Southern Paranormal - Investigations
Bournemouth Pavilion Investigation
Friday 7th January 2011
Attending Investigators - Julie Harwood, Maria Street, Jackie Gilmartin, Gary Catlin, Rob Butler, Maureen Taylor, Brian Witt, Amanda Horley, Mark Pettet, Sarah Pettet, Robin Turton, Mark Wright, David Baxter, Abbie Holding, Amy Coxhead and Emma Filce.
Guest Investigator - Mary Smith
Host & attending staff - Paul Spurling, Karyn Hall & Andrew Dyett
The Pavilion Theatre and Ballroom is Bournemouth's traditional venue for year round entertainment. Built in the 1920s, it retains its splendour and elegant styling and is Bournemouth's regular home for West End stage shows, Opera, Ballet, Pantomime and Comedy as well as for corporate presentations and dinner dances, product launches and small conferences.
Owned and managed by Bournemouth Borough Council, the Pavilion operates alongside its sister venue, The Bournemouth International Centre, to provide the event organiser and leisure visitor with some of the best facilities on England's south coast.
Advocated as early as 1859, proposals for a Pavilion building incorporating a concert room, reading rooms and cafes were first authorised by the municipal authorities in 1892. The architectural competition was won by a young and unknown firm of architects called Home and Knight. On 19 March 1929, the building was opened by HRH the Duke of Gloucester. It had cost £250,000.
Initially the Pavilion's main auditorium was not called a theatre, but a Concert Hall, and within a few years it became apparent that its shortcomings in presenting staged productions were insuperable. As a result, in 1933 the stage was enlarged, both in depth and height, and it was reopened as a theatre in July 1934. Numerous further alterations have been undertaken since, including the addition of two storeys to either side of the main entrance in the early 1950's, and the replacement of the large fountain in the forecourt by a smaller one in 1968. In 1998 the building was listed Grade II and its future has therefore been protected.
Information taken from Wikipedia
History of the Land & Buildings on the Site
The building of the Westover Villas was started in 1836 by an architect called Ferrey and then the first two hotels opened in 1838. One was the Bath Hotel, which went on to become the Royal Bath, although the original building was much smaller and less grand than today's five-star facility. The other was the Belle Vue Boarding House, which stood where the Pavilion is now and later became the Belle Vue and Pier Hotel.
The following passage is taken from A Visitors Guide to Bournemouth and its Neighbourhood by Thomas Aitkin in 1842.
For the appropriate accommodation of the numerous visitors who may prefer the retired and quiet mode of life available in such establishments the ‘Belle Vue Boarding House' situated close to the beach has been fitted up with every regard to elegance and comfort, to which the attentions of Mrs Slidle, the conductress, are very conductive. In addition to the ordinary advantages of such institution, accommodations are provided for the more casual visitors, and parties preferring that delightful mode of recreation designated by the term ‘picnic' may here be provided with every requisite. This establishment has recently been enlarged and the extensive gardens and pleasure grounds laid out in a tasteful and attractive style.
Amongst the essentials of a watering place, a Library and News Room, affording the mental recreation, the enjoyment of which, is indispensable to true comfort, ranks highly, and such an institution has accordingly been founded. Being most delightfully situated in immediate proximity to the beach, which it fronts, and commanding a beautiful marine prospect, forms a choice promenade for the lounger, whilst a plentiful supply of books, magazines and newspapers proffers information as to the course of the busy world, and presents sources intellectual amusement and intelligence.
There were very few Catholics in Bournemouth at this time in fact there was only one and a Mass was held in a private room in the Belle Vue Hotel.
This part below is taken from the History of Catholics in Bournemouth
The reason for the Mass lay in the decision of Mrs. Washington Hibbert, of Dover Street, London, to winter there. She stayed at the Belle Vue Hotel (now swallowed up by the Pavilion) and opened a private oratory in its assembly rooms. That in those days was an achievement of quality.
The priest who offered the Mass is believed to have been a young Jesuit, Fr. Thomas Mochler, then serving at Lymington, 15 miles away, who died a few weeks later from T.B. The news of that first Mass quickly travelled the countryside, bringing forth a handful of Catholics.
By the time Mrs. Hibbert left, she had set a tradition. For the next two winters, her example was followed by Lady Catherine Petre, who, conceivably for the purpose, also stayed in the Belle Vue.
By then the Catholic population had undergone a metamorphosis, but remained numerically at one.
People/Names connected to the building
Mrs Washington Hibbert
Father Thomas Mochler
Lady Catherine Petre
Ivan Slaney, musical composer and conductor at the Pavilion
Ernst Slaney father of the above and also
Dolores Ventura who was a pianist and married Ivan.
Organists at the Pavilion
1929 - 1932 Philip Dore
1932 - 1932 Herbert Maxwell
1932 - 1946 Percy Whitlock
1946 - 1962 Harold Coombs
1962 - 1978 Reginald Hamilton-White
The following is a list of some of the past entertainers who performed here and have all past over to that great stage in the sky who may still return to put in an unseen performance!!
James Mason, Marlene Dietrich, Dirk Bogarde, Gracie Fields, Stan Holloway, Roy Castle, Morecambe and Wise, Alma Cogan, Dusty Springfield, Edmund Hockridge, Jack Warner, Peter Sellers, Paul Robeson to name but a few.
A Ghost associated with the Bournemouth Pavilion is an actress called Emily who is said to have died on stage in the 1930's. Footsteps have been heard and a sighting of a women in a bonnet who some think is Emily.
Other activities reported - a member of staff claimed to have been chased up the corridor, another reported seeing things being thrown about the stage and footsteps across an empty stage.
East & West Staircase (off of foyer)
Dressing Room & surrounding corridors
Back of Stage
Ballroom & access Corridor
7.30pm Set up team to arrive at location.
9.00pm All other investigators to arrive at location.
9.10pm Newest Members, guest & Staff to meet with team trainers Sarah & Rob to discuss how the investigation will go.
9.50pm Team Photo in Lobby
10.00pm Prepare to start vigils
10.15pm Vigil 1
Team 1 - Area 1
Team 2 - Area 2
Team 3 - Area 3
Team 4 - Area 4
11.30pm Vigil 2
Team 1 - Area 2
Team 2 - Area 3
Team 3 - Area 4
Team 4 - Area 1
12.45am Vigil 3
Team 1 - Area 3
Team 2 - Area 4
Team 3 - Area 1
Team 4 - Area 2
1.45am long break
2.15am Vigil 4
Team 1 - Area 4
Team 2 - Area 1
Team 3 - Area 2
Team 4 - Area 3
3.30am Vigil 5 - Teams return to area of their choice
4.30am Finish, Pack up
Team 3 - Sarah, Jackie, Brian, Amy, Paul.
It was a year to the day that we last investigated here, and I was thoroughly looking forward to it.
Vigil one- Backstage, stairs and dressing rooms.
We started in the backstage area - the curtain was up so we could see into the auditorium as well. The average temperature was 11.5 degrees and there were no significant EMF readings. Jackie picked up on the name Andy, and was interested to know if the backstage workers were constantly bickering.
Brian began feeling cold on one arm but there was no drop in temperature around him. We could hear the sounds of bangs, and doors opening which we could not (at the time) account for (later we decided it could have been the wind picking up outside). We took pictures and called out - I got a couple of light anomalies in my pictures. On one of the call outs we asked if there was anyone there and to touch one of us and Amy distinctly felt someone touch her back.
I was drawn to front of stage on more than one occasion. At one point I felt someone move between Brian and myself (though Brian did not feel it), and Jackie thought she saw someone moving in the lighting rig up in the dress circle to the right of the stage. However, on further call outs we were getting no reactions.
We moved down to dressing room 10, average temperature was 12 degrees and the only EMF reading was on the DVR.
Jackie felt that she was being shown something had changed in the room - there were new worktops in this room. Jackie realised that this is Daphne's room and she encouraged her to come forward, asking her to make her presence known by changing the K2 meter lights. Daphne seemed more drawn to Brian however, and Jackie said she had the impression that Daphne would have looked after him.
Whilst in this room we heard noises in the corridor on two separate occasions. There were no other teams down here just us. The first time I looked out of the door but could see no one or anything moving. The second time Amy and I went out in to the corridor to investigate, but nothing further happened.
I was not really picking anything up in the room (which was a shame as when we were setting the cameras up in this room earlier in the night a chair had moved slightly when we were nowhere near it). Nothing appeared on any of the photos I took, either in the dressing room or the corridor outside of it, unfortunately.
Vigil 2 - The Ballroom
The last time we investigated here the ballroom was undergoing refurbishment, so it was very exciting to be able to investigate in here this time. Because there were new furnishings in here we were picking up a lot of dust on the cameras and a lot of lights from outside.
It was cold in here - so much so you could see your own breathe. The temperature was 7 degrees on average. We did close as many of the curtains as possible to cut down on outside lights, headlights from cars and in the hope of warming the room up a bit. As I was shutting one set of course I heard someone say ‘I used to do that’.
NB this would not be surprising as after looking at floor plans of the original buildings that stood here this area would have been the front windows of the boarding house and the small villa to the side of it.
We took photos and whilst I got a few light anomalies this is more likely to be down to dust (although my new camera really picks up dust). On the far side of the ballroom I could hear some voices but it was the team below us who had just come out of the Lucullus room, they went back into the room and I could no longer hear them. Walking toward the stage Brian and I heard a female voice. We sat and called out but got no response. Jackie wondered if we would get responses if we used the room for what it was intended so we danced a quick waltz on the dance floor but got no response.
We did some more calling out and heard some faint taps. Jackie had the impression that certain aspects of the room may be used as serving walkways and Jackie Amy and I walked round the way she indicated. As we did this Brian, who was sat on the stage, felt as if someone was leaning into his back. Again a few of us heard small noise or voices, but nothing distinctive. We did have the digital recorder running in here but part way through the battery died and the recorder switched itself off. This vigil was the first time the digital recorder had been used!
Vigil 3 - Auditorium
Average temperature 13 degrees, no EMF readings.
We decided to start in the dress circle. We settled, took photos and started calling out. The wind had picked up significantly outside at this point and there was a lot of noise coming from outside of the building. We kept hearing what sounded like doors slamming backstage and indeed the team in the dressing rooms could also hear this, however, it was hard to distinguish whether this was paranormal or just the outside weather conditions.
Jackie had sat on her own to one side of the dress circle and after a short while ran back over to where we had sat in the middle, she had heard a breath in her ear felt as if someone was pushing on the back of the seat she was sat on and then the seat next to her had pushed down. Amy and Brian decided to sit over in this area, but they did not feel anything. We heard a few noises over the other side of the dress circle and Brian went over to investigate. I thought I saw a shadow move across the corridor just above the circle but there was no one there (nor any window for a shadow to be cast from outside) I took a photo and on the picture there are some light anomalies. We ran out of time to investigate further in the auditorium sadly.
Vigil 5 - Maintenance corridors, cellars, boiler room, old kitchen, bakery etc.
We started off in the old kitchen which had changed quite a bit since we had last been there. Jackie began calling out for John in this area asking for him to make himself known. We decided to move on out to the maintenance corridor, Jackie called out here but we got no response. We decided to see if we could pick up any EMF readings round the area we previously had when we investigated last year. Interestingly Jackie could get no readings on her EMF but Brian and Amy were. We are still unable to explain this. Brian and Amy could also smell burning around the back of the barrel lift by a small door in the wall, this connected to the old bakery, so we went back into the kitchen to check this out. Jackie called out to John again as we went through and when she mentioned my name I felt something moving on my head - I made one of the team check my head to make sure that this was not an insect or spider or something, which it was not. This sensation continued until we left this area! We went in to the bakery and into the small room by the big cold room and Brian and Amy could smell the burning on this side of the door as well. We called out but got no response. We decided to move on and went back through the maintenance corridor into the boiler room.
There was a room open in the boiler room which had not been there before, and the guys went in to investigate. Again we called out in here but no responses. We went on and down to the old prop making room. I set the recorder up on a table here and left it running whilst we investigated. About a minute in on the recorder an audible sigh can be heard and again nearly 2 minutes in - it does not sound like anyone in the team and I will ask one of the tech team to analyse this further.
Paul took us to see the crawl spaces (Brian and I decided to wait this one out - well Brian was being a gentleman and waiting with me as I didn't want to go down the ladder), Amy and Jackie went and had a look with Paul and couldn't believe the size of the crawl spaces. Paul then took us to see the air venting tunnels that run underneath the building, this was all very fascinating and you definitely felt that you were in the bowels of the building. This was really good as these were parts of the building that was new to all of us - a big thank you to Paul for showing these to us.
We moved on to the cellars, we looked round, took pictures and called out but we did not feel anything - apart from the corridor where Jackie felt uncomfortable walking down and I had to walk with her down it, and be the first to walk back up it.
We ran out of time in this area and had to return to the kit room.
Free Vigil - we decided to stick together as a team and go into the auditorium. We settled down around the auditorium and called out. Interestingly by the end of the vigil we all ended up sat in the same area. I think I was feeling tired as I was not picking up on anything in here. Amy and Jackie had gone back up on stage and were picking some stuff up. But Brian and Paul and I were not. We could still hear the wind outside of the building.
Summary - The Pavilion is still an interesting building and one I do not think I will tire of investigating. On our first investigation we felt we had only scratched the surface, and that would appear to be the case still. I was disappointed that we did not pick up so much on things that had happened to us last time - picking up where we left off so to speak - but at the same time excited that different things happened instead. I hope we can investigate again.....maybe next year? A big thank you to everyone who made this investigation possible this year and to the theatre staff who made us feel so welcome.
Team 2 with Maria, Maureen, David, guest Mary and staff member Karyn.
We began the night investigation in the cellar, AV temperature 12.6°C, ambient AV temperature 14.2°C. We noticed a lot of colder spots ands determined this was due to the open lift shaft. It produced quite a breeze and a temperature of 11.1°C. We carried out a calling out session; nothing was heard at this time. We then moved up to the old bakery, this area was a lot warmer 14.1°C and 16.5°C ambient. We carried out a calling out session. Maria's EMF detector started to go off in a certain part of the room. We could not see any visible reason for the activation. Unfortunately we couldn't corroborate the reading with another EMF meter. As I passed behind Karyn and in front of the old mixing machine I had a large temperature spike of 22°C. We could find no reason or replicate the reading. We then moved onto the Lucullus room. This room felt cold with 11.3°C and 13.2 ambient. The room was quiet with no discernable activity. Just felt like a relaxed, comfortable room but a little cold.
We started on the stage, temperature 13.2°C and 13.6°C. A session of calling out was carried out. Maria asked for names and as expected the name 'Emily' turned up. Whilst standing on the stage taking photos both myself and David heard a noise, like a groan. Unfortunately we could not say that the noise was not from outside. We then moved to the dressing rooms, the temperature was 13.5°C. Maria, Karyn and I went into one of the dressing rooms. We carried out a calling out session, nothing was hear or felt.
We investigated the ballroom. The room felt cold, 11.8°C-12.2°C ambient. We spent time soaking up the atmosphere of the room, I noticed a lot of noise from people outside leaving clubs and pubs. Mary believed she had seen a shadow move, she explained it as a black shape that moved away from her quickly. Maria and I heard bottles chink from behind the bar. The bottle fridge did not seem to be powered up but we couldn't confirm this. The group carried out table tipping, glass divination, rods and crystal sessions. No responses were noticed or reported.
We started in the foyer and reception which was a nice warm space with a temperature of 16.3°C. We sat and carried out a calling out session, nothing was felt or heard. Moving to the upper circle, the area felt cold even though the temperature was a constant 15.2°C. We spread out around the area and sat whilst listening and calling out. I heard the floor creak as if someone was waking on 3 occasions within 5 meters from where I sat. At one time I became exceptionally cold even though the temperature remained constant. During the vigil Maureen, David, Mary moved down to the stage area to try a session using musical instruments. Nothing was heard or felt during that session.
Myself, Karyn, David and Mary returned to the cellar. The area felt warmer and more comfortable, nothing was felt or heard. We went back to the old bakery but we couldn’t replicate any of the earlier EMF or temperature anomalies. We moved to the boiler room and a couple of new rooms we hadn't visited before, nothing was felt or detected. We then moved to an area used for storage of beer barrels. It was an area Karyn had always felt uncomfortable to work in. We had some K2 hits but because we couldn't corroborate the results with a different meter, no conclusion could be met. We then moved up to the ballroom to meet with the others and observed the investigation they were carrying out.
Overall a very good night the Pavilion was a fantastic place to investigate. The staff were fantastic and even though I had a quiet investigation with nothing conclusive I wouldn't hesitate to investigate the Pavilion again!
Team 1: Julie Harwood, Mark Wright, Abbie Holding, Rob butler
On first arrival at the pavilion what attracted my attention was the sheer scale of the building and how nicely presented it was.
It was wet and windy evening perfect conditions for investigating this beautiful building.
10:15-11:15 pm vigil 1 : lobby/foyer, east/west staircase main theatre and theatre circle.
As the building was so huge we had a lot of areas to visit on each vigil throughout the night.
We began on the stairs and immediately Abbie and Julie could feel the presence of someone. K2 was slightly spiking on the stairs as we began calling out and Abbie had the sense that someone was staring at them through the lounge bar at the top of the stairs. There were definite temperature fluctuations around the top of the landing and I felt as if someone (small) was tugging my t-shirt at the back. The voice recorder was placed at the top of the stairs on a chair. We then made our way to the main theatre (seemed time was flying past that night).
In the main theatre some of us could hear children's voices and Abbie also had the feeling that someone was tugging at her top from behind. There was a definite change in the atmosphere in here it was slightly darker also.
We began calling out and there were numerous tapping sounds which could have been timbers cooling. We weren't sure to be honest. It was a very good first vigil and at 11:15pm we stopped for refreshments.
11:30-12:30 vigil 2: Lucullus Room
This was a very interesting area for me as again this room felt very very different from the theatre and lobby areas
The temperature in here was only 8.5 degrees and I had lots of feelings of being watched. In this room we had a bit of k2 activation to direct questions that were asked. At one stage we had to leave the room as Abbie felt very nauseous. When we came back in we moved seats to another part of the room and the feeling slightly changed to a calmer one. Even though we were still very much on edge in here it was a very interesting hour that again passed so quickly.
12:45-1:45 vigil 3: dressing rooms/surrounding corridor and back of stage areas.
Again this was a very interesting vigil as we seemed to spend the whole hour in or around the dressing room/corridor area. Mixed success here, room 9 was a very interesting room as again it was very oppressive in here. We began calling out and we could hear movement in the corridor outside the room but on looking there was nothing there.
There was slight k2 activation here to some questions that were asked. We then moved to another dressing room and in this one we could turn the light off so we did and all of a sudden there was aloud bang in the corridor outside the room we ran out to have a look and again there was nothing there. We definitely didn't like the feel of the dressing room area and went out in to the main corridor which even though it was lit was still very oppressive. We started to walk back to the team area when we saw a door open that was not when we first went to dressing room. On asking the other teams they had not visited or opened the door.
A very good vigil with some interesting results.
2:15-3:15 vigil 4: ballroom, access corridor, phoebes bar.
This vigil for me was not very active. At first we were calling out but then had the urge to start laughing and whilst being funny we did hear various taps and got corner of the eye movement. But was it substantial? Can't really say to be honest, although at the end of the vigil, as we began to make our way across the ballroom, it looked like Julie was pushed slightly as she seemed to lose her footing as if she was pushed. She even felt like she was pushed. That was interesting and we definitely began to walk slightly faster up the corridor. We passed phoebes bar on the way back to team room and Mark decided to have a look in. As we waited in the doorway he could hear voices but could not account for there whereabouts and we all began to feel uneasy about the room. We continued back to the team area for break.
3:30-4:30 vigil 5: free vigil (ballroom area)
A large group of us decided to go back to the ballroom area and investigate as a group. We all sat in various areas of the ballroom then began calling out and again had very positive k2 activation when asking direct questions. We then decided to set up another k2 meter and at one stage they were both going off together when asked to, which for me was very interesting as it was suggested that maybe my finger was slipping and that why the K2 was being activated but as video footage reveals, my thumb was white with the pressure that I was applying to the k2 meter. There were again various taps and corner of eye movements but again nothing conclusive.
For me the evening was really really interesting and I would like to thank the manager for letting us come and conduct an investigation at such a lovely place.
It was great to be able to investigate at Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre once again, and I was looking forward to a good night here - and it didn't disappoint.
From the cellars upwards
I was standing with my back to the wall and everyone else was towards my left, so there was nobody to my right further into the cellars. I got a sensation of there being someone standing somewhere to my right, then shortly after felt as if a hand had brushed over the top of my head, then a gentle kick on my right heel. We tried calling out. The sensations I usually get are of cold, but this time I went very hot apart from my lower legs which went icy cold. I got nothing else during our time in the cellars.
The old bakery - I sensed someone behind me, we called out that if it was spirit would it walk past me and towards Maria - the temp spiked to 22 degrees momentarily as Maria and I turned around to see if the KII would pick anything up - it started clicking quite madly over an area from the floor up to Maria's shoulder height.
No response to calling out. My camcorder, which was almost fully charged when I left home, with 354 minutes on the battery, dropped to 69 minutes before we even started using it.
I think it was Maria came up with the name Emily and we tried calling out using the name but got no definite results. We headed for the dressing rooms - half the group into room 10 and the other half into room 7. In room 7 we got out the dowsing rods and appeared to be in contact with a performer from the 1930s. We didn't get a name from him, but he was a fairly regular performer at the Pavilion and was based in Bournemouth. He didn't do panto. I got the feeling that he felt panto was a little beneath him, but he had parts in various musicals.
Attempts at glass divination and table tipping in the ballroom produced no results, but I think it was Maria that came up with the name Charlie.
We started out by sitting up in the circle, but I was picking up on nothing here, so I, with two other members of the group, went down to the front of the stage. I'd had an idea that having some live music might help to create some sort of atmosphere that would encourage any spirits to come and join us, so to that end I took a number of musical instruments with me. We felt that maybe old time music hall type songs would be appropriate so I went through a selection of melodies (not that my playing is very good these days), including things like Roll Out the Barrel, Early One Morning and similar pieces. In between playing I was sure I could feel the presence of - well, what was it? - past audiences, past players - maybe, or were there particular spirits with us - I wasn't able to be sure, but felt that if we'd had longer there something might well have happened.
Our final vigil of the night was a free vigil, meaning that we could go back to any location that we felt particularly drawn to. I went back to the auditorium to start with, but nobody else joined me there, so I abandoned that idea (some of the group apparently went in there just a few minutes after I'd left), and joined some of the group in the ballroom.
Here we once again got the name Charlie. We eventually settled down at one of the tables with two KII meters. On calling out and trying to contact Charlie both meters were responding in the same way to our questioning. The replies we got, if indeed we were talking to spirit and that it wasn't just a coincidence of some sort, told us that we were indeed chatting to Charlie. Another name that came up was James, and after a while Charlie told us that that was his surname. He told us that he was from the early 1940s and was 82 years of age. He used to go to the Pavilion ballroom to watch the dancing, and that his wife sometime accompanied him. At their age they no longer danced themselves but still enjoyed watching it. When we asked if there were other spirits in the ballroom with us he replied that, yes, there were at least eight others. He seemed more than willing to talk and when asked if he got lonely there being mostly by himself he said yes, he does. The members of staff with us said that in future they would say hello to him any time they happened to be working in the ballroom - he seemed to appreciate that. By this time we were running out of questions, and out of time, so we had to say goodbye to our new friend and head back to the team room to pack up and head homewards. Once again an interesting night at the Pavilion, and I hope those members of staff who joined us had as good a night as we did.
Since agreeing a return visit with the management of the Pavilion, I was really looking forward to getting back there. My team had had a fairly quiet night the last time we were there so I was interested to see what this investigation would hold.
The first half of our first vigil was spent in the foyer in particular on the staircases. While Abbie and I were stood on the staircases we felt as if there was someone behind us and we kept turning round at the same time to look behind us. A couple of times we thought we heard heavy breathing and on one of those occasions Rob also confirmed that he thought he had heard it too.
The second half of the vigil was spent in the auditorium but this was fairly quiet for our team. Abbie I believe still felt as if someone was behind us and I did get the feeling that we were being watched however as we were stood down in front of the stage with the seating behind us, I do not imagine this being an unlikely feeling to experience. Whilst calling out we did hear a very pronounced noise on the stage so we ask for it to be repeated closer to us and we did indeed hear it again and it did seem a lot closer however this was not repeated.
Our second vigil was in the Lucullus Room. This is a very odd room. We did not get any results from it during our last visit and indeed this vigil was quite quiet however I feel I have to comment on the atmosphere of the room. I felt it quite odd. It wasn't scary or intimidating in any way, it just has a feeling that I can't quite put my finger on. It did actually make us on edge as we did not really know what to expect. At one point we did leave as we heard noises in the Paddys well outside however this may have been the team directly above us in the ballroom.
Our third vigil was in the dressing rooms and this was an all together different experience. We were all immediately on edge / jumpy and when we looked in the dressing rooms there were a couple that none of us would go in. I have no doubt that we were all winding ourselves up a little. Dressing room 9 was one of the worst and we all felt like a cats on a hot tin roof. We just could not settle. We all heard a door outside open and when Rob checked there was no one there and no one in the near vicinity. We then moved to dressing room 11. This felt a little worse and none of us would actually sit down in here so we all stood by the door. We heard the sound of metal clanging and when we put the torch on the coat hangers hung on the wall above my head were swinging and hitting each other. Now I am not as tall as Abbie, Mark or Rob and my head was no where near them. If it had been one of the other 3 I would have said that they hit them by mistake but there was no way my head would have hit them. What we have to consider though is that a draft could possibly cause them to move and then momentum could have kept them going for a short while. We will never know! We then heard some very loud thumps/bangs from in the corridor. We had a look outside and could not see anything so we radioed the teams closest to us. One team said they had closed a door. We asked them to repeat this action to see if we could hear it. They did and we did not hear a thing. It was the end of the vigil by this time and so we were on our way out. As we were walking to the steps we heard another thump from behind us this time. Again we could find no cause. The last thing we experienced here was a rose / perfume / sweet smell at the top of the staircase. Rob and I noticed it as Abbie & Mark had already left the area. It was a strong smell and we walked backwards and forwards through the area and it was definitely located to just the top of the stairs. We had entered the vigil this way and no one had smelt it then.
Our fourth vigil was in the Ballroom. This is an amazing room! For a couple of moments we just sat soaking up the atmosphere, listening to the waves crashing on Bournemouth beach. Bliss! We did not experience much in this vigil apart from a few taps and clicks coming from the bar areas. The hour passed quite quickly and on our way out we walked across the dance floor towards the bar. I suddenly fell forward as we were walking and can only describe what felt like a hand in the small of my back. It happened so quickly and was so unexpected but I was able to keep myself from falling flat on my face some how! What cause this I will never know!
For our last vigil we decided to return to the Ballroom with Maria's team. A group of the team were having apparent responses on the KII emf meter but I felt absolutely nothing in there this time. It was odd as I thought I would be a little freaked out because of the possible "push" from our last vigil however I felt the complete opposite, completely relaxed.
Again another fantastic night at the Pavilion! Thank you Bob who again enabled our visit and also Martin Judd. We were so sorry you were unable to join us again. Special thanks to Paul, Karyn and Andy who were a pleasure to work with and very open minded. Andy, welcome on board!
I couldn't wait to return to the Pavilion after a fantastic investigation last time, and after what I experienced while I was setting up on my own in the dressing room corridor I was keen to get back down there. Unfortunately this time during setup all was quiet. But it didn't remain that was for long.
Foyer, Kit Room and Main Theatre Stalls & Front Stage
Our first vigil saw us covering the Foyer, kit room and the stairs. The first 2 areas seemed fairly quiet, but whilst we were in the theatre in front of the stage we all heard various noises which where hard to place. At one point we heard something move on the stage and when asking the presence to come closer the noise did seemingly move towards us on the stage. There where a lot of shadows darting around but this could be attributed to my eyes getting used to the dark.
Our third vigil was in the dressing room corridors and the dressing rooms. This is where last time I was investigating at the pavilion I heard footsteps come down the stairs and open the door outside the dressing room I was setting up in. During our time in dressing room 9 I felt very uneasy. This wasn't helped when we heard a door open at the other end of the corridor. Rob and I checked out there was nobody around and this sounded like the same door that opened the last time I was here. We moved into dressing room 11 and not long after we had been in there we heard several loud distinct thumps. We radioed the other teams, one of which had just closed a door so we asked them to do it again just to see if that was what we had heard. They closed it extremely hard several times but we did not hear it.
After a break we moved on to the Ballroom. This room was off limits last time due to a refurbishment. So it was nice to finally see it. The room was massive. It had a large wooden dance floor in the middle and a table and chairs around the outside with a bar at each end. We sat down at a table and relaxed, we tried calling out but with little response, although several times we did hear movement in the bar area close to us. At one point looking back towards the entrance near the bar I commented on how the pump handles looked a bit odd as that looked like "small heads". We didn't think much of it until we finished the vigil and walking past the bar we noticed there where no pump handles, in fact there was nothing that looked like pump handles or small heads! Very bizarre.
On the way out of the ball room we were walking along the dance floor when Julie almost fell forward. She said that she had felt someone push her......we left at a fairly accelerated pace.
On our way back from the ballroom to the kit room we heard from behind us the noise of a door opening. We went back to check it and sure enough a door which was closed when we walked past it no more than 15 seconds before was now ¾ open. We radioed the other team but although they were in the vicinity, no one had opened any doors.
Our final vigil saw us all back in the Ballroom. Personally, on this visit it felt completely different than just 30 minutes before. The atmosphere felt much lighter. Unfortunately on this vigil I didn't experience anything.
Overall this was a very enjoyable investigation, it seemed more active than the last time we went and we experienced some very unusual phenomena. Hopefully we will have a chance to go back again sometime in the future.
This was my second visit to Bournemouth pavilion. The first was exactly one year ago. As I am one of the tech team we had to get there earlier so we could setup our equipment. I set cameras up in the auditorium; one camera looking across the seats the second camera looking down the back corridor behind the dress circle.
Our team consisted of Amanda Gary Emma Andrew (Pavilion guest) and myself.
Our first vigil led us to the ballroom. As we entered here Amanda took the temperature and EMF readings. We placed ourselves in locations around the room. Not long after we sat down Emma said that she could feel the presence of a man in his 40s that was sitting next to her. Also, Amanda had a feeling of someone being close to her as well. After a few minutes we heard a knock in the bar area but did not hear any other noises when we called out, though there were lots of noises coming from the fridges which hindered any chance of hearing any knocking. Andrew caught a shadow in the corner of his eye in the corridor and I went to have a look to see if it was any shadows or reflections. There were a few light anomalies caught on camera but apart from that it was quiet at that time. We then decided to move into Phoebes Bar which had a very creaky floor and a lot of noise from the fridge so listening for anything unusual was hit or miss really. It was quiet for that area as it was too for the corridors either side with just the noise of traffic being heard.
After a short break it was time for our second vigil which was the foyer and auditorium. The foyer was a little quiet apart from Emma picking up an old man who was sitting in the seat that she was in who also had chest pains. We found out that an elderly man had died on the floor just in front of the seat from a heart attack, which was confirmed by Andrew. After a short while here we decided to move into the auditorium. It was very quiet in here, apart from Amanda hearing a seat move in the dress circle. We all decided to go upstairs to investigate but nothing was found out of place.
Our third vigil took us to the bowels of the building. First was the cellar and brewery which were both very quiet so we decided to move up to the next floor to the kitchen area and old bakery. Again it was very quiet in this area but a few outstanding light anomalies were caught by Emma and Amanda on their cameras. Moving along from there we went into the maintenance corridor and Boiler house. Gary bought out his phone which had an application of a ghost radar. Some random words were picked up but also a few words which were relevant to where we were, one of which was `Fuel`. We then moved along to the very end to a big room which was very dusty and had a damp smell. It was amusing to find that odd objects which were placed by myself and Gary last time we were there were in the same positions a year later. Not a lot else was happening here and personally I like this area.
Vigil 4 was the backstage corridor and dressing rooms. In the dressing rooms we decided to split so Amanda and Emma went into one room and Andrew, Gary and I were in another. It was quiet in here apart from Gary's phone application which was bringing up random words again. It did not seem to stop when we were calling out but was more active when we were just generally chatting about shows!!!! After about 15 minutes or so Amanda and Emma decided to join us. A few minutes later there was a knock on the door so Amanda got up and had a look but there was nothing there. In one of the dressing rooms I had earlier set up two trigger objects and I now found that one was out of place. I don't know whether this was a paranormal thing or if it was moved by human hand so if anyone reading this was in dressing room nine where a pamphlet was placed on the side, did they move it? We tried to replicate if it had moved by wind by blowing and opening the door but this was not the case.
Vigil 5 was the chance to go where we wanted, so Gary and I decided to go down to the maintenance corridor. We were down there for a short while before heading back to the ballroom where other members were having good results with the K2 meter.
I was praying for decent weather for this investigation, as I had to miss last year's visit due to dangerously icy roads. I have never been gladder to see a forecast for stormy winds and lashing rain! Amanda very kindly drove and we arrived in good time. After setting up we started our vigils. I was in a team with Maureen, David, Robin and guests Mary and Karyn. Our first vigil was in the cellar. We spread out and tried calling out but to no avail. We moved on to the old bakery. We picked up on a strange EMF reading in the centre of the room. Strangely it did not peak near any wires or cables but literally a small area in the centre. We still don't know what could have caused it. We tried calling out but could get no response. Our next area was in the lucullus room. This again proved to be very quiet and no amount of calling out could evoke a response.
We had a quick break and carried on, this time on the stage. This once again, proved very quiet for me and there were no fluctuations on the temperature gauge or on the EMF meter. We moved on to the dressing rooms. Robin, Karyn and I went into the dressing room with all the camera equipment set up and Mary, David and Maureen went into the one next door. A few light anomalies showed on the DVR but nothing concrete and the area remained quiet.
Another break followed and then we set off for our next vigil which was in the ballroom. We tried calling out but could get no response. Mary, David and Maureen were by the stage area and we were across the room from them. They seemed to be getting a little excited about something so we decided to join them. Halfway across the dance floor we heard a noise from the bar, which sounded very much like bottles chinking together. We retraced our steps to make sure we did not cause a vibration but this time the bar remained quiet. We noticed a large cooler and wondered if maybe it had kicked in, causing the bottles to knock together but closer inspection showed us the cooler was, in fact, turned off. We have no idea what could have caused this noise. We made our way over to the stage where the presence of a man had been picked up. As soon as I reached the stage area I got the name of Charlie in my head so I called out for him, but could get no response. We then decided to try a glass divination but all to no avail. It was time to return for another break so we had to leave the ballroom.
Our next vigil was in the foyer. This was very quiet for me as was the auditorium and the circle which is where we went to next.
For our last vigil we returned to wherever we thought we had had the most activity. For me this was the ballroom. I was joined by Julie, Abbie, Mark P and Gary. Things were quiet for a while and we were joined by Rob, Sarah and Karyn. After a quiet discussion, I discovered that Julie had also got the name of Charlie in here. As we said his name, the lights on Rob's K11 meter lit up. After a quick question and answer session, it seemed that Charlie was aged 82 in the 1940's and he used to come to the Pavilion to watch the tea dances. He was also alleged to be a local man whose great (great great)? Granddaughter now worked at the Pavilion as a technician. Because Rob's K11 works via human intervention, i.e. he had to hold his thumb on it, we put Robin's alongside it (His model works with a switch) and we were amazed to see them light up in unison. This was a good end to a good night. It doesn't matter that it was quiet for us; it's the fact we were trusted to be there in the first place, especially in such a lovely building as this. Thank you very much to all concerned for making it happen.
After arriving at the location, we had to change the teams due to members being unwell so they could not make it to this investigation. In my team was myself, Mark P, Emma, Andrew and Amanda was the team's leader.
We started our investigation in the ballroom located at the back of the building. The group spread out so that each of us were dotted around the room. Emma felt as if she had someone sat next to her. She felt as if this person was from war time that used to enjoy dancing at the pavilion. Amanda felt someone was standing by one of the columns just before that dance floor. She felt this person was a man who was dressed in uniform, again around war time when the hall was used as a recreation area for civilian and military personnel. Amanda moved to where I was sitting on the stage and we both heard a "click" noise that seemed to come from above us. There are lights in the area where we were, but they had not been on for the whole day so we could not explain where the noise would have come from, however it could have been just settling noises since we had moved in to the area. There seem to be noises from the bar area located to the right of the stage. Part of the team moved to this area to see if that could get a response. Andrew could see what he thought was a person in-between the two sets of doors, only for a very short while, then it had gone. This could have been trick of the eye; also it is worth noting that shadows and lights from cars etc. could have made it look like a person standing there. After a while the group moved around the area through the kitchen to the Phoebe bar. This area is under renovation so there was a lot of build material and it was very difficult to hear and see if we were getting any response, There was a broken broom which was leaning against a wall in the bar area, and Emma said that on the way up to the location she had mentioned seeing this. We moved to the corridor that leads back into the main ballroom; however we did not get any more responses.
After a short break we moved to our second location which was the lobby/foyer area and the main theatre stalls. We spent some time in the lobby area where we were using the sound enhancer (this device amplifies sound through a microphone so you can hear any small noise louder through headphones). Nothing happen in this area right up until we were just about to move into the main theatre. Amanda felt someone sitting in one of the foyer chairs. Amanda said that she felt he was an older man, who suffered a possible heart attack in that area. Emma also felt this person. On the sound enhancer, I could her a rustling noise, which at first I did think it was someone's coat or shoes, however Amanda who was at least 20ft away from me, also heard the noise. Just as we started talking about it, the noise stopped. We tried to encourage this again however we were unsuccessful. The group decided to move into the main theatre stalls. We spread out so that we were in different places. There were noises coming from the stage area however we could not work out if this was outside wind or other groups moving around. We moved up into the gallery seating area to see if we could get a better feel for the place. Emma did feel as if there was someone in row E seat 21, but again we were unable to get a response to confirm this.
Our next area was the Main stage and dressing rooms. On our way to the locations we noticed that one of the fire doors that lead from the main theatre to the corridor adjacent to it was open. We know that no member of the group had been in the since us, and to be able to open that door you would have to be inside coming out. None of us could explain this. Once on stage, we took it in turns calling out. Emma felt an older man sat in the stalls watching us on stage. We tried singing as well to see if that could get a response, however since the wind and sea outside had got up, it made it difficult to hear if there were any noises coming from the stalls area. We moved to the dressing room area. A trigger object was placed in dressing room 9 and when we looked we could see that it had moved nearly 2ft across the table. We know that other groups had been in the room before us and during the break we asked if anyone else had noticed it had move, to which they replied no. We decided to split into two groups, boys and girls. The girls went in room 7 and the boys in room 8. I had taken my phone with us, and had used an application which is called Ghost Radar. (Sounds odd, but we as a group like to try different hardware/software as you just don't know what results, if any, you would get.) The point of this application is it hears a range of frequencies that it can interpret into words. Nothing much had happen while we were in the room, until Mark told a simple joke and the application started to produce words, such as, "Joke", "More", "Nervous", "Explain". Each time a joke was told we seem to get a response. Amanda and Emma joined us from the room next door and we continued to see if this would provoke a response from the application. However our time had come to an end and we headed back.
Our next area was the kitchen, basement and workshop area. Again I had taken my phone with the application running to see what it could pick up in these areas. In the kitchen area Andrew said that he did not like this area as it is very open and under major building works. Emma and Amanda started taken photos of the kitchen in the area where there were three store rooms and some old cookers. Both of them caught light anomalies on their cameras and it would be interesting to find out what they look like when enlarged. We moved towards the boiler room area. Once we had entered it you could smell that this area had been used for oil storage at some point. The application on my phone started to produce words like "Fuel", "Power", and "Heat". Amanda was interested as it seemed to correspond to the area we were in. As we moved through the boiler room into the basement both I and Mark felt as if it was a very calm area. You felt like you were being watched but not in a nasty evil way, more of a caring sort of way. Just before the sub-basement level we pasted the old extraction pumps, the application again came up with words like "Sea", "Air" both of which were used to cool the theatre. The air pumps are still in use, however the pumps used to pump the sea water in to help cool down the theatre had long since gone. But where the application came up with that word was right next to where they would have been housed. We moved in to the sub-basement area. This again did not feel a bad area; you got a feeling of people working on sets, building things. The app came up with a name "Jeff". We explored this area but did not have much else to report. The app kept producing works such as "Works", "wait" and "Loading" At this stage Amanda started to write down these words for a record.
The final part was a free for all. We could pick an area we wanted to go back to. Mark and I wanted to head back to the boiler room area again to see if we could find out more. Once we had got there we explored further into the area. We did not pick up much until we were by the work bench. The application which I had left running started to produce "information", "project". It seemed odd since on the desk in front of us was a leaflet with the word Information on it. Also on the desk there was a folder marked projects. We moved up to the ballroom area, where most of the group had headed. Once we had got there, Maria had been calling out. Maria seemed to be getting answers to questions in the form of lights coming on mean Yes. No lights coming on meaning No. other members were taking notes on what questions were being ask, and since I came into it late I do not had a record. I did however have the application still running. This was very interesting and when we put two EMF meters next to each other and asked if he could have both lights on both meters flash they did. We asked if the man was the only one with us, to which no lights came on which was a No answer. When I asked if there was another person called "Jeff" the lights flashed meaning Yes. This was one of the strangest moments during the night, as it seemed that when we asked nothing, no lights came on. But as soon as we asked, the lights flashed.
Overall I enjoyed this location and enjoyed visiting it again. I would like to thank Julie for the opportunity and all the members who worked really well on the night. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the staff/Owner of the pavilion for letting us in again for the night. I would also like to pass on my appreciation to all the members of SPUK who came to this investigation and supported the night; I hope to work with them even more in the not too distant future.
Stage area: EMF clear
We started at the back of the stage. It felt very uneasy. I had a cold feeling up my right arm constantly no matter which way I was facing. My left arm felt normal. I did hear one of the doors at the rear of the seated area. It sounded as if it had just closed.
Dressing room: EMF clear
We tried to communicate using the light anomalies as a response but it was impossible to rule out the dust. I had a possible conversation with a spirit through Jackie, but nothing that really grabbed me.
Ballroom: EMF clear
The ballroom was very cold. New carpets and dance floor made it very dusty. Most of the noises we heard could be put down to outside disturbance. While I was sat on the stage I felt a noise like a step behind me and a sort of tug on my shirt. Nothing else happened.
Upper Circle: EMF clear
I saw a couple of possible shadows in the lower seat area but nothing conclusive. The only other activity was a noise from behind were I was sat which sounded like a seat being sat in (the squeak they make) or a door hinge.
Lower depths: EMF clear
The only activity I witnessed was some unusual K2 readings. Some could maybe be down to electrical equipment but nothing was obvious. Others happened in the middle of a room or when walking through doorways. I could find no reason for these at all.
Lower theatre: EMF clear
I sat about half way down the rows in the middle of the theatre. We heard some noises by the door at the front left of the theatre so we moved there. No further noises were heard.
I was unable to make this investigation last year because of the weather so was delighted that we had a second chance to visit this wonderful location. From the outside it is quite deceptive how build the building actually is, and how much additional space there is behind and below the stage.
I was in a team with Gary, Mark P, Emma and a member of the Pavilion staff, Andrew. Our first vigil was in the Ballroom, Phoebe's Bar and the surrounding corridors. We settled into the Ballroom and very early on Emma got the impression that there was an older man sitting next to her. I felt that there would have been dances there during the Second World War and Emma sensed the year 1942. I could see many soldiers and girls dancing to a band playing Glen Miller music. Moonlight Serenade particularly kept going through my mind. The dance floor was hazy with cigarette smoke and I got an impression of a soldier leaning against a pillar close to me who had his hat folded under his epaulet and was smoking a roll-up cigarette. He was watching the women, and it felt like he was choosing the one he wanted. Emma used the word "predatory" and that described him perfectly. I moved to the stage near to where Gary was sitting and there was a loud click from the lights above the front of the stage. As far as we were aware these hadn't been on earlier in the evening, so it shouldn't have been caused by cooling down. There were also a few clicks from the bar area, but we couldn't be sure that they weren't caused by the fixtures and fittings there. Andrew thought he saw a shadow in the corridor, and we tried to see if it could have been caused by outside traffic, but it didn't seem to happen again.
Phoebe's bar seemed quiet and I didn't pick anything up in there. We went back into the Ballroom and again Andrew saw a shadow in the corridor. As there were windows along there, we couldn't rule out an outside influence, but it didn't seem to tie in with vehicles going past.
Our second vigil was in the Foyer and Auditorium. We settled into the Foyer which was well lit, and I was uncomfortable with where Emma was sitting, and the way she was sat. I couldn't work out why until she changed position and I felt that an older man would have sat there with his hands on the arms of the chair just as Emma had been before shifting position. He was in his 70s or 80s and was relatively short (his feet didn't touch the floor). He loved the theatre and was a regular visitor. Emma also picked up on him and felt that he had died there. We heard a strange crackling noise, and Gary also picked this up on the Sound Enhancer. To me it felt like it was coming immediately in front of where Emma was sat, and as I stood up to point this out, the noise stopped. Andrew confirmed that an old man had died immediately in front of where Emma was sitting, from a heart attack.
We moved into the Auditorium and I sat immediately below the balcony edge on the right. I felt that someone would look over the balcony and was a little nervous. As I sat there I clearly heard a seat move up (or down) on the balcony above me. It would have been close to the aisle on the centre block, and a few rows back. We did go upstairs to check, but no seats seemed out of place.
Our third vigil was in maze of rooms below the stage. We started at the bottom in the brewery. This was quiet for me. Gary had a phone application running that still needs to be fully tested by the group, and I am still very doubtful about, but the first word it produced was "Jeff" which I was told tied in to a name that was got on in the brewery on the previous investigation. There were one or two other words, but they didn't seem to have any specific meaning that we could think of.
We moved on to the Kitchen and Bakery. Again these were quiet for me. I rarely take photos these days, but did feel that I should take pictures here, and have one with a very strange light anomaly on it that will need to be looked at by the tech guys because it doesn't look dust. We then moved on to the boiler room and all agreed that it felt very friendly and comfortable in there, despite the noise of the boilers. The phone application immediately came out with the words "fuel" and "gentle" although these were followed by several other words that did not appear to mean anything. As we moved out of the boiler room I kept expecting someone to follow us through the door. Our final room on this vigil was the pump room, which was quiet for me.
Our next vigil started on the stage. This seemed very quiet, and we couldn't get any responses, even when we tried singing! After a time we moved into the dressing rooms. Emma and I went into one whilst the men went into one of the others. As there were large mirrors in there, we tried some scrying, and although this didn't produce any dramatic results, I got the sense of a ‘Danny La Rue' type figure, who was wearing a wedding ring, and was angry, to the point of crying. After a time we moved into the other dressing room with the rest of the team. This was quiet for me with the one exception of a loud knock on the door. When we checked there was no one there.
The final vigil of the night was a chance to return to an earlier room, and along with most of the rest of the group I chose the Ballroom. I still got a sense of the war time dance, but not as strongly as before. There seemed to be a spirit there called Charlie who was responding to our questions by making the K2 meter light up.
This was a very enjoyable night and made me regret the fact that I had been unable to make the investigation last year. Definitely somewhere I would love to return to. Thank you to the management for allowing us in, and to the staff members who accompanied us and were so enthusiastic about the evening.