'Ghost grunt' recorded at Woodchester
BBC Gloucestershire's Simon Cartwright attended a 'Fright Night' at Woodchester Mansion. The event certainly lived up to its name...
BBC Gloucestershire reporter Simon Cartwright recently spent a night at Nympsfield's famously haunted Woodchester Mansion.
He went along with an "open mind", but ended up making a sharp exit in the early hours of the morning after hearing a "ghost" grunting, and capturing the whole experience on tape!
The adventure started innocuously enough.
"A couple of weeks ago I was presenting a Saturday morning radio show," said Simon, "and I got chatting to a guy called Martin Jefferies.
"He works for Fright Nights, a professional organisation who organise vigils & ghost hunts across the UK.
"That week Martin was spending pretty much every night in Woodchester Mansion. He put me up for a challenge - to spend the night from 9.30pm to 6am in Mansion with mediums, ghost hunters and their equipment."
What preconceptions did he have prior to the trip?
"I think I have an open, balanced mind. Show me something and I'll believe it."
Simon described the events of the evening.
"About 30 to 40 people, of various ages, gathered outside the village pub.
"One guy had been eight times before, others were first-timers, quite a few mentioned the TV series Most Haunted from so there was obviously some media influence there.
"We drove down in convoy, in complete pitch black, into the bottom of a remote valley.
The group were then escorted around the mansion.
"We took a tour with Martin, who gave a historical explanation of the building and also a paranormal history. He insisted on torches out, controlling the light with his torch."
Things soon took a turn for the eerie.
"We went into the sacristy of a small Catholic chapel, where there appeared (in the air) intermittent flashing lights, like on a Christmas tree, all one colour - bright amber.
"I wondered if it was my eyes reacting to the darkness, so I interrupted Martin, and a couple of other people corroborated that they could see them too. It was quite spooky.
"We went down to the cellar, which was freezing, but I was getting hotter and hotter and feeling sick.
"A little ball of marble-sized light,bright amber again, shot at ankle height from one side to the other, everyone saw it.
"At this point I asked to be taken out and was sat down in a room by the fire."
"I chatted with the medium, and he suggested going back to find out what the problem was.
"We went to a side room in the cellar. I felt someone walking towards me and the medium sensed them, picking up a Roman heritage, and the name of Morgan.
"My right shoulder drooped, felt loose.The medium said it happened frequently down there.
"I picked up a strange sound in my left headphone, it sounded like someone saying 'huh'.
"The medium said another spirit had been about to come in but retracted (on sensing the other).
Could he have been the victim of trickery or special effects?
"I'm pretty cynical, I've spent year in the police force, I was aware that people there were paying to see something...but the sort of things that happened did not seem dramatic enough to have been staged."
How did his experiences affect his opinions about the paranormal?
"I'm still undecided about ghosts, but do now believe in a paranormal, unexplained energy that connects with our sixth sense."
last updated: 18/05/2009 at 13:11