throughout the building from the dark cellar all the way to the top of the building, Peterborough Museum seems perfect.

My aim was to take Farsight PRS in with some additional investigators who have investigated the location before. That way we should be able to approach the location with a bit of background knowledge.

History & Activity
Land for a mansion was given to the Orme family by King Henry VIII in 1538. The main part of the current museum building dates from 1816, when it became a grand Georgian house of former Manchester businessman Thomas Cook, along with his wife Charlotte. Thomas lived in the house until his death in 1854.

The 3rd Earl Fitzwilliam brought Preistgate Mansion in 1856 and allowed it to be the city’s first Hospital. It remained the Peterborough Infirmary from 1857 to 1928.

The museum building was then acquired by Percy Malcolm Stuart, who was chair of the London Brick Company. It was then donated to the Museum Society and opened as a museum in 1931, with the art gallery added in 1939.

Peterborough Museum has varying reports of paranormal activity throughout the building. This includes the usual light anomalies, odd noises, footsteps, temperature fluctuations, notable hotspots and discarnate voices. This activity appears to be still occurring too, with constant new reports.

The Cellar area has had reports of noises, moving objects, feelings of breath, possible sightings of a figure of a monk and more. Lone visitors to this area have reported feeling uneasy or not being alone!

On the Main Staircase during the 1970’s and possibly before and more recently, there have been reports of a figure on the main staircase of the museum. This figure has been since identified as possibly being an ANZAC soldier who died in the building in July 1916, when the building was a hospital. The most recent sighting was in June 2009, with another strange figure caught on camera in April 2007.

On Back Staircase there are reports of a form of a young woman. Visitors have said that they have felt as if they have been pushed or touched. Slight taps or knocks have also been heard on this staircase.

There have been some reports of a white lady or woman in the upper parts of the building.

There have been reports of a Roman Soldier who stands by a sword on display in the museum and also seen in one of the upper rooms.

In a room on the ground floor there have also been some reports of poltergeist activity, with furniture moving by itself.

Witness Reports
Knowing that Peterborough Museum was quite an active location I wanted to approach it slightly differently from some. Including some experienced investigators that could advise us during the investigation as we went.

Simon Ranson – Investigator who joined us at Peterborough Museum
‘1st floor when a child’s building block was ‘thrown’ 4 foot across the room and appeared to come from nowhere’

Laura Baird – Eye Witness 18 June 2010

‘then I saw what looked like a small dog crawling along the floor towards us (like a terrier).’

These statements and some other reports gave me some background to base my investigation plan on, helping to identify those all important hotspot areas.

Attending Investigators
Ashley Knibb – Lead Investigator
Leanne Knibb – Documentarian
Lucy Harkness – Assistant Documentarian
Keith Huckfield – Photographer / Interviewer
Simon Ranson – Guest Investigator
Judith Hardy – Guest Investigator
Kev Ling – Guest Investigator
Stuart Orme – Peterborough Museum

Location Hotspots & Equipment
After arriving earlier on the day of the investigation and from a previous visit I had a good idea where things would need setting up. With a good plan based on the witness reports which identified some of the hotspot areas, I knew where I wanted to focus the investigation.

With this in mind I placed a CCTV camera on the ground floor just passed the entrance to the Medieval Exhibit covering as much of the main staircase as possible. The second camera was in the Cellar covering the corridor and area where the apparition had been seen. The third camera was on the first floor covering the Victorian Shop. The fourth and final CCTV camera was on the second floor covering what we could of the back staircase.

I also had a Camcorder setup on the tripod covering some of the main staircase, which I set off when I kicked off my Singapore Theory Experiment. This was basically an iPod playing several musical tracks from around the 1916 era out loud at the bottom of the staircase. The theory is that the ANZAC Soldier that has been seen on the staircase is a Residual Haunting and the music might trigger the activity. Rather than do this all night, we began it half way through to give us a little time without the eerie background music drifting throughout the museum.

We split into two Teams, Team One would be Judith, Simon, Keith and I whilst Team Two would be Leanne, Lucy and Kev. As one team investigated the other team would remain in the HQ monitoring the CCTV.

Team Walkaround
Before splitting into our teams and kicking off the first vigil, Stuart Orme from the Museum gave us our health and safety talk, all common sense really. Then he took us around the building telling us some of the history and associating a few of the reports of activity I had heard.

Stuart began his tour at the bottom of the main staircase telling us about probably the better known character of the building, the ANZAC Soldier. Particularly interested if the identification of this ghost had been made by assumption and association, I asked how they knew his name! Stuart was quick to answer and it was something that I did not expect. He told us that a woman who used to work there when it was a hospital returned years later, she had been involved in the Soldiers care and knew him. What no one expected was for her to have witnessed the ghost on the stairs too, who she identified as Thomas Hunter the ANZAC Soldier. Although some could put this kind of association down to wishful thinking, this usually occurs between loved ones who wish to reconnect. However, it’s an interesting link to make from the world of the living to that of a spirit years later.

Stuart continued to show us around the rest of the building telling us about his own and others experiences there and a little of the associated history to back up the phenomena.

However, there is more, but we were not privy to such information as Stuart likes to keep some to him. The reason for this is so he can compare what he knows to things some people may pick up on their visit to the museum. This is an approach I can totally understand and appreciate, especially considering the gems he had already given us.

Vigil 1 – Team One – Back Staircase & Second Floor
After some quick initial readings, EMF was flat and temperature was a comfortable 21.2 degrees C, we began to call out! However, as we settled we could hear a knocking sound coming from the landing. We headed back up the landing towards the door on the main staircase. We tested the door and it sounded similar. However, to be sure we sent Simon back to the back stairs and we tried to recreate the sound, which Simon instantly confirmed it as the same. We cannot rule out air flow up the stairwell, but at the time no exterior doors had been opened!

Vigil 1 – Team two – Back Staircase & Second Floor
As my team settled down with a cuppa to watch the exciting CCTV Live, the second team headed to the back staircase. Although they didn’t report any audible phenomena such as we experienced, Leanne did report to me an odd experience of her own. As she walked down the stairs she also felt something hit her shoulder.

Vigil 2 – Team One – First Floor
For our second vigil my team headed up to the first floor and began our vigil around the Victorian Shop area. The reading at the time were, EMF flat and temperature around 21 degrees C.

We explored the rest of the floor finally settling in the Peterborough People exhibit, where Simon had experienced object movement on a previous visit. So, using the building blocks and calling out we tried to engage with whatever was there. After a while we moved to a rug on the floor, stacking some blocks and setting up various trigger objects. As we done so we continued to call out, this time Judith took the lead trying to communicate as if she was speaking to a child. Then remarkably one of the objects closest to Judith moved by itself! Simon and Judith saw the full movement and I caught it as it came to a halt, but more importantly our camera man Keith caught it too! We decided to leave the blocks and other toys setup to see what else might occur, but we had to end our vigil there, although on a high I would say!

Vigil 2 – Team Two – First Floor
Whilst the second team were on the first floor they attempted some calling out from near the Victorian Shop area. As they did they heard a faint banging or knocking sound which sounded distant. However, not much else occurred for them.

Mid-Way Briefing
The whole team decided to continue as planned.

Before heading out on the next vigil I kicked off my Singapore Theory Experiment. The sound of 1916 music filled the main stairwell and I have to admit it did sound a little like something out of a horror film! Hopefully the period music would trigger the ghost of the ANZAC or something else!

Vigil 3 – Team One – Cellar
We began by settling in the far end room first. As we sat quietly allowing ourselves to adjust, Keith believed he could hear some faint knocking through the camera. We tried making contact! After the conventional methods returned little results, we decided to step things up a little and provoked a little.

Given the information we had heard on the Cellar we decided to split the group, leaving Judith alone in the end room. Keith, Simon and I sat next door. We continued with the provocation, this time with both Judith and I calling out. As we continued Judith believed the corridor between her and the door to the room we were in was getting darker! I looked out and agreed! It was then I thought I saw someone or something peering around the door. However it could be my eye adjusting and playing tricks on me. Then as we paused briefly and silence fell, I am sure I heard a voice albeit very faint.

Vigil 3 – Team Two – Cellar
Leanne reported hearing faint voices and slight tapping sounds. They also believe that they may have seen a hooded figure in the shadows and possibly a stout figure or shadow pass across the corridor right to left.

However, it was whilst Team Two were in the Cellar that things happened upstairs near HQ!

As my team sat watching the CCTV monitor, we saw Stuart walk from his office (at the bottom of the main staircase) towards HQ. However, he paused briefly before the door to HQ, turned and looked back at the stairs. When I quizzed him about this, he responded simply that he felt drawn to look at the stairs. The odd thing here is that Stuart is more used to the strange things that happen at the museum than anyone else!

With this Simon headed out the base of the stairs to investigate further. After a few moments I asked him what he thought, to which he said he thought it to be darker!

I then also decided to try this out and spent a little time stood quietly at the base of the stairs. Although I couldn’t say they seemed darker, there was something different about it. Perhaps it was the psychological impact of standing at the bottom of a large stairwell in the dark, with that eerie period music playing! Not to rely on myself alone I asked Judith and Keith to join me at the bottom of the stairs to see what they thought.

It was as we sat and stood on the bottom few steps of the stairs quietly that I saw something on the top run of the stairs. It was a kind of orange flickering glow moving up the staircase. I think I began to ask if someone else has seen it, but Judith already knew where I was going and said she had. Not quite sure what to do next, we decided on grabbing the camcorder on the landing and chasing after it.

Follow a brief explanation, Stuart headed to his office returning with a lantern with a large candle inside. As he ascended the last flight of stairs we looked up and agreed that it represented almost exactly what we had seen.

Vigil 4 – Team One (The Girls) – First Floor Peterborough People
The girl’s attempted to reconnect with the spirit we encountered earlier, but the room was quiet.

Vigil 4 Team Two (The Boys) – The Main Staircase
The boys decided to check the staircase out to see if we could pick up anything there after the more recent activity. Stuart even joined us for this one, but it remained quiet.

Captured Evidence
Peterborough Museum presented us with many personal experiences. We even experienced the feeling of certain areas becoming darker. Not forgetting the odd candle light which appeared to ascend the staircase which Judith and I witnessed.

Which brings me to the piece of footage which will I am sure in time receive many comments, from the negative, to on the fence and the positive. I refer to the moving object in the Peterborough People Exhibit. We tried hard to connect in that room, basing what we were doing on a past experience, specifically of Simon, who had been present when a building block was thrown across the room. We used multiple trigger objects and were finally rewarded when the large draughts piece moved! The sceptics out there will refer to theories about vibrations or one of us stepping on floorboards, but I assure you we fully tested that area after the event. We moved around the floor as we did prior, nothing. We moved around more so to try and force it to move, nothing! Then we practically danced around the object, something which was tried again later, still nothing! It took Simon to physically push the object a couple of times to get it to move the distance it did! Is this conclusive evidence of the paranormal? Probably not, but it does make you think! People will have to watch it for themselves to formulate their own theories and decide what they think! I would love to hear those thoughts?

Conclusions
I had high hopes for our investigation at the Peterborough Museum. After my visit with DHN and the witness statements I had read, I hoped it would be a good night. The museum didn’t disappoint either, presenting us with audible and visual phenomena which made it all worth it. In fact for a few of us it might just have been one of the more active investigations we had been on!

The museum presented us with many personal experiences, which started almost as soon as we walked through the door! However, we have to ask the question, were these experiences of something paranormal or were they a kind of psychological effect of the location. Many of us had past experience of the museum, apart from Leanne, Lucy and Keith. Did this knowledge present something that wasn’t there? In my opinion, I don’t think this was the case with Peterborough, the team were level headed, experienced investigators and approached the investigation well. I think we truly experienced something that night, which we will all take away with us.

The usual knocks could easily be written off as some of the usual building sounds, which we were just unaware of. However, footage of an object moving of its own accord is usually something you associate with a TV programme or YouTube. Something I usually sit and discredit with logical explanations. Explanations which I am sure will come thick and fast when Farsight PRS release the footage. All I know from being there, from testing the area after it moved, is that something moved it, something I can’t explain! If that’s not paranormal then I don’t know what is! We danced practically on top of that object and it didn’t budge, explain that?

Is Peterborough Museum haunted? Phew!! I would like to jump up, dance around and shout ‘yes’, ‘hell yes’! However, I must remain logical, sensible and true to my roots. So, I would like to think so, the moving object and odd light, alone convince me. However, we only have the moving object from one camera angle; it doesn’t have a supporting piece of footage. Plus the camera wasn’t watching it from start to finish; the sceptics will find that hole straight away! It has potential for sure! Farsight PRS will return to Peterborough Museum, perhaps after its refit, to investigate again. When we do we have some new points to focus on, but I get the distinctive feeling I am going to need more cameras, more gadgets for that one.

Categories: 2010 Cases, Cases, Peterborough Museum | 1 Comment

Farsight PRS Investigation – The Falstaff Experience

The Brief
Falstaff was one of those locations that I am not exactly sure how it came to be as one of the Farsight Files. A little googleing helped discover that it was another of these reputed places for not disappointing. This only fuelled my desire to investigate for myself.

History & Activity
Falstaff or 40 Sheep Street as it was then known, and now to an extent, was a plot originally allocated by the Bishop of Worcester back in 1196. The first known tenant of the building was William Shrieve back in 1536. He was believed to be an archer to King Henry VIII, and the house is named ‘The Shrieve’s House’ to this day.

William Rogers turned Shrieve’s House into a tavern in the 16th century and it is said that he may have been some of the inspiration for Shakespeare’s character Falstaff who appears in two of his plays.

Falstaff themselves claim a massive forty possible resident or returning spirits at the location. Making Falstaff a massively active location.

Other investigators have recorded a figure and a hand print using Fluke Thermal Imaging, heard strange noises, creaks and moans. Not to mention clear EVP’s including ‘get out’ and ‘shut up’. Also, many reports of physical contact from slaps to heavy feelings.

Witness Reports
John Ford told us of several oddities that he had witnessed. Including a hooded figure with red eyes. He also spoke of Lucy, a young girl who he believes is a bit of a pick pocket that met a gruesome end.

Janet Ford spoke of many spirits that she believes to be resident, including William Shrieve, Lucy, John Davies, Mary and few more.

John McCann stayed in the main house under the previous owners and felt the bed move. He has also been poked during Ghost Tours and heard footsteps in the upstairs part of the building.

Tom Badger experienced a sudden feeling of breathlessness near the Dungeon.

Attending Investigators
Ashley Knibb – Lead Investigator
Jim Bridgeman – Lead Investigator
Leanne Knibb – Documentarian
Lucy Harkness – Assistant Documentarian
Keith Huckfield – Interviewer / Photographer
Ian Pegg – Tech Manager
Cliff Rose – Investigator / Sensitive
Martin Gregory – Investigator / Sceptic
Liz Egan – Spiritual Investigator
Siobhan Evans – Guest Investigator
Kai Allen – Guest Investigator
Lee Baines – Guest Investigator

Location Hotspots & Equipment
We placed CCTV camera’s covering some of the obvious Hotspots like the Dungeon area, the Plague room and the Ship room. We placed our long distant CCTV camera outside at the top of the Carriageway covering the building towards the HQ. This way the external doors are covered and it can be used to document the time of people entering and exiting the building.

Our HQ, located in the external room at the end of the Carriageway, will contain any noise contamination from the team not investigating!

Team Walk Around
Most of the team joined Janet as she gave us a tour. This was a mixture of historical fact linked with the building, paranormal experiences within its walls and possibilities suggested by spiritualist mediums.

Jim, Martin and I took a walk around the building. Looking for possible logical explanations for why visitors and staff may have experienced what they reported.

One of the first things we realised was, on entering, you are enclosed in low light. You are then presented with the unknown by placing a couple of curtains directly in front of you. It is facing this unknown that builds your expectations straight away. Then you pass the dungeon area containing a noose and a hooded figure, both of which could easily be missed, but registered subconsciously. Perhaps the noose explains the feelings of strangulation felt in that area?

On the stairs there are numerous types of debris which could easily explain why people believe something is in their hair or touching it. At the top of the stairs is the plague room where you are presented with multiple representations of death, which may lend to auto-suggestion. This includes a subtle A4 picture of a slender tall man dressed in black above the doorway. This image has been described as one of the resident spirits. Moving forward you find very uneven floors, adding further to the disorientation.

We also noted that exterior sound could easily be heard within the Falstaff building. For example you could hear voices from down the street inside clearly. Sound travels well in and around Falstaff!

This doesn’t mean the location is not haunted, just I think it could explain why many draw similar conclusions. Also, this is purely our opinion as we walked through with the intention of looking for sources of auto-suggestion, logical explanations and other sources to explain the paranormal activity.

With additional evidence such as clear EVP’s, hard physical contact, some audible phenomena and Thermal Imaging explanations at this time eluded us. Perhaps our investigation would present us with some answers!

Vigil 1 – Team One – Plague Room
As we sat and attempted an EVP session, both Liz and Keith believed they heard a groaning or growling. A sound they believed came from behind them, but between them. Liz also felt as if something had touched her hair or as if something was in it. Some of the group also heard what can be described as a ‘click’.

Vigil 1 – Team Two – Whole Location
During this vigil Cliff believed he picked up on a James Edwards or Edward James in connection to something nautical. He also believed that there was a 19th century textile connection to the local area with the name Jacobs.

Vigil 2 – Team One – School Room/John Dee/Witch Area & Ship Room
Liz may have felt something touch her shoulder, but that was pretty much it for that vigil.

Vigil 3 – Team Two – Whole Location
As the team completed an EVP session they decided to play it back. They then realised, there can clearly be heard two knocks followed by what could be a faint female voice behind Jim’s. Cliff also picked up on a 16th century French woman called Anne Clairemont.

Mid-Way Briefing
With the investigation going as planned and with nothing dramatic occurring we decided to continue as we were!

Vigil 4 – Team One – Tavern
As our vigil came to an end we stopped in the spirit area to have a quick go on the Ouiji Board. During this Liz felt a slight swaying feeling, and both Lee and Lucy reported a slight pressure just under their knee!

Vigil 5 – Team Two – Whole Location
During this vigil Leanne believed that she could hear the sound of a crying child through the camera headphones. Cliff also reported having a metallic taste in his mouth!

Vigil 6 – Team One – Elizabeth Area (Just past door to plague area)
On this short and final vigil Liz and Keith felt a cold breeze. However, even better at one point our main camera seem to switch off by itself!

Captured Evidence
Although our investigation didn’t present any concrete evidence, we did seem to pick up a few anomalies.

A few of the team believed they heard what can only be described as a strange growl come from behind and between them. At the time we believed this may be outside, but I think our camera footage shows the difference between external and internal sounds, identifying this as internal. What the growl was, we have no idea. There have been reports of loud breath and similar sounds before. Perhaps our growl is similar to previous reports?

During Vigil 2 the team attempted a brief EVP session. Towards the end of this session as Jim was talking you can clearly hear two distinctive knocks followed by what can only be identified as a muffled female voice. Attempts to clear this voice up or lift it from the recording have currently failed. Although we must bear in mind that the EVP session had just ended so the team may have been moving around and thus created the sounds.

Vigil 4 saw our main camera switch off by itself! Well that’s what we thought, but as Lucy (the camera operator) mentioned you can’t rule out that possibly she accidently turned it off. Only problem is that this is recorded as a gap in the filming which is hardly evidence.

Conclusions
The Falstaff Experience was an interesting place to investigate, but I think on this occasion maybe the activity was a little lacking. This is in comparison to previous reports and statements I have read. Sometimes when investigating the paranormal you can have a flat night and pick little up, but this doesn’t mean there is nothing there to find!

Although, we did pick up some evidence the other things we got have possible plausible explanations. The EVP with the knocks and possible female voice! For this we must take into consideration that it was the end of the session and the team could have created the sounds whilst moving around. The camera turning off could have been done accidently by Lucy. We have to be level headed and logical sometimes. Other sounds such as taps and clicks could also be explained as the team moving on the floor. Also the layout and uneven floor could easily contribute to feelings of disorientation.

Also, from reading older reports on the location I realise that it’s a shame we didn’t get to investigate the front half of Falstaff, which is the main house. Perhaps this area may have turned up some other anomalies.

Is Falstaff haunted? Our investigation lacks the evidence, but a single night investigation isn’t enough to prove either way really. Reading through previous reports and witness accounts leads me to sit well and truly on the fence on this occasion. I can’t prove Falstaff to be haunted, but I can’t say it is not either. There is certainly something there, which may warrant further more in depth investigation. Perhaps now with a better understanding of the place I could plan a different approach which may produce better results. If you are into the paranormal or indeed sensitive, it may be worth a visit to see what you find!

Categories: 2010 Cases, Cases, The Falstaff Experience | Leave a comment

Farsight PRS Investigation – Landguard Fort

The Brief
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.

Witness Reports
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.

Attending Investigators
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.

Mid-Way Briefing
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!

Captured Evidence
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.

Conclusions
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.

Categories: 2010 Cases, Cases, Landguard Fort | Leave a comment

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