Id like to regale you if I may with a piece i have been meaning to write for sometime, but as is often the case life gets in the way and ideas get pushed into the background in favour of more mundane items. But now it seems life has freed me up to indulge my passions for Forteana and the unexplained, a particular interest of mine is poltergeist and similar haunting type phenomena and it is one investigation in particular that I was involved in that I will be sharing with you today.
In the Autumn of 2012 I had been talking in an online forum with a group of paranormal researchers and investigators, we had been exchanging ideas and theories and swapping stories of cases that we have been involved in. After a few weeks of this cyber back and forth they must have decided that I would be of some benefit to them on one of their over night vigils. It didn’t take much persuading for me to agree to go especially when I learnt of the location and, the history that surrounded it.
Baskerville Hall is situated amongst the stunning scenery of the Brecon Beacons just a couple of miles from the town of Hay-On-Wye. Built in around 1839 it certainly isn’t the oldest building in the area but it is one of the most interesting from our point of view. Those of you who know your detective literature will of coursed have noticed the name Baskerville, and yes you would be right in assuming that the country seat is indeed the inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous work, The hound Of The Baskervilles. Conan Doyle was a great friend of the Baskerville family and he would stay with them on numerous occasions, and it is known that whilst he was enjoying their hospitality he would indulge his passion for psychical research, conducting seances and other such gatherings that were popular in his day. It is of interest to note that in the area around Baskerville Hall there are several black dog legends, I wont include them here but the reader may like to look them up.
So the day of the investigation arrived and I packed a small bag of over night things and various recording equipment and as one of the members of the group lived close to me I was kindly offered a lift. We set off, and we were soon over the severn bridge and heading along the country roads towards the hall. The roads were clear and we were making very good time so it was decided that it would be fun to stop along the way, for a small libation, at the Skirrid Inn, made infamous by that infernal show, Most Haunted.
Finishing our drinks my companions and I were soon back on the road again, the cold dusky evening now faded into night as we made our way around increasingly windy roads. But it wasn’t long before we were heading along the drive way and being confronted by the impressive facade of Baskerville hall.
Unloading our bags we made our way into the lobby where we were greeted by the receptionist and then shown to where the rest of the team were waiting. I did briefly try and quiz the man on reception about any goings on there but sadly he was decidedly tight lipped. After the introductions were made the night proper could begin.
We had the place to ourselves, save the receptionist, so we made our way to one of the many bedrooms and the team made quick work of setting up their equipment. Before long the room was filled with various sudo scientific instruments to measure fluctuations in the electromagnetic fields, laser thermometers and various photographic and sound recorders. As the newbie I just sat quietly and observed as the group turned out the lights and began to call out to any spirits that may of been present. Fortunately, it wasn’t long before one of the EMF meters placed in the middle of the room began to light up and there were mutterings amongst the gathering that the spirits had indeed arrived. I didn’t exactly make myself overly popular when I pointed out that the excited lights on the EMF meter would hit the end of the scale every time the central heating system kicked in, so clearly this wasn’t the arrival of any entities spiritual or otherwise.
The group kept on with the vigil in the bedroom and soon one of the “sensitives” with us picked up the impression of a young serving girl who had once worked in the hall Elizabeth was the name given to her by the sensitive and then something happened that I didnt expect. Less sensitive members tried to communicate with her by using the EMF meter as a medium similar to the old fashioned one knock for yes two for know system of old, except with this the spirit of Elizabeth was asked to flash the lights on once for yes and twice for no, I’m sure you get the picture. Well several of the group tried and didn’t have to much success with this method of spirit divination so I thought I might give it a try, and to my surprise it actually started to work. Now im not one to get carried away with flights of fancy when it comes to these kinds of things, I dont spook easily or think every bump in the dark is a demon coming to take my soul, so I started to test the “spirit” I asked it to light up a certain number of lights on the meter then Id change to another number and so on and so forth. This went on for some time with 100% hit rate, so I have to say that I did start to believe that something was going on it was too much to be sheer coincidence.
After I was satisfied with my admittedly unscientific tests I moved on to asking questions of the spirit and it was soon established that Elizabeth was sadly raped as a youngster by another then member of the house hold and tragically died in child birth. My notes are typically unclear as to what her exact age was but from memory I think she was around 14. This was just the start of an on going relationship with Elizabeth that lasted for around 3 years, one of the sensitives remarked that she seemed to have taken a liking to me and certainly that night I felt as though she was following me around as we moved from room to room conducting our investigation. At one point when we were all sat quietly in a room with what can only be described as the worlds worst decoration she even became vocal. As the group sat quietly I heard a few faint giggles and it would be these giggles that would be come her calling card in the years to come. I was even lucky enough to capture that giggle on an audio recording but sadly I have no idea where that might be now. It is possible that it is on one of my many hard drives but Im just going to assume it is unfortunately lost.
The action seemed to quieten down for a while and as the night passed eyelids grew heavy and we eventually made our way down to one of the dinning rooms, we did get sporadic hits on the EVP meters but nothing as substantial as we had before. Whilst we were sat in the dim light of the main dinning room we suddenly heard, from the enjoining room the sound of tables being dragged along the wooden floor. Now being the intrepid ghost hunters that we are we rushed in, only to find the room empty of people and no cle as to what had made the sound. We waited for a while longer in that area of the house but unfortunately the dragging sounds were not repeated. So it was decided that we would make our way towards the more modern area of the house that now housed a swimming pool and it is here that one of the most amazing experiences of the night occurred.
By this time it was getting very late and the lack of sleep was catching up with me and, to be honest with you dear reader this hardened ghost hunter was ready for his bed. I was crouched on the floor at the side of the pool against what I can only describe as a wall made of square glass bricks when I heard a sound as if something was hitting or flicking the bricks. There was sufficient light the other side of the wall to see that no one was there and the sound just kept coming. I flicked the bricks myself which replicated the sound exactly and thankfully this was witnessed by all the other members of the team. What was hitting the bricks? Well I like to think it was Elizabeth still making her presence known.
When eventually the anomalous sounds died away it was decided that we would retire to the rooms that had been set aside for us and effectively that was the end of the investigation. But it was not the end of my relationship with the young girl Elizabeth. It seemed that for the next few years I would hear the same giggle as I had heard that night, except this time in my own home. Now there were other ‘live’ children in my house but the giggle would some how seem very different to that of a normal childs, I can quiet put it into words. I remember one time I was out side the front door, smoking a cigarette before I went to bed, the children had been in their rooms for some time when I heard her the loudest, so loud infact that I thought one of the kids were playing tricks on me. Right away I burst through the door into the house to find the hall way empty and then thoughts of my young spirit friend came back to me. It wasn’t only in my home that I was treated to her giggles I was once on another investigation of a very similar old house, this time close to where I lived in Bristol that I managed to not only hear her but also record her once again.
Pictured is the pool and the glass brick wall where I witnessedthe tappings
It is lamentable that when I split up with my then partner and left the house that Elizabeth didn’t seem to follow me, which I think is a great shame as I liked to think of her being around.