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Oxney Bottom - Ringwould, Kent

Report by Ian Batchelor

Aim:
To further our studies into the mysteries and possible paranormal activity at Oxney Bottom

Background:
"Oh well, here we go again". Well that's what I thought when the team decided that a spare investigation night should be spent returning to Oxney. The team know full well that of all the places we visit Oxney is my least favourite. I can't explain why, but it has become my nemesis. The place doesn't scare me as such, if I were scared by such places I wouldn't do what I do or be a part of the team. All I can say about Oxney is that what we feel, hear and sense always bemuses us and I personally become very agitated there. Sitting next to a derelict medieval chapel in enveloping black woods that bring your visibility to virtually nil, combined with an odd deafening silence Oxney becomes one of the most eerie places I have ever been too. Whilst there I have heard footsteps, been touched, seen things, heard things, felt all manor of emotions and even felt threatened and left. There is also the possibility of more than spiritual interference as we know there to have been earthly goings on at Oxney, so the chance of other people turning up is always on your mind. My grandmother always used to say the dead can't hurt you but look out for the living. Needless to say, despite my normal reservations, this is where we were going and an investigation is an investigation after all.

   

The Investigation

Apparatus:

Video camera:
No video was shot on this occasion

Digital Camera:
Fuji Fine Pix S5000
Fuji Fine Pix S5500 x 2


Voice recorder:
Olympus DM20

Thermometer:
Calibrated thermometer with probe

Other:
Torches


Investigators:
Kim, Ian, Paddy, Dave


Method:
Our methods this time were to be even simpler than normal as we believe that sometimes you can over complicate an investigation by trying too hard and using too much "kit". A back to basics approach was called for to see if this had any effect on the results. No video was to be shot but we were to keep Kim's DM20 running at all times. Still digital photo's were to be taken throughout. We were hoping to simply sit quietly by the clearing near the chapel and become attune to the environment, ask for communication and see what happened.

The Investigation:
The other members of the team had been out during the afternoon scouting for future investigation sites, I eventually caught up with them early part of the evening for the obligatory Chinese takeaway in Deal, before watching the end of the rugby (England vs Australia...well done lads!) and a few swift non-alcoholic drinks at The Five Bells in Ringwould. When night had drawn in we left the pub and made our way up to Oxney.

We parked at the bottom of the driveway and entered the woods about 10.30pm. We all had an odd sense of change, something felt different about the place, it even looked visibly different. It was very dark and foreboding as normal but we eventually thought it must be due to the time of year, less vegetation or had it been cut back? This was the same as we approached the chapel, it all felt more open and exposed than it had ever done before?

Before long we were again setting camp in the normal place under the yew tree. No soon as we had arrived and sat down Dave and Kim heard something almost stamping and heavy crashes through the bushes and remaining undergrowth behind Dave and by the chapel. We sat and listened to these odd noises as they got heavier and louder indicating they were getting closer but we were at a loss as to what could have caused it. Dave compared it to the sound of something heavy deliberately causing these noises, like a large animal but nothing appeared. Kim also heard similar noises from behind Paddy. The whole team had a sense of apprehension from the start (not just me) but after a while this ebbed away and we began adjusting to the surroundings. While these noises were heard early on Kim felt as though something was coming closer and could feel her throat beginning to constrict and was trying hard to control it. Before now we had commented on how little natural noise is heard at Oxney, you would expect to hear small animals scurrying, birds, rustling of leaves and other nocturnal noises, but there never is any. This time was different, it was a little breezy and given the time of year there was constant leaf fall, you could also hear the noise of slugs and snails moving across the leaf littler strewn floor. These were noises we eventually became accustomed too.

Then suddenly there were more unidentifiable sounds and a sense of movement behind Dave and around the chapel. This again brought out some anxiety within the group and lasted for a good few minutes, after which things began to settle down again. By midnight The temperature was 12.8C and an odd silence, more like the one we were accustomed too, descended over the area, the occasional leaf fall stopped even the slugs and sails seemed to stop munching. It was during this eerie silent period that I got the shock of my life and almost jumped from my chair as I clearly felt something firmly touch my hand, as though someone had grasped it. Dave felt a cold draught gust between him and Kim. Paddy had a big shiver all down his spine. I had my torch on for a while following my "touch" experience which helped everyone calm down for a moment and become more comfortable.

We sat and discussed how because of our repeated visits, we always felt a familiarity with this location, but tonight this was different. From entering the woods at the start of the investigation the place felt different and still did, and this did not do much for our sense of anxiety. Then the owls started! This we had not heard before and it could be heard coming from all directions, you could even hear the birds in flight over head. A thud was heard as a heavy object was dropped to the floor nearby, this did not alarm us too much as we put it down to some prey being dropped by the owls, or some old branch that had been disturbed and fallen. Needless to say the banter and display by the owls was certainly interesting to hear and watch.

The owls became quiet and seemed to leave us, then Dave heard a tap followed by a thud... thud behind Kim repeating what we had heard when we arrived. It was an unusual sound which again we could not identify. Dave heard a deep intake of breath from my direction but I assured him it was not me. Kim thought it may have been her so simulated the same. Dave determined that it could not have been Kim’s as hers was louder as closer and in a different direction. Dave also thought he felt something brush his left side as though to move from behind him to in front of him, touching the baggy shoulder and sleeve of his fleece against his actual forearm and shoulder as it went. By 12.40 the temperature had dropped slightly to 12.6C and the traffic noise from the road was now intermittent. It did feel as though it had become colder but the temperature was unchanged at 12.6C. Dave thought he saw a mist drift across in front of him but this would have been difficult given there were no torches on at the time. I was standing at this point and had to have a look around as I swore I heard a noise like someone clearing their throat a little way away from us, Dave confirmed he heard the same thing but we could not explain what this sound was. Dave called for anything or anyone that might be with us to come closer and make themselves known to us with physical signs, but despite spending some time pursuing this there were no apparent responses.

After a long quiet spell with nothing occurring both I and Dave decided to leave Kim and Paddy to have a look in the deserted chapel. There appeared to be no significant change here. One of the Lacoste graves had the leaf litter cleared from it as though some one had been studying it, this could have been in recent days as this was still relatively clear. Apart from this and the appearance of a pair of dirty sunglasses hanging from some ivy against the wall there was nothing out of place. Whilst we were away Kim and Paddy heard footfalls behind them.

Once the team was reassembled we continued quietly sitting and experiencing our surroundings. A metallic "chink" was heard to come from the distance by the chapel which gave Kim and Paddy the shivers. The temperature seemed to have dropped again and we were all feeling a chill but it remained constant.

We were all struggling from the effects of a busy working week and little in the way of constructive responses to keep our minds occupied, so decided to call an end to the night and head for home. Walking down the drive towards the car I could feel the same sense of relief that I feel every time I leave Oxney, I had made it through another night there!

   
   
   
experiment with smoke
   
   
Results
No video footage was shot on this investigation and further scrutiny of Kim’s audio footage is needed but so far nothing out of the ordinary was recorded, should anything be found later this report will be updated. There was nothing out of the ordinary caught in any of the still frames shot during our time there.

The sound of something heavy crashing through the undergrowth could have been a larger mammal, like the badgers we know to inhabit the woods, but the noise still sounded too much for that, and no animal was spotted, these noises remain a mystery.

The fact that so many other animal noises were heard on this occasion, although you would think normal, is actually odd in our experiences given that the place is normally so silent, we cannot explain why this night was "normal".

My shock at having my hand touched could well have been explained by falling tree debris hitting my hand, even though I deny there was any at that point, and it felt stronger than the light brush of a falling leaf. I will have to class this as unexplainable.

Any cold gusts, draughts, shivers and apparent temperature changes could be explained by the occasional breeze that came through the trees, and the sense of occasion!

Although an audible intake of breath and the clearing of a throat could both be put down to one of the investigating team this cause was investigated and disproved, therefore, these occurrences also remain a mystery.

The movement Dave felt brush passed him could simply be the natural movement of a baggy fleece causing the sensation that something had touched his left side.

The metallic "chink" heard in the vicinity of the chapel was completely foreign given the organic nature of the venue. This could not be explained.

   
 
 

Conclusions

  What's to conclude and will there ever be a conclusion regarding Oxney? Somehow I think she's going to keep her secrets for a long time to come, which also means more visits to come. We left once again with more odd occurrences to reflect over. May be one day if people like us persist then we may get to the truth about this very old and evocative place that, despite my apprehension, is beginning to grow on me.

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.

Update
It has been brought to our attention that a group of people claiming to be Paranormal Investigators visited Oxney Bottom in August 2007, during their visit they trespassed on a property at the edge of the wood. Ghost Connections do not condone this sort of activity and will inform the relevent authorites if any further information is received.

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13th October 2007

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