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Bradborune House - East Malling, Kent

12th March 2011
 

Since at least 1411 a manor house has existed at Bradbourne. What is now a Queen Anne facade hides its Tudor origins. The house has been owned by some notable and influential families namely the Manningham’s as well as the Twisden family of Roydon Hall. Thomas Twisden was a judge who received his knighthood at the restoration of the monarchy and was on the panel of judges who oversaw the trials of those responsible for the execution of Charles I.

East Malling Trust purchased it at auction and it is now a respected wedding and conference venue as well as being the centre of administration of the trust. The house retains many original and respectfully restored features

We are the only paranormal investigation team that has ever been allowed access to this venue and we have now conducted a handful of investigations over the last couple of years, with mixed results. Some witness accounts were originally passed onto us but so far been unable to examine these as the phenomena has not occurred during our stays. However, other areas of interest have made themselves known to us.


 

Aim:
To continue our investigations into the possibility of paranormal phenomena at this location and to move on to examine areas of the house not previously investigated.

  The Investigation
  Apparatus:
Camcorders:
Sony DCR HC-62 with night vision and Sony HVL-IRM IR light
Sony DCR-DVD110E with night vision and Sony HVL- IRM IR light

Digital Camera:
Fuji Fine Pix S1600
Fuji Fine Pix S5500
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ-38 X 2
Pentax K-100D Digital SLR
Voice recorder:
Olympus VN-2100PC
Olympus DM20
HNSAT DVR958
Other:
Tripods, Torches, Video tapes (MiniDV), 3 x Gemini Data Loggers

Investigators: Ian, Paddy, Kim and Dave.

Method:
Using visual and scientific methods combined with spiritual theory we were to investigate the alleged paranormal phenomena at this venue. Vigils were the requirement and we decided to spend some time in the entrance hall and main stairs, being the centre of the house then move onto whichever area seemed to show the most promise, although we did want to spend time in the great hall investigating the possible reason for the large amount of audibles recorded during our last visit. The usual equipment as above was to be deployed at each of the locations to be covered, along with data loggers placed in the courtyard (now covered) rear hallway, centre of the Great Hall and what is known as The Breakfast Room.

Investigation:
Session one pt 1– Entrance Hall
We started by sitting in silence occasionally discussing events from the last visit explaining to Kim happened as she was absent that time. After a while Dave began calling out, introducing ourselves, referring to those previous events and asking for a repeat of the same. The questioning continued allowing silent periods for possible responses to be heard.

The questioning was increased in line with an increase in noises being heard from the adjacent rooms as well as in the area we were seated. At this point Dave directed the questioning to the rear courtyard/kitchen area, and we felt this was worthy of closer inspection so decided to relocate to that area.

Session one pt 2 – Courtyard/kitchen area
Once seated in the courtyard area Dave continued to direct question through into the kitchen, asking if we were now closer to whomever had made the previous prominent noises heard from the entrance hall. Further questioning was directed to other adjacent rooms to establish whether we should move further down towards the kitchen, but we chose to stay where we were. Later on a noise and a flash from an adjacent room witnessed by Kim prompted us to investigate further. Dave entered the room and asked if anyone was there, as this was met by a knock from the corner of the room it was decided to move to this room.

Session one pt 3 – Séance in meeting room
All seated Dave began calling out. Kim and Paddy joined in the calling. Various responses were thought to be heard during this session. After a period of inactivity it was decided to end this rather long and varied first session.

Session two – Return to the Entrance hall
We returned to our original positions at the start of the investigation. Dave again began the calling. No noises occurred at all and we discussed further the possible cause of the multiple noises we heard on a previous night coming from the great hall, so we decided to relocate to the same positions we had used on that last visit in order to monitor the great hall. We deliberately did not enter the room so not to disturb the floor boards causing them to need to settle. Dave stayed in the doorway into the room from the hallway, Paddy went to the doorway from the Breakfast room, and Ian and Kim went to the doorway from the adjacent dinning room. Cameras were positioned to cover the interior of the great hall. Dave began calling again.

We had a short break during which we walked around the room to test the theory that, on our last, visit the many noises we heard could have been the floor settling from where we had walked across it. We had not done so before now on this visit and so far had heard nothing, so having now disturbed the floor we were hoping to prove that if the noises started up it must have been caused by us on both occasions. Having done so we took the same places and resumed the vigil.

More questioning ensued until we decided to end the session and have a break.

Session 3 – Dinning Room adjacent Great Hall
We sat around the table. Dave and Ian's camcorders were running in the room, Dave and Kim's voice recorders were also recording. As we settled we decided to play some music from our internet enabled mobile phones, music befitting of the venue, trying to create the atmosphere of a ball or function hoping this provoke some results. Paddy later relocated to sitting just through the doorway to the Great Hall, leaving the other three at the table whilst the music played. This method was continued for a while with differing types of music being played before we called time on the nights investigation.

Results
Session one pt 1– Entrance Hall
A single loud noise was heard by Paddy and Dave in the great hall. A noise from the great hall was heard by Dave but this was disguised by a simultaneous noise from the chiller units in the bar. Later a noise was heard by Kim and Ian coming from a room behind Kim, this was not heard by Dave or Paddy.

Ian heard a noise by Kim followed by Paddy hearing another noise from the great hall. This was soon followed by another noise from behind Kim and another noise, like a shuffle from somewhere in our vicinity but this could not be placed.

Paddy and Dave heard an exhale that appeared to come from the courtyard/kitchen area followed by a couple of noises seemingly responsive to our requests for the same. Hence the reason we relocated.

Session one pt 2 – Courtyard/kitchen area
More noise from the kitchen area was heard in response to direct requests. Some of this was caught on camcorder audio. A series of creaks can be heard on the camcorder audio following a request from Dave for a noise, but these could not have been heard at the time as the team made no comment on this. A creak is heard emanating from the stair case, this is also caught on camcorder. This appeared to be repeated when Ian requested this and this was also caught on camcorder. As the team investigated some noises in an adjacent room some noises were heard but not recorded on our equipment.

Session one pt 3 – Séance in meeting room
Some noises were heard in response to Kim's calling. Rain could be heard against the windows but this was distinguishable and different to some of the other noises being heard. Kim thought she could smell something like vintage coal tar soap. Then Ian thought he heard a whistle, which unfortunately was not recorded on our equipment. Some taps were heard coming from the table area that appeared to be responsive, some of these were recorded on our camcorders.

Session two – Return to the Entrance hall
A musty smell was noticed by Ian that was not present before. After relocating to the doorways of the Great Hall we started to hear and record noises that had not occurred whilst we were in the hallway. Kim began to feel unwell and was nervous sitting in the doorway with her back exposed to the room behind. More taps were heard plus repeated thumps following more of Dave's questioning.

Following our brief break and walk around the Great Hall we had anticipated an increase in the amount of noises being heard, but surprisingly very little happened disproving our theory that us having walked across the floor would disturb the floorboards causing them to need to settle. But this did raise more questions about what we had experienced on our last visit, and if we had not caused the multiple creaks, taps, knocks and shuffling noises on that occasion... who did? Some odd noises were heard coming from the electrics. Paddy heard a loud noise behind him from the Breakfast Room shortly followed by a few more.

Session 3 – Dinning Room adjacent Great Hall
Before we could start the music a noise was heard in the Great Hall that was investigated by Paddy, no cause could be found and it did not reoccur.

Whilst playing one particular piece of music one odd event occurred. For about ten seconds there was the sound of rhythmic tapping heard, this was in time to the music! This was heard and mentioned by Kim and Ian before it stopped. Dave then concurred saying he had heard it also and thought it was one of the team. Ian and Kim, who were both sitting at the table with Dave denied this. Paddy, still sitting in the Great Hall, was quizzed and also confirmed he had been motionless. This moment, recorded on both Ian's and Dave's camcorders, can be seen in the video that accompanies this report. The piece of music used was The Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss. No other results were forthcoming from this experiment.

Conclusions
Session one pt 1– Entrance Hall
Various noises were heard whilst investigating this area unfortunately none of these were recorded on our equipment, therefore, cannot be examined further. From the testimony of those that heard them some of these could be explained, those that could not be may simply have been natural noises caused by the building or items within, as none of these noises were repeated upon request. The most notable event of this session was the sound of an exhale heard by Paddy and Dave emanating from the courtyard/kitchen area, when a repeat was asked for two unexplainable taps were clearly heard, prompting our move to that area. We are still unsure as to what caused these noises.

Session one pt 2 – Courtyard/kitchen area
More noises were heard and this time captured on our recordings, some of these appeared to continue to be responsive, others not. We have examined our footage and at this time we are unable to suggest a cause for these, the timing of them may be coincidental, may be not.

Session one pt 3 – Séance in meeting room
As it was raining at this point of the investigation there were many noises attributed to the rain against the windows and drips outside. However, there were some taps, seemingly responsive, coming from the area of the meeting table in the centre of the room. Some were caught on our footage, others were not, for now we can only assume these have a natural explanation. Why Kim would have the smell of coal tar soap cannot be explained as none was present.

Session two – Return to the Entrance hall
No reason can be found for the musty smell Ian commented on or for the noises that started emanating from the Great Hall, we found this odd as there were no noises in the first session in this location. Following our move to the doorways of the Great Hall Kim began to feel unwell and nervous, she and Ian were sitting with their backs exposed to the room behind, therefore, she may have simply felt vulnerable. More noises were heard but not recorded, unfortunately these instances cannot be further examined.

Session 3 – Dinning Room adjacent Great Hall
Whilst the odd noise or tap was heard nothing was recorded or repeated.

However, the rhythmic tapping heard by the team whilst playing waltz music is of great interest. This has been recorded on two separate devices. It was also heard by the three members of the team present in that room at the time, each thinking it was one of the others, it was not! At this time and having reviewed the footage we have no explanation for this and can only testify that it was not caused by the members of team present.

The fact that the knocking is in perfect time with the music, and was identified to be coming from one particular area of the room (the piano) can only suggest that the knocks were caused by a form of intelligence capable of hearing and responding to the music. It is very unlikely that a natural randomly repeating noise would be exactly in the same time as the music being played. This has to be a very important piece of unexplainable footage.

During our time here there was no information forthcoming to the team of a clairvoyant nature. As Ghost Connections conducts scientifically based investigations we would not publish such observations, however, previous information is held on a separate database, which may prove interesting when compared to other peoples experiences. Should you wish to discuss this information please email us.

Thanks
Many thanks as always to the East Malling Trust for Horticultural Research for allowing us to return, this was a very interesting night.
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