I arrived late at night one Saturday on a dry and still October night to a rural property which was located some miles west of Preston, and found it to be a large extended 5 bedroom `U` shaped bungalow with extensive grounds and car park with nearby garaging facilities.
On arrival I was met by some group members and was invited to tour the building and grounds to report if I as a medium had detected any presences.
I spoke to the owner (another medium) who informed me that the site upon which this property was built dated back many hundreds of years and possibly had its earliest roots in the 14th century. Other than that, little was known of its history or past purpose.
There was little physical evidence of it's antiquity - other than a few carved stone remnants incorporated into an ancient dry stone wall, and a slightly undulating impression of a former road that had indented itself into the shrubbed and grassed grounds at the rear.
The front of the property virtually sided onto the roads edge, but here again were more worked ancient stone fragments used to build a small but elongated rockery.
No sooner had I entered the house I could feel a tremendous energy or presence which seemed to permeate throughout the property. This tense and tingling atmosphere was so strong that the house felt threatening and quite intimidating.
Before joining in with the investigation I decided to examine the fabric of the house to determine age and history. The front section (which bore two wings at either end) was certainly built around 1910 to 1920, and had been restructured internally with wooden beams to give an illusion of antiquity, whilst the remainder were in fact very recent additions with en-suite bathrooms and toilets.
I soon became aware of a number of spiritual energies, and the most pleasant was a lady in Edwardian clothing who seemed to grace the lounge in the front section with her presence, and in the case of some member's experiences, the sweet smell of perfume.
The rest of the house felt quite `cold` and unfriendly, and there was a foreboding male energy who felt angry at our intrusion into this property.
Little did I know that before the night was out, this entity was intending to make itself known to us all - and in quite a spectacular way!
After joining the group and guests for a pre-investigative discussion, I elected to place
a camcorder on a tripod within the corridor of the east wing extension.
I thought this was a good place to start as that energy felt stronger in this area, despite the fact the wing was less than two years old at the time!
The point I chose led to a bedroom and small outside access door, and set the camera to record any activity from both locations.
As I was about to call by radio the group leader that this task had been done I was amazed to see an absolutely jet black `shadow` of a man wearing what appeared to be a tricorn hat and flowing cape. Unlike most shadows, the edges were razor sharp and clearly delineated this man's figure which was over 6` tall.
Once seen the figure moved swiftly across the wall and disappeared into the bedroom where it promptly vanished.
I must add that when I saw this manifestation I felt tremendous anger at our presence and the feeling that we were intruders into his house, and that he wanted us to leave immediately. More worryingly, I also felt a huge and aggressive ego!
I returned quickly to the other members who were still gathered in the lounge and reported my encounter. The home owner's face dropped from a smile to almost glum dismay as she told me that this presence made living in the house absolute hell, and surprisingly added that at night she stayed with her parent's as she could not get a full night's sleep in the house without him causing all manner of problems.
She did not digress further, but I realised that this presence was perhaps the most formidable I had ever experienced in the years I have spent investigating the paranormal.
For an hour after, the house seemed at peace. However, there was an unusual abundance of orb related photographs
A little while later another member had returned to the corridor where spirit had been originally encountered and took a photograph which appeared to show this entity standing to near where I had a camcorder running.
In the lounge I captured a wispy ectoplasmic image by the fireplace, and the Edwardian lady was still present and firmly in residence. The room had a very happy atmosphere which I felt was due to this lady's spiritual energy.
Strangely, this was the only room where I never felt the ominous caped figure.
The rest of the group had by now split up and were detailed to cover different parts of the house whilst leaving alone in the corridor which retained the camcorder.
I went back there about an hour and a half later to change the video tape and check to see if all was in order.
I was joined by three other members and guests who wanted to explore the remainder of the building.
No sooner had I arrived, the entity returned once more to seemingly reinforce his claim to the property. As I was bent down removing the film I felt someone brusquely push past me. I assumed it may have been an impatient member keen to check out the adjacent bedroom but a quick glance showed that all three were some feet away from me in the corridor.
I obviously realised that this was the presence I experienced earlier and told the others that he was around again. No sooner had I spoke that I felt a soft fabric brush against my right hand as it moved slowly past. I must admit that at this point I was actually feeling more annoyed than frightened and quickly reached out with my right hand and grabbed it. I could feel silk on the reverse, and velvet on the surface and glanced around expecting to actually see this entity in full form. But there was nothing other than an invisible fabric which I now held with both hands.
He then pulled firmly away from me, and I called over to the other members present to look at what I interpreted to be an old fashioned cape. They seemed unimpressed until I leant over backwards to such an angle that my body could not conceivably support this unnatural position and was evidently supported by thin air!
The look of shock on their faces was revealing, but this only lasted a few seconds before the presence realising I wouldn't let go, decided to `dematerialise` the invisible fabric and I fell over backwards onto a nearby wall which broke my fall.
Everybody who witnessed this event could hardly believe that it happened but even so, were quite shocked at this experience. Not least myself!
These bizarre antics were to continue later during the night when around 1am, I was sat outside in the car park with a colleague in my Toyota MPV.
We were sat in the car facing towards the gabled end of the garage wall which was of recent construction and bounded by shrubs at each corner leaving an exposed area of brickwork in the middle of the building from the ground up.
Whilst chatting about the night's events and particularly the incidents in the corridor my colleague excitedly reported seeing a man walking in the clearing between the two shrubs. I looked across but couldn't see anything, but he evidently looked shocked by what he had experienced. He then informed me that he had seen a caped man wearing a `funny` hat - which on description was an 18th century tricorn (three pointed) hat which fitted the description of the shadow in the corridor.
I was starting to think I may have missed something special when a huge and quite visible orb rose up slowly from the ground in the clearing and traveled up to the top end gable. The view was quite clear and well aided by lights from the car park.
This orb, which I thought was a least 2` in diameter, disappeared over the roof and into the darkness. We both sat silent and looked towards each other, and then looked back again towards the roof.
Before either of us could express our shock, a caped man wearing a tricorn hat appeared on top of the garage roof, and raised his arms upwards whilst facing us. His face had a swarthy complexion but the figure although life-like reminded me more of a cartoon character superimposed onto real life footage. This is the only way I can describe this apparition.
He then turned sideways and leapt from the roof with his cape flowing behind him as he fell into the garden.
Again he disappeared for a few seconds, and we both sat in startled disbelief but confirming what we had both seen.
Assuming that this weird experience to be over, I wound down the drivers window to catch some fresh air. As I did so he appeared again some 20` away from us in the rear garden and close to the edge of the brightly lit car park.
From here on we went from the sublime to the patently ridiculous as the figure seemed to bound in great strides around the garden making his appearance more `cartoon like` in movement than the reality of a `real` person.
Whether it was through shock or fear I broke a cardinal rule of paranormal investigation by suddenly breaking into a laugh...
This prompted a rapid response from the figure as it quickly dematerialised and presumably turned into a very strong wind as my large and heavy vehicle was shaken violently from side to side. This lasted three or four seconds in real time but seemed an eternity for us both before it suddenly stopped and the car park returned to peace and tranquillity.
I hasten to add that on this night there was no wind before or after this event.
We both returned to the house and again I reported to the rest of the group. Some returned to the car park but were unable to capture anything remotely spectral.
We were both still reeling in shock, for me at least this was the third occasion I had experienced this entity's company and called for the rest of the group to join us in the lounge.
After an impromptu meeting the group leader decided to hold a séance to see whether we could make direct contact with this presence. It was agreed that we would use the
bedroom close to the corridor camcorder as this area seemed core to the incidents that manifested that night.
I decided to step out of this - as there were at least three other mediums present and stood to the outside of the circle videoing the event. After a few minutes a group investigator within the circle quite suddenly went into a trance.
Without warning he started to shout, “Get out, get out of my house!”
He then told us who he was - details of which are no longer in my memory, and it appeared he owned a property which stood on the site in the latter part of the 18th century.
I had no doubt that it was the entity speaking through this man's lips as everything I had picked up on him earlier matched exactly. He was an aggressive swaggering bully, and quite plainly had an obsessive desire to get us away from the house.
Before we could continue to question him further, the possessed group member suddenly stood up waving his fists in the air and attempted to attack us.
This normally mild mannered man was so violent that he had to be firmly restrained and was forcibly removed from the séance where upon he rapidly returned to normal with no memory of his violently aggressive behaviour.
I must add that from experience I have seen people `over-shadowed` by spiritual presences, and this mostly resulted in them being sick or passing out, but I have never seen anything like this in my life!
We all decided to return back to the lounge for a hot drink to discuss this alarming experience. I remained in the corridor alone for a few minutes to see whether this entity would return but by now it had become very quiet.
I then rejoined the others and was informed the coffee was in the kitchen if I wanted a drink.
I went to this kitchen which from memory stood behind the lounge in the middle section of the house and recollect that the kitchen sink faced a large bay window into the rear garden, with the kitchen door situated immediately to the left of this window.
As I was washing up a cup I glanced casually towards the window and saw in clear plain view a man wearing a dark heavy coat and a clerical collar. He also wore an old fashioned hat on his head which was similar to what some Catholic priests still wear today.
He was aged around 50, had powdery grey eyes and a seemingly pleasant disposition.
He smiled gently at me and raised his right hand before dipping his hat respectfully and walking towards the rear kitchen door. Searching for a logical explanation I assumed he was a neighbour possibly disturbed by the noise from the séance.
I went to open the door expecting an explanation for his appearance but there was nobody to be seen. I even searched the car park and grounds but to no avail.
I called to the house owner and asked about the priest. She informed me that this was another spiritual presence that sometimes appeared at this window in the early hours of a Sunday morning as if to call people to prayer. She had seen him herself once when she first moved in, and that my description matched him perfectly.
Apparently there is a catholic church in the nearby village, and this priest was a well documented phenomena. So profound was this experience that I had difficulty accepting that this was really an apparition, but his quick disappearance washed away any doubts I may have harboured.
For a paranormal investigator I found the whole event the most profound paranormal experience of my life. If it were ever possible to return one more time I would leave to go there immediately. But I can never understand to this day why the owner refuses to move on the darker entity that lurks there. Maybe she was intimidated by his bullish and aggressive manner, and perhaps fearful of what may happen if she removed him from `his` beloved property. Who knows?
Chris Halton © 2008
All rights reserved.