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The Luteplayer - East Malling, Kent

27th March 2010

The earliest record we can trace of Heath Farm is back to 1872 where it can been seen on Ordinance Survey maps of the time, but it is safe to assume it had been on this site for many years before. The Oast House was originally used to dry fresh hops before they were sent to the brewers, to be used for flavouring beer. A typical Oast House consisted of the 'oast' and the 'stowage'. The oast was a kiln, with a plenum chamber fired by charcoal at ground floor and the drying floor directly above. The steep pitched roof channelled the hot air through the hops to the top. The stowage, was the barn section to the rear, and this would have had a cooling floor and press at first floor and storage area at ground floor.
This building was been vacant for many years before it was converted to a health and beauty centre. This was unfortunately not a successful venture and subsequently closed. It has again been empty until recently acquired for redevelopment, and it is these developers we wish to thank for entertaining our request to investigate these premises.
The premises themselves have a modern feel to the interior due to its conversion in recent years to a health farm, incorporating a swimming pool, kitchens and residential as well as treatment rooms. However, we should not ignore that the fabric of the building remains true to its original use and we should not be blinded but its modern appearance.
No accounts exist as to possible paranormal phenomena and this presents us with a blank canvass, but this we like as we can approach the investigation with no preconceived ideas. The only thing we do know is that patrolling site security have been unnerved by noises coming from the building, we know no more than this, but it is enough to wet our appetites.

To investigate the possibility of paranormal phenomena at this location and to records evidence of suggested paranormal activity.


  The Investigation
Samsung VP-D351 with night vision and Sony HVL-IRM IR light
Sony DCR HC-62 with night vision and Sony HVL-IRM IR light
Sony DCR-HC19 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 S5000
Fuji Fine Pix S5500
Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ-38 X 2
Pentax K-100D Digital SLR
Voice recorder:
Olympus VN-2100PC
Olympus DM20

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

Investigators: Ian, Kim, Paddy and Dave.

Using visual and scientific methods combined with spiritual theory we were to investigate the possibility of paranormal phenomena at this venue. We had decided to adopt our normal method of simple vigils with the option of conducting a séance if we felt this was appropriate. All the normal equipment as above was deployed around the vicinity of the vigil area.

Exterior temperature: 9 degrees (dropping later)
Weather: Overcast and dry (becoming clear later)
Moon phase: Waxing Gibbous 92% full


Walk around
After we arrived and unloaded we started a walk around of the building as three of us had not visited the premises previously and needed to acquaint themselves. Kim, Dave and Ian toured the ground floor as Paddy decided to see the first floor alone, meeting in the middle and swapping on the buildings rear staircase.

Session one – reception area

After a brief break and discussion we decided start the investigation in the base of the centre roundel, now the reception area of what was the health and beauty centre. After having a few equipment issues to sort out we began with Dave calling aloud, enquiring if anyone else was with us or could hear us, and asking if they could make themselves known to us. Ian also took the reins and called aloud for a while. Ian noted the draft caused by the front door. Both Dave and Ian comment on feeling drawn to the opening of the doorway at the top of the stairs, which leads to the first floor. After a while of questioning with little or no results it was decided to end the session and after a brief break to move on the first floor to see why this was.

Session two – first floor landing
This consisted of a repeat of what we had previously done in the reception area, sitting, listening and eventually Dave and Ian took turns calling aloud for some signs from anyone to confirm they were with us or in the building. All equipment was recording as before.

Session three – return to first floor landing.

A return to the landing was called for given that this was, so far, the most productive area of the night. Unfortunately this did not produce anything further and after some substantial time we decided that the late hour and coldness that had set in had beaten us, so we decided to close the session.


Walk around
During the walk around nothing of note occurred except for something Paddy experienced. Whilst he was approaching the rear of the first floor along the main corridor he thought he heard a male voice whispering from the far end of the corridor. This was clear enough for him to feel compelled to investigate only to find no one was there. What the voice was saying was indistinguishable.

Session one – reception area

Before the session had started the batteries in Ian's digital stills camera died. He commented that they were part used so he replaced them, the replacements immediately died also, so he replaced them again, and these four also failed. Although Ian knew the original batteries were part used he also knew the replacements were new, and could not explain why they had drained instantly.
There were a few knocks and the sound of shuffling heard from around the building but these were not consistent with the questioning and seemed unresponsive as they were not repeated on request. Some faint noises can also be heard on the video footage but these could not have been heard by the team on the night as they were not commented on at the time.

Session two – first floor landing
A few noises were heard but not so many as was heard previously in the reception area. The notable moment of the session, in fact the night, was what sounded like a closing and creaking door half way along the corridor that leads to what once residential rooms. This noise was recorded on camcorder and investigated the instant it occurred.
Session three – return to first floor landing.
One odd noise was heard but Dave, Ian and Paddy, this was heard emanating from the ground floor but could not be pin pointed, neither was it recorded on our equipment.

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.

Walk around

It was unfortunate that Paddy was alone at the time he heard the voice in the upstairs corridor as this means the occurrence cannot be verified, neither did he have any recording equipment with him. It is for this reason that we do not conduct lone vigils as anything witnessed cannot be corroborated. It is also highly possible the voice he heard was possibly Kim, Dave or Ian as they would have been beneath him and voices could have travelled via the rear stairway, although Paddy is adamant that this was not the case. With no recording to examine further we cannot come to any conclusions about this.

Session one – reception area
Batteries failing has often been suggested as evidence of a paranormal presence as it is thought that the presence has the ability to drain the power from the battery for its own use. This is, however, only a recorded theory and in itself proves nothing. But it is interesting that according to Ian the replacement batteries he put in his camera were previously unused, and we have no explanation as to why these drained so quickly.

Some of the noises heard were recorded on camcorder but cannot be identified. This is due to the acoustics within the building. Being a triple oast building the structure deflects sound very easily and it is difficult to pinpoint the area of origin. Given that the building had undergone major refurbishment in the years it was a health and beauty centre a lot of the structure was fairly modern, therefore, would not be prone to movement like an older structure would. We accepted this to be the reason why the building appeared to be so silent. However, as none of the noises we did hear appeared to be responsive we can only suggest that these noises were naturally occurring within the building.

Session two – first floor landing
Unfortunately we have to continue to draw the same conclusion as mentioned before, regarding any knocks or taps that may have been heard.
However, the noise of a door closing is very interesting. All the doors were known to be closed except one that was seated against its latch. All the doors are heavy fire doors that take a considerable push to move, so would not move in a draft, not that there were any drafts. When given a firm push the door does take a few seconds to return and seat itself again, none of the team had been through or near that door in the two hours prior, so it was not moved or affected by the team in any way. This occurrence was investigated and one open door of the doors tested was confirmed by witnesses to cause the same noise that had been heard. If we didn't move it, no building movement or draft moved it, then who did? We cannot explain this so please see the video footage that accompanies this report and decide for yourself.

Session three – return to first floor landing.

Very little occurred during our return to the landing. The one noise some of us did hear was not recorded so cannot be verified and no further analysis can be carried out. Neither was it repeated upon request so we have to say this was most probably a naturally noise of the building.

Many thanks to the owners of this building for entertaining our sudden and no doubt rather odd request, the trust put upon is much appreciated.
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