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Bradbourne House, East Malling, Kent

10th March 2012
 

 



 

Built in the vicinity of Roman Cemeteries and Prehistoric Sites it is known that a manor house has existed at Bradbourne since at least 1411. The current Queen Anne facade hides a Tudor manor house where the cellars, the now covered courtyard, and some interior paneling remains.

Originally owned by the Manningham's it passed to the Twisden family of Roydon Hall around 1656. 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. His bedroom still exists and the Judges Passage leading to this room is believed to be haunted by him.

A later Sir Roger Twisden disinherited one of his sons and started a family history of quarrels. A hundred years after his death he is reputed to have taken offence at the cutting down of trees in the park and was seen angrily driving his 'coach and six' around the park.

Bradbourne House remained with the family until 1937. 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 including a secret door behind a bookcase used by the judge along with a large collection of original portraits of the family, and an original piano and long-case clock.

  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 S5500
Fuji Fine Pix S1600
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ-38

Voice recorder:
Olympus VN-2100PC
HNSAT DVR958

Other:
Tripods, Torches, Video tapes (MiniDV), DVD-RW's


Investigators: Kim, Graham, Ian, Paddy and Dave.
Guest: Dan


Method:
Using visual and scientific methods combined with spiritual theory we were to investigate the alleged paranormal phenomena at this venue. Kim was unable to join us on this occasion so Ian, Dave and Paddy decided that three man vigils were the requirement and we decided to spend some time in areas previously untested, namely the entrance hall and main stairs then onto the basement. The usual equipment as above was to be deployed at each of the locations to be covered. Additionally data loggers to monitor temperature and humidity were placed in the Great Hall.

Investigation:

Session one – Rear Hallway and stairs

We spread ourselves out along the length of this corridor to be able to effectively cover the entire length from the kitchen door to the rear door to the yard.


Session two – Rear Hallway and sta
irs.

After a short break the team returned to the rear hallway but on this occasion there was nothing to report so the session was concluded after a short time.


Session three – Great Hall.

We would adopt a previously successful method of investigating this room as a sterile environment. Paddy and Dave approached and remained in the door area of the breakfast room, Kim and Graham approached and remained in the door area from the great hall, and Ian and Dan approached from and remained in the area of the Green Room. This effectively left the floorboards and the interior of the room sterile and free from influence from ourselves. We remained in the doorways and observed the session from there until a slightly later point when we moved into the Great Hall by a small distance each. This was mainly due to the difficulty of identifying locations within the hall from our initial positions.

Session Four – Return to Great Hall.

The hall had become the focus of our attention and we had by now resigned ourselves to the fact that this is where we would be spending the rest of the investigation again. On this occasion the team sat in a circle with the exception of Paddy who remained by the door to the breakfast room. Dave began calling out asking for a repeat of the activity we had heard before and did so for the duration of our last session.

Session five – Great Hall

We returned as the last session seated in a circle in the centre of the room although on this occasion Ian and Kim sat out with Dan, Graham, Paddy and Dave seated together in the centre.

Results
Session one – Rear Hallway and stairs

There was a stillness about the corridor on this occasion that, after about half an hour suddenly changed. Kim and Graham were sensing a drop in temperature about themselves although it was not noticed by anyone else within the area, in fact Dave was feeling somewhat warmer.

Dave saw a dark mass move from right to left across the light emanating from the kitchen window into the corridor. It was not seen by anyone else.

Ian and Dan's attention was drawn to the interior stairs leading to the first floor as if someone were standing upon them although nothing was seen.

A whistle was distinctly heard and after some talk on subject was repeated for all to hear.

Dave began to feel faint and dizzy for an unknown reason and a break was called.

Session two – Rear Hallway and stairs.

No results to report.

Session three – Great Hall.

Initially there was little to report and the room seemed quieter even than normal.

After some time a number of sounds began to occur within the room. A number were also heard in the rooms off of the Great Hall.

Session four – Great Hall

Graham describes seeing a female face over Dave's as though he has changed.

Fifteen minutes in and the noises would start again. Distinct, loud and as if an object was being banged on another object in the corner of the room.

Kim would start to cough to the extent of feeling quite sick but continued.

As quick as they started the noises ceased for about ten minutes and then resumed in quick succession and then there were none again.

A whistle was heard by Ian and Dave although not commented on by others.

A short break was had.

Session five – Great Hall

A return to the Great Hall saw no further events.

Conclusions
Sessions one and two – Rear Hallway and stairs.

The sudden drop in temperature experienced by Kim and Graham is difficult to explain although the human body can react suddenly to what has been a gradual change in temperature. It is unlikely, though, that such a prolonged change would occur inside the 30 minutes it took for comments to be made. Given that Kim and Graham were seated only a couple of meters from Dave who actually commented that he was feeling warmer make it seem as though their experience was localised and therefore is more difficult to explain.

The fact that no-one else saw the mass that Dave believes he saw makes this observation open to conjecture. Was this a trick of the light / imagination or an actual sighting of something that cannot be explained? We will never know. It was not recorded on footage which was recording the area and therefore the former is more likely.

No evidence was forthcoming to support the belief that someone was on the stairs supernumerary to the team.

A review of the footage has lead us to believe that the first whistle was actually Dave unintentionally causing such a noise when speaking although the repetition was definitely not Dave or anyone else in the team. Heard by everyone this does not, however, appear on the footage. It was noticeably fainter and therefore may not have been picked up by the camera microphones.

Dave's faintness cannot be explained. It is not something that he is prone to although he had stood up from a seated position moments before. It is possible that this affected his balance control and this was a consequence.


Sessions three, four and five – Great Hall.

Given the amount of audible results recorded it will be sometime before all the results are fully analysed. Early indications are that in this session alone there were less individual and unexplainable sound anomalies and this after discounting all the explainable ones than experienced before. Some sounded electrical, either the heaters or possibly the lights, others did not and seemed to come from the floor and walls, in different areas of the room or sometimes the adjoining rooms. What we do know is that we had avoided entering the room so it was not the floorboards settling after we had walked across them, so had someone else unsettled them?

What was unusual is the way the noises were not present at all becoming prolific then stopped entirely. If there was an environmental explanation surely would this have been constant, what could have caused them to stop and start, is the silence as interesting as the noise? We have accounted for a great deal of these noises, however, others heard earlier in the previous session, and also considered to be responsive, we cannot explain.

The image seen by Graham in the area of Dave's face cannot be explained. No one else saw this and it was not shown on any footage. This may be an example of paredolia in that Graham is convinced he saw a face over Dave's but his brain interpreted various shadows in the dark as such. We cannot rule out that this was a genuine sighting of something but there is no corroboration by either the rest of the team or the recorded footage.

The return of the noises to an intense degree never encountered before here only confound us more. We are adamant that they would have been made by something being dropped within the room and even when the area that we believed they came from was examined there was nothing present on the floor or any other surfaces that could have caused it. This is not the first time that this sort of noise has been heard although not at this venue. Imagine hearing something being thrown at you but not finding the item!

Kim's sickness and coughing cannot be explained naturally. She was not ill and had no foreign objects in her throat to cause the cough and felt better in few moments.

The noises stopped and started with increasing regularity again before ceasing. Given previous investigations at Bradbourne we cannot explain this as it is similar to previous visits but not identical and therefore cannot be attributed to any constant source.

More whistling in this area noted by Ian and Dave only cannot be account for. In this instance it may have been a natural noise that was, in fact, heard by the others yet not noted as they heard it for what it was.


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
Ghost Connections extend their thanks to the Chief Executive and staff of the East Malling Trust for Horticultural Research for allowing us access to investigate Bradbourne House.
   
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