Hidden deeply away in the tiny
Cornish village of St. Clether stands one of the largest holy
wells in the county. During it's lifespan of over half a millenium
(which has seen disrepair and full restoration twice) it must
have seen so much history, so much emotion, so many stories.
Set in a beautiful area of totally unspoiled scenary, Hidden
Realms spent some time at both the chapel and in the grounds
of the nearby church. What was caught...?
Reports suggest that the original Holy Well and Chapel were
built in Celtic times, possibly around the 5th century by
a Welsh saint going by the name of either St. Cleder or St.
Clederus who is said to have been one of the twenty-four children
of Brechen of Wales. Many of the surrounding parishes around
St. Clether are seemingly named after many of the other Brechen
children, suggesting that many of them travelled and set up
home in that area of the county.
The chapel and well slowly
fell into disrepair over the many centuries it's been standing.
In the 15th century the building was rebuilt and restored
to its former glory, but that evidentally transpired to be
a temporary restoration and again, over the years, it eventually
became nothing more than a pile of stonework that was covered
by weeds and brambles.
However, in 1895-1900 the Reverend
Sabine Baring-Gould completely rebuilt the chapel and holy
well and fully restored it to its former glory. This is how
the chapel stands today.
The most famous paranormal
story attached to the chapel is that a figure has been
seen inside that is said to be that of the Reverend Baring-Gould
who, by all accounts, loved the place.
Another story that was discovered during
our research of the place is that there have been reports
of the sound of horses hooves in the area. Which particular
area however (the chapel grounds itself or on the pathway
to it) is not specified.
our day visit we were greeted by the Chapels owner Vanda
who showed us the building and recited a little of the
history and spooky goings on. When we were there she showed
us a photo that had been taken inside during what appears
to be a Christmas service. Upon review the photo showed
a fine, swirling mist which what appeared to be what could
be described as a figure with wings at the top-right of
the shot. Click on the picture on the left to see a larger
Equipment We Used
The group used the following equipment during our investigation:
A DAT recorder was left
in the Chapel during the 3 hours that the group went to
have a pub dinner. Upon our return this recorder was relocated
to the graveyard of the nearby Church.
Another DAT recorder was left beside
the Holy Well during the evenings vigil.
A selection of the coins from the Coin
Trigger Object experiment were set up on the altar.
The Cross Trigger Object was set up
alongside the DAT recorder beside the Holy Well.
During the groups time in the Chapel
the glass and planchette were used.
Mediumship Evidence The history to the Chapel and Well is sadly very
concise, and as such much of the information that was picked
up cannot be substanciated.
Both Kim and Chris picked
up on a Guardian of the chapel, both stating that it
was female. Kim reports that this female figure was
wearing a flowing gown or robe that was in all shades
of blues and greens. Chris reports that on a previous
visit the Guardian appeared as a transparant green hue
whereas on the night the Guardian was more feminine
and had along, dark hair with a greenish hue to her
dress. Kim gave a name Brigid for the Guardian and Chris
gave the name Brigida. As Chris states, "she seemed
to be the very essence of all things nature." and
both Kim and Chris sensed that she was of Pagan origin.
Dennis reported being given a name
six or seven times which sounded like 'Gwythor Maw'
and was being said in a females voice, but not as if
it were a threat - more a loud statement. Although no
Cornish roots can be found for such a thing it appears
to have more connections with Wales - interesting because
this was where St. Cleder / Clederus originated before
re-settling in Cornwall.
Potential images of war and battle
was both sensed and heard by Kim on the pathway going
towards the Chapel. Kim reports hearing a drumming sound
and a shouting that sounded, as Kim reports, like a
battlecry. Soon after this Kim reports sensing a small
group of bare-chested men trotting towards the Chapel.
She says that they had smears of paint on both their
cheekbones and the tops of their arms / shoulders.
During the recci before the night-time
vigil Chris reported sensing the presence of a monk
standing to the right side of the altar. He was wearing
a brown robe with a hood that covered his head. On the
night itself Chris again reported the presence of a
monk and felt that, as the Guardian was of Pagan origin,
the monk was there, in effect, representating the Church.
Chris reports sensing that she felt
a sweep of energy in the Chapel that is seemingly enhanced
when the side door is opened.
During the Recci Vanda (the owner of
the Chapel and Holy Well) was speaking to the group about
a little of the history. During this Chris reports sensing
the spirit of a male who was standing behind the group
by the side door. As Vanda moved onto the Victorian restoration,
and in particular the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould felt
that the presence became stronger and appeared to come
closer. She asked the spirit if they came to the Chapel
regularly and if they were male, the answer to both being
'Yes'. She felt that the figure was quite tall and was
During a meditation Betty smelled flowers
and sensed children and adults moving along the path outside
and from the other side of the river coming in from all
directions towards the Chapel. They were carrying semi-circular
half-hooped pieces of wood above their heads that were
decorated in flowers. It seemed to be like a May Day celebration.
Also during the meditation Dennis felt
as if he were shelling peas and upon opening his eyes
his hands were moving as if he were using a rosary.
Late on in the investigation Dennis
had the mental image of a 'huge frog or toad' in the corner
by the main door; about the size of a labrador sitting.
Dennis dismissed this until Vanda later told him that
a toad liked to spend a lot of time in the corner where
he had seen the big toad but unfortunately one day he
got a bit too close to the swinging door. Soon after this
a visitor wrote in the guesbook that they had seen a baby
toad sitting out on the fountain.
Kim picked up on the names Peter and
Nicholas in the Chapel. Dennis picked up on the names
Entwhistle and Ezriel (which is also an Angelic name).
The DAT recorder that was left to record in the Chapel
as the group left to go have something to eat recorded
some pretty interesting sounds. It was set up late in
the afternoon and signs were placed on both the door to
the Chapel itself and back at the pathway entrance just
behind the Church to ensure that other people wouldn't
accidentally come near to the church. Now, although it
cannot be proven that nobody ventured near the building
whilst we weren't there the probability of someone doing
so is very slim as a whole, and also no such tell-tale
sounds (such as footsteps on the gravel path or the gate
outside being opened) were recorded. Both doors on the
Chapel are sturdy and closed tight - they were not hanging
open and swinging in a breeze. There wasn't even a breeze
for the doors to swing on if they were open.
Because of this, theoretically, the DAT should have recorded
nothing but silence during our absense. However, upon
replaying the audio through the computer the next day
Mike was a little surprised to hear a variety of loud
knocks and bangs coming from inside the Chapel itself.
What these knocks are being caused by us up for debate.
We are certain however that they were not made by a person.
Sadly, bar what was recorded
on the DAT no other physical evidence was recorded. None of
the trigger objects moved and the recorder picked up nothing
in the graveyard.
St. Clether Holy Well and Chapel is probably one of the most
beautiful locations we've investigated. We highly recommend
it to anybody who is interested in ghosts, religion and /
or beautiful scenery. Although not an active location paranormal-wise
it was felt that the place has a remarkable residual energy
about it with a Guardian keeping watch and the Reverend Baring-Gould
checking back every now and then.
We had a lovely
time at St. Clethers! Many thanks go out to Vanda for letting
us spend the night there, and for letting us use her photo
of the mist captured on camera (See evidence page).