Southern Paranormal - Investigations
Swan Theatre & Town Hall Investigation
Saturday 23rd July 2011
Attending Investigators – Julie Harwood, Maria Street, Steve Boston, Marie Holder, Sarah Pettet, Mark Pettet, Amanda Horley, Maureen Taylor, Robin Turton, Emma Filce, Laura Munday.
Hosts – Claire O'regan, Sam Ison, Christian, Lauren & Harriet.
AREA 1 – New Theatre & surrounding areas
AREA 2 – Old Town Hall incl. Oak rooms, kitchens & Town Hall flat.
8.00pm Meet at location
8.15pm Meet hosts and settle into team room
8.30pm Tech set up
9.00pm Tech & Equipment set up
9.45pm Pre vigil break
10.00pm Vigil 1
Team 1 – Area 1
Team 2 – Area 2
11.15pm Vigil 2
Team 1 – Area 2
Team 2 – Area 1
12.15am Break (1/2 hr)
12.45am Vigil 3
Team 1 – Area 1
Team 2 – Area 2
2.00am Vigil 4
Team 1 – Area 2
Team 2 – Area 1
3.00am Clear down of equipment
Having lived just outside of High Wycombe most of my life (and performed with the Chiltern Academy as a child at the Town Hall) I was excited when we were given this special opportunity.
The night began sooner than thought for myself and Maria when we followed a three people dressed in black only to find out it was nothing to do with the team or any of the staff as they were in a different corridor. We could not explain this as everyone was genuinely accounted for but sadly as Maria and I were talking at the time and just followed the people we saw from behind we did not get a good look at them.
Our first vigil was in the auditorium. We had some interesting results on the KII meters that Steve & Marie had. They appeared to react to an area of seating. When we called out we did seem to get some response in the form of tapping however we could not rule out that this was coming from a normal source as it did sound quite regular. The one impressive thing that the whole team including guests heard was the sound of a seat being banged down. We were all seated at the time (apart from Maria who was stood by the stage). We were quick to turn torches on to find the seat that had been put down but we could not see a seat that was down. Harriet & Christian were able to confirm to us that it was the sound of a seat dropping that we had all heard.
For our second vigil we moved in to the Old Town Hall and headed for the main hall. This was fairly quiet (apart from the noise from the club opposite) and so we decided to move on to the Oak Room. This is a beautiful panelled room and you get a real sense of occasion when in it. We could hear shuffling coming from the corridor we had just come through and so Steve & Mark went to investigate but could not find anything that would cause this sound. The best thing in this room was when Steve whistled and asked for it to be repeated. Within in seconds we heard a whistle!
We then decided to move on to the Oak Room bar. I really did not like this room one bit and Mark, myself & Harriet almost sat huddled in one corner. Mark & I both (at the same time) saw a shadowy mass (?) walk in front of us and other people in the room reported feeling watched. Marie felt like someone was “in her face” while we were in there. There was talk in the group of a man in the room that really did not like women so we decided to carry on our vigil in to our break to see if we could get any more information.
Our next vigil was in the orchestra pit but this was very quiet for me (and very restful) and passed without incidence.
Our last vigil was up in the flat in the Old Town Hall. This is a property with immense promise though at the moment it is used for storage. We spread ourselves out along the corridors and Marie and I decided to sit in one of the rooms (the one with the hatch to the attic space). We called out and heard a very clear metallic click. When we looked with a torch there was an old tin bath in the room with us. Marie tapped it to see if it made the noise we heard and it did. In my head I imagined a little, excitable dog running around, his tail wagging. Could he have hit the tin bath?
After half an hour we decided to head back to the Oak Room bar to see if we all still felt the same in there. It actually felt very different this time and people were acting differently in it (much more self assured and confident).
This concluded our investigation of the Swan Theatre & Old Town Hall. I had a fantastic night (despite not being in the best of health that evening). Big thank you to Claire & Sam who made our visit possible and for providing all the drinks and snacks. Also a big thank you to Christian, Harriet & Lauren who along with Claire & Sam made us all feel very welcome.
I was really looking forward to this investigation as it was a first for us and theatres are always just a little bit exciting. I travelled up with Julie, Amanda and Marie who was driving. On arrival we were all led in through the stage door and shown to a dressing room which we were using for a kit room. We were introduced to our hosts who very kindly conducted a walk round. On the way back, Julie and I hung back to appreciate the town hall some more. We were only a few feet away from the others and could see the last of them disappear into the exit which led to the kit room. We moved to follow them only to be distracted by voices coming from another exit door. We quickly had a look only to find all the team in the said kit room. We enquired as to who had gone the other way only to find nobody had! We were totally speechless and we had very plainly seen 3 figures all dressed in black go the other way. Our hosts also confirmed that nobody had gone this way. This was a very promising start to our evening.
I was in team 1 with Julie, Marie, Mark, Steve and our hosts, Harriet and Christian. We began our vigils in the auditorium. I sat on the edge of the stage whilst the others positioned themselves around the auditorium. Almost immediately I had the name of Harry in my head, followed later by Susie Smith and Rosie. I also had the song 'Dear Prudence' but I think this was a reference to Susie. (Siouxhee and the Banshees did a cover version of the song in the 80's). We called out and were treated to a few taps but we could not decide if these could be paranormal or not as they were not consistent. Steve and Marie had some good results with the K2 meters which lit up simultaneously in an area in the stalls. It was confirmed that a lady had died in this area whilst watching a pantomime. At one point we also heard a seat moving but everybody had been sat still.
For our next vigil we moved on into the Oakroom and I had the name Bill in my head immediately on entering. Claire, one of our hosts, had already told us that she spoke to a spirit named William in this room. Maybe he was known as Bill as well? I also had the name Norman but couldn't be sure if this referred to a name or the time period. The Oakroom really was a beautiful room. Chandeliers hung from the ceiling complimenting the oak panelling and the lovely stained glass windows. It felt very comfortable and luxurious and I felt quite relaxed in here. We could hear shuffling coming from the far corridor so decided to call out. Steve asked for a whistle to be copied so it was quite thrilling to hear one sounded back to us.
Aware that we needed to cover a large area, we moved down into the town hall. We all made our way to the back and sat in the chairs under the alcove. However, I felt very restless and away from everything so moved out into the main hall. The others followed suit and we sat quietly around the hall. The restlessness stayed with me and I was itching to get out of my chair and move around. I am normally very relaxed on investigations but I was really starting to feel agitated and finally got up and rushed to the back of the hall. I felt there was a lady who was here and she was looking for her son. She was frantic with worry. I showed what I saw her doing. I pulled back the curtain on the far right then rushed to the one on the far left and pulled that one back as well. She was dressed in a long black hooded cloak and she was oblivious to anything and anybody. She just needed to get to her son. I heard the name of Simon.
Harriet was anxious to do the bar so we decided to proceed there. I sat facing the doorway by the bar and Marie sat by the table opposite me. I felt absolutely fine. However Marie felt very uncomfortable and had to move. I decided to take her place and could see exactly what she meant. It felt like somebody was sat right next to me. Although it didn't frighten me, it did make me feel very uncomfortable so I also moved and sat with the others in the other corner. A couple of times the room visibly darkened and it filled with anticipation. Julie and Mark P saw a dark figure between them and somebody mentioned that they felt we had a man here who didn't like women. I felt he liked the company of whores and liked women to know their place. We were so intrigued by this area that we decided to spend some of our break here. We haven't done that for a very long time.
For our next vigil we went to the Orchestra Pit. It was very quiet in here and the only feeling I could get in here was that of a male and a female taking up their positions. He was called Edward and she was Betsy. We moved back to the auditorium but it was much quieter this time round. I had the name of Pamela this time but have no idea of its relevance, if any. We went up to the flat which felt very feminine and busy. Julie and Marie were sat in the flat whilst the rest of us were in the corridor. They both heard a tap come from the tin bath in the room but no amount of calling out could replicate the sound. We decided to go back to the bar and took up the same positions as before. The light on the far wall kept blocking out but we couldn't be sure if it was the other team who were just next door. We tried to replicate it but the results were inconclusive. I was sat next to Harriet and at one point I thought she had touched my leg but her legs were tucked underneath her. That concluded our evening at The Swan Theatre and Town Hall and I would like to thank our hosts for being so kind and open-minded. I would love a return visit one day.
Team: Maria, Julie Steve B, Mark P, Me, Christian and Harriet
This was a massive location and I did not appreciate the scale of it until I actually got here. I was a little worried that we would not have time to investigate the whole of the location but I was looking forward to having a good try!
Julie, Maria, Amanda and I arrived at the location at around 8.30pm and met up with the rest of the team and I also met our hosts for the evening. We were given a tour of the location by Clare, one of our hosts.
While the tech guys set up their equipment, Laura, Emma and I went round the location setting up trigger objects. As I did not arrive until after the other team members, I did not get to see the auditorium until I went round with Laura and Emma. As I was walking in front of the stalls I got a strange feeling in my chest and a tingling sensation all over my body, which dissipated after a minute or two. After the pre-vigil break we made our way to our first vigil.
I sat down in the front row of the stalls and sat quietly for a while to see if I could pick anything up. I had the K2 meter in my hand and as it was not going off I decided to walk round with it. It flickered round to the red quite sporadically when I went to the 3rd row of the stalls. I also got the name 'Josephine' and the surname 'Hall'. During this vigil I also heard some tapping noises and what sounded like someone rubbing their arm with their hand lightly, almost like a 'shushing' noise
– Town Hall – Main hall
I began by sitting at the far end of the hall but only stayed there for a short time as I decided to go and sit on some freestanding steps that were located near the middle of the hall. Although we called out, nothing unusual happened in this area for me, however, I was distracted by the noisy vibrations being caused by the music in an adjacent bar.
– Oak room
I got the opportunity of using Steve's audio microphone to see if I could pick up any unusual noises. Unfortunately on this occasion I did not hear anything unusual as there was a lot of traffic noise being picked up on it coming from outside.
There was a horrible atmosphere in here and I did not feel welcome at all as I felt it was a very male dominated area. I, again, had the audio microphone and I sat down opposite the rest of the team. After a while I found that the atmosphere was getting too uncomfortable, so Maria asked if I wanted to change places with her, which I did. It seemed to me that wherever I sat in that room, I just did not like feelings I was getting and it was if I had someone in my face the whole time I was there. I had to restrain myself from getting up off my chair and leaving the room but I was determined that whatever it was that was making me feel uncomfortable, it was not going to beat me! After a while I began to feel quite angry because of how it was making me feel, so I decided to go and sit with the rest of the team.
– Orchestra Pit
This area was just as dark as the bar but the atmosphere was so much different. I felt very relaxed in this area and it wasn't in the least bit foreboding. During this vigil, I got the song 'Eleanor Rigby' in my head as Julie had said she had got a song in her head with a woman's name in the title. I also heard a faint whistle during my time in this area, which I also picked up on my voice recorder.
We made our way back to the auditorium for this vigil and I took a seat in the 3rd row of the stalls which is where I had the unusual K2 readings on the previous vigil. I found this vigil to be very quiet and the only unusual occurrence I got was a tingling feeling on the back of my neck.
– Town Hall Flat
This was an area I had looked forward to doing as it was very atmospheric on the walk round. While I was stood in the corridor I heard a sigh, I then moved into one of the rooms off the corridor to join the rest of the team and took a seat in there. While in this room Julie and I heard a very distinct metallic 'tap', which at first we could not ascertain where it had come from. I then put my torch on and we found a tin bath next to where I was sitting. I flicked it to see if I could make the same noise, which I did. We continued to call out but got nothing more.
We decided to make our way back to the bar for the last half hour of the night. I was more than a little apprehensive but when I had settled down into the room I found that the atmosphere was so much lighter and nowhere near as nasty as before. I did, however, feel something touch my arm and there was no one sat beside me.
We spent most of the vigil time concentrating on a strip of light on the entrance door as it kept getting 'broken' by something which we could not work out. The other team were in the room next door so we thought it might be them walking past the door but after they went the light was still doing the same so we sent Mark next door to see if he could 'break' it by walking past the door, which he didn't so it remained inconclusive.
This was an amazing location with so much atmosphere, it's just a pity we didn't get to do it all, as we did not go down the basements or onto the stage. The areas we did go into did not disappoint and I would have to say that my favourite area has to be the Bar as the feelings I was getting in there were really intense. A return visit is a must!
Team 2 – Sarah, Amanda, Robin, Maureen, Emma, Laura and guests Claire, Lauren and Sam.
Vigil one – Area 2
The flat No EMF average temperature 20.5°C
Team split into different rooms – Maureen and Emma went to the far end of the flat, Robin in one room, Amanda next door to Robin, and Laura, the guests and I in the first room. I explained to the guests what we were doing and we all made ourselves comfortable. I could hear the others faintly in the background. I commenced calling out, but got no responses. Laura had the amplifier on and was picking up an odd noise that she described as a heartbeat. One of the guests, Claire was stood in front of me and I kept sensing that someone was stood just behind her but was not sure if it was her shadow, I asked if she could move slightly back and to her right, even though Claire moved I could still sense that we were being cautiously watched and that they were pacing between the door and the middle of the room. Laura picked the noise up again – I appear to have caught a similar sound on my digital recorder. Laura continued to pick the sound out, there was a lot of traffic noise outside and we tried to see if it could be caused by this but it continued even when there was no traffic. I thought I saw a light by the door and checked to see if this was another team member's torch or headlights from the traffic – it was not. We called out again – Claire called out as well – Lauren said she felt cold and Claire confirmed she felt cold on her arms as well. Laura remarked that it seemed colder than when we first entered the room. We got Robin to come in and do a temperature reading, he confirmed the average temperature was the same as the rest of the flat. Claire then said she felt we were being watched from the hall window, the roof window and the loft hatch. We sat quietly for a while, Laura picked up the same sound again. We tried calling out again. Laura thought she someone walk past the door – Amanda had walked past just before Laura asked and we think it was Amanda's shadow we saw. We did not feel or sense anything so we moved to the flats narrow hall. Claire felt tingly round her shadows, Lauren also felt tingly but thought that could be due to nerves. Claire said that she felt the tingle move from her shoulders and to her elbows. Laura picked up whispering but we think it was Emma and Maureen. We tried calling out again. We again get the sense of being watched. We moved to another of the rooms that Laura had felt odd in earlier. We got settled into the room and called out. We took some photos. Laura called out – she asked if the penny she found earlier was theirs - as she asked this I picked up a strange noise on the digital recorder that I had left in the hall, none of the team were in the hall! Laura called out some more. We heard a noise which we thought came from the hall – we checked but none of the team had moved. There is a shuffle and slight bang heard on the digital recorder but well before I ask. The shuffle occurs again later on. Claire began to feel affected, so Laura began to call out again. I swapped places with Claire and immediately picked up on one of the persons I sensed in the other room. Laura asked for something to be done and in my head I heard another person say “she won't stubborn old fool”. Neither of the spirits I was sensing would draw close enough for me to describe them unfortunately. Laura continued to call out and I could smell something like a match had been struck. I tried asking for the spirits to draw close and communicate with us but we had no response. Claire felt pressure around her shoulders. We decided to move down to the Old town hall. Amanda remarked to me that the battery had gone dead on the camcorder as we left the flat and so had changed over to the other battery – I found this odd as both batteries had been fully charged.
Old Town Hall – Oak rooms - Ave temp 20.5 no EMF reactions.
Claire made a suggestion that we focus on the table, and Emma asked if we could try table tipping. We gathered round the table – Robin elected to film. We explained to the guests what we were going to do and they elected to join in, we placed the K2 meters on the table and explained to the guests why we had done this and what the equipment may do. Laura gave Robin the amplifier. I asked Emma to lead the calling out. We could feel a breeze but thought this was down to the doors to the room being open at either end. We decided to sit on chairs round the table and try again. Emma sensed a spirit in the room – I invited them to come and stand between myself and Emma. I felt coldness between Emma and me and the temp had dropped down to 18-19°C. Lauren felt cold between her and Sam – we checked the temp here and it had also dropped. We checked temperature round the table and were getting readings of around 21°C. We asked if the temperature could be dropped between Maureen and Laura, (no drop) and then to move to Sam to see if it dropped which it did. Amanda checked the rest of the room and it had a fairly constant temp of 21°C. Amanda re-checked between Maureen and Laura and it had dropped a degree and a half. We thanked whoever was affecting the temperature and as we did the temperature went back up to 21°C. Unfortunately, the vigil had to end before we could investigate this any further.
Main stage – Average temperature 21.5°C, No EMF
There was insufficient light to run the camcorder so we left it off. We took photos and settled ourselves down. I heard a whistle but this was not picked up by anyone, and could have been outside noise as we could hear the pub nearby which had very loud bass music playing. We called out but had no responses. All of us agreed that despite the darkness and the fact it was a wide open area we felt very comfortable. So we decided to move off to the auditorium.
Auditorium – average temperature 22.5°C, No EMF
We dotted ourselves round the auditorium. Initially we felt it was peaceful, like the stage but not in the same way. Laura was sat in the circle and she heard 2 voices outside. We checked the area downstairs. We could clearly hear music from the pub, and we could hear things going on outside, so established this could be the reason why Laura heard the voices. Emma felt that she was a bit hyped-up like she was working on stage. Laura started to feel uncomfortable, she had earlier felt hot. Emma and Maureen joined her. Lauren and Sam were sat in the front row directly opposite the stage, they saw one of the ice cream tubs in front of the stage area slowly move, we tried to replicate this but were unsuccessful, equally we were unable to explain it. Emma and Maureen began to feel uncomfortable pressure on their heads where they were sat with Laura. Robin joined them and he said it felt warmer in that area and indeed the temperature in that area was slightly warmer (a few degrees) than the rest of the area. I called out. Amanda was sat on the opposite side and she felt the temperature was ok, though she sensed someone behind her. I called out again but got no responses. Amanda moved to join them and after that they reported that the area felt OK. Lauren, Sam and Robin went up to the upper circle. Robin reported that it felt warmer by half a degree in the upper circle. Nothing was happening so they came back down. Emma thought she saw someone by the fire exit doors. Again we ran out of time and had to end the vigil.
Vigil 3 – Area 2
Old town hall (theatre) – average temperature 17°C, no EMF.
Again we could plainly hear the bass music from the pub. We took photos and settled in around the hall. We began calling out, Laura heard talking but was unsure if it was outside or inside, and general consensus was it was outside. We called out again and Laura heard a groan but was unsure if it was inside or out. We decided it was probably best to switch the amplifier off. At one point I heard a noise and checked to see if any of the team had moved. General consensus was that it was outside, on the digital recorder it sounds like a door clicking then a footstep. One of the team thought that one of the closed double doors had opened but upon checking it was closed. Maureen thought she saw a red flash turning to pale green on the floor in front of one of the pillars behind Amanda, upon investigation Maureen and Amanda were unable to find the cause, Maureen commented it was a lot colder in that corner. We asked if lights could appear in other parts of the room, but got no response. We decided to move on and went down to the cellars.
Cellars – EMF readings high due to cables and power plant. Temperature 18.7°C
We ruled out using the EMF/K2 meters as we were likely to get false readings. Some of us felt cold and some of us didn't. Amanda & Robin could hear a faint tapping noise. Laura was also picking that up on the amplifier. Claire felt a bit odd, but Emma pointed out that it could be the high EMF. Robin commented that people were likely to feel strange or uncomfortable. Oddly, quite a few of us were extremely giggly and we didn't do any calling out – reflecting on it now we reacted totally differently to any other vigil! We spent approximately 15 minutes in here and then moved on to the Oak Room Bar.
Oak Room Bar, EMF none apart from behind the bar, Average temperature 17.5°C
We settled into this room quite quickly taking photos and sitting around the room. I sat with Claire, Lauren, Sam and Maureen. Amanda thought she could see a mist in the middle of the room, and Emma thought she had seen me raise my hand but I hadn't. We were aware of a regular quiet popping noise that was coming from machinery behind the bar area. Claire began to feel sick so Emma swapped places with her. Shortly after I also began to feel sick and I moved to the opposite side of the room where I felt better. Amanda noticed the mist was getting stronger. I checked how the team was feeling – Emma felt anxious. Amanda said she felt ok apart from the mistiness. I got Robin to recheck the EMF in the corner where we felt sick and Emma felt anxious, but it was ok. Maureen and Amanda swapped places and Amanda could not see the mist any longer, Robin proposed that the wood panelling could be playing tricks on the eyes and causing the look of a mist. Amanda pointed out she couldn't see it any longer, Robin confirmed that he could. Emma called out, but we got no responses. The room had no real outside light and it was very dark to the point that it was difficult to see who was sat where unless they were right next to you. Robin called out to see if a male voice would get any responses – sadly we got none. Claire tried calling out, asking a specific question to try and get a reaction, again we got no response. We were all much quieter on this vigil than any other, this could have been due to the general feeling of being contained or closed in due to lack of light. Emma tried calling out again, again no responses. I called out and we heard a loud popping noise, but we thought it was emitted by some of the machinery behind the bar. We carried on calling out, with no response and gradually fell in to quietness again. Emma thought she heard footsteps on the carpet in front of the bar area and checked to see if anyone had moved and I thought I saw a figure in the corner by the bar, but upon further investigation we thought that it was a reflective sign on the wall that was causing the illusion. However, we tried to get a response to see if it was something, no responses. Vigil came to an end.
Area 1 was producing no response for us so we checked to see if the Oak room was free as we really wanted to go back there and had no time on our last vigil. As luck would have it team 1 were in the flat, so we settled into the Oak room. We had to get everyone to settle down as quietly as possible. We sat round the table and Emma led the calling out again. Robin joined us at the table this time, and Amanda opted out. We had shut the doors to the Oak room so as to not make too much noise. However around 10 minutes into the vigil we heard team 1 come down, Amanda went to check if it was Ok for us to stay in the room and Team 1 agreed as they wanted to go into the bar area. Emma noted that the atmosphere in this room felt different. We wondered if we might get a bit more activity with both teams so near to one another. Emma commenced calling out again, asking for one us to be touched, shortly after I felt something touch my chest area which made me react, I checked to make sure it wasn't me leaning too far forward onto the table but I was nowhere near it. We asked if there was anyone with us to stand between Maureen and Laura as they had done so earlier. Maureen commented that one side of her felt colder than the other, but there seemed no real difference in temperature. I also felt colder one side; again there was no real difference in temperature. Amanda asked out to see if we could get activity to happen in the room with the other team, or to make something happen in the room we were in. We decided to try to see if we could get something to happen by just continuing to chat normally. However, nothing was happening, so we decided to go down to the hall to see if we could get any activity there now that the music in the pub had stopped. It was a lot quieter, we took some photos. We settled down really quickly and commenced calling out. Amanda saw a small light between the two pillars, as Amanda was describing what she saw I heard a click from the bar behind me. We asked for this to be done again, but got no responses. Sadly our vigil came to an end.
Summary – The Swan theatre was fascinating, more so in Older side of the building, which I think warrants having a whole investigation to itself, something I would definitely like to do.
The first thing that needs
to be pointed out is the swan theatre and the old town hall was a very
large building and really could do with more than one investigation to
do it justice, Thankfully it was made easier by the staff who where really
friendly and helpful which made for a very enjoyable night.
We started in the old part of the building in the flats these were very reminiscent of Marwell's attic I found the area comfortable and non threatening and felt sensed and saw nothing, We moved to the oak room which was a panelled room decorated with numerous portraits which is something that can make some people uncomfortable. The team carried out a table tipping experiment during which nothing of any great significance was detected.
The vigil began on the stage. The team called out but I heard, sensed and felt nothing. We moved to the auditorium and circle it was noted that some noise including voices could be heard from outside. A paper cup was seen by some to move on the floor. To me, it was to close to where a team member had walked moments before to be evidence of anything paranormal. A number of the team complained of headaches whilst sitting in the circle. It was noted the temperature was 3°C warmer in the circle and did feel heavy but we need to be aware that the air conditioning was not running.
The vigil started in the town hall but was spoilt by mechanical noise from the windows stopping any evidence being captured. We moved to the cellar. A number of the team felt uncomfortable in the cellar it was noted there were massive EMF levels from the power cables the meter was reading 36mgs.
We moved upstairs to the bar. We all sat and some members of the team started feeling uncomfortable whilst sat in the corner. I carried out a detailed EMF sweep but found nothing in the corner. At the bar on the same side of the room the meter was reading a constant 16mgs which is exceptionally high maybe why some team members felt uncomfortable on that side of the room.
We returned to the oak room the room which was quiet and comfortable so the team carried out a séance but alas nothing was seen, heard or felt by myself.
We moved back down to the old town hall but there it was also quite and non eventful.
Overall the investigation was very quite but enjoyable and somewhere I would like to reinvestigate.
This was a location that I had absolutely no prior knowledge of or had ever visited before. On arrival the theatre looked to be a more modern building, we were shown around by one of the employees named Claire. After the walk around of the theatre we were taken through to the older town hall building. Although much older than the theatre the town hall building is joined to it and used to also act as a theatre prior to the construction of the newer building.
Having looked round both locations it was clear that this was the largest place I had ever investigated and the technical set up was a logistical nightmare.
Robin, Mark and I spoke with Claire and she pointed out the potential hot spots for activity, this gave us a fighting chance of having our tech kit set up in the right location.
With this information we set up the camera kit and before long we were ready to begin the first vigil.
Vigil 1 – Main Swan Theatre Auditorium.
Our team set up about the auditorium of the main theatre, on the first two levels, spread about the seating, whilst Maria sat up on the front of the stage.
We had two K2 Meters in operation in our team. We had picked up no back ground reading on the initial sweep.
Not far into the first vigil, Marie began to get reading on her K2 Meter, this was in the seating area on the ground floor stalls, approximately three to four rows back from the stage. We were also using a sound amplifier device. During the vigil Maria who was sat on the stage thought she heard the sound of a growl.
All in all it was a quiet start to the night with some interesting results on the K2 Meter.
What the other team members including Marie were unaware of was the fact that in the area of the seats she was in, a woman had died at the first pantomime show that the theatre had put on.
The vigil drew to a close and it was time for a break.
Vigil 2 - Main Town Hall Room & Oak Room + Bar
We began vigil 2 in the main hall section of The Old Town Hall building. I picked up on nothing in this room. The investigation was hampered by the bass from the music pub next door that was so strong it shook the windows of the hall.
From here we headed to The Oak Room. Once again I found this a very quiet room, nothing picked up on with the K2 Meter. The only small thing that occurred was I whistled and asked for a response. The whole team thought they heard a faint whistle. It was very much in the background and may have come from outside and just been coincidence.
From here we moved to the bar next door.
This was a very strange room. I think I speak for the whole team when I say that no one felt comfortable in this room. It had the constant feeling that someone was in the room with us. Julie thought she saw some one walk between the support pillars in the room. We had no responses on the technical kit but there was something that felt very wrong with this room.
All too soon the vigil was over and it was time for a short break, having over-run in this location.
Vigil 3 Orchestra pit - Auditorium
This is a back stage / private area of the theatre set just behind the stage. This was another very quiet area; personally I didn't pick up anything here.
However during evidence review Marie has picked up some really good EVP's.
We left the Orchestra Pit and went back to the Main Auditorium, this was however very quiet again.
Following this vigil it was time for our last break before heading over to the older building for our last vigil.
Vigil 4 – Old Town Hall – Flat & Bar Area
We made our way to the top floor of The Old Town Hall, this was once used as a flat. Most recently by the buildings caretaker, however it has been vacant from domestic occupation for the last twenty odd years.
I found this to be a very quiet area. I did seem to pick up the sound of breathing on the ear amplifier but unfortunately this was a personal experience and was not recorded.
With only half an hour left before the end of the investigation we headed back to the bat area, next to The Oak Room.
Personally for me, the room felt a little easier on this occasion and less oppressive. The last half hour passed without incident and it was soon time to break the kit down and head for home.
This was a vast location and it was in no way possible for the team to cover every area of the two buildings.
As with many locations I have been to, this location offered a few little snippets of evidence / activity, I would like to return to the theatre and look at some of the areas we didn't get time to investigate.
This was a large building to investigate combining both a modern theatre, and the old town hall, and I think would have needed a whole weekend to do it justice, but we did the best we could in the time we had available to us.
Our team started in the older part of the building and decided to start the vigil in the top floor flat. We spread ourselves out among the rooms, and I decided to remain in the corridor. Other than feeling very hot (not paranormal) I didn't get any impression in here, and after a time decided to go and sit at the top of the stairs outside the flat, to see if it was any cooler. Whilst sat there I got the impression of a small wiry-haired white dog with brown markings, just inside the flat in front of me. Its tail was wagging like mad, but it didn't want to come out and talk to me.
After a time we moved into the Oak room and tried table tipping without any success. As this room was quiet for me I decided to keep a check on the temperature as various people were reporting feeling cold areas. Generally, the room was 21.5°C, but on one occasion it appeared to be only 18.5°C either side of Emma. Whilst the others were all sat at the table, Sarah asked for the temperature to drop between Maureen and Laura. I measured a drop of 2°C before it then rose again to match the rest of the room.
Our second vigil started on the stage which felt serenely peaceful to me, but I didn't pick up on anything specific. After a time we moved into the auditorium and I was drawn to the left-hand side of the circle (as seen from the stage). I didn't pick up on anything specific in here, despite moving to sit in several different locations within the auditorium.
We started our third vigil in the Town Hall, but it was quite noisy in here as there was a nightclub next door, so we moved into the basement. Both these areas were quiet for me. We then moved into the Oak room bar. It was very dark in here and we did keep one of the torches on because of this. It seemed very misty to me. However, I didn't pick up anything else.
For our last vigil we started in the Oak room which did not have the dramatic temperature changes this time round, and then moved into the Town Hall. Both areas were quiet for me.
This was a very interesting
building to investigate, and although I had a quiet night, there were
definitely things going on. I would like to investigate the older
part of the building again, as I was not feeling 100% on the night,
and I think that may have affected me. Thank you to Sam, Lauren
and Claire for joining our team for the night, and for making sure we
didn't get lost in all the corridors.
Vigil 1, front of stage,
stalls, upper circle.
The team got into the auditorium and dotted ourselves about. Maria started to call out and after a while Marie got some flickering on the EMF. Steve came down from his position to join Marie with his EMF ad he also had some lights flickering, he then said he would count to 5 and asked if there was an energy there to make the lights change colour. When he counted to 5 Julie heard in the headphones of the sound amplifier a voice saying `nooooo`. A bit later on Steve did some control questions, who/why/what/when, so it will be interesting if anything was picked up on the voice recorder. I was sitting in the stalls and for some reason my eyes kept being drawn to a chair across from me. I asked Claire, one of the hosts if that particular chair had any circumstances associated with it but she said the chairs that had any significance were marked.
Vigil 2 the old town hall.
We decided to sit in the main hall with all except me sat in the open. I sat at the back in the area which had a lowered ceiling and it was quite dark here. A few moments went by and Maria started to get agitated and wanted to get up and walk about quickly which she did. From where I was sitting I thought there was someone sitting down the other end of the hall by some curtains. Steve did as well, but Maria went down there and said there was nobody sat there. We all then decided to move up to the oak room and bar. Julie and I were sat close to each other and I felt cold on my left side and Julie felt slightly colder on her right side but the temperature gun said my left side was warmer than my right. We all headed round to the bar area and it was very dark in here. We managed to find somewhere to sit and calling out was done but we didn't have any responses apart from a whistle which could have come from outside. Marie was sitting on one side of the room but she had to move as she thought there was somebody standing right in her face. She joined us over the other side and whether it was my eyes or not, it seemed to get darker. Julie got a bit of a shock when she thought she saw someone walk right past us and as she said that I saw the upper part of a body and a head looking round the pillar at me. We both had the hairs standing up on the back of our necks and I got a frightened feeling and my eyes started to water and I got a very uneasy feeling.
Vigil 3 orchestra pit/auditorium
The orchestra pit was a quiet location you could just hear the noise from the pub outside. We sat for a while nice and quiet the Maria called out, and as she did, out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a shadow on the wall. After a time we moved back into the auditorium and sat in different places but this time it was uneventful.
Vigil 4 flat and oak room bar.
Even though the flat looks the spookiest part as it is old and cramped I found it to be very quiet. I had the sound amplifier on and didn't hear anything out of the ordinary, and we didn't stay there that long. We moved down to the oak room bar again to see if we get a repeat performance but it felt different this time. Julie and I both noticed that some paper on the wall by the doorway would disappear then reappear but this was soon debunked as we found out that the light was coming through the gap in the partition doors and shining on the wall and this was being cut as Amanda was slowly walking around the other room which was a bit of a relief. So we decided to call it a night, so I stayed there to pack away my equipment and didn't feel un-nerved at all.
As I drove down the hill into High Wycombe it was immediately obvious where I was heading for, the building really stands out. I was looking forward to this investigation
Vigil 1 – the flat, Oak Room etc.
Emma and I headed for a room at the end of the corridor; it was full of costumes of all sorts. We both felt that there was someone in the room as we walked in. After a few minutes we decided to get the dowsing rods out, and within a couple of minutes we were chatting to a lady from the early 1880s. She had a connection of some sort with theatre – whether a theatre on the same site as the present building or one nearby we were unable to establish. She told us that she was not only a performer but was also involved with props and costume. As we were chatting to her I could sense that there was someone else in the room with us – I could feel a hand under my left elbow and was tapped on the right shoulder – we were fairly sure that this was a lad of about ten years of age. We were unable to establish anything else about him unfortunately.
The Oak Room
After wandering around for a few minutes and taking some photos, we all gathered round a table in the middle of the room to try some table tipping, but with no results. Several of us felt that there was someone in the room with us and close to the table. Some of us felt temperature drops around us, but nothing was registering on the thermometers. At the very end of the vigil Sarah called out, saying that she was giving whoever it was just one minute to show themselves in some way Shortly afterwards a temperature drop of one and a half degrees registered in the space between myself and Laura, and at the very moment we were closing things down I was quite certain that I felt someone walk away from between me and Laura and walk away from us.
Vigil 2 – the stage and auditorium
We all settled down on the floor of the stage, almost as if we were getting into position ready for the curtain to rise and the show to start. We all felt very comfortable here. We picked up on nothing in this area and moved out into the auditorium.
We spread ourselves around, with some of us in the stalls and some in the circle. Several of those in the circle felt uncomfortable up there and asked if some of us in the stalls could go up and join them to see if they were affected in the same way. When I went up there it felt oppressive, but that may just have been because it was warmer up there than in the stalls.
Vigils 3 and 4
These were both quiet for me, just not enough for me to make any comment about.
A huge building to have to cover in one night, and I'm sure that there were many other areas where we could have held vigils. Some interesting happenings that I would have liked to investigate, another time perhaps.