All posts tagged Haunted

Pluckley Woods. Kent

Haunted Pluckley Woods

Allegedly the most haunted village in the UK Marc Weston has spent many a night investigating the famous Pluckley Woods which believe me, must be considered as one of the spookiest places to be in the dead of night!

Marc: Several incidents have occurred over the years which have left me somewhat perplexed, the details of which I would like to recount to you below.

Meeting in the main car park on one occasion, I always make it my business to ascertain the level of experience the attending guests might have had. On this particular night, I was informed by a couple in their forties, the female looking decidedly nervous and agitated, that this was their first paranormal investigation, arranged by her husband to celebrate their wedding anniversary. His wife explained how “scared” she really was at the prospect of wondering through these famously haunted woods late at night and doubted whether or not she would last the entire night.

I offered assurances and asked them to stay with me throughout the investigation emphasising my willingness to ensure they remained safe and confident.

Unexpected Ghostly Encounter

The group walked off into the woods, following ancient pathways, lit only by a selection of torchlights. Within minutes I was aware of a presence in my peripheral vison, which , upon further scrutiny, turned out to be a young man in his early twenties dressed casually with jeans and camouflage type jacket leaning with his back against a large tree. This individual was a mere six to ten feet from me and turned his head to meet my gaze smiling directly at me.

The aforementioned couple registered their surprise at this odd circumstance and we continued walking by. My suspicions were aroused even further and I simply stepped sideways to my right and physically reached out my right arm and touched the young man on his left arm grinning back at him. Contact ensued on his left arm which appeared to be solid and real to the touch. I commented on the lines of “well you are real” laughing as I moved onwards.

Feeling something wasn’t quite right, and offering even more assurances to the female accompanying me, who was, by now, exhibiting the first stages of panic I explained this young man appeared to be real and not to worry too much about his presence as she would remain safe and protected by the numbers present in our party. As I said this I suddenly felt the urge to turn and take a second look behind me, if nothing else, to re-assure myself this gentleman did not pose any threat.

To my dismay, he had totally “disappeared”, literally vanished, with no obvious explanation or possibility of him hiding in any adjacent shrubs or undergrowth as there was nothing there to provide such cover surrounding the tree. The night was still and quiet though very cold, it was a January, and the aforementioned couple literally lost the plot!

Noting my confusion and obvious look of concern the wife insisted on being escorted back to their vehicle refusing point blank to go any further into the woods and her husband reluctantly agreed to return with her on the condition I accompany them also. I called to my colleagues who were by now well ahead of us to advise them of my intentions and turned around with the frightened couple. Regardless of what I said they were adamant they wanted to leave immediately and never return to these woods.

I left them with their vehicle and waved them goodbye and commenced my return journey through the woods to catch up the main group who by now were half a mile ahead of me.

The Paranormal Investigation

Passing the spot where my earlier encounter with this lone individual had been experienced I too became very uneasy and aware that something was not as it should be, however, despite feeling extremely nervous to say the least, I eventually caught up with the remainder of the group and promptly recounted my tale to them.

After a little ribbing and laughter we continued on our way and embarked on our investigation the results of which I will elaborate on in due course.

As a caveat to the incident detailed above, upon return to work on the following Monday morning, I explained to a third party engineer, attending my premises to undertake fire extinguisher checks and maintenance, who I knew, and whom had expressed an interest in matters paranormal to me on previous occasions. After listening to me he told me the following.

His wife, who I have never met, a serving policewoman with Kent police, had been sent to Pluckley Woods after a call from a member of the public reporting a young man, dressed in jeans and a camouflage jacket, “hiding” behind trees at the edge of the woods adjacent to the main roadway. Upon arrival, the patrol car was parked in the main car parking area and two officers, one being her, disembarked, locking the car securely and walked off into the woods to investigate further. Almost immediately, allegedly, the patrol car emergency lights and sirens lit up and sounded simultaneously causing the swift return of the police officers to identify what was happening. There was no one there, the car resumed its normal parked condition and the officers were dumbfounded.

A call for back up and a dog unit was apparently made and for the next three hours or so a detailed search of the woods ensued resulting in absolutely nothing being evident!

Speaking to a colleague some months later and telling him about these events I learnt from him of a tale relating to a young man who had been killed outright on the roadway close by in a motorbike accident, which he was aware of, suggesting a strange link to the events illustrated above. Was this perhaps the gentleman I witnessed in the woods? Is he seeking contact unaware he is dead? Has anyone else had any similar occurrences happen to them?

Oddly, the remainder of this particular evening passed by quietly until the time came for me to review the data I had collected on the day. Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) captured in the woods identified a softly spoken Irish female, a voice I might add that was captured on several successive trips to Pluckley Woods and always in the same area warning “the men are in the village” and also “it’s cold outside”.

Imagine how astounded I was to discover a photograph (copy attached) taken in complete darkness with an infra-red camera (IR) of the group with me, illustrating a young female standing alone, some estimated forty to fifty feet away, dressed in inappropriate clothing for the time of year, pregnant and illuminated like a Christmas tree!

If you look carefully at the centre of the photograph the faces and figures can just be made out of the accompanying group of people I was with, confirming NO additional lighting was in use at the time and yet the female form to the upper right of the frame is clearly visible. Strange to say the least.

As a paranormal researcher of over forty years I have clearly amassed a large network of colleagues and like-minded people to whom I sent this picture and not one of them could explain the results or debunk the images. What are your views?
To compound this strange occurrence, the ensuing three or four photographs taken with the same camera, in the same position under exactly the same conditions, on that night all exhibit bizarre light anomalies (copies attached).

Regrettably, access to Pluckley Woods has now ceased, particularly in the night time, so my ability to pursue any further lines of enquiry and seek additional evidence in support of this encounter and strange circumstances remain in abeyance. Is there anyone else out there who may be able to shed any further light on these events?

 This content was submitted by Marc Weston – Paranormal Researcher of over forty years – If you have an experience you wish to share you can do so from here 

Newhaven Fort. East Sussex

New Haven Fort Naval gun Firing

The year 1066 saw the last successful invasion of Britain, since then our coasts have been guarded by a succession of forts and castles strategically located all around the country.

Seaford Bay and the port of Newhaven in East Sussex have always been the most desired of landing zones for the enemies of the Britons. British history of the area dates back to the Bronze age when a large enclosed fort was built on the cliff top. It has remained an important strategic location and continues to be so even today.

The current Newhaven Fort structure was built around the 1860’s and is believed to be the largest work of defence ever constructed in Sussex. It was also considered a vital element in Britain’s coastal defence through both World War 1 and World War 2.  Following its abandonment as a military fortification, Newhaven Fort suffered years of neglect and dereliction; almost in ruins, it has now been restored to provide an award-winning visitor attraction to both the locals of Sussex but also to the many visitors to the area.

Ghostly Happenings

There are numerous reports from visitors to the Fort, when walking into the main tunnels, of being pushed, seeing dark figures slipping into the shadows and multiple orbs have been caught on the security cameras and monitoring systems, other reports include sounds and smells, people have reported the noises of chains clinking. Some believe it is the ghost of a woman called Martha who committed suicide at the fort. Other occurrences happen in the magazines and laboratory.

The forts numerous exhibitions are also a hot bed of activity. People have reported hearing the sounds of footsteps and shuffling, moans of suffering have also been heard and reported on numerous occasions. for more information on visiting newhaven fort can be found here

The Punchbowl Inn. Surrey

Punchbowl Inn, parts of which date back to the 14th century (1300s)

The Punchbowl Inn located in the sleepy village of Oakwood in and is reportedly one of the most haunted in the county of surrey.

The village is also known as Okewood Hill (or Okewoodhill). The name is derives from a local stream called the Oke. The Inn can be dated back to the 14th century (1300s) and is still in use to this day. The Inn hosts the location of the Boxing Day Meet of the Surrey Union Hunt.

The hamlet of Oakwoodhill is also mentioned in the Domesday Book, which was commissioned by William the conqueror after the defeat of King Harold at The Battle Of Hastings, (which actually took place outside Hastings in the now named town of Battle!) in Kent, in the 11th century.

Does an old landlord still call time?

There have been reports of an old bearded gentleman who apparently wanders in all areas of the pub, it has been said that he has a penchant for the bar maids, it is generally believed that he may have been one of the early landlords of the pub, who still believes that he is in charge.

Ghostly Dog

In the public bar side, to the right of the building, there is a fire place, many people have reported encountering a spectral dog, which lays by the fire in the cold weather and has been known to actually growl at people who come too close to him before appearing and then promptly disappearing again!

There have been other reports of Rotating door handles and creaking floorboards accompanied by footsteps being heard in an upstairs room, in addition, the kitchen door, which leads into the bar area, is frequently opened by an invisible entity, this however didn’t  start to happen until the early 1990’s and for no apparent reason, even to this day, this is almost a daily occurrence, usually, late in the afternoon and early evening, this phenomenon has been experienced by many of the patrons many times. In addition, people have observed a ‘grey lady’ in a 17th century crinoline dress walking across the restaurant before disappearing through a wall.

Nearby Grounds

In the field opposite, which is now the cricket ground, one of the local game keepers, William Charman, who, amazingly, was 73 at the time, was fatally thrown from his horse on July 19, 1861 and his ghostly figure can be frequently seen standing by what is now, and believed to have been at that time, the entrance to the field directly opposite to the punchbowl pub. Behind the pub, which is now the car park, there are some old pig stys, these have now been listed and are prohibited from being demolished.

Untimely departing!

During their construction, a worker was mysteriously taken ill, however, he insisted on continuing to work but collapsed, and by the time a doctor was summoned, the poor chap had expired, no apparent reason could be established for his demise, but it is reported that he is occasionally seen sitting on an invisible wall eating his lunch. Perhaps he is trying to give us a clue to his untimely departing.

Robin Hoods Grave, Kirklees. Yorkshire

Does Robin Hoods Grave lies at Kirklees Park Estate, West Yorkshire,

Robin Hood is a heroic outlaw in English folklore, and, according to legend, was also a highly skilled archer and swordsman. Does an unmarked grave in Kirklees wood hold the remains of one of Englands greatest heroes… Robin Hood

“The Armytage family lived over the brow of the hill on a splendid site once occupied by Cistercian nuns. It was called Kirklees. There was more than an insularity which set the mansion apart. There was a mystery about it which local people only reluctantly tried to penetrate. The mystery was helped physically by the thick shroud of trees that surrounded the place and was sustained by local tales of ghosts of prioresses and nuns and or the death of Robin Hood whose grave is so imperturbably marked as lying within Kirklees grounds in spite of any facts which might suggest to the contrary.”
THE LAND OF LOST CONTENT.

This would appear to be the first reported mention of ghostly activity around Robin Hood’s Grave, but considering the history of Robin’s death; cursed by a witch on his way to the nunnery, murdered by an apostate nun and cast into an unhallowed grave which is on the crossing of ley lines; it is hardly surprising that the site is reputed to have unquiet spirits hovering around.

Contemporary Ghostly Accounts

An elderly lady, Mrs Edith Ellis, witnessed silver arrows in the sky above Kirklees when visiting her old aunt at Hartshead in the early years of the last century. She also reports hearing Robin calling for Marian. Another sighting was made by a tenant farmer of Kirklees in 1926. One day,” he recalls, “I was sitting on the grave shooting rabbits. As I was about to shoot I felt a tap on my shoulder, and my shotgun went off accidentally, removing two of my front teeth on its recoil. There was nobody to be seen at the time.

On another occasion I was on my way home from the Three Nuns. As I was walking through the woods something fell out of a tree and knocked me to the ground. When I got up I could see the old gatehouse. In the window I could clearly see a man with a bow. My family always said it was the drink, but it was Robin Hood’s ghost.”
In 1963 guitarist Roger Williams took an unofficial stroll up to Robin’s grave with a friend. About twenty yards from the grave he saw a white robed woman who suddenly seemed to glide towards the two men. What made Roger’s hair stand on end was how silently she moved over the twigs and bracken. At about five yards from Roger the woman stopped and stared at him with “dark, mad eyes.” Then she moved away and vanished. It was 2.30 p.m. and a bright,sunny day.

Roger Williams saw the same apparition again in 1972, in full daylight, and again she stopped a few yards from him and his companion. This time Roger remembered a few more details. The woman was wearing a long white dress with a square neck and long sleeves which accords with the habit of a Cistercian nun. Again she looked at him angrily before moving off, but the eerie sequel to this experience was that Roger’s house then experienced a series of strange noises and bangings. After this, Roger swore that “wild horses would not drag me up there again.”

Mark Gibbons, a member of the Yorkshire Robin Hood Society, had a similar experience in 1998. With other members of the group he had gone up to try and find Robin’s grave one moonlit night, but they had got lost in the dark, tangled wilderness of the Kirklees woods Suddenly Mark saw a white figure pointing in a certain direction which turned out to be exactly where the grave was situated. Mark however was too unnerved to continue and fled back to the roadside while his companions continued their quest.

Famous Investigators

A later explorer to Kirklees, vampire hunter Bishop Sean Manchester, had a similar experience when he was confronted with a “wild staring hag with red eyes” and his fellow vampire hunters deserted him, one of them becoming impaled on a bramble bush.

It is true that Robin’s grave was excavated in an amateurish way by a Victorian Armytage (who was reputed to be in his cups at the time) and the ground beneath found to be undisturbed, but the many historical documents naming Kirklees as Robin’s final resting place cannot be ignored.

The fact is, his bones could lie anywhere on that hillside, while a gravestone resembling the original one drawn by Dr Johnstone, is to be found in nearby Hartshead churchyard, to where it may have been moved during the Civil War. Many visitors to the grave have recorded their experiences for posterity, including the following quote from a Victorian tourist :

“I had the strangest emotions when I first stood over the grave of this old forest hero. I stood there and had no words, nor can I find any now to tell what my feelings were. Bravehearted Robin ! Thou hast found a fit resting place in this glorious park, among these solemn yews and silent trees .”

A hundred years later it is a different story:

“There it was, looming out of the dark, a massive,broken edifice, a huge ship of stone, wrecked in the everglades of Kirklees. Fallen pillars and twisted railings were were all that remained on Yorkshire’s buried treasure. We had found Robin Hood’s Grave.” – MARK GIBBONS, SECRETS OF THE GRAVE.

Feature Length Interview : Robin Hood’s Grave Revisited with David Farrent

Maybe the last word should be with Victorian poet, George Searle Phillips, a friend of the Brontes, who visited the grave in 1848, and wrote an epic poem, a small section of which is printed below :

Tread lightly o’er the earth and speak no word
Till the Great Spirit doth unloose your tongues
For where those yew trees nod their funereal plumes
Upon the highest platform of the hill,
Lies gentle Robin Hood, his mighty heart
All muffled up in dust and his bright eyes
Quenched in eternal darkness. Never more
Shall the woods echo to his bugle horn,
Or his unerring arrow strike the deer
Swift flying, till it hits the bloody grass.

Haunted Island would like to thank the Author of this story Barbara Green for her valuable contribution.

The Ancient Ram Inn. Gloucestershire

Built in 1145, in Wotton-under-Edge, the old inn is reputedly the most haunted in Britain.

Built in 1145, in Wotton-under-Edge, the old inn is reputedly the most haunted in Britain.

The Inn is a Grade II listed building, and ceased to be a working pub in the 1960’s. A large black cat is often seen in the Beaufort Room, which is reported to be the most haunted room in what is now a house. Highwaymen regularly stayed at the Inn and some say they might still visit in spirit form. Investigators have managed to capture some very ghostly images on camera at the Ram, including white vapour, ghost lights, and most convincingly a man in a lace collar who’s face is reflected in a photograph of a grandfather clock.

UPDATE: 14th Feb 2014 – is this Britain’s most haunted B&B – where terrified guests have been left so scared they have even jumped out of the windows.

“I knew nothing of the hauntings when I bought the place. It wasn’t until the first night, when I felt a pair of cold, hairy hands pulling me out of bed, that I knew something strange was going on at the Ram. My daughters regularly saw a large black cat like creature and I have since found out that this animal – an evil incubus – features in many paranormal situations. Several of our visitors have been thrown out of chairs and others have felt icy hands in bed”.
John Humphries, Owner.

More Information About The Ancient Ram Inn