Investigated on April 12th,
Started: 9.50pm. Vigil Ended: 2.05am
Moon Phase: 1st Quarter. Weather Start: Clear and dry. Weather
End: Clear and dry (although it did rain during the vigil).
Barometer Pressure Start: 1013mb. Barometer Pressure End:
1012mb. Temperature Outside Start: 8.7C. Temperature Outside
With a history over nearly
half a millenium, Totnes Museum is one of the finest Elizabethan
buildings still standing today. With a varied history and
a lot of stories to tell, Hidden Realms were honoured to have
been given the chance to spend some time in this charming
place to see if any residents from the past wanted to make
their presence known.
The history of the building starts on or around 1575 when
the building is said to have been constructed for Sir Walter
Kelland who was a wealthy merchant. The building, built as
a merchants house, was built at a time when Totnes was rated
the sixteenth richest town in the whole of England. This was
due to the exporting of local woollen products, leather and
tin from Dartmoor. The building had servants with the top
floor being the servants quarters.
As the wealth of Totnes diminished
in value, the building started to see a wider variety of life.
During its time it has also been used as an inn and then a
tea room (the tea shop being run by a Mr. Kinsmann) before
it became an antiques shop. In 1958 it was then bought by
the council and made into the museum we see today. An individual
called Bill Bennett was the curator to the museum from 1984
|Mr. Kinsmann once said that the building
had two ghosts – a man and a woman – but did
|In 1992 a teenaged boy was in ‘a very shocked
condition’ after seeing a ghostly figure in the
reconstructed Victorian grocers shop. Other people have
reported sensing a ‘presence’ there.
|People have felt a ‘strange atmosphere’
around the side entranceway that has made some people
a little uncomfortable with one female resident feeling
a hate of walking past it. Another person says that they
feel the gateway itself being ‘strangely off-putting’.
|The gallery that leads from the Victorian Toy section
towards the door to the Study and stairs to the Kitchen
were rebuilt in the recent past. A motion sensor burglar
alarm positioned looking from the stairwell along the
gallery once had a short period where it was being set
off nightly in the early hours of the morning. A repairman
and replacement of the sensor did not fix the problem.
In the past some names have been 'picked up' on by
a variety of sensitives and mediums who have visited
the museum. These include:
Alice. People have described her has being a young
lady - around 23. She's been sensed wearing a hat and
dark clothes with dark trousers that come to the shin.
People have felt her to be from around the 18th century
and is possibly connected to...
Jonathan / John Swayne. He's been sensed as being 'despicable'
and felt like he was saying "I know what I had
done. Didn't mean to do it."
John Sparrow is a name that has, in the past, been
sensed in the Loom Room and is connected with head pain.
Martha has also come up, being described as 'an elderly
Equipment We Used
The group used the following equipment during our investigation:
|The Base Room was set up in the Members
Room where Mike sat to watch the live camera feeds from
the lock-off cameras.
experiment was set up in the Bennett room due to that
particular room housing the museums coin collection.
A lock-off camera
was left recording in the 'Fore Hall' on the first floor.
camera was left recording focused down the Gallery on
the first floor towards the Members Room.
|A camcorder was left recording the
|Three billiard balls were placed on
talc and left up in the 'Mitchell Room' on the second
floor as, during a day visit, Chris said that she felt
the room used to be a nursery, so the idea was to leave
some kind of toy or game that then had an open invitation
for any spirit to play with it.
|The cross experiment was set up in
the courtyard as during a day visit Kim said that she
felt that someone had fallen from where the Gallery now
is and was killed on the ground.
|A weather station was kept running
to monitor all atmospheric conditions.
Whilst carrying in the equipment up to the base room
I kept being given the name 'Billy'.
Whilst in the Fore Hall setting up the cameras with
Mike, I sensed that spirit were there. I was kneeling
down, leaning forward to reach a plug socket behind
a table when it felt like I was kicked (not hard) on
my bottom. I stood up and saw a spirit man who was laughing
and saying 'what are you doing missy?'. The man was
short, quite robust with white/light hair, bushy sides
and he was wearing a dark waistcoat, white shirt with
narrow armbands just below the elbow. He also had what
looked like a type of garter on his trousers.
In the Victorian Room I could see a bed where there
is now a desk. I was given a name but couldn't make
it out in full. It was Stans......
On the Gallery I sensed and saw a male spirit who had
been hit on the back of the head with a club of some
sort. He ended up in the court yard where he died. The
man was tall with dark, longish hair. he was wearing
a black/dark coloured coat. It wasn't his house, he
was staying there. Was given the word poker game. I
asked where he lived and got the reply 'Newtown'. I
think the date was 1817. I also got the words Lodging
House and the name or word Field/Fielding.
Whilst on the gallery, I also sensed another male spirit
who gave his name as Marcus Stanwick/Standwick he showed
me his daughter and got the name Ella Louise with her,
although I'm not sure if he had just the one daughter
or two. He also said 'I am an upstanding man'. I got
the impression he was a man of importance, someone like
a banker or such.
I kept getting the name 'Billy', Billy was 35 and was
wearing dandy/fop type clothing.
The man who was killed was also giving the names Charles
(butchers son), the surname was ?????ridge.
The messages were being given to me like I was leaning
towards them meaning that the man who had died was Billy
and Charles had caused his death. Billy also said that
his killer, Charles, 'went away' to Dartmouth / Moor.
Back in the Fore Hall , the short man (who kicked me)
kept saying 'doctor'. Whether he was a doctor or not
I couldn't make out. A lady made her presence known
and she gave me her name of Harriet. She wore a moss-green
dress, had brown hair done up under a wideish brimmed
hat and was also wearing gloves and lace up boots whilst
holding a parasol. I was given the year as 1891, again
I couldnt make out the name given it sounded like Chisle????
and I also saw calling cards.
The only other area I went was the Elizabethan Kitchen.
I felt that it was not originally a kitchen but animals
were kept out the back and also horses were too at one
point. whilst in the Loom Room with other group members
I saw a girl of around 12 years old. But whilst Chris
was sensing her too, I had a picture of lots of cups
and saucers, I didnt know why as it seemed nothing to
do with the girl I saw. I mentioned it to other group
members but unfortunately couldn't sense anymore.
I felt the whole rear part of building of the museum
was somehow separate although part of the household,
its difficult to explain it just feels detatched somehow
from the rest of the building.
The Fore Hall - First Floor.
Name associated with this room: JOHN.
I felt my hair being touched at the back of my head
and I also felt a 'gentle tap' on my rear-end! There
was a male presence in the room who gave his name as
John. He seemed to have a connection with horses and
to hold a prominent position within the town. He liked
to sit between the fire and the window. Not sure if
the bed was in the room when he was there, it seemed
more like a room for 'meeting or socialising' in.
Later in the evening whilst in circle in this room
I was given the following information from spirit.
'At some point the building appeared to have a more
open aspect to it. By this I mean that it seemed to
stand 'apart' from its neighbouring properties and to
be more self sufficient in that hens and a small amount
of livestock was kept at the back of the building somewhere.
At some time birds were kept on the premises that were
of a type not for eating or hunting but more as 'pets'
or to just look at.
I was given the image of a man walking down the street
outside leading horse's along with a rope. The man had
a hat on which looked like a bowler hat. He was leading
a horse either side of him and was heading down the
street towards the area near the river.
I was also given the image of a small 'stage-coach'
going along the street and turning to pass under an
arch-way between two buildings as if going into a coaching
house or something similar.
The male spirit called 'John' made contact again and
I could see that he was quite a portly man with a very
round face, ruddy cheeks and bushy whiskers that came
down from his hair at the side and extended down his
jaw line. He had something red tied round his neck which
looked like a scarf or cravat. He looked like a character
out of a Dickens novel. He seemed to be laughing at
us but not in a horrible way. He appeared to be looking
at Alan and laughing as if he knew this was not the
time of day that he normally would be in the building.
There was another younger male who in comparison was
very tall and thin. This man had a connection with dogs.
I 'sensed' that he was something to do with lots of
dogs..? breeding?..the dogs had long legs and thin muscular
bodies with a tail that hung down and curled up. I sensed
that they had a purpose which may have been something
to do with hunting. This man visited the house and was
either a friend or business-man of some type and he
lived 'down in the valley beyond Totnes town'. He had
a close-fitting jacket at the waist with some type of
box shaped design at the front and 'tails' which hung
down the back.
There was also a female presence in the room but she
did not come forward to make contact.
The time zone for this seemed around 1830-1850.
The Babbage Room - Second Floor
Names associated with this room: JACK.
In this room there was a male presence who had a very
strong connection with the sea. He had gone to sea early
in his life but had not gone willingly. I was given
information that he had lived in Plymouth but had been
almost press-ganged into a life at sea. He became someone
who kept records/logs for the captain which was something
unusual for that time in the fact that he seemed to
be educated. The ship that he was on was had the name
of H.M. ? that was all I could get but it was not H.M.S.
And it was one that went down and a lot of men lost
their lives but he survived but then left the sea and
eventually came to Totnes. He was a colourful character
and told me that he liked to drink in the ale house
'up the way'. I was given the image of Totnes High Street
and an Inn that was on the right hand side as you go
up the street. The Inn appeared to be quite narrow with
a sign outside. Here he met up with other men and various
business transactions were discussed, not all above
board. There was another building close by that he and
other men used to gather in and deals were made. Smuggling
was also involved and dealings with horses.
The Loom Room - Ground Floor
Names associated with this room: ALICE, JAMES, MARGARET
(Christian names) GRAY, JENKINS (surnames)
In this room I have had contact with a young girl called
Alice. Originally I had thought her to be about 17-18yrs
old but on this occasion she seemed much younger possibly
When I saw her as 17-18 yrs old she was wearing a mauve
coloured coat with black buttons across the front and
she was stood at the front door of the building looking
out at the street. It was snowing and very cold and
men were walking down the street leading horses. She
did not go out into the street but walked along the
front of the building and down an alleyway at the side
and round to the back of the building. (This was seen
on a previous visit to the museum).
On the night of the vigil I saw her as an 11-12 year
old and she was at the back of the building in the kitchen
area and 'loom-room'. The group were stood in circle
and she came and stood at the back of us. She seemed
very happy and was looking at Alan (the custodian of
the museum) whom she seemed to be very fond of. I felt
her parents were not at the building and that she was
looked after by a lady who was something to do with
the running of the house and that this ladies name was
Margaret. I asked the child 'Alice' how she came to
live at the house and she kept saying 'from the workhouse'.
I could then 'see' her out the back of the building
collecting eggs in her apron and picking a hand full
of what looked like green leaves, possibly herbs.
She gave me the name of James as someone she was very
fond of. Not too sure of the age of him but he seemed
to play a big part in her life in someway. Apparently
Alice was quite mischievous and liked to hide things
and play games.
In the Fore Hall Pete sensed a male called James. He
felt that he was from overseas and was looking for a
girl he believed was downstairs called Eloise. Eloise
was a happy, bubbly girl.
1: Given name 'Abernethy'
2: Young female Beatrice or Beatty
3: Given name ' Peregrine'
4: Given name 'Montfort'
5: Saw Pickwickian character, very robust, beer drinking
stomach, well dressed. Got 'Dandy'
6: Given name ending in 'stoke' Saw grapes and vine.
7: Given name 'Tadworth'
8: When we initially went in, experienced presence by
fireplace en route. Later felt warmth when passing fireplace,
went back, heat not repeated.
Betty had the right side of her being tugged gently,
and heard a sound like a balloon being stroked!
Saw girl age 16 - 18, blonde hair (ringlets) playing
either croquet / game happily on lawn.
Saw 1 : Coach with 2 horses loading outside, man and
woman got in.
Saw 2 : About half hour later - 2nd large coach, with
6 horses, load 4 people and 2 children, and start up
Picked Up by the Sensitives
Alan was able to confirm quite
a lot of what the group sensitives were saying.
In the Babbage Room the inn
that Chris speaks about did actually exist in the part of
the street she spoke about. It was a small building between
two others and isn't there now and was called 'The Lottery'.
Also in this room Chris picked
up that this spirit she connected to 'used to make deals'
in a building where the Inn stood, something that she feels
was called 'The Collective'. According to Alan a building
was in that area where men used to gather and strike deals
up, for example space on board shops in which to place their
merchandise etc. Chris picked up on a date of 1850 for this
which fitted in with this particular building which Alan said
was pulled down in the late 1800's.
In the Fore Hall Chris referred
to birds being kept at the building that were no hens or livestock
but rather more like birds to look at. Alan confirmed that
there was once a Dove Cot out the back of the building.
Chris spoke of the building
standing away from its neighbouring buildings, something that
Alan once again confirmed. Alan also confirmed what Chris
said about the stagecoach that passed under an archway out
in the street.
Chris spoke about a man leading horses along the street whilst
wearing a Bowler Hat. Alan said that this is what the auctioneer
would have worn who sold the horses off. Chris also spoke
of hoses being lead down the street towards the river area,
something that was again confirmed. Alan said that down by
the river was where the horse market was held.
The dogs that Chris was describing
in the Fore Hall sounded to Alan like they were Irish Wolfhounds
which he said would have been used for hunting at that time.
Chris spoke about hens and
livestock at the back of the building. Alan agreed with this.
The names of ALICE and JOHN have also been sensed by other
people who have visitied the building according to Alan.
In the Fore Hall both Chris
and Kim sensed a portly, rounded male with bushy facial hair
and dressed in a Victorian style. Interestingly enough Mike,
who generally doesn't try such things, was at the museum a
few months prior to the investigation and suddenly, in his
head, this character just as Chris and Kim describe just entered
In the Kitchen Kim suddenly
picked up on cups and saucers which she felt was unrelated
to what she was currently picking up. Could this be a connection
from when the building served as a tea room.
Chris spoke of the girl in
the Loom Room called Alice who came 'from a workhouse'. Alan
did confirm on the night that there had been a workhouse near
to the building and that it was feasible that a girl could
be brought from there to work in the household but unfortunately
this is impossible to research.
On the gallery Kim said that
the murderer came from 'Newtown'. Could this be nearby Newton
On the Gallery Kim picked up
on the name Ella Louise and in the Fore Hall Pete picked up
on the name Eloise, the focus of James' search. Both names
sound pretty similar.
The name James came up twice
from Chris and Pete although it was picked up at different
parts of the building.The name John came up, a name that has
come up in the past, but the description of John by the group
members and the description of John given in the past don't
match. Then again, John is a common name.
The EMF baseline tests didn't
pick up on anything too much out of the ordinary. The results
of the average readings were as follows:
Victorian Room: 0mg
Fore Hall: 0.8mg
First Floor Landing: 0.4mg
Mitchell Room: 0.5mg - 0.8mg
Babbage Room: 0.1mg
Second Floor Landing: 0.6mg
Kitchen and Loom Room: 0mg
The only interesting EMF spike
was in the gallery. The electronics box just to the right
side of the Members Room doorway was giving off a reading
of over 10mg one foot out from the casing. A prolonged exposure
to such a high EMF could bring on feelings of unwell, paranoia,
skin irritation etc.
The Infrasound readings came
up blank. Nothing out of the ordinary was recorded with an
overall reading of zero.
The cameras that were left
recording the Fore Hall and the Gallery didn't pick up anything
except dust. The only time any 'orbs' were recorded was when
people were walking past which is just enough to kick up a
little dust into the air. The cameras used were 30LED IR Security
Cameras - 30 times more powerful than the Sony Handycams that
we had been using in the past, so naturally they're going
to be lighting up dust particles 30 times brighter than before.
Apart from these nothing else was captured on the cameras.
None of the trigger objects
that were set up moved and no photos taken on the 35mm film
camera captured anything out of the ordinary.
Totnes Museum was definitely an interesting place to conduct
an investigation and although nothing was really encountered
in a physical aspect, the information that the sensitives
same out with is something that we will all be interested
in researching into more as time progresses. Our big thanks
go out to Alan for watching over us during the night and also
thanks go out to the Committee who allowed the investigation
to take place!