The Red Lion in Avebury
PSI Ghostwatch Report: Back to the Red Lion
Ken Taylor (PSI consultant)
Swindon-based paranormal research group PSI conducts a second investigation at the world's only public house inside a prehistoric stone circle.
PSI first attended the site in October 2004, and returned on the evening of Saturday December 16, 2006.
The team of ten investigators included PSI's newest recruits Trystan Swale and Steve Wills, who were selected from 92 candidates that applied for the vacant positions last autumn.
The Red Lion has become well known as a haunted inn, a popular reputation that has been developing for at least 20 years and which is reflected in about as many web pages about its various ghosts.
Its location inside the Avebury Circle - one of the largest Neolithic monuments in Europe, and a World Heritage Site - greatly enhances its already unique atmosphere.
One of the earliest recorded sightings was in the early 1980s when a man clearing up the bar after closing time one night saw a woman in a blue dress emerged from the rear of the building.
He heard her walk past, and watched her exit through the front door, which was odd as it was securely locked at the time!
The restaurant is a major focus of supernatural activity, where a chandelier has started swinging too and fro without apparent cause, and beneath which the ghost of a seated, bearded man has been seen.
Is he somehow related to the appearance nearby of a young blonde woman in a black dress and white apron and cap?
In total, more than two dozen individual spirits have been reported at the Red Lion, not counting the ghostly choir that has been heard singing there, making it one of the most haunted places around.
One PSI team member who has spent four or five nights there commented that the atmosphere is different every time.
Another room with a spooky record is a private bedroom where ex-Blue Peter presenter Yvette Fielding famously fled from a solitary televised vigil in 2002.
Curiously, this was where five members of the PSI team noted weird phenomena here, ranging from an unsettling atmosphere, dizziness and nausea, to witnessing a blue rippling mass emerging from and then re-entering a wall.
Other instances in the same room included sightings of a dark mass that reached out at people, a man's disembodied head, and a skull that appeared superimposed over another person's face.
It is notable that of these five witnesses, four didn't experience anything else unusual anywhere else in the whole four-hour visit (only one person in the team reported no paranormal experiences at all).
There were various other reports of perceived paranormal by the team, including a young girl wearing petticoats who jumped up and down a step in the function room; and a seated man wearing a tricorn hat in the restaurant.
Although several dozen photographs were taken, none showed anything remarkable, and two notable events on video recordings proved inconclusive on analysis.
One presented a series of tapping sounds that had no discernable cause, and the other showed a white light moving across somebody's body, which may have been a common and entirely mundane effect caused by dust.
This visit was not an exhaustive exploration but a more informal survey that nevertheless maintained the high standards of investigation expected from this organisation with 700 members.
A report has, as usual, been presented to the owners of the venue.
last updated: 04/12/2008 at 14:23
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