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Tonbridge Castle - Kent. Revisited

Background:
Tonbridge has been a market town since the Middle Ages when the Normans chose it as a prime location for their splendid mote and bailey castle, which still dominates the town today. Tonbridge Castle is originally an 11th century earthwork mote and bailey fortress, founded by Richard Fitz Gilbert, and is one of the finest remaining examples in England.

Adjacent to the mote, stands Gilbert de Clare's magnificent 13th century five storey gatehouse. The defenses were badly damaged after the Civil War and it was further demolished in the 1730's although the lower part of the southern walls are still visible along the river. The house adjoining the gatehouse was built with stone from the walls in 1793.

Staff had previously reported odd feelings as though not alone whilst locking up for the night. Also staff have been viewing the CCTV monitors watching colleagues locking up for the night, upon their return to their colleagues were asked who was with them in the gate house, the answer is normally “no one”, so who was the figure that was seen on the CCTV screen walking about with them? No other phenomena are known to be reported here although on a previous investigation some EVP evidence (Electronic Voice Phenomena) was recorded, this can be found with a short search through our video page.

View Here - Click

Ghost Connections was the first paranormal Investigation team to be allowed access to the gatehouse in March 2005, since then other commercial groups have held open investigations to ticket holders, but no one has seriously investigated the place as we do, we were looking forward to picking up where we had left off.

 

The Investigation

Aim:
To return to this site after a two year year absence to study and investigate the possibility of paranormal phenomena at this location as well as follow up on occurrences we had experience on our last visit in 2007.

Apparatus:

Camcorders:

Samsung VP-D351 with night vision
Sony DCR HC-24E 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:
Canon 400D
Fuji Fine Pix S5000
Fuji Fine Pix S5500
Fuji Fine Pix S5500
Pentax K-100D Digital SLR
Sony Erickson C905 camera phone

Voice recorder:
Olympus VN-2100PC
Olympus DM20
HNSAT DVR958
Other:
Tripods
Torches
Video tapes (MiniDV)
DVD-RW's

Investigators:
Ian, Kim, Paddy and Dave.

Method:
For a change we had no preset plan and following a walk around to reacquaint ourselves with the venue we were to decide which areas we were going to investigate. Camcorders with night vision, digital voice recorders and cameras were to be our main equipment as always. We had no plans to split at any point although this was to be considered if we felt it was appropriate.

Investigation:

We sat facing each other in the center of The Great Hall. After spending some time adjusting to the natural noises in this environment, including the nightlife outside the building we openly asked if there was anyone else in the building with us. After period with no response the odd noise or tap became apparent that we decided could not be the flag pole, these noises were infrequent and were heard from different areas of the hall. Occasional these seemed to be in response to our requesting. Paddy then thought he saw a movement against the chimney breast of the west end of the hall, this thought was shared by Dave. Kim thought she had seen a light in the same area. More noise was heard on request along with an occasional sound not unlike shuffling, this was heard in a manner that suggested someone was moving round us. Given the experiences we have had over the years we were all certain that we were not alone and were being observed, we all felt rather nervous despite the sounds of everyday life being heard from outside.

It was not more noise was heard by the north west corner so Dave decided to move himself to that location so he may be better able to identify the noise so it could be discounted. Whilst there Paddy and Ian took over calling out aloud for a response, A couple of times this was met by a tap or a knock on request, but this did not materialize into anything more but remained continually sporadic throughout this session.

Dave heard yet another noise from his seat in the corner, this was a sharp click that came from the center of the room, near where the other three were sitting. Ian began calling out as Paddy decided to move around the other end of the hall. Kim began to cough on and off for no reason. Dave then shouted “hello” from the corner asking if one of us had called his name, none of us had but he swore he had just heard his name being called out, this was not heard by the rest of the team. Apart from this there was not much occurring in the corner and Dave could not hear the discussion being had by the rest of us so he rejoined us.

It was not too cold in the hall and the team were all shocked by a sudden rush of coldness that moved across them, although the actual temperature had not changed.

Kim began to cough more and complained of feeling suddenly nauseous, a sentiment that was shared by Paddy, so after while we felt a break and some air was in order before continuing so we ended the first session.

We returned to the same location rather than move elsewhere as we felt we stood a greater chance of experiencing some activity. This period of the investigation was to find a continuation of the odd noises around and feelings of coldness but with no sign of anything further developing. Dave and Paddy took some time out to explore other areas of the building while Ian and Kim remained in the Great Hall, nothing occurred during this time. On their return we continued as we had done before. Towards the end of the session Kim again became very unwell and very quiet. When talking, which was very infrequent, she made very little sense and could hardly be heard. Dave tried to question her as to what she was feeling and why she was acting this way but there was very little response. Paddy also became unwell, he tried to speak but was feeling an uncomfortable constriction in his throat that was making him impossible to understand. This also was causing him considerable discomfort. Dave and Ian were dumbfounded by this as they felt fine but they both became concerned at the paddy's discomfort and the lack of response from Kim so after some considerable time they decided to end the session. Paddy had recovered but Kim was incapable of standing and had to be assisted to her feet and helped out of the room, once in the fresh air she came round although had no recollection of the experience and what the rest of the team were telling her had happened.

It was the early hours of the morning and we decided, with Kim and Paddy's agreement. to return to the same location one last time to see if the same occurred, or different. After spending another hour in the same location with nothing of not occurring we decided to call it a night and end the investigation.

 
 
 
  Results
  True evidential results were few and far between. The odd knocks heard throughout the night can be mainly attributed to the rope used to hoist the flag upon the flag pole on top of the castle, this is often caught in even a modest wind and can be heard hitting against the pole, a noise that resonates about the whole building. However, on a couple of our breaks it was noted whilst outside that there was no wind at all to cause this effect and there was no noise coming from the flag pole. Some different sounding noises were heard, some appearing to be repeated upon request, these were in different areas of the great hall and could not be explained. Given the access to the area around gatehouse afforded to the general public throughout the night, it is possible that some noises could have an external and natural source that could not be seen by the team.

We can offer no explanation for why Paddy was having difficulty with his throat during the second session. There is no known medical reason for this and Paddy was fit and well at the start of the night. Kim also was fit and well at the start of the investigation. She has no recollection of these events so cannot comment on how she felt. The eye witness accounts from the other team members state that she had almost slipped into a non responsive trance like state. Equally we can offer no explanation for the condition that overcome her.

The majority of our recordings have since been reviewed and nothing out of the ordinary was found, most of these recordings were in fact corrupted as there was the continual sound of people outside the building, at least for the early part of the investigation. Should anything become apparent later this report will be updated accordingly.

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. Should you wish to discuss this information please email us.

  Conclusions
  As always a good night was had by all despite the lack of actual recorded results. Some moments definitely opened our eyes to other aspects of paranormal investigations and raised further questions, this kept us on our toes during the night and we left feeling that we had a successful investigation.
  Thanks
  Many thanks to Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council for allowing us exclusive overnight access to this marvelous location, indeed we were very pleased to have been able to return. Please visit the Tonbridge Castle website at for more information on forthcoming events and attractions.
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25th April 2009

2004/2009 Ghost Connections UK