Investigated: 27th May, 2008
On the upper part of Dartmoor
is a small village named Chagford, a charming village but
not without its spooky tales. The Ring o'Bells Pub has its
fair share of paranormal tales from poltergeists to the 'presense'
in one of the bedrooms. What story would be unwoven during
the group's night in the building, and what exactly did Mike
capture on his audio recorder...?
Exeter Archives reveal that there has been an Inn on the side
of the Ring O'Bells since well before the sixteenth century
although it was much smaller than it is today and has twice
in its history been destroyed by fire.
upper part of the front of the building was a site of the
Stannary Courts where matters were dealt with relating to
the Stannary Parliaments. These were the body of people who
were responsible for the weighting and assaying of tin and
silver found on Dartmoor that would, by law, have to receive
the Kings Stamp before being sold. The Royal personage received
a tax from the Tinners as a result of their endeavours.
middle part of the Ring O'Bells was used as a holding prison
for miscreants en route to Okehampton Assizes. They were kept
overnight there having been marked on foot over the moor.
the rest, again on the first floor, was a Crowners Court (known
today as a Coroners Court) also a mortuary and the place where
post mortems were carried out in the event of any unusual
deaths or suicides.
the Ring O'Bells encompasses the whole site although in years
past a Butcher occupied the ground floor and the beasts were
slaughtered in the barn that used to stand in the rear courtyard.
Not so many years ago the stone barn was demolished and today
the space is occupied by the courtyard garden.
|Room 1 is said to have
a female 'presence' that has been sensed by previous night-time
occupants to the building.
|A poltergeist has been reported banging
away heavily in the cellar which has also been blamed
for ornaments and decorations being knocked from the walls.
Equipment We Used
The group used the following equipment during our investigation:
|An infrasound sweep was
done in the main bar area and upstairs.
|The coin experiment was set up and
left in Room 1.
|The cross experiment was set up and
left in the main room of upstairs.
|A digital audio recorder was left in
|A digital audio recorder was also left
out in the courtyard garden.
of the Pub
Horses and other animals like chickens and pigs were
sensed in this area. It was felt that the garden should
have been a lot bigger and that the adjacent building
wasn’t there centuries ago. We walked into a very
powerful, painful energy that felt like we were being
strangled. It felt hard to swallow or breath and we
felt a pain in our throat area. It was really uncomfortable.
The name Thomas was sensed here.
sensed two men – a shorter, younger man was being
held around the throat and jaw by an older, taller man.
The attacker looked very menacing and his forearm was
pressing against the younger mans throat whilst he had
his other hand around the throat just below the jaw
line. We felt that the younger man was around 28 and
the older one was more into his forties. We saw the
older man run off down towards the other end of the
village square and went straight through the house that
is there now. One of us saw a dark shadow pass through
the back wall of the garden. We discovered a spirit
pathway from the scene of the attack and through the
wall where the shadow went. A water well was also sensed.
As we went upstairs to the upper floor rooms it felt
that the stairs there should have been outside. It felt
like they did not feel they belonged there.
This room felt as though we were in some kind of barn
and that the upper level (roof space) was where hay
was stored. The room also felt as thought it should
have been bigger, longer and that the floor we were
standing on was on the wrong level. We both felt a strong
church connection with the pub. A female spirit was
sensed and was a Ms or Miss. She was very school-marm
ish like a teacher of some sort but we also felt that
she was a writer. Births, marriages and deaths were
We were unable to access room 2.
In this room we were given the name Thomas Truscott.
Other names we picked up on were Collinger, Stevenson
and Stanley. We saw sheep being headed up a lane into
the village square (which we felt was, at that time,
all dirt and empty of building with just a water trough
or well in the centre. It was felt that the sheep were
being brought here to be sold and that there was some
kind of market. Whilst in this room we sensed dressmaking
and also a Butcher's. The sentence ‘Victualer
of fine wines’ was given although we couldn’t
get a further connection. We picked up on really large,
wooden barrels with apples in and sensed that there
were strong ties with Africa as though someone had spent
a lot of time there and then returned to the building.
Also in this room we sensed tanners / leather makers
who worked on purpose level. The date 1158 was picked
up. Also felt was a worker making books of some sort
and the word ‘miners’ was given. A young
blonde boy named Edward was sensed running from a shop
to get water and taking it back in many times throughout
the day. We sensed hounds being gathered in a group
within the village and, again, piles of hay.
A woman was sensed trying to get through a front door
of the building. She was seen only from the back but
looked to be wearing a white apron over a darkish blue
dress. Her hat was white and looked quite stiff like
it had a lot of starch in it. It formed a triangle from
the top of her head to her shoulders. She seemed quite
annoyed and was not being allowed into the property
without a struggle.
A shop was sensed with the bar downstairs being seen
as just bare floorboards with sawdust upon them then
later grey coloured slab-type flooring. There was also
a strong connection with the church with this part of
the building. Piano music was sensed and a mail coach
was also picked up on delivering the pose. A horse rider
wearing a tri-corner hat was sensed who was in difficulty
with his horse. The horse looked panicked and was rearing
up. It was felt that the current name of the pub had
some significance but unfortunately we could not get
the connection. It was felt however that it was along
the lines of disease like the nursery rhyme ‘Ring
Some Interesting Things
As I wrote up this report there
were a few points that came back which were of interest. It
is these that I could like to highlight here.
"The stairs did not
feel like they belonged there."
After hearing this being said I went back to the stairs to
have a look at them to see if there any features that looked
out of place. This is what I photographed.
The left photo is looking up
the stairs and the right photo is looking mainly at the wall
alongside it. The first thing I noticed is that the prominent
supporting beam seen in the left photo is running underneath
the level that the stairs reach up to. This could perhaps
fit in with the remark in room 1 that the floor level was
wrong. Also, in the top-right corner of the left photo and
in the right photo there appears to be a doorway just hanging
there with nothing in front of it. Could this prove that the
stairs were originally located somewhere different to where
they are now?
sentence ‘Victualer of fine wines’ was given."
I had never heard of the word 'Victualer' before and decided
to look it up to see what it meant. According to encyclopedia.com
the definition of Victualer is: "A person who is licensed
to sell alcoholic liquor."
in this room we sensed dressmaking and also a Butcher's."
shop was sensed with the bar downstairs being seen as just
bare floorboards with sawdust upon them."... "pigs
were sensed in this area."
As quoted from the website 'Old
Bwmbran Master' in regards to their local Butcher's Shop
(emphasis mine) - "Don was always chopping the animal
carcases in the shop which had a floor covered in
sawdust." It was standard practice for Butcher's
to cover their floor with sawdust as it would soak up all
of the blood dropped from the animal carcasses which could
then be swept away. If the blood fell onto a bare floor it
would stain, it would be unhygenic, would be very difficult
to clean up (blood is extremely sticky) and there would be
the very real risk of slipping.
The coin experiment
left in room 1 did not have any movement. However, the
cross experiment left in the main room upstairs did.
Below are before and after photos taken at the beginning
and end of the investigation respectively.
It appears that the cross
as rotated slightly anti-clockwise on the paper. The
cross was placed in a room with no windows so there's
no possibility of a draft blowing it. We're not claiming
that this was paranormal but it was left in a still
room in a place where it couldn't be acidentally knocked
or brushed past..
The recorder left in
Room 1 recorded nothing out of the ordinary. However
the recorder left outside in the courrtyard garden did
record something unusual and can be heard on the player
below. No enhancements or anything have been done to
was recorded at 12.36am and at this time all members
of the group and the owner were accounted for. Mike
was on the upper level of the building continuing to
set up equipment and experiments whilst everyone else
were preparing themselves and talking quietly in the
main bar area. Approximately 10 or so meters and a thick
doorway seperates the bar area to the courtyard so there
was no chance of contamination.
to what caused this sound we cannot say. It is interesting
to but to lay claim to it being paranormal is impossible
since we were not with the recorder at the time to vouch
that such a noise didn't occur at the time that has
been misinterpreted. It is still interesting nonetheless
especially since soon after whilst in the courtyard
area there were reports of sensing a choking attack
and tightening of the throat.
This is the main bar area of the Ring O'Bells.
This is the courtyard garden.
This is the side passage where the choking was felt and the
attack was sensed.
An interesting location with some interesting results but
sadly nothing conclusive, at least in the way of more physical
evidence. Some things picked up on by the sensitives gave
some nice food for thought which is always encouraging! We
thank everyone at the Ring O Bells for their great hospitality
and for making us feel welcome!