Churston Woods

Dating back over 400 years, Churston Woods must have seen a lot of life as Torbay developed around it. Past tales of strange creatures and an unwelcome visitor making his presence known during an overnight camping at nearby Seven Quarries told us that there was something down in those woods that could give us a big surprise. If we met it, however, was a different story.

Stories

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During six weeks over the summertime of 1996 no less than 15 people reported witnessing a small flat, olive-green-faced monkey type humanoid creature with no tail running running through the woods. Occasionally it was also spotted swinging in the trees. Two websites, the '1996 Humanoid Reports' and 'Bigfoot Encounters' both note this remarkable occurance. Was it a baby Bigfoot? Was it a 'Chupacabra'...?
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A friend of the group had an unnerving experience in the summer of 2006. He and two friends decided to spend the night at the nearby Seven Quarry. After pitching the tent in the first quarry everyone felt great, but as nightfall approached they started feeling edgy and nervous despite making double-sure that nobody else was there. It was a one-way-in, one-way-out location, and impossible to navigate safely in the dark. They were alone. However, after a couple of hours into the night the group were getting quite worried and heard heavy footsteps on the gravel around the tent that was shortly followed by heavy breathing. Then something kicked the ground-sheet of the tent inwards towards them where it stayed until they pushed it back out, something that they couldn't recreate in the morning without first moving the fly-sheet out of the way beforehand. They spent the remainder of the night in the tent not daring to leave until the sun was back up and the atmosphere returned to normal.

Equipment We Used
The group used the following equipment during our investigation:

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Because of the unpredictable nature of the weather on the night the investigation was held, not much equipment was used. a Digital Audio Recorder was left up and away from the others and left on its own to record.

Group Member Reports

The following are the reports that group members Kim and Chris made along with our guest on the night ('Sharkey' on the HR forums).

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Kim

At Churston Woods I unfortunately didn't pick up on much, only really on elemental energies. At one point I did get a name of Albert who was a 'short in height' person, elderly. I kept seeing small white lights flashing here and there also a couple of red zig-zag type lights, all these lights were seen along, in different places the bank opposite where we we sitting. I also kept seeing something like light grey wisps of matter, I can only liken them to fog in colour but more transparent. It wasn't fog.

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Chris

AMPHITHEATRE AREA.
When I was trying to put protection up for the group I was being prevented. I was unable to put the 'white bubble' around and had to try a different approach. I felt that whatever was preventing the 'white bubble' was not necessarily bad energy but one that didnt recognise or feel that the 'white bubble' had a place there. It felt like very 'old' energy and very different to what we usually encounter.

Mike and Kim were sat on a log and as I looked behind them I saw a tall man. He was sideways on to me and was surrounded by a flickering type of light. It was like a light bulb being turned on and off. He was there for a couple of seconds and then went.

Shortly after that Sharkey sat on the log and I 'sensed' a group of people looking at him. There were three and they were quite short in stature. I asked them if they wished to make contact but didnt recieve any myself but Sharkey said he felt an itching on his face which he had been told could be one of the ways that spirit may try to make contact with him.

I also saw patches of grey mist which seemed to move about the clearing and off into the trees. There was also red lights and white lights which could be seen here and there.

The area around the clearing seemed very intune with elemental energy and another energy of which I am unsure but hopefully will be able to find a bit more about the next time we return. Unfortunately we had to shortened our stay due to the downpour of rain.

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Mike

As we ventured down into Churston Woods only 3 things played on my mind:
1: What if there are kids hanging about down there?
2: I hope it doesn't start raining.
3: I hope I don't slip over in the mud.

Unfortunately it had been raining in the recent past, but we weren't going to let that dampen our spirits (double-pun intended). I was a little concerned because the location is a known hangout for kids who want to either hide away to chat in groups, drink without fear of getting caught, or start fires to sit around.

However, after walking right down from the top of the woods down to the beach there was nobody around for at least a mile and that put my mind at rest. It's hard enough thinking that you may come face-to-face with a green monkey-type creature without some drunken yob staggering out from under a bush to spoil things. So, we settled around the ampitheatre that's now a permanent fixture of the area.

Sometimes there were these faint illuminations on the trees beside us that flickered intermittantly; sometimes a grey-white and some red. A possible explanation as to what could have been causing these lights is that we were a short distance from the sea and Brixham harbour, and so the lights may have been caused by the big floodlights / warning lights that the trawlers have as they passed by into harbour.

For me, unfortunately, the night passed by without anything more defined physically. The only time my senses perked was near the end of the investigation when it was raining pretty hard and we were up above the Lime Kiln. As we were there I heard what did sound like footsteps in the leaves on the main path below us, but this sound may well have been caused by large waterdrops falling from the branches above.

All in all however, an interesting night. It's just a shame that the typical British weather let us down. We did capture one thing however on the Digital Recorder I had left up near the gateway into the woods themselves off from the path. More details below!

 

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Sharkey

One of the strangest stories of paranormal activities and creatures in Devon to reach my ears is the story of the Green Monkey creature. The creature is said to frequent a large piece of woodland known as The Grove which covers land between Churston Ferrers and the sea in south Devon.

Sightings give the size of the humanoid apelike creature at about 5 feet tall with green skin or hair and a green face. It has been spotted swinging through the trees and running on the ground. People camping in The Grove have also reported that something has attacked their tents during the night leaving them very shaken.

So does the Green Monkey exist? If it does, what could it be? Maybe it’s an urban legend. It could be just a hallucination or a misidentification of something much more mundane by someone with a highly active imagination. Could it actually be an alien creature or ghostly spirit? Maybe there is a real monkey living in the woods.

Whatever it was three investigators from Hidden Realms and myself were determined to find out. Having met at the Churston Court Inn we set off for the woods at around 2230 hours, the entrance to which is reach by walking up a fairly long track. On entering the woods Mike decides to leave a digital sound recorder by one of the trees near the entrance just to see if anything can be caught in the peace and quiet without any investigators stamping around. We then carefully carried on down the woodland path with our torch beams frequently searching the tree tops in case the Green Monkey was silently observing our progress.

The night was incredibly still with not a breath of air to stir the branches and the woods were very silent with only the startled response of sleeping birds suddenly waking and fleeing at our approach. The hoot of an owl could be heard from the surrounding fields but no creatures seemed to be stirring in the woods at all.

We continued through the woods without any concern. We heard or saw nothing to make us jumpy, in fact the place, even at this late hour in the middle of the night, had a tranquil feeling to it. Although the path into the woods is steep to begin with, it eventually levelled out. We were now deep into the woods and still had no sight or sound of the creature we were hunting.

We eventually reach a kind of natural amphitheatre. Here there are logs placed upright into the ground with strange carvings on them. Other logs lie fallen and there is also a small stone structure with a stone bowl on top giving the place the look of some kind of ancient place of worship. These items were placed there by college students and the idea was to turn the place into a kind of outdoor theatre but apparently this idea fell by the wayside. This area was to provide some good experiences for us later in the night.

We passed through the amphitheatre and made our way to the end of the woods at Churston Cove where we then had a talk about where to go next. The monkey creature could be anywhere. Maybe we should visit the spot where stories tell of the campers having an encounter with something that pulled at their tents but in the end it’s decided to retrace our steps to the amphitheatre which, as it turned out, was a good decision. We return and set up a sound recorder and place a camcorder on one of the logs and leave it running.

Eventually we settle down, turn the torches off and allow our eyes to get dark adapted. The weather has begun to change and fine misty drizzle is now falling on and off. Gazing around me I begin to see red lights darting in between the trees. These are small pinpricks of light and I feel that my eyes must be playing tricks as they get more adapted to the dark but I am not alone in what I see. Chris, Kim and Mike begin to describe the same small red flashes darting around the trees.

Maybe we were all having our eyes play tricks on us? As I continue to look around me I become aware of fleeting grey shapes whizzing by. Sometimes they appear to be deep in the trees and at others they seem to be mere feet away. Whatever this is I certainly haven’t experienced it before. I say nothing to the others about this. I might be imagining it and I’m waiting to see if my companions come up with anything.

To my relief Kim begins to describe seeing exactly the same things as I do. If I’m imagining this then I am not alone. Mike is also seeing shapes darting through the trees. Chris and Kim, who are psychic, now start to feel various presences around us. Chris tells us that something is trying to stop her putting psychic protection in place and also tells us there are three spirits standing beside me and looking at me in particular. I can’t see them but take her word for it as the darting grey shapes and red pinprick lights suggest something strange is happening.

Chris tells us that the three spirits are an adult male and female accompanied by a small girl. For some reason although they seem interested in me in particular they cannot be cajoled by Chris to approach any closer or show any physical sign of their presence. It seems that for some reason they may be a little bit afraid of me.

All of us are now increasingly seeing the grey ‘mist like’ shapes darting around. I could put this down to some kind of mass hysteria except for the fact that when I first saw the shapes I said nothing to the others and waited to see if anyone reported seeing similar things which Kim, without any prompting, did. So either I transferred this info (or optical delusion) to Kim or vice versa in some kind of telepathic manner, or we both have the same problems with our vision or the shapes were real. Until somebody gives me a better explanation I’ll go with them being real.

If these shapes were a common occurrence on all the investigations I have attended I would dismiss them as a defect in my vision. I thought it could have something to do with the light drizzle playing tricks with the light but this is by no means the first time I have done an investigation outdoors at night in similar conditions and I have never experienced these things before.

Although there seemed to be all this activity going on, nobody seemed to be nervous or afraid. The place still had a strong feeling of tranquillity. The rain was beginning to get heavier now and whatever the shapes were, their appearance was becoming more infrequent so we decided to move further up the path to an old lime kiln.

We stood on top of the kiln and noted that we could see strange lights in the distance wandering through the branches. As we were higher up now we thought that these might even be car lights as we had no real idea of distance and perspective, stood as we were, in this densely wooded, dark place. By now the rain was quite persistent and we are all getting soaked so we decide to make the long trek back up the path out of the woods not forgetting to retrieve the recorder that Mike left near the entrance on the way out.

We still hadn’t seen what we originally came for, maybe the green monkey doesn’t really exist or maybe it was asleep in the trees but what we did see was unexpected and fascinating. It made the trip worthwhile and the Grove is certainly worth exploring again but hopefully next time the weather will be better.

Physical Evidence

A Digital Audio Recorder was left up by the entrance to the woods as we walked down at the start. There is nothing of interest on the entire recording except for one very interesting, unexplainable voice right at the start that could have been nobody in the group.

Listen to the clip above closely. You can hear all four people in attendance in it. Mike is just wrapping the recorder up in a water-proof covering so that when it started to rain the recorder would be protected from the elements. As he's walking away to catch up with the others a female voice is heard saying the word 'Now'.

Yes, two of the four in the investigation party were female, but as you can hear in the recording, neither of them were close enough to speak that loudly and clearly into the recorder at that time.

As you listen, you first hear Kim quietly in the background as Mike (the male voice you hear immediately after) finishes wrapping the recorder and places it onto the ground. After he speaks Kim is again heard much quieter than before meaning that she's currently walking away from the recorder at this time. You then hear, in the far distance, Sharkey cracking a funny and then the laugh of Chris - the similar volume to Sharkey's voice telling us that she was standing beside him at this time. You can just about hear Mike's faint footsteps on the soft mud as there's a very faint, muffled voice again in the background. Then, loudly and clearly, you hear this female voice saying 'now'! Our positions when this was recorded was Mike at the rear, Kim walking down the mud-steps and Chris and Sharkey in front of her. It's interesting how there's a short period of silence before as we were walking away, and then silence after since we were too far away for the recorder to pick up on our quiet conversation.

As for whether or not it's a voice from the beyond it's impossible to say. On its own it isn't enough to be able to label a place haunted or not but it's still interesting nonetheless.

Photographs


Nothing too interesting here, but a nice example of the kind of 'orb' you can capture if you're taking digital photos outside if it's drizzling.

Afterthoughts
Sadly Churston Woods turned out to be a bit wet but it was a very interesting time in this slightly more unorthodox location. Sadly we didn't see the mysterious green monkey, but maybe he's just out on his holidays!