It was finally here, the morning of an investigation I had been planning for two years. Month after Month of research and mapping, along with a detailed plan of investigation.
The sun rose as I heard my team waking in my house, we had all stayed at mine the previous night to make sure our plan was water tight and to go through the procedures in case the worst would happen.
Stumbling around I ran through the checklist, barking orders at the team to get the equipment loaded and more importantly make me a coffee, because everyone knows I'm a horrible bastard until midday if I don't get my caffeine. Finally we are all loaded, mapped and ready to embark on the 4hr journey from one side of the UK to the other.
I give Jodie, my partner, the biggest kiss and squeeze and firmly remind her not to drop the baby until I'm home. Jodie is heavily pregnant, we've got two weeks left until our baby is due and she's already showing signs of dropping early. As I remind her how to use the satellite radio for the millionth time, to ensure she can reach me in a castle with zero mobile signal, she gives me that calming look and shoo's me into the lead car of our convoy.
That's it, we are off, we set off through the scenic country side of Essex UK and head towards Gloucestershire Nr Wales where we will be spending the next 3 days intensely investigating the legendary St Braivels Castle with a select group of guests who had paid to spend the weekend with us.
As we trundle down the motorways, the banter rolls backwards and forwards between our radios as every anxiety runs through my head. I catch myself and laugh as its not the demons that have been reported, or the aggressive attacks from the spirits that have been documented throughout the years which is the cause of the cold sweats or withdrawn demeanour of myself, its the GUESTS!
Im not unaware that I'm the most short, abrupt and antisocial man going, and I've got 40 excited guests travelling from all over the country arriving and looking at me for 3 whole days of entertainment. You see I'm not like the pricks you see on social media, running around some abandoned building on a live feed, pretending to ghost hunt for vanity and likes. Im a real, professional Paranormal Investigator, who has been hired by governments and police to investigate stuff that the public just wouldn't understand. My job is my life, and I take it seriously.
What if I snap at a guest who has paid £200 to be there? What if I cuff one of them round the ear because of their stupidity? What if the words "you stupid cunt" fall out of my mouth before I can stop it? I'm not one to hold back and filter my mouth, and whilst my audience might enjoy it... it can be a curse.
Im snapped back from my thoughts as I hear "we've just hit a road closure Boss, we've been delayed" come through the radio. For fuck sake!
Finally we arrive at the castle, I find the castle staff and snap into organiser mode, my trusty clip board giving me orders as I delegate my beautiful team tasks to set up a whole weekend whilst my guests arrive around them.
The funny thing about guests is that they can make or break a hunt... what if Ive got a group of rich, posh idiots who are going to drain me the entire weekend, particularly men. Fuck I hate men on my hunts... usually macho dickhead husbands who have been dragged by their wives to meet me who are either insecure or over do it with they ego pretending its "skepticism". Well as I enter the breakfast hall of this bloody great big castle that is all mine for the weekend, I breathe a sigh of relief as. A familiar face of one of my favourite clients beams up at me from a chair. Thank god.
This is the first time I've actually met my client in person as all my clients are done via video chat. Stacey smiles as she hands over an envelope to me... a wedding invite. Im really moved and it reassures me that I actually am a person who people want to be around.
As more and more guests arrive I'm sending them off to their designated rooms for the weekend and I meet some real pukka people. Im loving some of the blokes who have turned up as their sense of humours are exactly what I need to put me at ease.
Finally most of the guests have arrived and I tell Sarg, my historian, to start his tour. Im lucky to have Sarg. There is not a single thing that's happened in the past that that man don't know about, and if he is stuck, it will be five minutes before he's found it out. Real handy man to know when you're in a job that focusses on the past. I know he has been constructing this tour for months and he is buzzing to share his findings with the guests.
Whilst he takes half the guests around the castle, I take the other half into our make shift command centre (the breakfast hall with my equipment EVERYWHERE) to get them up to speed with the equipment we will be using, how it works and how to use it. There's lot of equipment in my job which makes all kinds of sounds and signs when a spirit is near. One of the favourites is the spirit box, a device that scans high frequency radio waves backwards and spirits find easy to chuck out words at us. Its a hit with the guests and I ask who would be brave enough to to do a "sense dep" an experiment where we blindfold a subject and they listen to the radio waves through ear phones so their senses are completely deprived of outside influence and they can't see or hear anything but the spirit box whilst we ask questions the subject can not hear, and the spirit tells them the answer via the spirit box.
First up is Luke, a real pukka bloke who I can instantly tell means business and wants what I want... to find a ghost. He jumps in and as he is sat in the corner I make sure there's no cheating and call out "Luke, you have sweaty bollocks mate" the crowd laugh and Luke sits in the corner and doesn't move... good, I know he can't hear me.
I begin with light questions which have zero response from spirits. "If there's a spirit here, say yes through the spirit box" I command. "Yes" repeats Luke. Great now we are interacting with a spirits of the castle. As I continue talking a cat ball lights up, a cat ball is quite literally a cat ball. It lights up when its moved. A great way to see if a spirit is near when It lights up without being touched by anyone living. This cat ball just so happens to be next to Charrise... Lukes wife.
"He called someone an Old Slag" chimes Luke from the corner. So the spirit is clearly not a fan of Charrise. My mind snaps into investigator mode and in my head I'm mapping all the possibility's from is it a religious spirit who doesn't like the way charrise is dressed all the way to is this a spirit who is infatuated with Luke and is jealous of Charrise. I continue asking questions and the spirit runs dry. sick of being harassed by a crowd of strangers.
Just as we are about to give up... I psychically see the spirit of a young boy walk into the room. One thing I've learned in my 13 year career... guests don't want to hear it from me, they want to see it. So I drop some "I think it may be's" and strategically place equipment in my guests hands that will prove me right. The young boy seems drawn to the females of the crowd and we deduce that the lad is looking for his mum who frequented the castle (which used to be used as a debtors prison) to bring food to a young man who we don't know if he was the lads father or not. One thing we do know from the boy is... The spirit of his mum is still in this castle and he wants us to help find her. Our first mission.
But we will come back to that later
As we journey through the castle we head up to the prison. whilst we're there, we start talking to a negative spirit who keeps grabbing my guests by the throat and pushing down on their shoulders. We battle to decipher who this person is, but whilst we are finding out his name, we find out that one of our female guests remind him of his mother via various bits of equipment. With my psychic ability and my guest skilful questions, we discovered that his mother was a lady of the night who would have frequent clients which she would allow to abuse the spirit. It's no wonder he turned into such a traumatised spirit. My guests are placed around the room and Stacey is constantly complaining about a grip around her neck whilst Charisse is echoing that she is having pressure on her shoulders and neck. After questioning the spirit he informs us that his heart was broken by a woman who looked similar to Charisse. Clearly the spirit is in a volatile position mentally and I'm instantly concerned for the welfare of my guests but addicted to paranormal investigation, I push on making sure that we walk away with the best results. We later find out that this spirit's name was William Henry and William made it very clear we were not welcome in the castle. The whole time we were hunting the prison there was a heavy aggressive atmosphere.
Whilst I'm witnessing what could be a very aggressive spirit relaying trauma through communication, I can see that he has an unhealthy affiliation with two of my female guests and it is my job to make sure that they are safe. Completely unknowingly to them I position myself and my energy in between them and William ensuring that if he was to attack I would take the hit and not them and also making sure that my energy is strong enough to push William away should I need to. As we investigate it becomes apparent that William is just a traumatised man who has done some horrible things because of the hand he was dealt when he was living.
As I share my findings with my team it also relates to what they are finding whilst they're investigating and they find out a bit more of the story and tell me that they are dealing with one of Williams victims in another room, a young girl whose name I do not know was kidnapped, raped and hired out to other guards. The young girl who we believe is the mother of the young lost boy earlier, could William be the father?
We relay this information to William and he clearly shows no remorse.
I'm left disgusted.
We move the investigation into the banquet hall, I'm shocked as the banquet hall has a fireplace where it is documented that the remains of a baby were buried in the chimney breast in the early thousands to ward away negative spirits, however me and my team are drawing a dud, we have nothing! no equipment is going off all that is happening is that we sent a huge negative mass in the corner by one of the windows. Before I know it, one of my guests Luke, is up by the window shouting at the spirit, I couldn't help but be impressed by the fearlessness of it. As we investigate, I torment the energy trying to get a reaction out of it, trying to make the equipment go off so my guess can see what everyone is feeling. But before anything could light up or beep we are interrupted by Shelley's, my demonologist, team who tell us that a complete ruckus has broken out in the living room area next to the banquet hall. I'm not entirely sure what has happened but all I know is that there equipment has suggested Demon and everyone is shook up. It is a good time to bring this to a break before someone gets hurt. I radio through to all teams to bring the guests down to the breakfast hall where we can talk about our findings and see if they relate to each others.
By this point we're only a few hours into investigating. I knew St Braivels would be active, but there's a spirit at every turn, in every room, down every corridor. and we are piecing together a tale of a thousand years.
In another room, leading a team is my lead investigator Melville. Melville is ex-armed police, who had dealt with the London Bridge Terror Attacks, she's the type of woman who you hear before you see. Absolutely zero filter on her mouth, black and white, and you know where you stand. The type of person I am drawn to because there is no fucking about or reading between the lines, just straight to the point and proactive.
Melville loves a ouija board and is leading a board in a room in the very top most floor of the castle, whilst we are unknowingly tormenting William in the room directly below her. Melville is talking to a FEMALE executioner from the 11th century on the board, and my team are chanting taunts at William to try and encourage him to physically move things for the naked eye to see. Over the radio I receive "keep chanting its sending our spirit mental". Fantastic! We carry on however I know that the enjoyment we are receiving from the chants is the polar opposite of the negative energy that would feed such a nasty spirit like William. Out of nowhere all we hear is a deathly girly scream coming from... One of my guests. It silenced the chants instantly as adrenaline filled my body forcing my legs to run up the stairs. There wasn't time to think before I reached the room where the scream had come from... Melvilles room.
As I burst through the door, my eyes scan the room for any injured parties as my psychic energy scans the area for any negative energy.
It turns out that the scream had come from one of the gentlemen guests. standard! but the reason why is because on one of the beds surrounding Melvilles board were two young ladies who had experienced the activity we had tried to invoke from downstairs. The end of the bed had lifted into the air whilst they were sat upon it and slammed into the ground, a long with several items falling with a bang around them.
God I wished I had seen that.
Im surprised to see that not one of my guests were crying and shaking in the corner, if anything it has motivated them more. I can't help feeling a sense of pride in these complete strangers who have put their faith in me, but showed me that they mean business. its the best case scenario for an event, guests who participate! There is nothing worse than a group who come to just watch us hunt and then get scared when they find a ghost... on a GHOST hunt.
The hunt continues into the early hours with dribs and drabs of evidence trickling through, the odd equipment going off and activity presenting itself, but nothing spectacular.
I call time and send everyone to bed, however some guests want to carry on with equipment. I make sure they are protected, we are less than 60 seconds from them. I allow it.
I'm up and showered and dressed by 9am to welcome guests to breakfast and touch base with them. An excited Luke makes he's way to me to tell me that him and a little group had gone to a room of the castle to investigate, whilst provoking a spirit using an Alice Box (a box that chucks out words which spirits generate) they had received an overwhelming negative energy filling the room and the name Diablo come through... Diablo is Spanish for Devil, and I'm not fussed because I know that as someone who literally has access to the after life. God, Devil, Heaven and Hell are all bullshit, but that doesn't stop negative energies playing on the fear those words install within a person. Definitely something ill be checking out later.
I keep the second day lighthearted, the last thing I want people to do is get ghosted out and bored. I have spoke to the team and arranged an award ceremony for the guests, they have worked hard and deserve recognition. With some make shift trophies from amazon and a label maker, I create awards such as "Best Scream" and "Best Investigator" to give out. This goes down a treat and I take the guests to play some games like a treasure hunt of baby dolls and manhunt. A guest called Dominic won that hands down as he hid himself up a tree that I walked past TWICE!
It doesn't take long after dinner before the guests are itching to hunt again. I take Dominic and a small group up to the room where Diablo was found the previous night, to do a board. The boards going well and I'm so impressed that Dom has jumped straight in and leading the board, he's asking questions to a spirit that he believes he knows, asking questions only he would know the answer too and getting correct answers. As a psychic I can see this horrible bastard of a spirit looming around the group. I place myself in the way to act as a buffer for the shit energy, but I can still see Doms energy depleting as he believes the spirit on the board is a family member who he did not get along with. The strangest part is that the negative energy is laughing at Dom and calling him a liar to me. It doesn't take long before the energy overwhelms Dom and he asks to step out the room and talk to me, in floods of tears he shares with me some real personal things going on in his life which he believes the spirit on the board which is his family member is exploiting. As antisocial as I am, I couldn't help but pull this grown man into a hug to let him know that I've got his back and I shall deal with it. Credit where credit is due, he wants to carry on. What a bloke.
As we head back in, every team members radios come alive and we all hear "help help, I am crashing". As perplexed faces fall over my team faces, Dom pipes up with "That's how he did (his family member) in a crash". As the radio continues we put it down to radio drip and continue, but that just don't sit right with me, that radio drip happened for a reason.
We close the board and I can see Dom has been in tears for some time, I've wanted him to stop for a reason but he was insistent to carry on. What a trooper.
At this point I've been hunting for 48hrs, any physical or psychic energy I did have has been stolen from me by running around a huge castle and relentless communicating with spirits whilst protecting my guests.
I take a strategic back seat and let my team lead, we finish the whole event with a Human Pendulum. A human pendulum is where we stand in a circle and direct our energies into the middle where one person stands and allows a spirit to push them or move them in certain directions to answer yes or no, for example we will ask the spirit a question and the spirit moves the person to the left to signal yes, or right to signal no. Of course Luke jumps straight in and it takes all of 10 seconds before a spirit is pushing him around the circle.
Its at this point I go to the back garden to see some spirits and do some work with them. by the time I'm back I see Luke, weak and being dragged away from the group to get some healing and be rescued by my team. A spirit had drained his energy and took him to a different place.
After a bit of healing he was right as rain.
We conclude the second day excited and head filled with everything that's gone on.
Breakfast is served earlier at 9am as we recap on the hunt, I gather everyone in the courtyard to cleanse them and protect them so no one takes any ghosts home unexpectedly. As they stand in a circle around them I tune into them each individually with my psychic energy, and remove anything that was attached
to them even before the hunt. Whilst soaking them in sage spray to cleanse away anything I miss and cement in their purity.
I was quite sad to see these people go, St Braivels had put us all throw our paces, we had laughed, cried, been scared, and determined together all in the space of 48hrs. Ive made friends who ill no doubt see again.
Next hunt is at Shepton Mallet Prison where people were hung, drawn and quartered and impaled on the railings outside, along with Reggie & Ronnie Kray being incarcerated there. We have a guest speaker Dave Courtney who arranged the Krays funeral and knew them well.