Fort Luton - Chatham, Kent
24th January 2015
Fort Luton was built between 1876 and 1892 on a site overlooking the Luton Valley near Chatham. It was the smallest one of five ‘Outer Ring’ forts that were built to defend the landward approaches to Chatham Dockyard. It was built using convict labour with the materials being transported up from a jetty on Borstal Creek via a light railway. Built too late for service it was never armed or manned permanently but was used for siege trials, the last being in 1907.
During WWI the fort was used as a transit barracks for troops en-route to Europe and after the war it was used as a store. In 1938 work commenced on converting the fort into a Gun Operations Room (G.O.R.) and in August 1939 it opened as G.O.R. for the 27th AA Brigade covering the Thames & Medway South Area.
To our knowledge there have been no reports of paranormal activity at Fort Luton and as such we would treat it as a blank canvas. We believe we are the first people to conduct an investigation on this site.
|To investigate the possibility of paranormal phenomena at this location and establish any causes for any events encountered.|
Edited from the 1990's Tourist Map
Due to the fact that it is being restored there were only certain areas open to us on this investigation. We set out with the intention of covering as much of the internal structures as possible in the evening.
The team used the furthest magazine accessible from the left tunnel to commence a séance however due to the noises encountered would move out to the tunnel to continue this experiment. During this Dave moved to the main entrance end of the tunnel after Ian had walked the length of it to research noises that appeared to come from the tunnel.
The team located to the one restored casemate that is accessible.
The team returned to the same positions within the tunnel as at the
end of session one but Dave positioned half way along the tunnel.
The recordings of the events in the break can be viewed on our video below:
Fort Luton has been closed to public access for several years and during that time has fallen into disrepair. We were lucky to be invited here during its restoration. A lot has been done to make it accessible and there is so much more to be done.
Would anything stir to tell us of its feeling of this positive step forward or want to show us its history?
The tunnel is open at its main entrance and had a locked and secured metal gate with mesh covering at the other.
The noises encountered in the tunnel in session one were investigated. Ian walked the full length of the tunnel and when he walked over some of the brick formed steps a similar sound was identified.
When the team relocated into the tunnel Dave positioned himself nearer the entrance and similar noises were heard between him and the team. This meant the steps were not the cause but there was nothing else between that could have been responsible. Cellophane on the ceiling around one of the light fittings was a possible cause but again standing near it did not reveal it to be the source.
Reviews of the footage revealed a voice. This voice can be heard on footage recorded at both ends of the tunnel and is not subject to the slight distortion of the voices when recorded from the opposite ends of the tunnel to the voice in question. This is shown to good effect on the footage. We cannot suppose who would say the words that we believe it said among the team and therefore this remains unexplained.
Dave also recounted a song on his mind. This was identified as Mademoiselle From Armentières- Parlez Vous'. Research was conducted on this title and the following was found -
"Mademoiselle from Armentieres" was a song that was sung during World War I. It is also known by its ersatz French line, Hinky Dinky Parlez-vous (variant: Parley voo). It was considered a risque song.
It is also the third part (the first two being "Has Anyone Seen
The Colonel” and “It's A Long Way To Tipperary”of the
regimental march of Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.
During the break a number of different noises can be heard on the recording. The team were in an adjacent room separated by a brick and earthen wall. Their voices can be heard to be deadened by this on the footage. The noises heard are clearer and sound closer. The presence of no solid barrier at either end does not preclude the possibility that some sound from outside the fort caused the recording of it on the footage to sound as though it were in the tunnel yet there are noises which seem to be that of movement around the camcorder itself. It is possible that a rodent entered the tunnel unseen and was around the camcorder but again no evidence of rodent infestation was seen during the investigation and the sounds of movement are not those we have encountered before from rodents.
The 'light anomalies' on the footage during this period have been analysed and appear to be falling dust or debris and / or insects moving within the view of the infra-red lamp attached to the camcorder. These are not believed to be paranormal in nature and have been encountered and explained on other investigations by Ghost Connections.
The audio recordings during the break, whilst containing the conversations of the team and Kyn can also be shown to have a female vocal on them. The only females present were Kim and Kyn. Both have confirmed that they did not make any such noises during this time. The vocal seems almost to be upset and on the point of being hysterical. We cannot explain this.
Dean had described an event involving a hot air balloon. He could not have known or subconsciously recounted an event he had read although we later established the following reproduced from Kyns research on the site -
Tuesday, 4th October, 1892 – The Bury and Norwich Post, and Suffolk
Back into the investigation proper and session two in the casemate. These were used as accommodation when manned. The noises heard were identified to be drips of water falling from the ceiling onto the paint tubs. This said there were a couple of other noises that were not in the same location and are not explained as the same theory could not be employed due to lack of damp areas where the noises were.
Session three saw us move back into the tunnel. Nothing was reported but the footage again held what seems like human vocals that the team did not make or recall, They were, however, indistinct unlike session one. The source is not known and the content cannot be researched. They remain unexplained if indeed they are unidentified vocals.
Fort Luton appeared quiet on the surface but held some surprising results.
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.
|We would like to thank Kyn for her invitation and wish her and her team well with the restoration. We hope to visit again in the near future to continue our study.|
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