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The West Tower and Walls at Dusk

St.Marys - Eastwell, Kent

Reported by Dave Godden

St. Mary's Church at Eastwell has the classic 'Haunted Ruin' appearance of Gothic legend.

Steeped in history the church dates from the 14th Century and now only consists of the western walls and tower, along with the old south porch and fragments of the east and south walls.

In 1555 the burial register records the burial of Richard Plantagenet, reputed to be the surviving son of Richard III who escaped the carnage of Bosworth Field to live his life as a recluse on the Eastwell Estate.

The same century saw the opening of a vault under the south chancel that would lead to the internment of members of the Finch family. Members of the Royal Courts their splendid memorial is now removed from its plinth to the Victoria and Albert Museum along with the later 'White Lady' memorial of Emily Georgiana Countess of Winchilsea who passed in her life of tragedy as a Kleptomaniac ending early.

The church was not, as popularly recorded, destroyed by a bomb in the war, but undoubtedly weakened by the army tank manouvers in the park combined with water soaked up by the churches chalk structure since the 40 acre lake was built next to it in the 1840's it crumbled in 1951 with what is described as a terrible roar by a witness who saw the collapse.

The Investigation

Aim:

To investigate reports of paranormal activity at St. Mary's Church.

Background:

Ghost Connections previous visit was of interest and prompted a return visit.

Various accounts exist of this location which are verified as actual witnesses and not the usual folk tale that exists at other locations.

Lake House is reported to be the haunted location of a monk and the lane past the church has seen a horse and carriage driven by a male in a polka dot bow tie.

The lane to the church ,haunt of the horse and carriage.

Would any of the above make themselves known or would the nature of the place in itself lead the imagination wild?


Apparatus:

Video camera-
Sony DCR-HC19 with night vision and Sony HVL- IRM IR light


Digital Camera-
Fuji Fine Pix S5500
Fuji Fine Pix S5500

Voice recorder -
Olympus DM20

Thermometer-
Calibrated thermometer with probe

Team:

Kim
Paddy
Dave


Method:

Using visual and scientific methods combined with spiritual information investigate the background to alleged paranormal phenomena at this venue.

Investigation:

This was not an intended destination for the night having considered to have possibly been out of bounds due to the recent discovery of 'Blue Tongue Virus' at Eastwell Farm, visible from the church but the team were to find the lane open and so found themselves parking in graveled car park opposite.

'It' started here. No planning or settling in! No unpacking! No preliminary walkaround!

As we got out of the car footfalls were heard next to Paddy. Strong deliberate footfalls on the gravel. A combined feeling of an instant presence near us added to the sense that we were not alone.

What was immediately obvious was the noise from the adjacent lake. The wildfowl were in uproar as if disturbed by a predator on the bank but this was all across the lake and not localised. It would take some time for them to settle.

Paddy described hearing a woman's voice which Dave agrees with stating that he heard it mingled with noise from the lake.

Kim commented on a sighting of a figure by the rubbish bin as we walked past.

Deciding that the unsettled atmosphere on the lake was worthy of inspection we walked anti clockwise around the church yard.

Pausing on the south side by the lake we observed the unsettled birds swimming in the centre of the lake instead of roosting on the banks. Concluding that something major had upset them we found this unusual and as said above it would take some time for them to calm down.

All of us still aware of a presence very close to us we continued around the east end to the north side. The ground sounding hollow as we stepped across grass covered burials we entered the confines of the church proper.

Standing in the nave we soaked up the atmosphere before venturing under the dark and foreboding yew on the north side. We had experienced many phenomena here previously and were surprised not to feel that anything was untoward here this time. On exiting this area Paddy commented on female voices again and clarified that he heard two and one distinctly say 'Pardon' as if not clearly hearing the other.

Time to set up for the next few hours and we positioned our chairs in the nave of the old church. A novel approach, suggested by the absent Ian at the previous meeting, was adopted. Instead of sitting facing each other we would sit back to back to make the most of the view. This certainly opens up your view and also makes observing someone else's 'area' easier.

Sitting for some time we were aware of natural movements in the undergrowth from the wildlife. The area was well illuminated by the full moon which although clouded made everything clearly visible to the eye. There were no artificial lights of any description visible in this view.

Dave described, and drew, a woman in her 50's wearing a close fitting bonnet from the 1820's who was arranging flowers on a display by an arcade pillar between the south aisle and nave at the western end. The arcade no longer exists.

The team would sit for almost half an hour before a loud artificial roaring sound shattered the silence and disturbed the settling wildlife. This sound was so loud and so long lasting (estimated 30 seconds) that it was unlike anything we had heard before at any overnight vigil.

The team would abandon the sitting and make for the lake side and then the bridge on the lane. No source could be located although it emanated from our side of the lake and was estimated to have been only a few yards east of our location. The wildfowl were fleeing en mass across the lake away from the noise which had by now stopped. It had clearly unsettled everything.

The presence of this phenomena would occupy the rest of our time. Would it repeat itself? Would there be some detectable cause? Would we have an idea what it was?

With nothing else occurring after several hours we concluded the investigation.

The "White Lady" memorial
     
West wall of church and "White Lady" chapel
     
The lane to the church , reported to be the haunt of a horse and carriage.
     
     
 
     
Results
The gravel car park is under the trees and we would experience falling leaves during breaks taken that night. The sound of the footfalls was unique and could not be confused with the sounds of the leaves here. The area is open and so it could be seen that no other person or animal was responsible. The cause of these remains unexplained.

The perception of someone else, not visible to us, being present is a familiar accompaniment to groups attending 'spooky' locations and may be explainable by active imagination however we like to think that our experience outweighs our ability to indulge in this phenomena.

The female voices were first heard by Paddy. It is not possible to explain these other than to suggest that they may have been confused with other sounds from the lake, as Dave commented that he may have heard the voice mingled in with the birds. It is also possible that auto suggestion accounts for what Dave heard as a repetition of Paddy's suggestion. Because we had not set up as yet none of this is recorded.

The voices later under the yew tree are less explainable. The distinct mention of words makes this a less obvious case of confusion although the imagination cannot be ruled out.

Dave's description of a woman may be due to over active imagination as no other information was given as no interaction was witnessed. The year he gave was by way of impression although at this time the church was still standing and a reported phenomena of 'time slip' has been suggested for other events. Was this a replay of time? We may never know.

This brings us to the most interesting episode of the night. The prolonged noise! Recorded on our equipment there is a certainty that it was real. The disturbance of the wildfowl concurs with this. Various suggestions were forthcoming from the team. Sluice discharge into the lake of a volume of water, burner of a hot air balloon, low level jet engine. All of these were given as a suggested similarity of the noise but not a likely cause when investigated as none of these were present. A later suggestion of a local factory chimney discharge would be negated by map and aerial photography research. The only other suggestion was earth tremor amplified by the underground burial vaults. All negated or unlikely. Time slip to revving tank diesel engine? Also unlikely but considered. We really have no idea what it was. What we do know is that it did not occur again in the hours that would pass before we left.


During our stay a certain amount of other information was forthcoming to the team of a clairvoyant nature. 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.

Camcorder footage, still photographs and voice recorders were later examined and nothing of note was found other than the sound described previously. Recordings of this may appear on our seperate pages later.

     
 
     
 
  Conclusions
  Well. A totally extraordinary night for one reason only really – that noise.

Yes we had other sounds and thoughts but all overshadowed by the noise.

Another visit is definitely on the cards for 2008.

   
  Ghost Connections would like to point out that when visiting sites such as this all due respect is paid when attending. At no time have we entered an open site after stated hours to conduct research or an investigation.We only access sites that are open 24hrs.

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27th October 2007

2004/2007 Ghost Connections UK