The Woodman - Otford
In the small town of Otford, just a couple of miles north of Sevenoaks, visitors will find The Woodman, located on the main street near to the village green. The pub dates back to the 18th century when it was built as a wheelwright's business. There are reputed to be tunnels which lead from under the pub to the parish church and other buildings in the village, though these have never been found. Like many old buildings, it is reputed to also have a resident ghost which has been seen by a number of customers and members of staff over the years.
Our hosts, Paul and Shelley Wills, have been the at The Woodman for
a year now and they say that they and their staff and friends have experienced
some occurrences. A vase of flowers has been repeatedly found on the floor
in the morning, always the same vase from the same window ledge, in fact
the landlord has actually seen it move and falling to the floor! Also
in the morning the candles in the bars are found lit! Footsteps are heard
above walking across the second floor attic and items up there have been
moved. On one occasion all the doors exiting the building had been found
bolted when no one had done so. There has also been odd shuffling and
movement heard in the bottom front bar when no one is there. Coughing
has been heard and a figure of a woman has been seen on the cctv screen
sitting in the rear bar and when investigated she’s gone. This might
be the same woman that one member of staff saw for herself approximately
18 months ago?
Needless to say with this information in hand GCUK felt that The Woodman certainly warranted a full investigation.
Camcorders: Sony DCR- HC30E with Sony IR Emitter HVL-IRM, Sony DCR-HC19 with Sony IR Emitter HVL-IRM, Samsung VP-D351 Mini DV with night vision.
CCTV: IR Nightvision Wireless CCTV Cameras (x2), Monitor / Receiver (x2)
EMF: Gauss EMF Meter.
EVP: Olympus DM-20 voice recorder.
Other: Data Logger EL-USB2, Torches, Tripods, Tapes (VHS/DVD/Cassette)
The remainder of the investigation was to take the form of two groups carrying out silent vigils in both the front and rear bar areas, both groups to spend time in each location swapping after an hour. All sessions to be recorded on camcorder. This was to be followed by an experimental séance with a glass, again to be recorded on camcorder. We felt it may prove interesting given that this had reportedly produced results before. This was to be with the GCUK team only at first but our guests were to be invited to join half way through.
Before the end of the investigation it was intended (with the owners permission) to take time to investigate the fabric of the building to see if we could find evidence of the existence of the tunnels.
We deviated from this during the investigation due to a late start, and decided to conducted the séance in between the proposed vigils instead of after, and we were unable to carry out the proposed structural investigation of the building, but this did not cause a problem because this counteracted our later start. Also it was not possible to link Paddy’s DVD recorder to the venues CCTV.
At 2.40am, after a break, the group tried the séance with an upturned glass. Ian, Kim, Dave and Sarah started this with Paddy filming on camcorder. Despite numerous requests nothing happened, apart from Sarah began to feel decidedly unwell in the head and stomach so decided to leave the table, she returned only to experience the same feelings so left the session permanently. Shelley joined but still there was no movement of the glass. We do not normally use a Ouijia Board but decided to do so because of the lack of results. Still there was no movement so we decided to end this unproductive session.
After a further break (3.50am) the whole group held a vigil in the front bar. Sarah thought she saw a movement on the venues own CCTV monitors but after a while there were still no results to speak of, so the group moved to the small alcove table. Whilst here Dave commented on a drop in the temperature even though there wasn’t one according to our equipment. There was also multiple knocks heard around the alcove. Paddy got the impression of movement from across the lower front bar, but there was no real reason for this, he described it as more of a “feeling“. there were further knocks heard within the alcove some most certainly to be attributed to the central heating which by now had been on for a while, others were more ambiguous. At 4.40am we decided to close the investigation.
|Regrettably nothing happened during our investigation
that would enable us to firmly say that there is paranormal activity at
The Woodman. However the reported phenomena have occurred over a period
of a year so there would be no reason for such phenomena to have occurred
during the brief time we were there. No evidence was captured by any of
our equipment but we did receive a certain amount of psychic information.
Although this cannot be treated as evidence it at least gives you food for
thought, GCUK will look further into this and try to validate some of the
information that was presented. Any developments will be reported at a later
date. Ghost Connections conducts scientifically
based investigations and does not publish any psychic or clairvoyant observations.
However, this information is held on a separate database. Should you wish
to see this information please email
Sadly we did not achieve our aim, being to substantiate the existence of paranormal phenomena at this location, and on the evidence obtained during our investigation we can only say that our findings were inconclusive at best.
We would like to thank Shelley and Paul for their hospitality and for
allowing us to investigate The Woodman.
©2004/2006 Ghost Connections UK