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24 September 2014

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Ghostly goings-on at Devon's old haunts
David Phillips setting up equipment
Now, where's that ghost...David Phillips sets up his camera to capture the spirits on film
The Torbay Investigators of the Paranormal are on a ghost hunt - and you can help them. The group visits haunted buildings to see if they can spot evidence of spirits. And they've even got the equipment to prove ghostly goings-on...

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Berry Pomeroy Castle near Totnes is said to be most haunted building in Devon.

It was founded by the Pomeroy family in the 11th century.

It was built as a quadrangular fortified building.

The remains still stand, and are managed by English Heritage.

The sound of gunshot has been heard coming from the castle.

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Everybody - or almost everybody - has their own ghost story to tell. Something which is unexplained...something we've seen or heard or felt which has no logical explanation to it.

And what do we do with these spooky exeriences? Keep them to ourselves mostly, because we think people will laugh at us. And then there's the fear of ghosts, which puts people off investigating unexplained events too deeply.

But that's not the case for some brave souls - those who are members of paranormal groups who go in search of "The Truth."

One such group is the Torbay Investigators of the Paranormal (TIP), which was set up in 1995 by founder members David Phillips, Adrian Lodge and David Brown.

Members of TIP
TIP members are more than happy to carry out all-night vigils at haunted buildings

The group meets each Monday night at one of Devon's most reputedly haunted buildings - the centuries-old Churston Court Hotel in Torbay. The Saxon building has, it seems, more than one ghost lurking in the nooks and crannies.

There are stories of candles being re-lit of their own accord, and of a monk's habit being seen leaving rooms - so this is a perfect meeting place for TIP.

The group is made up of people who've had unexplained experiences, psychics, mediums, healers, and those who are simply interested in all things paranormal - and that includes UFOs.

TIP are also on hand to respond to requests to investigate the presence of spirits - at public buildings, pubs, or even people's homes.

But what exactly is a ghost? And what do they want with us? David Phillips explains: "Ghosts are the human energy - released from the spirit - of someone who has passed on.

Churston Court
Churston Court, with the village church beside it

"They come back because they've got a message for someone, or they want to see somebody. The chances are that if they were nice when they were alive, they'll be nice as ghosts."

As part of their investigations, TIP hold all-night vigils at buildings to gather evidence of spirits. They use infra-red video cameras, and digital stills cameras.

Both types of camera have captured unexplained white objects which are not seen by the naked eye - and these are said to be the orbs of the spirit.

Sound recording equipment is also used - and has in the past succeeded in capturing the unexplained sound of footsteps and other noises.

A thermometer is also used, because the presence of a spirit is always accompanied by a sudden drop in temperature.

"There is a frequency at which paranormal events are detected, and the temperature is another sign of something being present," said David. "There's just too much evidence to suggest there's nothing in the paranormal," he added.

Berry Pomeroy Castle
Berry Pomeroy Castle is said to be the most haunted place in Devon

There are loads of ghost stories in Devon, and a lot of old properties are said to be haunted - The Palace Theatre in Paignton, Bowden House near Totnes, Braunton Museum, and, of course, Churston Court - to name but a few.

Then there are the haunted pubs - the Tower at Slapton, the Pilchard on Burgh Island, and the Kingsbridge Inn at Totnes are among those being investigated by TIP.

And, there's a clear Number One in the Devon ghosts chart, according to David: "Berry Pomeroy Castle," he said. "I've had experiences there, of hearing gunfire and muskets going off.

"There are so many stories of ghosts and unexplained things going on there, it's got to be the most haunted building in Devon." Unless YOU know differently, of course...

If you want TIP to investigate a haunted building, you can contact David Phillips on 01803 524980.

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