DATE: Saturday 10th February 2007
TIME: 1800 hrs - 0030 hrs
Third Quarter Moon:
Feb 10, 2007 9:52 AM
Percent of Full: 50%
Rise: 1:46 AM
Set: 10:03 AM
2.4 Ghz Channel 5.
Humidity: 77 %
Weather conditions: Light rain visibility good
Solar state: normal
Visibility - Good
TEAM LIST DARTMOUTH CASTLE
Mike W, Amanda C, Melissa W, Stevie V, Paul S, Sue Carter, Jo Hicks*, Andy Gillies
Sharkey, Andy Gillies, Hana, Pippa Q, Paul Huxham*, Kim J, Simon Jones*, Helen B. Laura Q, Lesley G
Caz / Eileen
This was Haunted Devon’s second visit to the Castle which stands majestically at the mouth of the Dart estuary. The castle was originally a small fort, built in 1388 to house expensive stone-throwing machines that could hurl a rock just about to the other side of the river. Between 1481 and 1495 a new tower was constructed to mount heavy guns and it was the first purpose built artillery tower in the country. Over the centuries as the power and range of weaponry increased, more gun emplacements were added so that firepower could be directed at ships long before they reached the harbour. The last emplacements were added during World War 2.
The Victorian Gun Battery - Dartmouth
Two members of the Haunted Devon team left Plymouth early, arriving at the castle at 1700 Hrs on a wet and windy evening. The main group of members were due to arrive at 1800 hrs so the two early arrivals, Byron and Brian, quickly set about doing a baseline test in the Victorian Gun Battery and The Gun Tower as well as setting up sound and vision recording equipment and temperature recorders in those areas which were to be covered by the team that night. The baseline test found no significant EMF activity in the Victorian Gun Battery. The humidity was recorded as 77% and the ambient temperature was 14.9 C. The Gun Tower did show high EMF readings on the bottom two floors rising to 0.6 Gauss in both areas. This may have been due to hidden electrical cabling for display lighting and also the alarm systems. No significant EMF’s were found on the top floor or the battlements. Humidity was recorded and this varied between 73% and 78% throughout the tower. The temperature also varied throughout the tower between 12.8 and 15.1C. The battlements recorded a temperature of 13C.
All the team members had arrived by 1800 Hrs and Byron Jackson (founder and lead investigator of Haunted Devon) conducted a Health and Safety briefing, pointing out the dangers of the steep and winding staircases as well as giving general instructions to be followed in case of emergencies. Caz, one of the mediums then asked everyone to join her as she performed a psychic protection ceremony. The group then split into 2 pre-arranged teams to investigate The Gun Tower and the Victorian Gun Battery, These teams each had a medium present and would swap locations after 2 hours. We were also joined for the evening by Holly of English Heritage.
The Casements - Dartmouth Castle
Caz, our mediumship advisor had done an initial walk round before the main vigils started.
Walking towards the far end of the Victorian Gun Battery near to the window area she felt an overwhelming feeling of great sadness and loss. She only felt it in this section. She reports feeling “lost” and for a brief moment felt a lack of concentration, very much a feeling of being detached from the moment. She also felt the presence of at least three males. A spirit by the surname of “Jenkins” was felt strongest of all and Caz feels he would have been known and called by this name, instead of using his first name. In the Guard room (kit area) she felt as if she was being pushed out as if she was not supposed to be in this area.
Team A were the first to investigate the Victorian Gun Battery and the Casements behind it. This area was found to be particularly active during Haunted Devon’s first visit in 2006.
Team A split into small groups to cover the battery and casements in turns. The room has sound fed into it playing re-enactments of the sounds that might have been heard in previous centuries.
However, the piped re-enactments were still active when the lights were turned off. Paul radioed Byron to report this matter and Holly informed him that the audio had already been disconnected. This was quite baffling and the wires had to be removed manually from each speaker.
Part of the team in the gun batttery
Caz, Haunted Devon’s mediumship advisor, began to pick up on a male energy in the powder passage and Melissa thought she could describe him. She feels that this spirit was dark and swarthy skinned with a rough beard and was grumpy or grouchy. Caz couldn’t confirm Melissa’s impressions. When Caz moved into the main passage area behind the Gun Battery she felt a tingling sensation around her lower calves and feet. She felt Cold air blown into her face. And gets a sense of residual energy of much rushing about, she reports that her heart was beating quite fast, and her head was throbbing as well as feeling sick. This apparently passed as quickly as it came.
As she was stood with Melissa, Simon and Martyn in the lighting passageway, her attention was drawn to the far end which is a dead end. She felt that there was a doorway or an archway here to another part of the castle at one time; she reports she could “see” men carrying wooden boxes through here.
Team A, was now joined by Byron and they all decamped into the South room of the gun battery. All sound equipment was on and working. Byron and Melissa then began to ask any spirits present to identify their presence by making a noise and a very gentle tapping that sounded as if it was coming from a wooden noggin by the cannon in that room was heard by members of the team. It was very intermittent and didn’t happen again to direct requests. A little later, Sharkey (Brian) complained of not feeling well and Byron accompanied him to the next room. He had suddenly began to feel very cold and had a pain in his midriff but returned after a few minutes feeling a lot better.
Melissa was still calling out asking for any spirit to make themselves known when she heard shuffling or movement from the middle area of the battery now occupied by Sharkey and Caz. They both heard it too and denied having caused the sounds. Just a moment or so after Byron had called out Caz felt a hand firmly stroke the right hand side of her head. She now reports sensing two male energies, one being older than the other by at least 10years. She thinks the younger spirit is in his late teens or early 20’s. Her right eye was starting to sting and twitch, with heat around this area. She feels this was an injury sustained by one of the males, whose gun/musket had backfired into his face causing burning to his right side of the face.
About a minute or so later, Melissa also saw a really large blue-white light in the entrance of the middle area and it took a second to fade but she was 100% certain that it was an orb. Nobody else could confirm her sighting.
The old tower - Dartmouth Castle
By now Brian had moved with Laura, who is sensitive to psychic phenomena, into the North end of the battery. He had had an experience in that area on Haunted Devon’s last visit being able to accurately describe a pitched hand to hand battle fought in that room even though he makes no claim to be psychic or had any knowledge of that event. The battle was confirmed on the previous visit by a historical researcher. To his amazement Laura begins to describe the very same thing and comes very close to describing exactly what Brian had described 9 months earlier? They had only met at the last HD investigation and had never spoken about his experience at Dartmouth so this was very unexpected. It had taken much researching for the historian to find details of the battle so it is very doubtful that Laura would have known about it.
Nothing else is experienced and at 2000Hrs the team move upstairs to the guardroom for a much needed break and refreshments.
Team A then made the couple of hundred yard walk to the Gun Tower. After initial explorations of the tower they settled on the second floor and several team members asked if any spirits present could identify themselves but this was to no avail. Caz then thought about placing some books in the upright position in the middle of the floor and having done so then asked any spirits present to move them. Again this did not illicit any response despite Caz sensing the spirit of another male energy. At one point Melissa thought that she could see wisps of mist forming just above the books and Caz confirmed this. As Melissa moved forward to indicate where she could see the mist Paul declared that he saw an orb as it streaked passed the books. Nothing further happened so the team decided to decamp to the top floor leaving the camera running and pointed at the books.
On the top floor, the team put one more book in position and again asked any spirits to identify their presence. After a few minutes of quiet Melissa asked if it would be OK to encircle the books and try to build psychic energy that maybe a spirit could use to manifest itself. Caz, as the medium, thought this was a good idea and the team joined hands while she instructed us on how to build the energy. Various sounds were heard but nothing definite nor could the team be certain that it was paranormal. The wind was rising and this was creating many draughts that whistled round the tower and waves were also pounding the rocks below. Caz and Laura thought they were picking up on the spirit of a little boy dressed in a frock. The boy had blond ringlets in his hair. Caz thought he was 12 but Laura placed him a little younger.
By now the time was 2200 hours and a hot cup of tea was required by all so the team retired once more back to the guardroom.
Team B had started in The Gun Tower. Their impression was that this area seemed quiet and not threatening. Some orb activity was caught on video, especially on the top floor, and also orbs were found on photographs taken by the team. Sue and two other team members left rest of team and went right to top of tower, into a small ‘keep’ on the battlements. Whilst there several noises were heard by them, distinct footsteps on wooden floor outside were heard as well as men’s voices mumbling. Upon investigating nothing was found outside to account for the noises. They were confident that this was not the rest of the team as they were 2 floors down. The team also are sure they heard the sound of a cannon firing. Various unaccountable sounds were heard in this area on Haunted Devon’s previous visit and the area does seem to be the home of much activity.
Through the team’s medium, Eileen, the team communicated with a spirit called Edward Jeffries or Jefferson while based on the ground floor. Edward when alive apparently minded the stores and resided in the Tower. This spirit appeared friendly and the atmosphere of the room was felt to be generally calm. The team then moved to the upper floor of the tower, Steve began to capture some good video footage of orbs and they seemed to centre on the natural room divide/fireplace. The team sat in this room for a while and some team members report smelling urine and flowers. Eileen at one point felt she was developing an ear infection and asked Andy to sit in her spot to see if he would pick up on this. Amanda started laughing and said she sensed the spirits on this floor were laughing at Edward and the others downstairs and couldn’t decide if they were dead or not dead. Apparently Edward knew there were spirits on the upper floors but would not go upstairs because he and his spiritual companions on the lower floor were frightened of them. This caused much laughter amongst the team.
Eileen, at one point, put her hands on Helens shoulders and Helen reports visualising a dark hulled ship with sails. She also feels taken over by the presence of a young boy who was forced to work with the guns. She feels the boy was about 13 years and hated this work and was an orphan. After a break which both teams took at 2000Hrs, Team B took up residence in The Victorian Gun Battery and Casement area. The team now attempt to make contact with the spirit of the men who once worked in this area. Several team members reported feelings of being touched or stroked, and it was generally agreed that there was a male aura present.
Kim now starts to feel strange and reports queasiness and blurred vision. She reports other problems – She feels light-headed, dizzy, shaky, and generally that she was loosing control of her body and feeling faint. She felt her vision start to worsen, as if someone was shining a bright torch in her eyes (yet at the same time, she was aware all she could see was the blackness of the area). At this point, the medium on the team, Eileen, intervened and ‘grounded’ her by tapping on her back, at which point she started to feel better, although rather shaky. She wasn’t scared during this episode but later on was apprehensive to return to the area. The Victorian Gun Battery and casements was apparently affecting the female members of the team far more than the men.
It is now 2200Hrs and Team B join Team A in the guardroom for another well earned break. After another break, both investigation teams returned to the Victorian Gun Battery and Casement area.
The whole group now position themselves in the South end of the battery. Byron now tries to illicit a response from any spirits. He has had good results in the past and spirits certainly seem to respond to his voice. Three of the female members, Pippa, Caz and Eileen, report feeling some strange sensations in response to questioning and encouragement and Martin reports spotting some light anomalies in the next room. Most of the women report sensations of being touched almost as if their legs were being fondled. It is now fast approaching midnight and time for us to depart. We pack up our equipment and talk about our experiences while looking at film and photos of light anomalies captured by the team. We wish our English Heritage guide, Holly, a safe journey home and all agree that it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening despite the cold, damp conditions and hope that Haunted Devon are allowed to return to this beautiful historic site very soon.
Both teams had members who reported strange physical sensations in both The Victorian Gun Battery and The Gun Tower. Many light anomalies were also captured on cameras by both teams. The physical sensations could be attributed to sitting on cold stone floors and old cannons affecting the circulation of limbs and body. It was a damp night which could account for some of the light anomalies with camera flashes reflecting off water droplets yet some of the anomalies seems to require a better explanation.
The experience that Laura had in describing events that Brian had also described 9 months previously was certainly strange. Noises heard by both teams could be down to the wind and waves whistling round the castle and pounding onto the rocks. Overall, after two visits, the team feel that the Castle definitely has much activity within its ancient walls and would dearly want to visit this beautiful spot once more.
Credits – Many thanks to Kimberley Jayne, Caz, Helen Bowley, Sue Carter and Melissa Weatherall for their notes and observations of the night’s events and to all other members who submitted reports.