Woodchester Mansion Haunted ? Paranormal Investigation – 18th March 2006
On 18th March 2006 Mandy & Paul from ‘Paranormal United’ joined Phil Whyman ( Most Haunted & Scream Team ) via Dead Haunted Nights for a paranormal investigation night in Woodchester Mansion. Dead Haunted Nights promo line is …Do you want to spend a night in one of this country’s most haunted locations? Do you want one of the best known personalities, Phil Whyman, in the world of Paranormal Television to be your host for the event? Our answer was YES.
So Let The Coverage Begin …..
Having booked with Dead Haunted Nights back in November 2006 for Woodchester Mansion anticipation was high. We booked for three nights at The Rose & Crown Inn, a 400 year old inn in Nympsfield, and arrived there at lunchtime on Friday.
Eager to get our surroundings we took the five minute journey to Woodchester Park. Most of the park is owned by The National Trust, the park previously being the estate brought by William Leigh in 1845. Woodchester Mansion, situated within this park, is now owned by Stroud District Council and leased to the Woodchester Mansion Trust.
Woodchester Park includes four large ponds and outbuildings including dog kennels and a boathouse. During their stay during the second world war is is rumored the American and Canadian soldiers abandoned jeeps and equipment in one of the larger lakes.
Unfortunately timing was bad for us as Woodchester Mansion is only open to the public from 1st April so we had to settle for walking around the outside of the Mansion and the park itself. From the moment we came around the track leading to the Woodchester Mansion we were in awe by its beauty and standard of build. It has only been recently that Woodchester Mansion has become known for having a haunted reputation, promoted by the Living TV series Most Haunted.
From the outside it was difficult to see how much of the work had been abandoned by the skilled masons after sixteen years and left uncompleted. All the detail outside was breathtaking and seemed all but complete with even a weather vane being mounted on the spire of the bell tower. The rear of the building showed the signs of restoration, the Trust’s stonemasonry training programme was allowing students to work on walling repairs to the North Range. A light in a window upstairs showed the presence of the caretaker who has resided in a flat for the last 12 years, a man we were to meet the next night when we would return at night to Woodchester Mansion.
Returning to the warm hospitality and open fire of the Rose & Crown Inn Nymsfield we enjoyed a top class meal and soaked up the atmosphere of this 400 year old inn to prepare us for the next night.
Meeting the Dead Haunted Nights Team ::
We met up with fellow paranormal followers and the Dead Haunted Nights team at the Rose & Crown Inn Nymsfield at 9pm on Saturday night, where Phil Whyman introduced his team and himself. He instantly proved himself to be a sincere guy with a sense of humour that would help to lift the spirits of even the coldest of us later on in the night.
We left for Woodchester Mansion approaching it via the great steel gates and long track that leads down to the south side of the mansion. As we came round the last bend of the track Woodchester Mansion met us lit by the few lights within and the amber glow of an open fire that had been set up for us in the Drawing Room, our base camp for the night. This is the only room that was ever completed in the Mansion for a visit by Cardinal Vaughan in 1894.
We were met at the rear of the premises by the caretaker, who as previously mentioned has lived in a furbished flat within the mansion for some 12 years. Although a skeptic to the ghosts within the mansion he did admit to having seen the shape of a large black dog that is renowned to haunt the outside of the estate and even he did not hang around to see any more!
Once inside the true extent of how the builders and masons abandoned Woodchester Mansion came to light. Beautifully crafted fireplaces float almost in mid air and you look up to the rafters through the absence of parts of the first and second floors. Staircases lead nowhere. A room just off the rear entrance corridor holds the tools left beyond by the masons when they left the site. This begs to ask the question why would skilled tradesman leave behind the very tools they need to make a living ?
We all entered the Drawing Room and were briefed on the paranormal investigation plans for the night. We were split into three teams who would each visit the clears, ground floor, first and second floors for 45 minute vigils, always being led by a different member of the Dead Haunted Nights Teams. As part of Team 1 we were to start in the cellar led by Phil Whyman. It is important to mention now how dusty the mansion is, and the smallest movement on any of the stone floors or against the walls will release more dust into the air. The importance of this is clear when we started to take photos with digital cameras. The initial response is you have caught an orb on camera, but with the effects of a flash on this dust in the dark the results can be seen from the picture to your left. The only time I will draw your attention to anything on these pages is when they are questionable.
We entered Woodchester Mansion cellars at 10.48pm and the temperature was now only 2 degrees c. Completely unlit we were guided only by our own torch light. We started in the largest room and Phil Whyman took it easy while he let everyone find their feet as to how they were going to conduct themselves for the night. Being our first paranormal investigation we were both keen to capture what we could on camcorder and digital camcorder and tried to seek some quiet and solitude. There was a lot of dust in the air of this room and photographs showed very little that could be given as positive. Leaving the group to table tipping I moved into the second of the four cellar rooms.
In this second room I sat in the dark alone for some five minutes. There was a no feeling of fear or sense of anything I was unsure of. I look a number of photos and none of them showed anything that I couldn’t put down to dust or breeze.
I exited the second room and stood at the end of the corridor, again in the dark for a few minutes aware only of the noises of the rest of the team in the larger room. I took a number of photos in succession and got two a few seconds a part with a possible orb. Again I leave this to your view but can confirm that there was no disturbance of movement in this location.
I returned to the larger room as the rest of the group attempted a seance led by one of our group who maintained to have psychic ability. Nothing appeared to be forthcoming.
The investigation of Woodchester Mansion ground floor began with setting up motion detectors in the chapel at 00:05am. These detectors work on the basis of being activated by a solid item breaking the beams to sound an alarm. As Phil Whyman had explained since spirits are supposedly transparent he was unsure on how they would activate such a device.
With such a large area to cover Mandy & myself were happy to investigate many of the rooms including the kitchen, chapel and billiard room room but alas felt no disturbance or caught anything other than definite dust on camera.
Other members of our group held another seance this time in the billiard room. They were convince something was thrown at them and stated they felt very unsettled in the room. We had been in there previously and returned after they had finished but again felt and captured nothing.
It must be said it was quite unnerving looking up to the rafters seeing the ‘floating’ fireplaces and feeling drafts from the unpaned windows, so it would be easy to understand how some people would feel un-at-ease.
We ascended to the First Floor at 01:20am. The completed areas of the first floor consisted of three rooms and a corridor over looking the ground floor, that of course would have led to the floors of other rooms. Also on this floor were the public toilets.
The most interesting room was the bathroom that contained a bath and a shower room. While in this room with Mandy we did capture another possible orb above the bath. This was taken a few minutes after one of our group had had a panic fit thinking someone was by him in the bath. However it must be pointed out the first floor contained one of the most dusty corridors in the mansion.
The corridor was full of dust and extremely cold with the wind blowing through the unpaned windows but was probably the one part of the mansion I disliked most being in alone and in the dark. With the amount of dust photography would have been unaffective.
The one room was barriered off and contained remains of masonry and a lot of undisturbed dust but photos showed nothing that could be identified as unusual.
For our fourth vigil three of us accompanied by Vince returned to the cellar at 02:45am. While in the room I had sat in previously we captured on camcorder what seemed to be an orb traveling across the floor towards Laura (One of our group who was studying mediumship.) This was the only vigil I can say that made us feel un-at-ease.
At 03:15am we rejoined Phil to do our last vigil on the first & second floor. The temperature had dropped to below -2 degrees c and seemed even colder on the second floor.
I admit now our lack of sleep and the cold had taken it’s toll and we only joined our part for 20 minutes out of the 45 with little to report on. Dust continued to show on our photos and inspection has showed little more.
We packed up and left Woodchester Mansion at 05:00am, tired and cold but both of us having fully enjoyed our paranormal investigation night. Those who believe know the spirits do not appear on cue and tonight there was very little to show for our efforts. Although with four hours of video footage to go through there may well be something else to report. We can hope….
Our thanks go out to Phil Whyman, Vince and Nick and all the Dead Haunted Nights Team. We look forward to meeting them again and maybe you the reader ….. Do you believe ??