Dartington Cider Press

Investigated in November, 2008

Here are the results of a paranormal investigation carried out by Hidden Realms Paranormal Investigators at the Cider-Press, Dartington in November 2008 and also the results of two Ghost Walks attended by the public on the 3rd and 10th December 2008.

Members of team present at Investigation
Chris, Pete, Dennis, Betty, Mike, Duncan, Dawn (Psychic Artist), John Stainton (Managing Director of the Cider Press).

Areas investigated
Glass shop, Mezzanine, Delicatessen, Kitchen Shop, Craft Shop, Store Room at rear of Craft Shop, Gift Shop.

EMF (Electro-magnetic-fluctuation devise)
EVP (Electronic Voice Phenominum Detector)
Video Camera x 2
Motion Detectors
Spirit Level
Farraday Cage

The Cider Press was initially investigated by the group accompanied by John Stainton.

On walking through the Delicatessen area a male presence was sensed and also at the far end of the room where the glass counter is, opposite the Kitchen shop, it was felt that the room should have extended further back toward the Craft Shop. It felt as though the room should have been wider at this point.

On the Ghostwalk the following were found: flickering lights, a female presence was felt and also that of an animal, perhaps a cat or a dog.

On entering the steps up to the Kitchen Shop members of the group had a feeling of dizziness. After using the dowsing rods it was discovered that water runs in front of the outer wall of the building. Water gives of a very strong ‘Earth Energy’. This type of energy can often make you feel light-headed and sometimes even nauseous. If someone was entering the room they may start to feel unsettled which could give rise to a feeling that ‘all is not well’ or that ‘there is something strange’ in this area. Quite often this has been put down to paranormal phenomena but as I have explained, it is just a purely natural energy, but still interesting.

The water energy is felt at the top of the stairs in the Kitchen Shop and extends to the outer wall to the left. The dowsing rods were asked to show where the water ran and they pointed to the outer wall every time.

If you turn right at the top of the steps in the Kitchen Shop and walk around the shop area there doesn’t seem to be any particular energies lying there.

As well as the water energy to the left of the steps we came across spirit energy. As Pete and I were linking in to spirit energy we both linked into two male energies who were in conversation. These felt like residual energy.


There are many theories regarding residual energy, but mainly it is seen as spirit replay. It is as though historical episodes are in some way ‘recorded’ in the atmosphere and some people have the ability to ‘tune into’ these replays of past events. One of these theories is the ‘Stone-tape’ theory. This is where past events, mainly those which involve high states of anxiety, sadness or even happiness, somehow get recorded into the fabric of the surrounding building. In brickwork there are quantities of quartz. One of the properties attributed to Quartz is that it can absorb energy and has the ability to contain this energy until it is released under certain conditions. Hence the fact that quite often the same ‘old lady’ is said to have been seen walking the corridors of an old mansion house, or whispering is heard in the same locations. Even Roman Soldiers have been seen walking through the cellars of a house, only visible from the knee up. This is because the floor level has changed over the years and they are walking upon the ground level as it would have been in their time. Hence, replay.

So, to return to the two gentlemen engaged in conversation in the Kitchen Shop. These felt like residual energy. They did not interact with Pete or I. One was a large man who was calling the other gentleman Mr.Brown and seemed to be giving him orders as to how he would like things to be done. He felt very dominant and in control and appeared to be a tall man and quite stout. Pete was given the same surname of Brown. I had not told Pete of the name I was given and so was quite surprised when he said the same name. Some minutes later Dennis, another group member came from the other end of the shop and said that he had been given a surname that began with the letter B.

Later during the night our Psychic Artist, Dawn showed us a drawing that she had done during the evening. When she had drawn this she was in another part of the building. She explained that it was of a man who was rather large and who was very fond of hearing his own voice. She felt that he was issuing forth orders to someone. Was this the gentleman who was addressing Mr.Brown? When we looked at the drawing we felt that there were certain similarities to the spirit that we had ‘linked into’.

These are some of the things that people who took part in the Ghostwalk felt in the Kitchen Shop. One person said that when she walked across the shop floor she felt like she wanted to ‘push her stomach out’ (was this in connection with the portly man Pete and I linked into?)
Another person said that she felt like she had facial hair like mens whiskers (yet another similarity to the gentleman that we linked into)

There were reports of uneasiness, warm face and hands, the presence of a young man in the corner of the room, and various names: Stephen, Edward Forsythe, Tom Black and Jim.


Members of staff have reported feeling uneasy in this area. They said they feel like they are being watched and have also reported seeing a man and a woman in here. Two members of staff who were stood in the Glass Shop one day reported seeing a man walk across the shop floor and go through the door into the storeroom which leads to the attic area. When they went to investigate, there was nobody there.

We spent some time filming in the storeroom and the attic area on the night of the investigation, but nothing was caught on film. Pete and I felt that most of the energy seemed to emanate from the far end of the attic. We saw two shadows cross the room, one of which we felt was male. This male seemed to be rather agitated about something and we were given the feeling that he was not happy for us to be there. He did not try to communicate with us and we felt that he was probably residual and not interactive spirit.

INTERACTIVE SPIRIT: this is as the name suggests, spirit that is capable of making contact with a person. They are sometimes able to use their energy to move things or dim the lights or touch your arm.

The following was reported on the Ghostwalks: one person swore that she saw something move near the Fire Exit, also a feeling of being watched, a mist was seen and also a flashing light. This same person felt that they could see a hand hanging and also a cat moving around. Several people felt the presence of a female stood close by.

Several names were given: Mary, Sally (who was wearing a black dress) Jill, also the male names of Tom (which was also picked up in the Kitchen area by a different person), john, William and Harry. Another person felt the presence of ‘an angry male’ who kept saying ‘Why?’ A member of staff who came on the Ghostwalk just saw the nose and mouth of a lady. Later when she was looking at some of the Psychic Art that Dawn had drawn she recognised one of the drawings as the lady she had seen. (Drawing accompanies this report).

The number 4 was given, also the age of 34 and the year 1725, by different people.

In the storeroom which leads to the attic there is a heavy presence which doesn’t seem to be male or female. At least 3 people expressed a feeling of uneasiness and also an icy cold feeling at the back of their legs. After a quick look around the room we could not at that time find the source of the cold. There were no apparent draughts coming from anywhere. Also the animal spirit was felt in this area too.


In the late 80’s it was reported that a customer was standing in this room at the counter near the till. Suddenly a hand full of pebbles were thrown in her direction, hitting the counter top and startling her. There was no-one else in the shop at the time. There were about 6 stone pebbles which were collected and put into a little box.

On the night of our investigation we could not find any energies associated with this room, but our Psychic Artist did report feeling uneasy in here.
One of the people on the Ghostwalk said that she felt the presence of a small woman. She was also given the name of Graham and sensed that a man was associated with the room whose left leg was injured in some way: crippled/accident?

We also did some archaeological dowsing in this room and found that it was at one time sectioned off with moveable screens (wooden?) There were at least 4 or 5 sections which had entrances or open door areas in the middle of them, similar to horse stalls or suchlike.


Many staff have reported feeling uneasy in this part of the building some saying that they feel they are being watched. This just may be the case. Part of this room used to be the accountants room. One day whilst he was sat in there drinking a cup of tea the cup was knocked straight out of his hand and smashed onto the floor.

On the night of our investigation we felt that someone was on the other side of the glass partition, just watching. We also experienced a pain in the left hand and arm. One of our group felt a pain down the left hand side of their body. Were we experiencing the symptoms of someone who had suffered a stroke or accident in the past? Also the name of Andrew and Jenkins was given to us from spirit. The Jenkins name came through very clear. Later in the evening when we all went to look at the Psychic Artists drawings I asked her about one in particular. She looked at me with a big smile and announced ‘Oh, that’s Mr.Jenkins’. At the time we were given that name she was in another part of the building and so would not have been able to hear the name that we had been given. It was a shock to find that she had the same name that we had been given. (Drawing provided with report)

In the office at the end of the room, Pete was drawn to particular desk. He was given the first letter of a name which he felt was female. This was later verified by a member of staff. He also said that there was something to do with a leaf with this person and that it was in this office somewhere and we should look for it. We had a look around and we were drawn to a paper weight which was in the shape of a tree root. After looking underneath the paperweight we found that the name ‘Leaf’ was written there. We thought this was very odd so we decided to leave the paperweight as a trigger object and the office was then locked and the key given to John to keep. Sadly when the office was re-opened in the morning the trigger object hadn’t moved.

Trigger Object.
This is an experiment that we use quite often. Something is left, usually on a piece of paper. It is then drawn round and left with a camera monitoring it to see if the trigger object moves. If the object has moved it is easy to see as it will be out of the previously traced area that it occupied and hopefully the camera will show that it hasn’t been moved by a person but will show it slowly moving of its own accord. Trigger objects are usually chosen in accordance with the type of investigation. If it was a child’s nursery a toy would be used, quite often crucifixes are used. We also use coins from different centuries to see if any are recognised by spirit.

On the night of the Ghostwalk people were experiencing allsorts of things in the storeroom. One person was given the name John and felt like she was ‘walking through a bubble’. Another name that was given was Selby. There was also a general feeling of uneasiness in this room, although a spirit did not come forward on the night of the investigation.


This was once an old farmhouse and has now been updated into a beautiful gift-shop. On the first floor of the building is a staff room and on the top floor is, among other things a store room. These floors are connected by a winding, wooden staircase. It is on these stairs that staff have heard footsteps and on one occasion a member of staff saw someone enter the staff room and when she went to investigate, the room was empty.

On the night of our investigation we did not find much energy within the main body of the building. I felt the presence of a lady descending the staircase. In the staff room we used a glass for spirit contact and also a planchette but without much success. At a later date Pete and I went up to the store on the top floor. In here we linked into a lady who was associated with the house when it was used as a farmhouse. She was not very old and I was given the image of a wheel going round. I am not sure if this was symbolic of her surname (ie;Wheeler or similar) or that her daily work involved using a wheel of some kind (perhaps a potters wheel or a spinning wheel).

I felt that she shared the house with an elderly gentleman and a young man who may have been her brother. I did not get the feeling that she was married to either of these men but that she was related to them and looked after them. I got the name of Catherine associated with her and Josh for the younger man. They felt like residual energy and did not attempt to communicate at all. The psychic artist spent some time alone in the Gift Shop and she drew a young woman who she felt was associated with it. (Drawing supplied with this report).

Also I felt that the upper part of the building may have looked different at one time.

On the Ghostwalk one lady heard noises coming from the far corner and felt a cool rush of air. On the first Ghostwalk a lady who was stood inside the entrance door said that she had heard the name Anne. On the second Ghostwalk another lady was stood in exactly the same spot and gave the same name.

A group of ladies were stood together listening to our talk. After a while one of the ladies mentioned that she had felt an arm go round her and asked who had done it. Nobody had!


During the November investigation Mike used a small array of instruments to take readings of a variety of factors that, it is said by some, to influence and affect people in a way that is similar to a 'ghost drain' feeling. i.e. feeling drained, tired, headachey, paranoia, feeling like being watched etc.

The only real interesting thing to note from these particular results is that throughout the Cider Press a low, constant rumble of infra-sound was detected which, it is educationally assumed, due to the small river that runs directly beside the cider press. This could be used as a possible explanation to at least some of the experiences encountered like unease, feeling sick to the stomach, headachey etc. A full writeup about Infrasound and what it can do to the body can be found on our Equipment page.

All other experiments and equipment (trigger objects, EVP, EMF etc) did not capture anything unusual.


The group thoroughly enjoyed the investigation at the Cider Press. We felt that there was mostly residual energy within the buildings and also the earth energy in the Kitchen Shop area.

We did not come across any unpleasant or mischievous energies and on the whole felt that it was a quite a calm environment. We do feel that there may be energy that is capable of communication but we did not experience any at the investigation or on the Ghostwalk.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. John Stainton for allowing us to investigate the Cider Press. We felt that both he and his staff were very welcoming and went ‘out of their way’ to ensure that everything ran smoothly for us. We would also like to thank the staff for sharing with us their experiences. Also we would like to extend our thanks to Cranks for providing ourselves and the Ghostwalk participants with delicious cakes and much welcomed tea.

We hope that we may be able to return

And last but not least, on the next page I have included, with permission from the author, a poem that was written on the night of the first Ghostwalk. It is by a local poet and she has written down how she felt as she walked around the buildings, but she has done it in verse. I think that it is very atmospheric and I would like to share it with you.


Beyond the image
Beyond the image
Beyond the image, energy flashes
Energy beyond the image
Beyond imagination, latent history
Beyond the image
Beyond the image.

Light = Love
Light = Love
Image comes through the filter
The circle of history
Spins round and round.

Strands of energy
Cobwebs can tangle
I don’t need these cobwebs
Beyond my name
Beyond Mathematics
Sometimes energy makes snowflakes of light.

Protection = Circle
(Mandala) centre,
No image – just a whisper of love
My presence is a poem
Let me speak my poem.

Attic shapes are
Attic shapes they
Will scare you.

You will see some old
Junk wrapped in
Plastic and you will
See a strange
Discarded portion of some history.

I am inside that image
It is a shell
My essence is within
One day you will join me in that essence.

Let’s dance beyond image
Help me with my image
I’m beyond that now
I want to return.

Am I sad here?
Some loner in a
Black coat who
Walks through
Christmas trees and Candles.

Am I lost in some light effect that I left long ago?

Helen McCleod 2008.