I recently visited the Royal Oak in Swanage, one of my favourite little pubs to investigate, but on this occasion I decided to take my kids for a mini break for a weekend away.
I know what you're thinking and no I didn't take my kids on a paranormal investigation. However that in itself is an interesting point. For me I know my paranormal investigator side is never really off duty and whenever I walk into a location with some history or possibilities I'm always analysing what's about me.
This is a part of me that has developed over the years where I always seem to manage to be fascinated by the stories associated with places as well as their activity. In all honesty it could equally be linked to the writer side of me too. Something that never really rests and to be fair I'm glad as you never really know when the paratheorist will pop up with an idea either.
Getting back to my visit to the Royal Oak. I hadn't been there more than twenty minutes and I was welcomed by the landlady Rachael. My youngest then asked; "Is that your friend?" Obviously I replied advising that Rachael wasn't just my friend, but also the owner of the pub we were staying in that night. Then the oddest thing occurred. My youngest looked up and exclaimed something similar to; "Is John your friend too?" At that point in time we were sat in the pool room, Rachael had left us and my youngest was pretty much looking at nothing. I looked around slightly confused by her statement.
What is important to add is that there was no one there (as far as I am aware) by the name of John and I dont have any friends that she would have met that are called John. Certainly no one there with us that evening that I could see. However what is interesting and something my youngest could not have known is that one of the prominent 'spirits' that mediums communicate with at this location is called John.
So, is my daughter a medium? Did she see the spirit of John that night?
In all fairness once she had slapped me around the face with that piece of information I was in two minds whether staying a couple of nights in the same pub maybe a wise idea.
What's Really Happening Here!
It's extremely difficult to comprehend fully if indeed my daughter is spiritually gifted or if the information was acquired from other sources. However the timing was very interesting indeed. No one walked passed, Rachael had just left so she knew who she was and nothing really occurred to prompt the statement. Once again I am left by a simple event at the Royal Oak that leaves me without a good solid explanation.
However it did remind of the research of Ian Stevenson, who pioneered some great research around children and their recollection of past lives or events. In fact Stevenson spent a large part of his life on this research looking into past lives, reincarnation, near death experiences, out of body experiences and much more. Dr. Stevenson also documented and authored papers on how in some cases birth defects or marks appeared to pass from one life to the next too. Fascinating stuff really, which I must write about in more detail at some point.
The point here is that an interesting piece of information suggests that children under the age of six are more likely to 'pick up on things' for some reason. My youngest is three years old. The very fact that she picked up on something as specific as the name 'John' could suggest that Stevenson was onto something, but why? My understanding is that before the age of six the children haven't been through enough education and social situations to allow them to formulate an understanding of the world as its commonly seen by us all. Thus perhaps their reality differs from ours. Also, if you try to think back to this period of your life and accurately recall events its very hard indeed. Try it? What you do remember maybe your current perception of the events, but may not always be the actual course of events that occurred.
This in itself presents some interesting concepts around memory, but then how do these children before the age of six remember prior to being born the lives of others? This is also where I believe telepathic interaction may come into play. As these children have no social or educational boundaries in place they can receive information telepathically without question. When you become an adult certain information that 'pop's into your head' is often discarded as imagination or simply irrelevant to our current busy lives. Children under six dont have this problem.
So Why Don't All Kids Talk About Past Lives or Ghost?
This is the interesting factor, why doesn't every child under the age of six talk to us about the ghosts they see or past lives? Perhaps the problem with that it actually us, how many parents have thought their child has an imaginary friend or even simply discounted a piece of information from their child thinking they have an excellent imagination. I'll admit it I'm sure I have. Except when that piece of information is directly related to the location I am sat in, then my ears prick up!
Information is an interesting thing really, it is a part of everything we do these days and makes up the majority if not all we come into contact with. Oddly though we are as accepting of some information as we are able to discount many pieces of information too. We accept what we feel is valid to us and in that often discount important information that holds great value to others. Often its this under valuation of information that holds importance to others that can cause many disagreements in my opinion. Something to bear in mind perhaps.
Of course we have to bear in mind that the name John is relatively common too and although there seems no real reason why my daughter may ask what she did when she did, there's still that possibility that it was pure coincidence. Thus the timing and location gave the information greater meaning to me than it may have actually had.
As with everything in the paranormal you really have to keep an open mind, as brilliant as things may seem try not to get overly excited and falling into that trap of believing everything as being spooky! That said should we be discounting everything too? Where can we, pardon the pun, find the happy medium?
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With the 4th of August fast approaching I thought I would chuck something together regarding my upcoming Paranormal Dinner at the Cromwell Hotel.
Granted straight off the mark the term Paranormal Dinner may seem a little odd when we talk about a potential paranormal event. As we usually say paranormal investigation or ghost hunt, but I wanted to approach things a little different and for a good reason too. Although I will get to that shortly.
Here's The Plan – Roughly
The evening itself will begin around 7 to 7:15pm when all the guests arrive and start getting to know one another. This may sound like a simple beginning to a paranormal evening, but this as every part of the night is important to the process.
All going well I will kick things off with co-host for the evening Graham Smith, who is an excellent investigator. So, we thought we would start the evening with double act, where Graham will be singing. Okay, I'm joking obviously. We will run through the evening ahead and add in some explanation too.
Once all the twenty guests are all aquatinted we will look to serve dinner around 7:45pm in the Bouichier Suit. This will be a three course meal and the options will passed onto the guests closer to the event. However this part of the evening isn't just about sitting down to some great food, its about getting to know the rest of the group. Is it possibly that the connection we have to each other is where psychical information comes from or perhaps that connection helps to connect to spirits? As the guests enjoy their meal there's no better time to discuss the paranormal and exchange stories. It may sound a little old school to some, but it's my belief that by learning from some of the methods used over the last hundred plus years we may find the source of the information. That includes what we know now and may learn in the future too.
As long as the dinner conversation doesn't get too in depth we should be all ready for Psychic Medium Terri Powell to attempt a little platform mediumship with the group. Terri will work in the classical sense of platform mediumship, which generally means possibly connecting with the spirits related to the group. Although given the age of the Cromwell Hotel and the reports there its equally possible that Terri may pick up something a little more localised. Again this is conceptually more than just platform mediumship on this occasion, again the theory is if platform mediumship connects to the spirits we have close to use then perhaps that connection can help towards the end goal of the Séance.
By now you maybe reading this uncertain by what I am offering during this event and as this is the paranormal I can't guarantee activity. However, I can assure that as group we can experience this entire concept and see how we do. At worse we will have a good night with good food, new and old friends, lots of paranormal techniques and certainly an abundance of discussion throughout the night. This is certainly one for anyone who loves the paranormal and has an open mind. It's going to be an interesting night that's for sure.
Once Terri has finished the Platform Mediumship we will then move onto the next phase of the evening, hopefully around 10:30pm. During this part of the evening I hope to take the group into a few of the reportedly haunted rooms of the hotel including the very room I spent the night in, room 100. Unless its been renamed in the refit. As the rooms are smaller spaces the group of twenty will be broken down into smaller groups otherwise we will saturate them with too many people. Given the amount of time these will be small vigils in the rooms and in order to give them focus we may look to attempt some experiments whilst they take place. After all my own brief attempt at the variation of the Ganzfield Experiment certainly created some interesting results. Again though this part of the night has its importance too, this time we will be reaching out further into the specific locations at the Hotel which have seen possible paranormal activity in the past. Hopefully this will enable the connection between the locations spirits and the group to grow stronger still.
At around midnight the group will return to the Bouichier Suit for a break and time to reflect on the evening so far. In the background once the Rump & Wade has closed for the night, we will setup the room for the final part of the night, a Séance. This will be lead by Psychic Medium Terri Powell, with some assistance from Graham and I. The idea is that hopefully at this point we may be able to bring in and communicate with either local spirits of the Cromwell or possibly a few visitors. This will not just be a spiritual affair though, it will also be an opportunity to use a few gadgets to see what we can pick up too. This is where the open minded approach is going to be required though, as in my experience of Séances I have attended the ones which appear to work best are also the ones that have a particular process to them. Good examples being one that I attended at the Royal Oak in Swanage a few years back now and also the Scole Experiment. I'm sure by this point the group will be working brilliantly together and ready for whatever experience may lay ahead of them.
It is my assumption that somewhere between 1:30am and 2am the séance should reach its conclusion and we would reach the end of our night. Just in time for a quick chat to some up the evening and any experiences that may have been had.
How About It Then?
If this unique event sounds like your kind of thing or if you're just curious about the paranormal, then please do not hesitate in booking your ticket as soon as possible. They are already selling!
Booking your ticket is actually really simple. Just call the Cromwell Hotel on 01438 779954 and ask to book a ticket for the 'Paranormal Dinner' on the 4th August.
The tickets are £70 per person, with a £20 deposit and the remaining balance due a month prior to the event. There are only 20 tickets available for this particular event, so please don't hesitate too long before booking.
Okay this time of year usually means holiday time and where better for me to take a few days out, but in a haunted pub in Swanage! Granted I’m not usually the type to label locations as haunted because let’s be honest we are still not entirely sure what the term ‘haunted’ means, more on that in a future post no doubt.
So, with a few days off work and my children on holiday with their mum I decided that it would be good to get away for a few days to one of my favourite places, the Royal Oak Pub in Swanage. In fairness I think I picked a great few days too, the weather has been brilliant and on a occasion so hot you could easily believe you were abroad somewhere. However this isn’t Tripadvisor!
The reason that I like the Royal Oak is simple really and it’s not just because it’s a haunted pub either. In a time when so many classic British pubs have become very much commercialised in order to survive this remains a proper little local. Something that’s inviting not only for those with a paranormal interest, but also for those that fancy a nice cool pint in the beautiful garden the Royal Oak also has to offer. Then comes the character of the place, the old stone cottages blended into one to make a pub a couple of hundred years a go I think, was a touch of genius. However the character of a place like this doesn’t just emerge from the building alone! When you spend a little time here you begin to understand the true meaning of ‘a local’, the diverse characters that frequent the pub and without a doubt support each other locally. It’s this extended family that gives you an excellent understanding of how places could be haunted. The very energy in this place where people’s lives cross constantly, where they seek advise and where they discuss their day is something that surely never really leaves. Even after last orders.
Not Your Conventional Haunted Pub!
When we think of a haunted pub we often associate it with physical phenomena such as moving objects, audible phenomena and the odd apparition popping in for a pint. However at the Royal Oak I’ve found it a little more philosophical than that!
Don’t get me wrong when I first investigated the pub back in 2010 I had come for that exact reason, in fact I came to debunk the reported physical phenomena. At that point in time, if memory serves me well, that was in the form of a net curtain which moved by itself, pictures falling off the wall, glasses moving, footsteps and a few other bits and pieces. For the record at that point in time I was most certainly more sceptic than I am now! Although these days it’s more that my perspective has changed to be fair.
However from the first visit I believed there was something a little different about the Royal Oak than the other public locations I had investigated. It was its character, it’s personality and warmth. Something that you wouldn’t consider a building to have, but does. Perhaps something that has developed due to the Royal Oaks landlady Rachael or perhaps something that has been here all along.
Rachael’s own interest in spirituality and mediumship meant that she has brought that into the pub in a big way and perhaps this acceptance of the paranormal world has enabled the pub to become more spiritually connected somehow. After all if belief, faith, understanding, intent, actuality and education have anything to do with creating stronger spiritual connections then surely the Royal Oak has been primed for this. Rachael has held a spiritual circle at the pub with friends for many years and more recently started the Acorn Spiritualist Centre from within the pub. In fact once a week, a Wednesday I believe, she will often have an evening of mediumship or similar spiritual activity. Something which I sat in on this Wednesday. Granted I’m not a massive fan of the group reading situations, but that’s simply because I personally don’t like to talk about personal things in front of strangers. However the Medium this Wednesday did seem reasonably good and the group as a whole were very pleased with her.
In all honesty, if I was to delve into Spirituality more I would prefer it was in a pub rather than one of these Spiritualist Churches, not that there’s anything wrong with them, just not for me really. Oddly the pub itself is a very calm place and the garden too is an excellent place to gather your thoughts. Perhaps it was always a kind of Spiritualist Centre, just without the title?
Time! Not Last Orders!
One of the oddest things that has come up over the years is the connection to time in the pub. Firstly, there’s a huge back story that seems to link the pub to a local family in the late 1800’s. I won’t go into too much detail there, as it’s always interesting to see new visitors pick up related pieces of information. Many of this family appear to communicate through the local mediums using various types of mediumship; including Trance Mediumship, automatic-writing, and more.
In fact during a seance that I held at the pub, during a trance state, this was described as ‘two times crossing over’ and at times this can certainly seem to be the case.
My own greatest exposure to a time related oddity was one which I have documented previously. During an investigation with one of the locals called Pete, I sat in an attic room. The attic room has now been converted to the land lady’s bedroom. We decided to call out and used my grandfathers pocket watch as a trigger object. I asked if there were at spirits present to move the pocket watch, which both Pete and believed to mean the whole watch physically across the floor. However moments later Pete thought he could hear ticking. I checked the pocket watch and it was running and continued to do so for at least twenty minutes after. This was my first lesson from the pub in perception. For the record I spent the next three months trying to recreate the situation and never did. When I placed that watch on the floor it wasn’t running.
However the lesson in perception and communication was relatively simple. I asked for the watch to be moved and it did! Just not quite the way I had perceived it. Sometimes communication isn’t quite what we expect and other times we try to fit it into what we expect. Now to this day I don’t know if spirits moved the watch or Pete and I unconsciously made the watch move, that I can’t prove. Suffice to say the watch moved without physical contact. Even if it was Pete and I, that’s pretty amazing too and clearly makes us Jedi’s right?
Other experiences around time have been related to individuals perception of time. For example we have held vigils in the pub and where the whole group believed we had been only away for say twenty to forty minutes, we had actually been gone hours. Lost time like this is always a good one, but at the Royal Oak it always seems far greater amount of time has passed than you realise.
A Few Weird Experieces of My Own!
Now I’m not one to go jumping to conclusions or accepting the presence of spirits, as many know. In fact it probably annoys some of the Mediums I work with as they probably think I should be fully immersed and acceptant of the existence of spirits all around us by now. However I still question the whole concept, I can’t help and it’s not because I believed it to be complete rubbish, it’s just not quite enough for me. Over the years as an investigator and researcher of the paranormal and psychical phenomena my own understanding of what evidence is has changed. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe what those I trust tell me, it just means I need to understand it for myself in my own way. For those that truly understand the concept of spiritual enlightenment, this is how it works. We each have our own journey of enlightenment which only we can understand as each journey is individual by its nature. Religions and ideas are there as guidance, often they can be enough too, but many of mankind need to go beyond that in order to understand more, grow more and that’s where you find meaning.
For me personally, I believe there’s more to understand and with that find it hard to simply accept things on face value. That’s why I research and investigate.
However all that said, doesn’t mean I haven’t had a few weird experiences of my own and at the Royal Oak too. Firstly, during a seance once I witnessed an illuminated arm. That was pretty mad! However the fact it was also seen by two of my team clarified that it wasn’t a construct of my mind alone. Secondly, a personally witnessed the Trance Mediums face go through three or four dramatic physical changes in under a minute . One of which made him look as if he had a fatter face, a beard and glasses. He had none of these! Thirdly, most dramatically was that I witnessed a very large dark mass in one of the bedrooms. For the record, I wasn’t the slightest bit scared! I’ve also seen shadow movement in my peripheral vision in the pub and heard the odd audible phenomena too. Also, I have on several occasions felt a presence too. As far as I am aware I am as about as sensitive as a brick, a medium I am not! However that said, I equally believe the ability to tune into this kind of thing is within all of us.
So, you see quite a few weird experiences, which often bring me back to the pub to know more.
A Lesson or Two To Be Learnt Perhaps
What is evident about this lovely little pub in beautiful Swanage is that it’s provided me with some excellent lessons, both in life and the paranormal. For starters, the whole concept of perception of communication came from here. Also, it taught me to question beyond the obvious or the simple and look at more complex possibilities, thinking outside the box. Then there’s the theory of telepathic interaction, that spawned from this pub and when I have worked with the mediums that visit there. Although I am not sure they would agree with my theory, but then that’s another reason we get on. They’re open to other possibilities and approaches within reason. For me this non-local local has become a great place for me to gain a wider understanding for my psychical research. It’s helping me to construct theories and possible understanding of telepathy and mediumship on several levels. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re interested in the paranormal or mediumship, and you’ve got an open mind then pay it a visit, see what you think.
If you’ve been to the Royal Oak, I would love to hear your opinion on it?
Equally if you have questions about it, fire away ?
If you’re interested in visiting the Royal Oak then please check out their website here..
If you have any questions about this location or any of my research please feel free to comment below or alternatively come see me and others in the field at the upcoming Sage Paracon UK 2016 in October.
Well it’s been a week of getting back into it really. Now I’m all settled into my new place, it’s time to start back at trying to understand the unknown! I’ve wasted no time either sticking my nose in a book or two and looking around the web for anything interesting.
My Top Ten Most Haunted Locations in the UK – The Royal Oak
This week saw the latest addition to my top ten most haunted locations in the UK released, this time it was the turn of the Royal Oak. This is a little known location tucked away in beautiful Swanage swamped with history and spirituality. If you’re interested in investigating a real gem of a location and happy to approach with an open mind this is a must for you. If you do visit the pub, please let me know how you get on as I’m always interested in the reports of others as a part of my own research.
If you wish to check out the article on the Royal Oak, please click here.
This week I also posted a piece on how both science and spirituality are evolving. It looks at a couple of problematic areas in the scientific method and how the paranormal has worked hard to fit into the order of science.
If you wish to read more on this, please click here…
Research and Reading
I picked up Rupert Sheldrakes – A New Science of Life and continued to read that this week. It’s a bit heavy in places, but I’m guessing that because Sheldrake is attempting to explain his theory of Morphic Fields and Morphic Resonance. These are two elements which may play an important role in telepathic interaction. If there are indeed fields which can communicate information regarding the form of a system across both space and time, then perhaps these same fields could help explain how information can be transferred from one individual to another. Regardless if one of those individuals is currently not quite ‘alive’ !
If your interested in reading more about my Theory of Telepathic Interaction – please click here…
The Question of the Week
This week my mind has been back on the subject of telepathy and looking deeper into its possibilities, so hopefully this question should receive some interesting responses from you all.
Do you think that ghostly communication from spirits could possibly be telepathic interaction across space and time? A kind of telephone from the dead, from another time and place.
Keep In Touch
Well that’s the brief roundup for this week, a few interesting things to look at there. As ever if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to send them through and I will endeavour to answer them for you.
Please keep an eye out for my next post it should be here next week. If you wish to receive email notifications of new posts, please click on the sign up box, top left.
And remember; the paranormal isn’t just about those strange occurrences we seek, but also about those of us who investigate it too.