Dartington Cider Press

Investigated on March 18th, 2009

PEOPLE PRESENT AT THE INVESTIGATION

HIDDEN REALMS TEAM
Chris, Pete, Mike, Duncan, Ian, Dawn.

MEMBERS OF TORRE ABBEY STAFF
Jules, Rosemary, Dan, Lucy plus another female member.

EQUIPMENT USED
EVP X 2
EMF
Motion Detectors X2
Video Camcorders X 4
Coin Trigger Object
Cross Trigger Object
Dowsing Rods
Pendulum

AREAS INVESTIGATED
Entrance Area
Red Room Lined with Paintings
Dining Room/Drawing Room
The Gatehouse
The Chapel
The Office
The Upper Exhibition Area

Anecdotal Ghost Stories associated with the Abbey

Where the offices are now used to be the curators flat. Here he lived with his family including two sons. One of his sons, approximately 7-8 years old at the time said in later years that during a period of 3-4 years in his life he saw someone in his room. They were not smokey, misty or anything that resembled a stereotypical ghost, but a solid looking person. He told his father that he was ‘talking to Jesus’ as the figure had a beard and dressed in an off-white habit (the colour worn by the Premonstratensian Canons who founded the abbey).

It was also during this period in time that the caretaker had to do a final check around the building each night to make sure that everything was all locked and secure before retiring to bed, a journey that he used to take one of his son’s along with him. On one of these walkthroughs the heavy, metal latch on old, thick door to the Abbot’s Tower started jiggling wildly as if someone was on the other side trying to get in. The caretaker immediately opened the door and pulled it wide to see who was on the other side but was surprised to see nobody there.

Another ghost story, related to us when we spent the night at the Spanish Barn is of a girl who was seen on CCTV being led around the Abbey. The girl had been walking through the Abbey with her family and was hold of what she thought was her grandmother’s hand. It was only when she reached the Chapel that she realised that it wasn’t her Grandmothers hand that she was hold of and that there was no-one holding her hand. When the CCTV footage was later examined the girl was seen walking along with her hand held upwards as though being led along, but there was nobody with her.

Footsteps have been heard walking around the top level where the upper level gallery is now.

There are many legends attributed to the place, the most famous being that of a headless monk who is said to roam the building. However, those who work in the Abbey, past and present, have not reported seeing such an apparition.

EXPERIMENTS USED ON THE INVESTIGATION

The Coin Experiment was set up in the grand Dining Hall. This was set up here because of the grandness of the room itself. In this experiment many coins from different years are placed on a piece of paper and they are then carefully drawn round and left with a camera placed above them set to film in case one of the coins move. By doing it this way it ensures that if anything does move the possibility of it being an innocent knock or foul-play can be ruled out.

The Cross Experiment was set up in the small back office where the caretaker used to live with his family. The room in question was the room associated with the ‘Jesus’ story. This experiment is set up in a similar way to the coin in that a cross is placed on a clean piece of paper and then carefully drawn round and then filmed.

The Beam-Break motion sensor was set up in the top-level gallery. This was due to the report of footsteps being heard up on this top level.

An EMF meter was used to sweep around various areas to ensure no possibility of EMF pockets could be found that might cause feelings that could be mistakenly attributed to paranormal phenomenon. An EMF records Electro Magnetic Fluctuations. These are sometimes found near power sockets, light sockets and other similar areas. But it is also thought that paranormal activity can provide magnetic fluctuations.

The Dictaphone audio recorder was left recording in the small area behind the large, wooden door. The door was carefully closed to fully recreate the set-up of the rattling metal latch.

Room to the left in the Entrance Area

The group assembled in this room and began to sense spirit energy.

It was felt that a male energy was present and that he seemed to be a leader or teacher of some kind. He was very knowledgeable and showed a member of the group a book that he was carrying. He gave his name as Michael. He also talked about four friends that were associated with him and he gave their names as John, Luke, Matthew and another name that wasn’t clear. They were like almost like his followers.

It was felt that the area where he linked in with us was not mainly where he stayed. He told of another door way and stairs that lead to where he spent most of his time.

Whilst the group did their opening protection Michael said that it was not needed. They had all the protection they needed. He was very interested in everything. When a member of the group was using dowsing rods Michael was watching him. It was felt he was inquisitive as to why they were being used.

There was also the voice of a man in the same room that didn't seem to like Michael. But as quick as he started to communicate, Michael seemed to cut him off.

There was another male presence in the room which at first seemed to be very short in stature but it was later revealed that this man was bent over and couldn’t straighten his back up. We felt that he may have been a scribe and that years of constant writing at a bench may have been the reason for his deformity. It was felt that this male did not like the other authorative male. He resented him. We were also given the name John.

We were also told that women were not allowed in this area and that the women should leave, although a member of our team did sense a female spirit in the area.

We also sensed the presence of livestock in this area.

One of the team also thought that in the room adjacent to this one that there was a staircase sometime in the past. A group member dowsed this for us and felt that it may have been in the left hand corner as you approach from the other room.

THE TRICKSTER!

One of the team members linked in with a man who seemed to like playing practical jokes. He was not an ancient spirit more like a recent one from around the last 30yrs or so. He thought that what we were doing that night was funny. He kept saying silly things and making jokes. He said that he was able to move things and make things happen, but only sometimes.

He didn’t know why he could make things happen one day and not the next. He called himself Jeff/Geoff? When he was asked for his surname he said the name Jeff again. He really was a joker!

He was asked if he was responsible for things that had been happening around the building and he said that he was.

We were told by a member of staff that one evening the fire-alarm had been activated from an area that was sealed off. The glass had been broken on the fire-alarm box and the alarm set off. This could not have been done by a visitor or member of staff as the area was sealed off by a sliding heavy metal door.

We asked the spirit calling itself Jeff if he had done this and he said it was!

Unfortunately he continued to link in with the team member, making silly remarks and this became slightly annoying after a while. An example of this was when we were asking out for the name of a female spirit he told our team member ‘Gertrude, tell her Gertrude’!

THE STRANGE NOISE

Whilst walking out of the Drawing Room and walking down the ramp outside the door, a member of the group heard a loud sigh which sounded like a male voice. This was annoying as there was not a camera or EVP in the area at the time. Another member of the group who happened to be approaching the same area at the same time also heard the noise.

THE RED ROOM LINED WITH PAINTINGS

An elderly man wandered this room. He seemed caught up in the memories of war, although not sure which. He was a man of short stature who was also rather portly. We were given the message ‘This wouldn’t happen in my day’.

Whilst the group were sat in this room two of the members became aware of a young boy in spirit. The boy appeared to be drawn to one of the male members of our team. The child kept referring to this person as ‘my friend’ This was interesting as this particular member of the group does work with young children and it was felt that the male child was picking up on this. The child looked about 4-5yrs old and he was laughing and running backwards and forwards, as though playing tag. He gave the name of James.

To demonstrate how the child was moving around dowsing rods were used to pick up on its energy and these proceeded to move from left to right as the child moved about. It was stood right in front of the team member who then stood up and walked across the room with the child still trailing behind him laughing and giggling. One of the lightest and happiest energies we have picked up on for a while, truly uplifting!

Rosemary linked in with a female energy in this room. Two other members of our group picked up on a lady and it was felt that she was a Victorian Lady with the name of Mary. The name of Mary was picked up independently by all three people.

THE CHAPEL

The group sat for a while in the Chapel to see if there was any spirit energy.

One member sat at the front on the left hand side to ‘link in’. The member then became aware of a presence on the right hand side of the Chapel, also sat on the front pew. This presence was an elderly man who was beckoning for the member to come and sit next to him. It was as though the team member had made a mistake and was sat on the wrong side.

After moving across and sitting on the right hand side, next to the male spirit, the smell of ‘well worn’ clothes became apparent. The man was wearing a suit of ‘thick material’ almost woollen looking. He had a waistcoat on of some description. One of our group came and sat behind the male presence and was also able to smell a ‘stale’ odour.

THE OFFICE

We sat for a short while in the office where strange things had been happening. In here it was felt that a male spirit came in visitation to this room. It was felt that he entered the room on the right hand side where the adjoining office door is. It was round this area that his presence was felt quite strongly. A name was also given in connection with this spirit of ‘Seymour’.

THE UPPER EXHIBITION AREA

In this area there seemed to be a constant shift of energy. Something was moving about which made you feel quite dizzy and also seemed to affect the throat.
We also conducted some dowsing in this room and approximately 5 walls were found from an earlier configuration of the room, which appeared to make a series of smaller rooms.

DINING ROOM/DRAWING ROOM

On a previous trip to the Abbey a member of the team linked into a gentleman in a brown suit. Even on walking up to the room the energy could be felt following behind. He was wearing a very smart brown suit. It was in the 1930/40 style, with a longish, square jacket and double rows of buttons. He was wearing a type of trilby hat which was a dark brown. He looked about 40 yrs old with a long thin face and was constantly smiling. He stood to the left hand side and made no attempt at any other type of communication. He seemed very happy and appeared to be very proud of his surroundings.

On the night of the investigation it was a very different story. We linked in with a man who was sat at a desk. He seemed to be sat on the side of the room which has no windows in it. He seemed connected to a group of men talking about something which left them with very grave and serious faces. They then went and this man who gave his name as John was left to write a letter. He had to do ‘the right thing’ because too many people knew about ‘the situation’…what ever that was. It was a situation that he knew he couldn’t talk his way out of because of the high position that he held.

Rosemary was touched gently on her forehead during this link.

Some of us felt a discomfort in our throat which felt like it was connected to his determination not to get visually upset. Almost like keeping a stiff upper lip. London was given as the destination for the letter and whatever it was about was going to affect his family and his life. It was as though he had a huge ‘weight’ on his shoulders and everything was dependant on him.

He was in his 30’s with a thick brown moustache, hair parted at the side which was straight and then curled. We were given the impression that he was a very private man and struggled to hide his feelings.

Rosemary who stayed for the investigation was also feeling very distressed about this gentleman. She could sense his sadness and the helplessness of his situation. It would have been nice to help the gentleman but as he did not communicate at the time it would have been very difficult to pass him into the light.

Another group member heard whispering by the door where the steps go down on the other side and also saw a dog run in and out of the table legs.

THE GATEHOUSE

In the time that the group spent in this area there was not a great deal of spirit energy felt.

Initially a female was sensed who may have been a maid.

Also a male spirit with a very wide white collar which draped across his shoulders.

Conclusion (Scientific Experiments) by Mike

Unfortunately, for me personally, nothing was really experienced during my time at Torre Abbey. I investigated alone and spent time in not only the areas where there have been reports of things happening but also in the areas that stereotypically looked ‘haunted’. The main areas I stayed in were the storage rooms that you walk past as you first enter the Abbey via the front entrance, the Gatehouse room and The Chapel as well as wandering around the majority of the location to see if anything would happen spontaneous (as has been the case many times in the past).

Unfortunately, nothing really happened during my time at any of these locations except when I seemingly gave the custodians overlooking our investigations a bit of a fright by walking around down in the Storage rooms with them not knowing that I was down there.

There was a time, up in the Gatehouse, when I was sat there for a long period of time quietly talking out to whatever may be in there and getting the distinct sensation of something blunt being pushed right up on my forehead between my eyes. It was also here that the names Constantine, Francis and Mark, all prefixed ‘Brother’ came into mind. However, there’s the big possibility (and most likely explanation) that this was just a wandering imagination at play and nothing more.

At the end of the night neither the cross or coins had moved and the motion detector up in the gallery failed to go off once.

During an initial listen through on the Dictaphone there were two initially interesting sounds recorded of doors closing, but upon a review of the video footage that was also left recording in the same vicinity of the Abbey it was determined that these sounds were made by members of the group.