Over the weekend of Friday to Sunday, March 28th - 30th, 2014, both team mate Sean Kim and myself attended St Briavels Castle, in the beautiful Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.
The occasion was as a guest of our friends Adam and Paula Heath, who run Forest Paranormal Investigations. As you recall late last year, we worked with Adam on two joint productions shot in Tintern, Wales and Coleford, Gloucestershire.
Great use was made of K2 EMF`s and Ghost Boxes which produced some spectacular results.
So the opportunity to work again with Adam at the weekend `Phantomfest`, was something I could not resist.
Joining us at the castle were a goodsized crowd for the building, as St Briavels is quite one of the smallest castles I`ve ever been to, with the exception of Leap Castle in Eire.
The guests were from Lancashire, Nottingham, and even further afield with a party of Australians, who wanted to sample a flavour of St Briavels haunted past.
During that weekend some very strange incidents of paranormality were recorded but not only us, but also by the guests too. And these experiences ranged from seeing spiritual activity, as well as more coventional contact sessions in a circle or on ouija boards and/or ghost boxes.
But for me, the very best part was when I and guests from Lancashire and Nottinghamshire were with Adam in the Chaplains Room at the top of the East Tower, which like many dormitories were named after it`s periods as a castle defensive, and later as a prison where many people died.
|Adam Heath (right) with team mate, Sean Kim|
Adam set up an experiment using modern Zenner (esp) cards, and a ghost box to hear any responses. Additionally, we had a K2 EMF detector to use as a communication device with spirit.
And here I was simply blown away. On the first face up cards, spirit was able to identify the card by it`s image, and after some minutes, I decided to place the cards face down on the table and selected at random (face down) a card which I placed directly onto the table.
Spirit was able to easily identify the face down card by stating auditorily through the ghost box the image on the card. As an extra confirmation I asked spirit to confirm the choice by flashing the lights on a K2, which it quickly obliged.
|The test with the zenner cards|
This went on for some further minutes, and it was quite obvious that the spirit responding to the test was conferring with others, and that these voices could clearly be heard on the ghost box speakers.
The assembled guests ranged from believers like Jan, a medium, to Chris, a sceptic. Adam, had left shortly after setting the test up. And the audience were a good cross selection of investigators.
|Jan, Bob and Nik|
Chris the sceptic was visibly shocked to see this experiment, and for him, this was a ground breaking moment. But for the rest of us, it was spirit showing itself again, but in a manner I never thought possible. Truly astounding!
I then at the end of this period placed two zenner cards face down, and although it was apparent that spirit was flagging in energy, the choices were again, 100% correct.
|The ouija board and ghost box in use inside the old kitchen|
We then went later to the former downstairs kitchen, and again using the same set-up as before, spirit came through, and kept repeating my name. I assumed this spirit wanted
me to continue with this game, which clearly this spirit was enjoying with us. And again, spirit correctly identified the imagery on the face down zenner cards.
As an aside, using the ouija board present during the second test, the spirit identified itself as a former servant at the castle called Beth Jones, and also stated she was Welsh.
She shared some aspects from her life there, but by this time the energy was starting to wane, and so the contact session ended.
Without any corroboration, this story would be just that, a story. But both events were recorded on a nightshot Sony camcorder, of which Adam has the tapes (with masses of other evidence) to share as a joint production with Haunted Earth tv.
But for me the supernatural didn`t end there.
That night, I was sharing the Chaplains Room with team mate Sean Kim, when after a few minutes we could clearly hear below us in the Constables Room, the sound of furniture being dragged around and other noises which suggested the guest in that room was having some kind of a party.
Unbeknown to us, the same noises were being heard - but for a much longer period, by Adam and Paula Heath in the bedroom below the Constables Room.
In the morning, the room was examined and found to be exactly as it should. There was one occupant, the author of many books on the castle`s ghostly history, Ross Andrews.
He stated that during the noisy period, he was fast asleep in his room. But he wasn`t surprised we could hear this noise as there have been similar reports in the past.
|Dressed for the documentary shoot|
But not all went well with spirit. On the second night (Saturday) I was carefully walking down the stone spiral staircase in the East Tower, and beside the entrance door to the Constables Room, when I felt two smallish hands touching my waist. This then became a sharp push, and I went all the way down the stairs before ending up on my back.
I ended up suffering from grazing on my left elbow and little finger, with bruising down my spine terminating in more bruising on my coccyx.
I know that many guests at the castle had many paranormal encounters, and I am not privy with the details of these. But by Sunday when the guests finally left, many had decided to return at a future date to experience more nights as guests of St Briavels Castle.
The full video will be available later on as a joint production between Forest Paranormal Investigations and Haunted Earth tv.
Finally, may I thank Adam, Paula and Mark of FPI, as well as the many wonderful guests that made this weekend very special.