I first heard about the Henrick’s Hairdressers haunting a few years back when it was mentioned in passing during a conversation between myself and Aaron Hardy. It was a location that the team APIS lead by Damien O’Dell had investigated on numerous occasions due to it being reported as quite active.
The next time I heard about Henrick’s was during a visit to an APIS Open Day in Royston. It was mentioned a few times by some of the guys there, including Damien. However, at the time Damien’s latest book ‘Haunted Hertfordshire’ had a large piece on the activity at Henrick’s and I brought a copy to read up. The case was certainly intriguing from an investigators perspective as it appeared to lay claim to nearly twelve possible spirits and what seemed like constant activity over a few years now.
Time went by and in February 2013 I was given the opportunity to join Damien and APIS on an investigation of Henrick’s. Damien informed me that the investigation had come about following an increase in activity which had finally driven the occupants ‘Henrick’s Hairdressers’ out of the wonderful Grade II listed building. Suffice to say Henrick’s found a new location not far away, more in the town itself leaving the building empty and stripped down.
The investigation with APIS for me wasn’t one of dramatic activity, but there were a few oddities that caught my eye. With this I made the decision to make this a Farsight PRS Case, so we could investigate the location in our style. Looking for logical explanations for some things, try some experiments and do what we could to discover more about the building and area.
We were unable to find very much history on the building itself for this case, apart from Henrick’s or 2 to 3 Fish Hill was probably built sometime in the 17th Century. In 1975 the building became a Grade II listed building and joined the ranks of the many Grade listings in the immediate area. In fact today there is forty six listed buildings within 100M of Fish Hill Square. Two of these listings belong to the nearby Royston Cave, which is an interesting place to say the least.
Although at a loss for local knowledge on the building we were investigating we widened our search a little to the surrounding area. It soon comes to light how close this building is to other historic landmarks of Royston which could possibly be a reason for its haunting. Within close proximity of 2 to 3 Fish Hill, you have a church and graveyard practically behind the house, near to that was possibly an old priory which doesn’t exist anymore. You also have the Royston Cave and more importantly the crossroads of two very ancient roads, Ickneild Way and Ermine Street. Oddly the senior school I went to had both of these as forms, and I was a member of Ermine! However, it is these two roads that are also believed to be powerful Lay Lines which are made even more powerful by the fact that they cross at this point. Perhaps a reason why the Royston Cave was originally built there?
Still the story doesn’t end there either, there are also stories of Witches in the Royston area and also trials held at the Old Bull, where I believe we may have our first connection to George. Although this wasn’t the George Armatage previously identified by the APIS investigations at Henrick’s.
Royston is a town full of history with some of its more known stories seemingly meeting at the ancient crossroads around the corner from the location we were going to investigate. Perhaps this history had a bearing on the location creating the activity experienced within?
Audible phenomena such as knocking and footsteps.
Temperature fluctuations and cold spots.
Visual light phenomena.
Physical object movement with items knocked over, thrown and doors slammed.
The feeling of a presence.
Aport’s of small items appearing from nowhere that simply don’t belong at the location.
Multiple spirits identified by various mediums and sensitives.
Classic poltergeist activity.
The original employees at Henrick’s have experience most of the above activity during their time working in the building. This has also been reported and varying times of day.
During their multiple investigations and visits to the location many members of the APIS team have also experienced various forms of activity. On one occasion the door to the attic space was banged on quite violently whilst a vigil was held inside it. The interesting thing about this particular piece of activity was that another member of the team was on the other side of door on the stairs at the time. Thus ensuring that what they occupants of the attic heard was not created by a member of the team.
On another occasion several members of the team witnessed an object levitate off a shelf and drop to the floor. This was also the case with a picture which seemed to repeatedly get knocked to the floor.
The experiences continued and seemed to fit with what we would usually associate with poltergeist activity.
As this location was relatively small in size we investigated as one team, but also split off to reduce the numbers on some vigils.
Ashley Knibb – Lead Investigator
Aaron Hardy – Lead Investigator
Leanne Knibb – Documentarian
Mathew Robson – Researcher
Ann – APIS Investigator (Sensitive)
Dawn – APIS Investigator (Possibly Sensitive)
Damien O’Dell also started us off with a walk around of the location to give us some pointers on the activity for our investigation.
Location Assessment & Equipment Setup
I won’t go into major detail for this, but the setup was relatively simple for this. We set up in the ground floor kitchen at the back of the building for our HQ. This was where we had the CCTV hub receiving from cameras at various locations around the building.
The first camera was setup in a room at the back of the building which we would late utilise for the Ganzfield Experiment. For this reason the camera with its audio were aimed at the chair that the individual would sit in under the red light.
The second camera was setup in the attic room and covered most of the room on which appeared to be reported as the more active side. This camera also had audio too, so we were hoping to capture any video or audio from this space.
Camera three was setup at the mid point of the main stairs covering it with video and audio to try and capture evidence of the reports of child spirits frequenting this location.
The forth camera along with its audio was setup in a room as a lock off experiment. This room then remained closed off throughout the entire investigation with the hope something may just move.
Our final fifth camera which was without audio covered another part of the main staircase, again as there is quite a bit of activity reported there.
Although we kicked off the recording from around 1pm when camera one was setup, other cameras were added up until 7.30pm. All cameras were switched off around 3am.
Vigil One – Location Walkaround
Around 21:15 we all headed on a brief walk around the building to familiarise ourselves with some of its reported activity. This is always a great insight into reports of previous activity as its an excellent opportunity to question those reports and experiences in the very place they occurred. Some specific locations such as the attic and a couple of the front rooms on the first floor produced some odd EMF spikes and a couple of low hits on the KII.
We finished off the vigil on the main staircase attempting to connect with the child spirits reported there. It was also a chance to try a little EVP, which yielded no results though.
Vigil Two – Attic
Next up Aaron, Leanne, Ann and Dawn investigated the Attic room. Aaron attempted some spirit communication using a DAB Radio as a version of the Ghost Box experiment. The team also tried a little glass work too.
Vigil Three – First Floor Sweep
Vigil Three saw me, Mat and Aaron head up to the first floor to investigate. We started oddly in the bathroom testing Aaron’s DAB Ghost Box a little more. Which oddly seemed to give us a couple of words which could be associated to the questions we asked. However they seemed highly circumstantial and the device appeared to miss more than hit the mark.
At that point Leanne contacted us on the radio asking us to check the glass in the attic, as it appeared to have moved. We headed up to the attic to investigate, but it didn’t seem as if it had.
We returned to the first floor to continue our vigil and investigate the area around the room we would later use for our Ganzfield Experiment. However on this occasion there appeared to be nothing of note.
Vigil Four – The Ganzfield Experiment on the First Floor
Our next vigil was to trial my latest adaptation of the Ganzfield Experiment. Its a tough call to bring an experiment from a lab environment into the field successfully, but I think Farsight are managing it. Aaron came up with the brilliant idea to try focussing communication from the sender to the receiver using less complicated pictures. However as we allowed Mat to settle into the experiment his head fell into his hands and he looked upset. Shortly afterwards he requested to be let out of the experiment. So we did at which point he told us that he felt something knock on his chair repetitively.
I took Mat’s place and after five minutes or so spoke out loudly about what I thought Aaron was sending me.
As well as calling out what I thought Aaron was sending, I also felt knocking on the chair, thought a figure walked in front of me as I saw a large shadow, but couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face! Then I finally requested ‘out’ when it felt like the room was filled with people watching me!
At this point the girls returned from the basement, claiming that the only oddity was Ann suddenly picking up on a flower type thing; ‘a flower stem, with petals, like a clover.’
This was similar to what I described and linked to Aaron’s pictures for Spring and Easter.
Ann decided to have a go with Dawn drawing for her, but also with Leanne in the room with her unlike me and Mat. This had some good results, but Ann never experienced the localised activity me and Mat did. Perhaps simply because she wasn’t alone! In fact many of the pictures could be associated with what Ann said out loud. The best being the last where Ann literally said ‘boot or shoe’ before Dawn had finished drawing it.
Vigil Five – The Basement
As previously mentioned the girls Leanne, Ann and Dawn spent the first half of the Ganzfield Experiment in the basement with little results apart from Ann picking up on that flower. However they also heard what can only be described as a growl in the pitch black of the basement. Something that they couldn’t explain, but wasn’t caught on the camera!
Vigil Six – Ladies in the Attic
Leanne then began a lone vigil in the attic with the intent of aggressively approaching the spirit identified by APIS as George Armatage. This based on the possibility that he had a strange dislike for women. We wanted Leanne to annoy the spirit with her presence and tone whilst in the attic. Leanne began gently building up, becoming more tougher and aggressive towards the spirit. However this yielded little results during our investigation, but as Leanne sat she jumped upon hearing a noise from the cupboard closest to the door.
Shortly after this she was joined by Ann and Dawn to attempt a little glass work. Although the glass never moved during this attempt the three did believe that they saw a darkening in the corner of the room near the CCTV camera. Around this time Ann’s torch appeared to turn itself on too! Then following this Leanne believed that she could hear soft rapping from near the fireplace. A series of events that may have been something attempting to manifest.
Vigil Seven – The Attic Cupboard Alone
Finally I chose to sit in the attic cupboard alone and in the dark with the hope to communicate with George. However oddly rather than feeling something in the cupboard the empty attic space outside the cupboard door concerned me more. In fact it made me very uneasy as if there could be something out there.
Possible Evidence & Personal Experiences
As far as good solid evidence goes, on this occasion I don’t think we managed to capture any video or audio. Although we did encounter a few EMF fluctuations in the attic and on the first floor, these too were slightly inconclusive.
However I’ve come to recognise the fact that often whilst that evidence may allude us, a location can supply many personal experiences which can not go unmentioned. Henrick’s on this occasion was not an exception either as many of the team had an experience in one way or another.
Our Ganzfield Experiment for example seemed to produce more results than ever before. This could be attributed to the location, but then it could have been the approach or people involved. Still for me the most interesting part of the experiment was what me and Mat picked up on whilst we were in the Ganzfield chair, so to speak. We both reported a sensation similar to someone knocking on the back of the chair. We both mentioned a presence in the room and my experience seemed more intense with the feeling that many more were in the room than just me. I also thought someone crossed the room in front of me casting a shadow, but I was unable to see my hand in front of my face. Damien also told me that the employees of Henrick’s had explained the feeling of a presence in the same room. Did we manage to focus our senses and pick up on a presence in that room or did we suffer from a kind of paranoia due to our sensory deprivation? I know the skeptics will pick the latter and the believers the odd presence, still an experience to remember I think.
The building did present other experiences too, Leanne’s cupboard door in the attic, my sense of something outside the door and the growl in the basement. There was nothin major to write home about, but enough to make it interesting and keep us questioning as ever.
Henrick’s was an interesting investigation that’s for sure, but I don’t think it was as active as it had previously been reported to be. Perhaps this was due to the residents leaving and perhaps this was a poltergeist case of some kind, connected to the Henrick’s staff more. After all I have heard a couple of rumours that they may be experiencing a little activity at their new location. Only rumours at the moment though!
IS Henrick’s haunted? It’s more than likely to be honest, its surrounded with history and is situated pretty much on a lay line cross roads, so the possibilities are there. Also, previously reported activity does appear in abundance and I have witnessed some very odd EMF activity there myself. This particular investigation was lacking in evidence and experiences to justify previous reports, but I don’t doubt them and think its safe to say that the location could do with further investigation.
I would like to take Farsight PRS back again and try some very specific techniques, but my heart tells me that this could be something that will quieten down more. Still given the right stimuli it may thrive in activity again.
So, we leave Henrick’s for now and move onto our next investigation.
I would like to say a massive thank you to Damien O’Dell (APIS) for helping us arrange this investigation and to Henrick’s for letting us into the building to check out the activity for ourselves.