I arrived around 12pm and spent the afternoon catching up with the Royal Oak‘s landlady Rachael. I also started to film the story of the Royal Oak through an interview with Rachael. This is to help with a future filming project I’m working on to tell the strange story of the Royal Oak.
Sage Paranormal Arrive to a Spiritual Welcome
MJ and Liz from Sage Paranormal arrived at exactly 8pm and as soon as they did both began to pick up on information psychically. They even told that they felt they were greated at the door.
After a brief chat and introduction over a coffee we headed out into the garden to investigate.
Exploring the Royal Oak’s Pub Garden
Out in the garden both MJ and Liz continued to receive further informaiton related to various items related to the Royal Oak, some of whcih have been proven factually like the Roman grave and the neck bone that was found, but also a few other pieces which although not proven have also some up previously. I think at one point Liz may have even picked up on the odd story of an escaped monkey!
As ever the garden at the Royal Oak was very relaxing and the clear sjies highlighted the stars above. Always thought that the Royal Oak’s garden would be ideal for a touch of star gazing or perhaps that’s part of what makes it such a draw to Mediums. A probable greater spiritual connection with the universe out there.
You’re probably already under the impression that this account of the investigation at the Royal Oak is a little different from others. Which in reality is very true, to quote MJ; ‘this place is a mediums dream’, something I’ve heard before. The question for me the becomes, why is this the case? A questions I hope to understand more about on day.
After the garden we setup in the dinning room area whilst we waited for Terri Powell, a local medium, regular at the Royal Oak and good friend of Rachael the landlady. During this time MJ and Liz continued to pick up on many things related to the pub.
When Terri arrived we remained in the dinning area for a brief while before heading up to our first vigil location, the twin bedroom.
The Twin Bedroom Vigil
MJ setup a camera to record the vigil and we each took a seat around the room. As ever I sat in the rocking chair as most mediums dont appear to like sitting in that chair. After setting up a couple of voice recorders, MJ was listening live to hers, we started the vigil.
Not long in I believe Liz commented on the location of a portal within the room, which has also been mentioned previously. Portals are a slight element of question for me, they certainly cause an inner struggle between my logical mind and a more spiritual side. I think its because they sound a little bit too science fiction for me, but that said they do come up a lot. In the case of the Royal Oak they appear to be always picked up in the twin bedroom, but more interestingly the same part of that room roughly. Perhaps this is more an area of concentrated spiritual energy?
As we continued our vigil Liz picked up on the book ‘Moby Dick’ and its author Herman Melville. The name Melville also could be associated with a name they picked up earlier in the evening. As Liz highlighted the cryptic nature of this communication, something I’ve become used to at the Royal Oak, Liz simply asked out for the answer. At this point MJ caught an interesting EVP, which clearly gave a name related to the pub. I’m not going to reveal the name as hopefully I can post that EVP at a later date for you all to listen to.
We also had another interesting sequence of events occur where at one point Rachael slipped into trance and spirit struggled to communicate through her. However what was particularly interesting was that as Rachael went into trance, it appeared that MJ’s camera battery drained ans shut down. These events appear to have occurred hand in hand, but are thay related? It’s certainly events like these that would suggest a probable energy drain from the device, but could there be an alternative explanation. Perhaps when these events occur they don’t steal the energy they disrupt how the device works.
Table Tipping in the Poppy Room
After the twin room we moved onto the Poppy Room where we decided to try a little table tipping. I’ve personally experienced some relatively interesting table tipping at the Royal Oak. Of course the problem with table tipping is that unless its experienced with people you know well and trust, then you’ll end up questioning it. On this occasion we had a little response on the table briefly and we attempted some ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions. The table would then tilt in the direction of the answer in order to reply to us. Although this was a little interesting as far as physical activity goes, the responses were a little vague for my more sceptical science side. Sometimes you dont get the responses you’re looking for or perhaps I had set my expectations a little high!
During this vigil both MJ and Terri sat on the end of the double bed. As they did so they became aware of a probable child spirit on the bed behind them. I think that MJ even felt a tug on her hair at one point. Oddly as they mentioned this my first thought was my two year old daughter Savannah, so much so that I checked on her following the vigil.
Following this vigil we headed back down stairs to the dinning room for a break.
Closing Up in the Bar
We decided to conclude the investigation in the bar area of the pub. So we sat around a small table in a relatively central position. MJ decided to give the Spirit Box a quick try in this area and after a few minutes of settling we asked a few questions. Oddly on a couple of occasions there did appear to be a few responses, but nothing specific and in most difficult to understand which was a shame.
We finished off with one more EVP session. Most of this proved uneventful as MJ was live listening to the EVP again. Live listening basically means as the voice recorder continues to record from the Mic it also pushes it out to a set of earphones slightly amplified. This isn’t an approach I’ve really used in the past, but in all honesty after a little personal testing it does work quite well. As it allows you to mark, review and respond to EVP’s as you hear them. It’s similar to the approach used during the Scole Experiment when they used an old tape recorder to communicate with their Spirit Team.
On this occasion in the bar MJ thought she caught something. However as it happened just after Liz and I spoke, we found it hard to confirm if it wasn’t us our not. So, as the rule states ‘if in doubt, throw it out’ we did.
We closed up the investigation not long after this as it felt as if we had been given enough for one visit. So, we grabbed a coffee and headed home, thanking Rachael as ever for a great night.
Another Interesting Investigation of the Royal Oak
As ever the Royal Oak delivered an interesting yet more spiritually orientated investigation. Although we had some additional oddities like the EVP’s in the twin room, which incidentally only recorded on one of the three devices recording. Also, the battery drain of MJ’s camcorder at the time that Rachael slipped into trance.
All in all another interesting visit to the Royal Oak in Swanage and I look forward to my next visit there. Thank you to Rachael for letting us into the pub, also thanks to MJ and Liz for allowing me to join Sage Paranormal on this investigation.
If you’ve liked this post, don’t forget to like, comment and share below. Also, subscribe to my email newsletter (top right of the page) for regular updates and links.
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.