Wednesday, 29 October 2014

29th Oct. 2014.
One of the key things that we’ve been finding over recent years is the simple fact that we’re not welcome back at a lot of the places that we had investigated previously. I have to STRESS that this is no fault of our own – well, with regards to our actions at the sites in question – but I guess the blame could be firmly placed at our feet for totally different reasons......? Our ‘fault’ in the equation lies firmly in the simple fact that we’ve always liked to tell people exactly what we’ve been doing and where..... for obvious reasons, of course. People have long expressed an interest in our dealings with different places over the years and, as a result, we’d long done our best to release as much information about our investigations as we could. In the early days, this caused no problem at all, but, in more recent years, the general tone of the field had changed so dramatically. A long time ago, we realised that our ‘investigations page’ had gone from a simple ‘matter of interest’ to enquiring visitors, to an online list for other local (and decidedly non-local) groups to try and pick their intended projects from....!?

One site of considerable interest to us in the past, that falls into the above-mentioned category, is the ancient spot known as Baginton Roman Fort, which lies on the outskirts of Coventry, close to the Warwickshire border......

Just as a matter of historical interest, a group member had visited this particular spot in 1992 – years before we ever became aware of any, alleged ‘ghostly goings on’ at the site. It wasn’t until early 2005 that the group received an email from staff at the Fort, actually inviting us to pop along there and conduct an overnight investigation, if we wished!? (It goes without saying..... we DID wish, very much!!)

As a result of the invite, we arranged to go over and investigate less than two weeks later, in April 2005, a couple of the group members arriving on site by mid-afternoon (when the museum closed), with the rest of the club not intending to get there until 10 pm. As sometimes happened with different site, we were very much being ‘left to our own devices’ during the visit and it seemed the staff couldn’t wait to vacate the site when we arrived!! We were basically asked to ‘lock up’ after we’d finished and just make sure we snapped the locks shut behind us as we left the site!!

The staff had initially provided us with a list of alleged activity at the Fort, so the two members present from mid-afternoon were able to stage something of a mini-investigation before the bulk of the club arrived to ‘take over’ as a sort of night shift!!  The key activity associated with the place seemed to be footsteps being heard inside what was called the Granary building – which housed the site museum and shop – seemingly accompanied, sometimes at least, by a ‘shadowy form’ being seen moving towards the rear of the building, towards the staff kitchen area..... For the duration of the visit, we had decided to use the Granary as our base of action.

After the bulk of the club members arrived, it was decided that we should split our attention between the Fort itself and the nearby church of St John, which had a legendary haunting associated with its graveyard. Over the space of literally a century or so, the figure of a woman in grey had been seen walking the graveyard and in the lane immediately to the front of the church itself, towards the old rectory.... During our stay at the Fort, two ‘shifts’ of group members visited the church, but our activities in the area were generally hindered by the fact that security lights situated around the property were constantly going on / off and the last thing we wanted to do was disturb the local populace......

At the same time, a number of vigils were carried out inside the Granary building and around the rest of the Fort site, but nothing of potential interest was detected and the group packed up around 4 a.m. We had actually intended to split the overall visit between ‘three’ sites around Baginton village, the third being a particular spot on a secluded, country lane where a wild, witch-like figure had been seen by passing motorists, seemingly pointing in the direction of the small, local airport......!? In the end, however, we just decided to keep to the places eventually visited for fear of possibly biting off more than we could chew and potentially becoming a bit ‘thin on the ground’......

Returning briefly to the initial gist of this matter, we had – in more recent years – decided to try again for a return visit to Baginton Fort, perhaps, but had been flatly ‘turned down’ with the news that they had received so many enquiries over recent years, they were basically refusing all requests for investigations now......  While we were ‘asked to investigate’ by the Fort itself carries no weight at all in such a scenario and, as it was deemed a potential angle for publicity by the site, it was a matter openly advertised following our visit, etc. We were also told that it was fine to mention the site in our own dealings immediately after, which, of course, we did in good faith... Unfortunately, all such publicity seems to have done is cause the place to have been inundated with requests for investigations..... something the Fort is against currently. (A lack of overnight staff, willing to monitor such events, was also cited as a reason for refusal, though – of course – this wasn’t an issue at our visit, as they seemed most happy to leave the place in our hands. Needless to say, this wasn’t a problem with the club, as we’re always respectful and, despite having been ‘left to our own devices’ numerous times over the years, we’ve NEVER created a scenario or event which has led to our presence being queried afterwards. There have been, of course, a number of horror stories to reach our ears in fairly recent years concerning other ‘trusted’ associations and individuals!?

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