|Sean by the imposing front of Thorpe Lodge|
Invited by the council through our friends John and Josie Lewin, the Broadlands complex is situated within a former country estate dominated by a beautiful early Regency period house called, Thorpe Lodge.
With our host, John Frary, (the council facilities officer) and a number of keen and inquisitive council staff members, we carried out a preliminary paranormal investigation of the old house, and even visited a 1970`s nuclear bomb shelter to the rear of the property.
The shelter predictably did not yield any results, but the main building was a hive of activity.
Before I report the results of this brief investigation, here are the findings of an informal report of activity inside the main house published in 2000.
One night a staff member who was about to turn off the lights in an office to go home heard voices coming from within and assumed it was a colleague on the telephone.
When he looked into the office to apologise, the room was empty!
Another staff member was in the kitchen area when she saw a fork lift up from a dishwasher, which then performed a somersault in mid air before falling onto the floor.
On another occasion a cleaner was hoovering inside the member`s room of the council and briefly saw someone sat in a chair. When she stopped to enquire, the figure quickly disappeared.
And if that wasn`t enough, there are other reports of a figure standing up the top of the imposing staircase, and another worker felt a cold hand on his shoulder.
Even electrician`s once employed to work through the house overnight weren`t spared from the ghostly activity there, as an electrician refused to work alone after seeing a ghostly figure walking between offices.
On the night of my arrival a staff member reported previously hearing a baby crying and the sound of a child running along with tins tied to string banging on the floor.
Well before the council took over the house there were historical reports of a girl who haunted the property.
So all in all, a very active location, but one that has spared other staff members from ever experiencing anything there during the day.
The brief investigation
On the night of our visit we initially linked up with John Lewin, John Frary and staff member, Tony where we visited a number of rooms - which all indicated some activity.
The most notable on the ground floor was a conference room where I sensed a great deal of energy near to the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
I later took photo`s of that area which confirmed this.
In addition, Sean and John Frary smelt `sweet briar` like tobacco smoke in that room, although of course, this is a `non smoking` building, and the source must have been a previous occupant in spirit.
Pictures from the conference room.
|Click any picture to enlarge|
|As in both pictures the `hotspot` here in the conference room was in the area indicated by me earlier being around the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.|
Other `hot spots` were undoubtedly the top flight of the staircase, and two upstairs offices which generated a very negative atmosphere. One in particular impressioned upon me the feeling of despair from an unrequited love - and that of a young girl who residually I felt stood looking through a bedroom window towards the main driveway.
In an adjunct room which originally had a doorway leading up to (now demolished) staff quarters, I felt a very malevolent presence of what struck me to be a footman.
The doorway in question still exists but as a storage cupboard, and the weirdest event we witnessed here was that the door felt like a gentle cold breeze was blowing off or `radiating` from the woodwork.
There was no reason for this as the office was entirely centrally heated.
|John Frary with a dark shadow appearing on the blinds. The old door to the staff quarters is to his right.|
|A lot of activity in this room|
|While we sat in the office above, outside the door was this room where we heard light footsteps walking past us.|
I also reported in this locality I suspected many strange events may have been experienced by staff of items being moved or reported missing, and a tension sometimes in the atmosphere which indicated an air of argumentativeness, and indeed these events were confirmed. In a vigil of a neighbouring office, we actually heard light footsteps walking past a room we were sat in.
But having such a short period to be on the premises, we all felt that the staircase to be the most likely source of any activity whilst we were there. Indeed when I first arrived, the staircase - and particularly at the top of the first flight - I felt very strongly the presence of a matriarchal figure, clothed in a billowy dress, and standing very proud. I dated her to around the mid-19th century.
|This very bright orb actually marks the spot I `saw` the 19th century lady|
|Sean appears to have attracted an attention!|
|Up and down the staircase the activity continued|
|John Lewin with orb, and Dawn Clifford|
|Josie Lewin with orbs|
We also clearly heard people talking, and movement around the building such as doors being closed.
Everyone in the locked off building were accounted for and on the staircase.
We are hopeful that we may be allowed back on the premises sometime in the new year period to conduct a full and complete night investigation. In the meantime a video will be made for viewing from the visit and investigation.
To see all the captures from the visit to Thorpe Lodge please click this link: THORPE LODGE PICTURES
My personal thanks to all involved, and it was a great opportunity to be allowed inside by Broadlands District Council.
STOP PRESS!! Ghost caught on staircase - click here
|Left to Right: Josie and John Lewin, John Frary, Chris Halton and Dawn Clifford.|