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Oxney Bottom - Ringwould

Aim:
To investigate and further our studies into possible paranormal activity at this location.

Background:
Well what can we say about Oxney that we haven't said before? We like this place so much that we are drawn to it time and time again and every visit gives us a different take on this place. What we feel, what we hear, what we sense always confounds us and adds to the mystery. When we have a spare evening without a booked venue this is always top of our list for an impromptu outdoor investigation. During our visits here we have heard footsteps around us, been physically touched, seen things, heard things, felt happy , felt sad and even threatened to the point that we have left. We have been here during the day and even on a beautiful sunny spring morning you do not feel alone. This is a very active, emotional and evocative place that has to be experienced to be appreciated. Little wonder that as we had a free night we ended up here again.

Apparatus:

Video camera:
Sony DCR HC-24E with night vision and Sony HVL-IRM IR light

Digital Camera:
Fuji Fine Pix S5000
Fuji Fine Pix S5500 x 2
Nikon Coolpix 3100

Voice recorder:
Olympus VN-2100PC
Olympus DM20

Thermometer:
Calibrated thermometer with probe

Other:
Tripod
Torches
Tapes (MiniDV)

Investigators:
Kim, Ian, Paddy, Dave


Method:
Our methods this time were to be simple, to simply sit quietly conducting vigils whilst asking for communication and see what results we got. We had no preset plan for the night, simply to use our camcorders, cameras and voice recorders to record our time there.

The Investigation:
We started the evening in the traditional way with a visit to the Chinese takeaway and dinner on the beach in Deal, before a few swift non-alcoholic drinks at The Five Bells in Ringwould. When night had drawn in we chose to leave the pub and make our way up to Oxney.

We parked in the usual place at the bottom of the driveway and entered the woods about 11.15. First impressions were that it was so black, as we got a few yards up the driveway we could not see each other even though we were only feet apart, this set in our minds that it could be an interesting night. As we neared the top of the drive and entered the woods we noticed some loud distant drumming, we stood and tried to locate it for a few minutes and concluded that it was coming from the old cottage on the other side of the woods. This concerned us a little as it sounded like a full hard core rave and knowing the reputation these events have we had to be aware that those attending it might see fit to go for a late night stroll into the woods where we were.

The walk into the area of the chapel was interesting, especially given the musical accompaniment. The ground was very muddy and damp and you needed to watch your footing. Paddy commented on being tapped on the chest while walking through the woods, this could of course been an unseen branch but we make a point of mentioning anything and everything that occurs in case there is a relevance later on.

We made camp under the yew tree which appeared to have been damaged, possibly by a large storm the week before. We had a brief walk to the area of the chapel just to see if anything had changed since the last visit but didn’t’t venture far due to the darkness and the fear of being seen by whoever was occupying the cottage. We did see that the broken Ouijia board found at the south end of the chapel during our last visit had been displaced and was now four feet outside the chapel in the bushes.

We returned to the yew tree and sat in a circle facing each other for a while, soaking up the atmosphere. The noise and voices coming from the cottage were to remain with us for the entire night and provided a constant distraction and cause of worry for the team. There was also a fair amount of traffic noise from the main road near by. Unusually there was a great deal of noise that we presumed to be that of being animals, this was different as normally we hear nothing, the place is silent when you would normally expect such noises, possibly the music had disturbed them. There was also a degree of “other” movement that caught our attention. There was a heavy dark atmosphere and it felt as if the woods were alive and had been woken up! It was not raining but there were drops of water falling from the tree canopy, Kim caught one of these in a still photograph which clearly shows how such things can be misconstrued as paranormal anomalies.

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Above is the board that was found at the chapel, written on the reverse is pictured below.

 
   
We decided not to try any experiments such as a séance and to simply spend our time there sitting, listening and asking if anyone was there with us? Kim was sitting under the tree when she felt something that felt like a hefty poke in the chest that really made her jump. She described it as something that pushed forwards into her chest rather than something that could have fell from the tree. She checked with a torch but nothing was there to explain this. The session was being filmed on Dave's camcorder and Dave will be checking footage. Paddy reminded us on the poke in the chest he received on the walk into the woods.

As time went on and Kim began to feel sleepy with the rhythmic drumming of the distant music, she in fact drifted off and says she began to dream of demons and the like! She woke with a start as she heard movement behind her. We remained seated for the whole time we were there and all of us were apprehensive at some point. We all felt that once again we were not alone, as though something was there watching us the whole time and had the “other visitors” in the cottage not been so loud , then we would surely have had some results. It was very dark, even darker than when we first arrived. There were lots of animal noises around us, which as already mentioned is very odd for Oxney. Usually the whole wood is quiet. Then suddenly Paddy says he has shivers down his spine at the same time Ian can feel a sudden cold breeze to the right, Dave confirmed this as he was sitting to Ian's right. Then there is a high pitched noise heard by Dave and Paddy, we can only explain this as possibly a rodent of some kind. While Dave was calling out he happened to have his hand aloft, whilst in this position he felt his hand was struck by something unknown. In the same way as Kim's experience he felt this could not have been something that fell as it appeared to come from the wrong direction.

We had a break with a few cups of coffee and some food before resuming our places for another sitting. The music was pumping and the voices getting louder and we were becoming ever more wary of the living rather than the departed, and the traffic noise from the road was less. More movement is detected all around us and Kim thought she heard whispering to Dave’s right, he thought it was him doing his coat up and recreated the noise but Kim confirmed that this was definitely not what she heard.

We continued for a couple of hours simply sitting, talking, observing, listen to the throng from the cottage and voices that came along with it. This did not change what we were feeling and as we continued we all agreed that the atmosphere was certainly charged and had remained so all night. We continued to feel the same sensations we were feeling earlier and combined with the movement all around we agreed that the night had not been wasted or spoiled by the debacle going on in the cottage. With nothing else of note we chose to end our investigation, packed up and left the woods. As we left the woods we decided to drop the kit and venture along the other path that led to the cottage, a bit risky but curiosity got the better of us. Silently the four of us approached the edge of the wood where we could see the cottage and it's garden. Dave an Paddy ventured a bit closer but there was not as much to see as there was to hear. The music and voices were so loud but at least being the only occupied property in the vicinity they were not going to disturb anyone, only the occasional passing paranormal investigator! We walked back to the top of the driveway and walked back to the car.

 
Results

Firm results were few and far between. The groups high level of apprehension could have been caused by the knowledge that there was the party going on in the cottage. The large amount of movement sensed all around us could have been caused by the unusually high level of animal activity. It was a very close, damp and muggy evening, which would had added to the atmosphere created by the music we were listening to all night. The over all effect was very hypnotic, who knows how this could have affected us. Nothing was caught on our still photographs although the nice shot of a water droplet that Kim got is a very interesting experiment in how easy it is to take a picture of something unusual and misinterpret it as paranormal. Further scrutiny of all the video and audio footage is needed but so far nothing out of the ordinary was recorded, should anything be found later this report will be updated.

Update - The video footage of the incident where Kim felt a blow to her chest is visible on our footage.

It shows the event quite clearly. Kim is visible within the range of the IR light. She can be seen sitting perfectly still prior to the incident. None of the rest of the team is near enough to cause the effect she felt either deliberately or by accident. Nothing can be seen physically on the footage to cause this effect on Kim but what is interesting is that a split second before she reacts her right hand can be seen to raise slightly from the armrest of the chair she is sat on. In a split second her right hand clasps to her chest and then pushes away as if pushing something from touching her. This causes the light of her DM20 mircophone to be visible as it is pulled from her jacket. There is nothing on the footage to explain what she felt and therefore this remains a mystery. A clip of this incident will be posted on the web site in due course.

 
Conclusion

This was a difficult investigation, one we were looking forward too a great deal and sadly one that was unfortunately spoilt by what we found there. Despite this we all agreed it was another of those unpredictable nights we always seem to experience at Oxney, and as always we left feeling we had furthered our ongoing investigation of this evocative place.

There was an amount of information forthcoming of a clairvoyant/psychic kind, but this cannot be validated. As Ghost Connections conducts scientifically based investigations we do not publish such observations, however, this information is held on a separate database and may prove interesting when compared to other peoples experiences. Should you wish to discuss this information please email us.

Private Property

We would like to remind visitors to our site that Old Wood is private property and permission from the landowner is required before visiting. There are no public footpaths or rights of way through these woods.

Readers Stories

Occasionally we emailed stories about places that we have visited. Please read below an account recently received - July 2012.

 

From: Sally xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: 17 July 2012 09:37:34 GMT+01:00
To:ghostconnections.com
Subject: Oxney Bottom

Dear Ghostconnections,

I came across your website by accident whilst I was researching something completely different. I thought you might be interested in my own experiences of Oxney Bottom. I have also sent this story to the Yourcounty website as I thought readers there might like to see it.

In January 1986 my boyfriend Dave and I moved to a little cottage in Ringwould. We both worked in Dover so we frequently travelled along the A758 by car. We also used the road whenever we visited my parents, who lived near Folkestone, or Dave’s family who lived in Ashford. We knew nothing of the rumoured ghost sightings along this road when we first moved to the village and neither of us ever saw anything in any way strange. We lived in Ringwould until October 1989, by which time we had married. We must have passed through Oxney Bottom many hundreds of times during those years at all times of day and night

.

However, some time after we had settled in the village I went to Oxney Bottom from another direction. Dave and I were both keen horse riders and we had a horse which we shared, on loan from a friend. We kept him at livery stables in Ringwould. On one occasion I set off along a bridleway we often used which led from Ringwould to the Freedown at St. Margaret’s at Cliffe. I was all alone with the horse and our Springer Spaniel. For some reason I branched off the main bridleway and followed a path which led into the woods at Oxney Bottom. I had never been into these woods before and I was struck by the melancholy and sinister atmosphere there. The trees were still in full leaf and many were hung with thick ivy. It was dark and gloomy under the trees, although it was a pleasant fine afternoon. I saw the chapel and some gravestones, but did not go very close. The behaviour of the two animals was peculiar. Every so often the horse would stop dead and stare intently in front of him, ears pricked forward. The dog did the same thing, stopping abruptly and gazing into space, the hackles on his back rising as he whined and growled, as though at something just ahead of us.

I soon decided that I disliked the atmosphere in the woods very much. The silence was oppressive. There were no birds singing. At one point I heard what sounded like whispering, but I dismissed this as the sound of the wind in the leaves. Faintly in the distance I could hear traffic on the main road. I attempted to retrace our steps and leave the wood. I seemed to have lost my way and eventually found myself back near the chapel. We wandered around for some while. Several times the horse shied, apparently at nothing and once the dog let forth a volley of barks. I seemed to have completely lost my sense of direction. Eventually I let the reins go slack and allowed the horse to find his own way out. This he did, and I felt a huge sense of relief as we came out of the trees and into the sunshine at last. I realised how cold it had felt in the woods. I reached home without further incident.

Later that day I was chatting to my next door neighbour, a charming elderly lady. I told her of my experiences, only mentioning that I had got lost in the woods and saying nothing of the strange atmosphere I had sensed there. I described the ruined chapel and remarked that it appeared to be of a great age. She gave me an odd look and told me I’d been in Oxney Bottom. She mentioned that a child had died in the woods. falling down a well. According to her, it was rumoured that there had once been a village there and it had disappeared as the inhabitants had all died of the plague. I told her I had seen gravestones which looked to be comparatively recent and she said that the graveyard had still been used by the big house in the woods which was now in ruins.

Later I was discussing Oxney Bottom with a colleague who had grown up in Deal. From her I learned all the stories of the Grey Lady who haunted the main road, appearing in the rear view mirror of cars and stepping into the road in front of traffic. I think she also mentioned the coach and horses and the highwayman. Had I heard of all this before my visit to the woods I would have put my feelings of unease and the sinister atmosphere I sensed there down to preconceived expectations about the place, but I came to know of these rumours only after my visit on horseback.

I decided to go back and have another look at the chapel and the gravestones on foot. I find gravestones interesting and have spent many happy hours looking round old churchyards. I wanted to see if my initial opinion that some of the graves were comparatively modern was correct. On this occasion I approached the woods from the same direction as before, accompanied only by the dog. He was a very lively animal and usually he would run some distance ahead of me and I would call him back if he went out of sight or if I needed him to walk close to me because of traffic or livestock. As soon as we entered the woods he walked as close to me as he could, his tail between his legs. Several times he stopped and whined with the hackles on his back rising, just as before. This time I did not feel as though the atmosphere in the woods was as sinister as on my previous visit, though there still seemed to be an air of melancholy. It was autumn and the trees were losing their leaves. I reached the chapel and looked round inside. A few beer cans discarded against one of the walls were evidence that other visitors had been there. I inspected the gravestones and from the inscriptions I could see that I was right in believing some of them to be fairly recent, dating from the early twentieth century. The silence in the woods did not seem so profound this time. The traffic on the main road sounded louder than it had done before, probably because there were fewer leaves on the trees. I told myself I had been silly to be so affected by the place on my last visit. There seemed nothing particularly unpleasant about the atmosphere around the chapel and the graves this time, it just felt sad, but this is not unusual in an old graveyard. I was congratulating myself on my temerity in coming back there after my unpleasant experience on my first visit. The dog was still pressed close to my knee. Then, quite suddenly he began to growl and his hackles were up again. I sensed a change in the atmosphere around me. It suddenly seemed very cold and the few sounds there were seemed different, louder, and yet seeming to come from a great distance and somehow menacing. As on my previous visit, I heard a noise like someone whispering, though I could not make out any words and I told myself it was just the wind in the few leaves that remained on the trees. I felt a great desire to be out of the woods. This time I was able to retrace my steps without difficulty. I had been more careful to take note of the way I had come. I was thankful to find myself back on the main bridleway away from the woods. The dog seemed to share my feelings and bounded off ahead of me as usual as soon as we were away from the woods.

I never went into the woods at Oxney Bottom again. I still sometimes rode or walked along the bridle path that passed the entrance to the woods and whenever I was on horseback the horse would quicken his pace until we were past the path that lead into the trees. I neither believe nor disbelieve in ghosts, but there is definitely something to be felt at Oxney Bottom. Not a good thing either.

Regards,

Sally

   

23th June 2007

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