Ghost Connections UK
The Theatre Royal
The Theatre Royal, Margate, was established by Royal Patent in 1786 and opened on the 27th June, 1787. It is the second oldest theatre operating in Great Britain and is also the oldest un-restored theatre in the country, its splendid auditorium dating from the 1874 designs by J T Robinson.
The building is now operated and maintained by the Margate Theatre Royal Trust, Charity Number 279015/R. The continuing aim of the Trust is to fully restore this unique building for the benefit of the community of East Kent.
26th May 2005
Return to the Theatre
24th September 2005
Deanos Personal account
This was my third investigation at the
theatre and the second with our group, so it was quite exciting to be
going back so soon after the May visit.
We arrived by the back of the building with all of the equipment, Paddy helped me in with two of my cases and although the stage crew and management were still around, we managed to work around them and started to set up our equipment.
Initially there were to be two videos recording this investigation, but this time it showed up some short falls in our equipment being the missing of some monitor leads, which lead to only one video being used at this venue, after borrowing a long extension from the theatre paddy and myself were able to set up the monitor and the video out in the main corridor which had its own power supply, we set the new gang plug extension in the top circle and were then able to pass the leads back from the box to this gang plug unit as there was no power supply in the area being monitored.
While in the box setting up the monitor
the first of the nights strange events occurred, as paddy was to the left
of the box sorting leads and I was to the right setting up the cam, as
I turned towards paddy I managed to see a glass bead fall towards Paddy’s
back, this box has a hole in the wall where paddy noticed a glass bead
that was firmly in the hole,(this bead was in this hole in the last investigation
and we think it was left by another team a long while back)
Puzzled we carried on and finished setting up the equipment ready for the start of the investigation, moving into the middle circle I managed to set my evp unit on the third row back and to the left on a seat that was stable when it was laying flat, it was not switched on at this time.
Paddy also set up his recording unit at the top circle to the right of the door, in the meantime the other members of the team who were Ian, Kim, Viv and Sarah were setting up various bits of equipment around the theatre, before we left the area to begin the investigation paddy and myself checked that all the seats in the middle circle were up(apart from the seat with the evp unit on)
Paddy started his recorder and I started the video which would be recording in the box this was started at 0020 hrs we then left for an Ouija board session on the stage where earlier a table and six chairs were set up, the session started with Kim, Ian and myself with myself asking for spirit with no results, we took turns at asking with the group swapping around touching the planchette ,I was the first to leave the group session about 0120hrs and decided to watch from the stage and then I went into the stalls all the time watching and listening , first of all I sat several seats back then after a while I moved to the back of the theatre by the main entrance door where I started to take a series of photos some of which showed up some dust orbs, I noticed that paddy had moved into the lower box watching the stage from that angle and taking photos too.
I made my way to the opposite side of the theatre but still towards the back where I sat in an armchair continuing to take photos, we had decided as a group that a lot more photos were needed in the hope of catching something unexplained, I then made my way to the top circle and then to the middle taking as many photos as I could, by this time the Ouija board session was coming to an end with apart from an s being spelt out there were no overall results.
Kim called for a break so before I returned to the stage I started my evp in the middle circle the time was 0150hrs, we decided that two of the groups out of the three were to do paired vigils, I had paired up with Kim and we decided to do our vigil underneath the stage the time was 0220, we sat towards the back of the stage if you were coming down the stairs to the far side of the prop room, we decided to give all teams thirty minutes each, no results to report although at one point we heard someone walking across the stage and towards the steps to the other side of where we were sitting ,we did get goose bumps at this point but it was Paddy we had forgot to use the walkie talkies, Paddy had seen some flashes coming from the stage area and wanted to be sure it was Kim and myself which we confirmed it was, Paddy handed out the walkie talkie and the vigil continued, no results but we did take plenty of photos while Kim was using the camcorder .
When our time was up I called paddy and we stopped for a break, at this point Ian and Viv started there paired vigil above the stage the time was just before 0300.
After the loan vigils were finished we decided on a walk around the theatre taking photos, we normally do this when we start an investigation but we seemed to have done things about face this time around, which keeps it interesting, we started on the stage then on into the stalls up the staircase at the front of the building and into the middle or dress circle ,still continuing to take loads of photos, we then continued to the top circle where instead of seats you have a bench like configuration in a semi circle with rails around each bench we spent at least half hour or so taking pictures then decided to do another Ouija session this time beneath the stage.
The Ouija session produced no results and Kim was almost dropping of at this point we have done many investigations but this one was starting to produce a strange sleepiness in us all, while we all took turns in asking for spirit I realised that my first evp unit was still on the stage this was used to record the first Ouija session above the stage, the other unit remained in the middle circle for the duration of the investigation, I left the group beneath the stage and headed towards the stairs and made my way to the table where the evp unit was still recording, as I was walking there I heard a loud thump from the middle or upper circle this of course made my skin crawl as I was the only one exposed if you like to the entire theatre, i asked if anyone was there and if able to could they do it again with no results.
I took up the evp recording device and went back beneath the stage to record the remainder of the Ouija session, after this session we had another quick break before we decided to have a quiet time sitting in places of our choice, it was at this time that I made my way to the middle circle with my camera and second evp unit on me, when I noticed that row E seat 12 was down I called to the others that maybe the bang I heard earlier on was this seat going down, if it was it was a very forceful bang ,these seats were checked by paddy and myself at the beginning of the investigation, Ian came up and started to film the seat and area in question I am hoping that when the evp is played back the sound should be picked up on both recorders, paddy was up in the middle circle with us and with the seat back in its upright position we all took up residence in the middle circle paddy on the back settee Ian on the double seats to the side of the bar area and myself in the row of the offending seat but at the end in E 21 looking over at E 12, I placed my second evp unit on the floor and this is the point where paddy Ian and myself all fell asleep I also heard later that Kim dozed off also and Sarah and Viv were suffering from this strange tiredness .
It was the moment that I heard a table move that woke me it was Sarah and Viv dragging a table to the back of that stage for a table tipping session, we decided to join them but before I went I stopped checked the tape recorder the tape had stopped at 0320 the time was now 0515 I then decided to stop the evp unit in the middle circle the recording time was just over 4 hours, the video had recordered 3 hours we joined the others on the stage and Ian decided to join viv in table tipping, paddy and myself decided to pack all the equipment away starting with the video and monitor night vision cam etc and the various leads, the table tipping session finished and this concluded the investigation at the theatre royal the time was 0615
The Theatre Royal always seems to surprise me as each investigation seems to yield different results, if I am honest I am not to keen on using the Ouija board but I do believe in trying different approaches to the paranormal I see using the board as an experiment with results so far being inconclusive, the glass bead falling by paddy’s back at the very start of the investigation was interesting ,but he may of brushed up against it when he entered the box, and the the loud bang from the middle or top circle and then finding row E seat 12 down was interesting just waiting for the results of the video and evp, and also the strange tiredness which struck us all this time. So an interesting nights investigation I would like to return again but if we can fit this venue in it will be towards the end of next year.
Results - to follow
Evp middle circle
Evp Ouija session above the stage
EVP Ouija session below the stage
Video top box
Ian's personal account
This was my second time visiting the Theatre Royal, and I was in half a mind if I wanted to return. This was because the last visit was pretty uneventful on the night although a bit of EVP was later found by Kim. Once there though a sense of anticipation spread amongst all our team, and there was a feeling about the place that we couldn't explain, also we were told that the place had been fairly active recently. All this served to fuel my interest and I was more than keen to get started.
Once ready we started with something unusual for us, a Ouija board! We tried this on the stage for some time with only one movement detected, the pointer moved to the letter S? With no more results we decided to leave this for the meantime. I recorded all of this session on camcorder but nothing unusual was seen when played back.
After a break we followed this with a photo session walking about where we wished, I took a total of 150 photo's with my digital camera and 2hrs of video on the night, read on to hear the results.
Afterwards we went on to the vigils, Dean & Kim and Sarah & Paddy paired off and went first leaving Viv and myself having a break. Then came our turn, we had been talking to Jay, the stage manager, about the presence he felt in the fly's above the stage so we decided to go there. We stayed there for half an hour, calling for spirit, "Charlie" as the staff had nicknamed him. I took photos and video'd the whole time but too our disappointment nothing happened and nothing was caught on either camera. That is apart from one I took above the next flight of steps whilst I called for Charlie to show himself for the camera. Yep is looks like a "dust" orb but I took it as I asked for him to show himself, make your own minds up?
Is this "Charlie"
After the vigils came another Ouija board session under the stage, Viv had felt a presence there earlier which we were aware of on our last visit. This I again video'd but sadly there was no movement of the pointer at all, and nothing unusual was caught by the video footage.
Quiet time was next I hadn't decided where
to go but Dean & Paddy were excited to find that one of the seats
on the first floor balcony was down? They had previously checked that
they were all up? I ran up there video going to see and film the seat
down, this was unusual so I stayed with Paddy & Dean there for the
quiet time. Not a lot happened over the next hour we were I video'd a
bit then stopped and took a few more pictures, before we all sat there
and dozed off??
The balcony where the voice
was picked up.
We all seemed to be really dozy by this stage of the investigation which was strange as we were all affected around the same time? It must have been the atmosphere of the place because once I was out and on my way home I felt much more awake. It was the drive home I was dreading because of the danger of falling asleep at the wheel, but it was fine compared to in the theatre.
Once again the Theatre Royal had proved to be a difficult venue, not a lot of activity on the night. But the results I had afterwards have showed me that this place has secrets to tell worthy of an investigation. The Ouija board moving to the S and the woman’s voice I caught in my video footage, could it be that Sarah Thorne, a previous owner/manager of the theatre was with us? Could it have been sarcasm in her voice when she said "You, you happy now?" knowing we were looking for her (or something like her). Would I consider going back again? Well I wasn't convinced this time but I'm glad I did. If we organised one next year sometime I'm sure I would.
Kim's personal account
This was our second visit to the Theatre Royal and I was looking forward to the investigation. I was returning with no expectations and a clear mind.
We gained access at 11pm and proceeded to install various equipment around the theatre. Ian undertook base line tests, and Ian and Paddy were setting up CCTV equipment in the top box.
I was on a walk round with Viv and Sarah.
Whilst walking around the stalls with the girls, there was a bit of commotion from the top box. Dean and Paddy and just witnessed a strange occurrence. Whilst setting up the equipment a small glass pebble that had been placed in a recess in the wall came flying out of its resting place. Neither Dean nor Paddy had noticed the object before hand. On the previous investigation items were found in the recess and noted. ( I spoke to Jay about this later in the evening and he said that it was strange as he thought they had removed all items from the recess).
Viv and I decided to continue our walk round under the stage, Sarah joined the guys.
Viv felt uneasy under the stage and was sure she could hear footsteps behind us, as if someone was following us. We both turned round to see the large punch bag attached to a beam swinging with some force. We both claimed that we had not touched it. We shouted out to the guys to walk across the stage above to ensure that the movement of the punch bag wasn’t caused by movement from above. The punch bag remained still!
After our initial walk around and setting up of equipment we settled on the stage for a session on the Ouija board. The session lasted about an hour, and the planchette only moved once, to the letter “s”. Those using the board at that time did notice a chill come across the board, but nothing was detected on any of our meters.
We decided to take a series of photographs around the theatre and have a little time to ourselves.
After the photo taking session the vigils began. I was paired with Dean under the stage. Our vigil lasted about ½ an hour and was pretty uneventful. Other vigils were of the same!
We then decided to have a session on the Ouija board under the stage; I sat out from this session as I was becoming very tired. This session was also uneventful.
We then had free time to ourselves to roam the theatre, take photographs and have quite time by ourselves.
I sat in the stalls area, and my tiredness overwhelmed me, and I believe I feel asleep, as did the other guys.
The investigation ended at 6am.
I went to the theatre this time with no expectations; therefore I was not disappointed at the lack of paranormal phenomena detected. I had previously spoken to Jay who is the stage manager and he told me that things were strange just of late, as if something was building. I do agree the theatre had a strange atmosphere, and all the team falling asleep may have proved that. I had the strangest night at the theatre and have found it difficult to recollect my evening.
Is the theatre haunted? I certainly think there is something strange about the place, the little things that happened, our previous investigation and eye witness accounts must mean something is afoot
Paddy's reports to follow