Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Capers At The Mansion!!!


The following notes are included here as a matter of interest to all of those people who say that the W.M.G.C. never seem to experience anything of interest - let alone anything of a potentially paranormal nature - on their investigations!! Laugh!!! Of course, we're not saying that any of the following information amounts to a hill-o-beans when it comes to possible ghostly happenings.... but the site concerned stands as one of the more 'productive' - and certainly 'impressive' - places that we've come to visit in some 20 years of investigation and the resulting data can almost certainly be referred to as 'of passing interest'.....

Given the nature of the area being covered on the investigations concerned - an allegedly haunted, ruined mansion house and a nearby (equally haunted) graveyard - a ‘casual’ approach to the site was adopted by group members during our visits. Due to the fact that the main building itself was in a most terrible state of decay, it was deemed unsafe for group members to actually try and enter the structure. Instead, general patrols of the region concerned were undertaken, as well as static observation periods and recording sessions.

Historically speaking, the ruined property itself was built in the 14th Century as a moated manor house and, in it's time, had passed through the hands of a number of influential and well known figures. Ghost-wise, the site is allegedly walked by the shade of a former - now 'headless' - owner! The nearby church was also built in the 14th Century and is said to be haunted by a friendly, phantom monk....

On our very first visit to the area, the group began by walking around the perimeter of the mansion moat. Having almost completed our tour, a club member happened to look up at one of the windows of the property and saw, what he initially took to be, half of a pure white ‘head / face’ disappearing behind one side of a window frame. It appeared as if someone had just been taking a quick look at the group and speedily withdrew their head when they'd been spotted. Somewhat perplexed, the member was about to say something to his companions when, through a nearby window on the same floor, a large(ish) bird, possibly a pigeon or dove, took off in the same direction that the ‘shape’ had appeared to dart. From this, he immediately presumed that the head / face he had seen was actually just a bird… Having mentioned this to his companions, he was asked if he was sure it had been the bird, and he had to admit that – although likely – the fleeting glimpse seen was not bird-like in any way, but more oval and, as mentioned, approaching pure white in colour(?)

We re-entered the churchyard and Steve Chew placed his camera on a tomb lid, facing towards the Castle ruins. Frazer Smith had taken a seat some 40 or so yards away (on a bench) and was generally looking in the direction of the other members. While he is sitting, he begins aiming questions at the air around him – specifically mentioning one of the historical figures said to haunt the locality. As the group re-join him, he reports having just seen a ‘bright light’ appear some 18 inches from his face – slightly to the left of his head, but at eye level – which seemed to shoot off quickly, out of sight, to his left. The light itself was 18 to 24 inches in length and 2.5 to 3” thick, tapering off to a point at both ends. (This happened approx. 10.18 p.m.) It was seen clearly and was brilliant white in colour.

As we sit discussing the matter on the bench, Steve sees a greyish ‘arc of light’ just in front of us and slightly to our left. (Around 5 feet from the group and fairly close to the ground).

A short while later, Frazer reports seeing a ball of light – about the size of a melon – with a surrounding glow about it. This was spotted among some trees near the churchyard / Castle gate, not far from Steve’s (still recording) video camera. Frazer offers to show us where the light was and, as we begin walking towards the spot, a quick moving, hazy, semi-circle of light - travelling both under the trees and then to the left of them - is spotted. It is suggested by one member that the presence of passing cars on the road a few hundred yards behind the spot is the cause for this, but Frazer says that the light he saw couldn’t be accounted for in this way. Investigation at the spot in question reveals that a certain amount of light activity in this region is being generated by traffic passing along a section of road about a mile or so distant. (Note* Having said this – the fuzzy, moving, light effect generated by the traffic mentioned does not sound at all akin to the ‘round’ and ‘static’ light seen by Frazer. Therefore – also trusting Frazers observational skills – it is in no way stating that the obvious traffic ‘effect’ was alsothe cause of his ‘anomaly’. The ‘passing car effect’ was spotted by all present, sporadically throughout the visit, but the light which Frazer reported only occurred once).

The group move to the small pathway leading from the churchyard to the Castle and Steve reports having just seen a round, ball of light, approx. half the size of a human head, situated in the tree’s to the right of the Castle moat bridge.

Standing on the path, talking amongst ourselves casually, Steve suddenly lets out an almighty, startled cry – scaring the life out of the assembly, who were facing in the opposite direction at the time!

Following a query as to what had happened, Steve reports having turned slightly to look over his left shoulder – whereupon he instantly spotted a ‘figure’ standing immediately behind him!! He subsequently describes what he saw as taller than Frazer (in excess of 6 feet) and grey in colour. Only having a fleeting glimpse, he could say little more, save for the fact that there was something like a long, ‘cloak’ effect to the form and that it was standing completely still.

While Steve is still recovering – and in the period when endeavouring to explain what he had seen - Frazer clearly appears mildly agitated about something……

Interestingly, it turns out that - just prior to the sighting - Frazer clearly heard a brief, rustling sound. He described it as ‘akin to the sort of noise made by flapping fabric’, which was seemingly originating from directly behind Steve. This occurred at 11.25 p.m.

Frazer suddenly says out loud: “If that was you with us there – please come back………”

Steve instantly reacts again and – most unlike him - appears to try and flee the area in which we are standing! It transpires that, as Frazer delivered his question, Steve saw a figure situated some 8 or so feet away, apparently moving quickly towards the group……… I happen to be looking in the direction of the church / Castle gate at this exact time, but see nothing at all.

Steve is all too evidently shaken by the encounter for some while after. A description of the figure is given as: appearing to have some form of diamond / net type pattern to it’s clothing and most probably female. It appeared to be wearing something akin to a ‘Dracula-esque’ collar – i.e. the collar wings sticking out – and it had straight shoulders… Steve gets a feeling of the ‘Tudor’ period associated with the form. Because of this, it is suggested that the previously mentioned patternation of the clothing might have been reminiscent of the padded, diamond designs that you frequently see associated with the period. However, Steve says the effect wasn’t padded, but more like ‘engraved’… To illustrate his experience, Steve sketched what he had seen. (Image shown at top of this post).

In comparing both of the figures recently witnessed, Steve states that he believes they were not the same form. The 2nd figure appeared smaller than the 1st and the 1st lacked the detail that the 2nd had shown. He now laments the fact that he hadn’t tried to view the 2nd figure for longer, instead of attempting to escape it! (Laugh!!)

Of considerable interest is the peculiar fact that Steve says he couldn’t see the head of the 2nd figure? (Note* In this, he is not stating that the form was necessarily headless, but, in the brief time that he saw it, he didn’t actually ‘notice’ a head - i.e. as with some form of 'partial apparition'). Of passing interest is the fact that such details evidently fit in with some of the historic figures directly associated with the site......

Despite the comparative brevity of our inital investigation of the mansion / churchyard site – in opposition to our usual ‘all-nighter’ vigils at that point in time – the site in question certainly appears to have furnished the group with a host of potentially paranormal occurrences.

Of considerable note, when looking back at the above visit, was the simple fact that a few of the events (potentially) encountered were of such ‘impact’ as to catch certain group members off guard and, doubtlessly, led to reactions not normally associated with these members. Needless to mention, Steve – while being prone to ghostly experiences at times – is certainly not a person one would never, ever regard as ‘jumpy’ or ‘flighty’ in a potentially paranormal situation. One can only conclude, from some of his reactions during the visit, that the events experienced were of such magnitude as to throw him totally off kilter..... Also, given the alleged, ghostly history associated with the site, a number of the experiences shared by the group during the visit would certainly seem to have had possible connections with the region and its history / folk-lore(?)

This groups second visit to this site, took place in late May 2006.

At approx. 11.20 pm, group member were carrying out a general 'patrol' of the curchyard site. Kevin Wallace was walking thorough the graves on the mansion side of the cemetery – towards the tower end of the building – when he felt (what he describes as) a ‘vibration’ in his left ear and the feeling that someone was standing close to him. He admits that he did jump slightly and instantly checked... but there was no one present. He reports having 'felt strange' for some minutes afterwards.

At 11.45 pm, while standing with John Conway and Julie Badger, relating the above mentioned incident, the three saw a light seemingly moving through the kissing gate trees from (Mansion) left to right (behind the church). Kev reported that it looked like a torch, while John says it appeared to be like a car. The same light was seen again a little later and it does appear to have been the by-product of car headlights.

Moments later, Kev happened to take a head count of the group – shining his torch on the figures for illumination - while standing on the grassy portion of the house side of the graveyard. (Just roughly in front of an ancient, stone head carving situated on the church wall). In his words:

“We turned around and I shone the light at the tree with the bench and I could see 2 people there. I said to Conna and Julie, ‘there’s two’, I then shone my torch towards the newer graves in the corner of the yard where I thought Clare had gone and I saw another two people (Claire Chew and another). I said to Conna and Julie, ‘there’s the other two’.

Conna then said, well that’s everyone accounted for.

It took me about 20 seconds to say: "Hang on - that makes 7 people and there are only 6 of us here".

It would appear that Clare had been at the newer graves by herself, and whatever I had seen had just registered as another person right close to her.

All I had been doing was a headcount to see if the lights in the tree was one of the group”.

Unfortunately, as Kev had only been taking a cursory glance around the group, he did not note any real detail about the ‘extra’ figure, except for the fact that it was dark in appearance. (In opposition to Claire C. who was wearing a light coloured jacket).

Despite the fact that the group have made a further handful of visits to the region concerned, nothing else of any real passing interest has occurred. Well - not in a paranormal sense, that is...... Ahem......

During our last visit to the site, 3 of our group members (who shall remain nameless) were conducting a walk along one side of the mansion ruins, when they happened to arouse the interest of a sizeable herd of cattle! The resulting 'chase' was worthy of any 'You've Been Framed' style show, resplendent with flailing limbs, flying equipment and epic dives to safety under an electric fence!! Laugh!! For the duration of the visit afterwards, our bovine 'friends' certainly kept a watchful eye on the attending ghost hunters!! Laugh!!

A most disturbing and macabre aspect of this visit was our exposure to a grisly and bizarre country pastime.....: ‘Mole Hanging’!! Despite the somewhat humourous title, this barbaric practice consists of displaying the corpses of deceased moles – usually suspended from barbed wire by their noses – as a means to display the prowess of the mole catcher involved.....!!!

An array of photographs from our visits to this fascinating site are hosted at this 'LINK'.

No comments: