This was the teams second visit to the castle, and the duration of this investigation was to be from 1800hrs to 0600 hrs, but it was to be 0300hrs that we wrapped up for the night.
Tonight’s team were Kim Ian Paddy Rick Sarah and Deano (me).
Having arrived early and enjoying a KFC before we started, we all made our way up to the gatehouse ready to offload our equipment in one of the guard rooms; this was to be our base for the night.
We set up my pasting board, and with another table we found in the room we were able to sort out our equipment and paperwork before the initial walk around.
I handed all members the itinerary for the night and the timings involved as always were flexible, we grouped together and with Ian taking baseline readings on route and the rest of us with cameras, we started our tour around the castle, this was to be Rick and Sarah’s first visit so as well as taking readings and photographs, it was also to allow Sarah and Rick to become familiar with the layout of the building.
We started off in the store room this is where various real to life dummies were set into various poses of everyday life in the castle, from here we went up a staircase to the second guard room, here again was a table set out with food and the dummies in the process of eating it, from here we entered the west stairwell which was colder and made our way up to the main keep, this is the largest area of the castle, from here we climbed to the level of where the second floor would have been, and was able to look down over the main keep, a safety glass panel had been erected to protect the public from falling.
It was at this point that paddy’s device showed a sharp rise in temperature this was a location i selected for one of my two data loggers, this was to see if any unusual readings could be picked up during the night.
We continued up, arriving at the turret with great views over the town of Tonbridge, and then made our way back to the main keep crossing the floor to the east stairwell.
One part of the stairwell was blocked off although we did have access to set up some of our equipment in this area, going down the east stairwell took us back to the base.
I asked the team members whether anyone experienced any areas of atmospheric energy, thoughts or feelings that may have been picked up on the walk around the castle, if so then some of the equipment would be set up in these areas.
Other then the temperature fluctuations that Paddy’s device had detected, no other incidences were reported.
We all scattered around the castle setting up our equipment this was to take a good half hour or so, I set my first digital recording device in the privy just above the guard room in the west stairwell, my second device was to be in the east stairwell in the restricted area.
Data logger number 1 was set up in the main keep and the second device was to be in the area over looking the keep by the glass panel, this device fitted nicely into a recess in the wall.
All devices were set to start at 1900hrs with one of the digital units being started at 1925hrs, the CCTV was set up in the main keep with one three hour tape set to record, with the other members having set up their equipment we were ready to start the paired vigils.
The paired vigils were to be done simatainusly and the pairings were Dean and Ian Rick and Kim Sarah and Paddy I will give my account with Ian.
Dean and Ian’s Paired Vigil
Ian and I decided to do our vigil in the east stairwell up in the restricted area; this was an area where great caution was needed due to the safety issues involved.
This area had an open access to the main keep below with out any safety panel, and also uneven steps, the staircase only went so far as the rest had to be removed, again for safety reasons. Just adjacent to this area was another privy, this was where all the lighting was controlled, and we were allowed access.
Paddy was lighting monitor for the night as after our vigil he would be the only person allowed in this area.
Ian was recording our vigil and we both took it in turns to ask for spirit with no results, we continued to ask while taking plenty of photos, we did hear a fair bit of tapping from the privy but this was just normal background noise from the area.
While on the vigil we decided to do a couple of dust experiments, we scrapped the side of the walls with our hands and this had the affect of producing plenty of orbs.
(See Photo Below)
The rest of the vigil passed with no further incidence.
We returned to base and had a quick break before we continued with the next part, which was to be a séance in the main keep.
This was not to be a sitting around in a circle session or holding hands, but more of a walk around the area asking for spirit, we took more photos but the session ended with no results, after this we were to do loan vigils two people in the castle all to themselves, while the rest of the team were to visit the mound where once stood a rounded tower.
Richard the security guy was called from the main office to take us up to the mound, to make sure none else was up there while we were investigating, other then the remains of a well and the outer wall of the bailey and the extreme cold there was nothing to report from this location.
My loan vigil was to be with Kim.
Kim decided to do her vigil in the lower store room while mine was to be in the dark west stairwell, the others were to be outside on the mound during this time.
I started off in the main keep and decided to sit in an alcove in the west wall, at one point I dropped my torch if anything was to wake the dead it would have been at this time, instead I had a call on my radio from Kim asking if it was me that had made that noise which I confirmed it was.
I stayed in the keep a little longer then decided to move into the west stairwell. I went up to the level over looking the main keep and where the glass protection panel was, this was also the area that we had the temperature fluctuations. I decided to sit on the stairs so that I had three angles of view both up and down the stairs plus down onto the main keep, many years ago this was the entrance to the second floor of the keep.
I sat there for what seemed like ages and my hands were warming up having just come in from the mound outside.
The picture above is taken from the west stairwell location, before the lights were turned off.
The vigil passed with nothing to report.
After Ian and Sarah had finished their loan vigils we stopped for a break and at this point we discussed the events of the night so far, we had decided not to speak about this before hand, just in case other team members experienced the same thing from the same area.
Some of the team reported a few strange experiences that they had while on the vigils etc, you can read that when they finish their reports. Next we moved on to the séance down in the lower store room where a couple of team members felt uneasy.
This was more like a group vigil we sat and stood in various locations and had some quiet time, at one point i thought I heard a hum but soon realised that through a vent in the wall the distance outside traffic could be heard.
We continued taking pictures then made our way up into the second guardroom where the dummies were seated around the table, we spent a further twenty minutes sitting around the area before moving on.
We entered the west stairwell which is through the door in the photo above, and continued up on into the main keep then finally decided to call the investigation to a close the time was 0300hrs.
Digital Recorders Report to follow
CCTV Report to follow
Data logger reports are as follows, data logger one from the main keep
Data logger two below was in the west stairwell by the glass panel.
Both units were taking measurements every ten seconds throughout the investigation.
I don’t think to much activity takes place in Tonbridge Castle, although from time to time it has moments of unexplained or strange events. I have picked up on smells from the main keep before and have also taken a strange light anomaly photo ( Not an Orb ) on a previous visit. But on this occasion nothing unusual occurred around me.
Other then CCTV and several hours of digital recorder footage to go through this concludes our investigation.
We would like to thank Liz for allowing our return visit and Richard our security personal for the night.
We arrived at the castle just before 6pm.
Once gathered in the guard room the team took a walk round of the castle, undertaking baseline tests and taking a range of photographs.
Back to base for an equipment check and then onto installing our equipment around the castle.
I placed my datalogger and digital voice recorder in the stores area under the castle. Other dataloggers were placed in the Great Hall and on the west stairwell. A long with other recording devices. Our CCTV device was on record in this area too. Motion sensors were placed across an opening on the east stairwell.
After a short break we were split into three groups to undertake paired vigils. I was paired with Rick and we choose the stores for our vigil.
We placed our chairs, and I began to film the area while Rick took a series of photos. We chatted about the castle and I told Rick about the tunnel under the castle, and the story attached to it.
After sometime we both called for communication, several minutes passed before we received a tapping noise. A deep cold chill descended on us, and Rick called again, another tap came in reply. There was sense of someone being there but briefly as we never had any further replies to our questions.
Once the vigil was over we all gathered at base for a short break.
After our break we all went into the Great Hall to attempt a séance. This was fruitless and we ventured around the area taking pictures.
At 10pm we began our second set of vigils, on this occasion only two of the team were in the castle at any one time. The rest of the team braved the cold night on the mound.
I ventured up the mound with Dean, Sarah and Ian. I took several pictures, all inconclusive as there was a great deal of mist in the air and from our breath.
At 10.40 Dean and I called to Paddy and Rick who were in the castle to end their vigils, as we were to undertake ours.
Dean decided to take the upper levels of the castle and I was drawn back under the castle to the stores. I was a little apprehensive undertaking a vigil by myself as Dean was some considerable way from me but could be reached by walkie talkie.
I sat in the same area as I had earlier in the evening with Rick. I began filming and asking for communication. After a while I turned the cam corder off and took a series of pictures. I was getting no response from asking out loud for communication so I sat quietly for the rest of my time. As I sat there an immense coldness decended on me, it was so uncomfortable. I heard only what I can described as a woman humming, this was only very briefly, then straight after that I heard a dragging sound. Both these sounds came from my right. The cold air was getting very heavy, almost to the point that I could not beat it any longer. Luckily with in a few minutes I was called over the radio to end my vigil.
Dean and I returned to the rest of the team, and Ian Sarah took up there places on vigils.
When all the vigils were over we went back to base to discuss our experiences.
After another break we explored the castle some more.
At 3pm we ended our investigation.
I was in very high spirits, and the castle felt very welcoming. Paranormal activity, I don’t think so!
Upon further investigation a small air vent was found to the right of where I was sitting under the castle. This could have been the source of the sounds that I had heard.
EVP Results = To Follow
We would like to thank Liz Roberts for allowing out return visit. Also
Richard the security guard for braving the cold to look after us.
I've lived in Tonbridge all my life and have always had a fascination about it's 12th century Norman castle. This fascination grew when in 1996 I started working there, in fact it was because I work there that I met Ghost Connections when they first investigated the castle last March (2005), and subsequently joined the group. There are no ghost stories associated with the castle and last time was just a quick "look see", but this was enough for us to believe that there was "something" there. It was because of my association with the place and the previous results that I was really looking forward to this full night’s thorough investigation!
My equipment: Sony Handycam + IR emitter, Olympus Camdia C-160 digital camera, Fuji Nexia 230ixZ 35 mm camera & Binatone MR200 radios X 2.
We met an hour earlier and feasted in true medieval style at KFC before moving to the castle at 6.00pm. The evening got off with a bang thanks to the local youths setting off fireworks next to the gatehouse, but once dispersed by Richard, the ever friendly security guard, we were able to begin. It was 6.30pm and we started with a brief walkabout and picture taking session returning to base for a break and to discuss the placement of equipment, EVP, data loggers, motion sensors etc. Once these were in place the full investigation began.
At 7.50pm we started the paired vigils, Dean and I decided to go the top of the east stairwell. This is incomplete and usually out of bounds to the visiting public. We stayed there for 40 minutes calling for spirit, taking photos and discussing the castles history whilst I filmed the whole 40 minutes. We did both hear some clicks and what sounded like the latch on a door on one occasion, which is odd because the other four should not have been moving around the building. A lot of noise could be put down to the noise from the adjacent high street and people outside, but having watched the video footage there are a few quizzical results.
Four minutes in during a quiet moment there appears to be a shuffling stepping sound like a few quiet "sandy" footfalls almost like someone stepping up the staircase? Aso 15 minutes in there are two lights zig zagging across the overlooked Great Hall. These could well have been insects caught in the IR light, they moved independently of each other and it was very cold, would there be insects about given the conditions? Also 30 minutes into the footage during a conversation Dean and I had there is a very audible deep cough, at this point there was no one heard outside the building and it was not Dean or I?
At 8.45 we ended the paired vigils and went back to base for a break, this was followed by a group séance the Great Hall. The séance was filmed on camcorder by both Kim and me. Dean asked me to lead the séance so I started calling for spirit but this was interrupted by an adjacent buildings alarm going off. We tried restarting the séance but after only a few more minutes with no responses or phenomena the séance broke up and we just took pictures. There were a few loud bangs that were put down to fireworks again. At 10.00pm we had another break before the half hour lone vigils!
We did two lone vigils at a time with only two people in the gatehouse at any one time, both as far from each other as possible. I was paired with Sarah. Those not on a vigil had to stay out of the gatehouse and went up to the top of the mote for a look about, Sarah and I were the last pair so spent nearly an hour on the mote in - 3 frosty conditions..... It was freezing! We were happy when it came to our turn. Sarah chose to go into the by now infamous stores area in the basement, I chose to sit against the east wall in the very large great hall. I had brought my 35mm advantix camera as I had been reading about psychic photography and one website I'd found said that this was the best media to use. I sat quiet and still for a few minutes trying to clear my head and focus on what I wanted to achieve, then started clicking away, calling for spirit as I went.
After 10 Minutes I jumped as I heard a door shut and footsteps only to hear then see Sarah walking up the stairs. She had become unnerved in the basement so had decided to join me. We sat for a further 10 minutes with no obvious results before we decided to go to the basement together so I could see what was unnerving Sarah. We stayed in the basement for the final 10 minutes of out vigil time and although again there was still no immediate results I certainly felt what was bothering her. It would seem that we were not alone and it did feel that someone was watching you all the time. At 12.35am the radio went ending our time and we returned to base to write up or experiences and then joined the rest of the team who had retreated to the warmth of the adjacent offices. I have not yet had my 35mm films developed but will add any findings later. I also filmed the entire vigil on my camcorder, again this is still to be viewed but any results found will be added to this report later.
The rest of my night was spent as a group, both in the basement stores area asking for spirit, back in the Great Hall and on the west stairwell landing with Dean where he had conducted his lone vigil. At 2.45am we had a final walk around and the chance to take a final few pics before we ended the investigation.
We had intended to go on till nearer 6.00am but the cold and tiredness had got to us, and the lack of results helped to dampen a few spirits (excuse the pun). We finally packed up at 3.15am and had left by 4.00am.
Well as I simply asked out loud calling for spirit "Was there anyone there with us at Tonbridge Castle?". Well I personally believe that the answer to that question is yes! They just haven't chosen to fully reveal themselves yet. So this is definitely a venue to repeat every so often as I believe that the more a spirit presence becomes accustomed to visitors asking for them the more likelihood is that one day they will come forward and show themselves?
Finally a story I heard since the investigation..........
Paul the main security guy (Dean, Kim and Paddy know him) was walking
through the great hall one afternoon a few weeks ago. When he was back
in the office Sandra the receptionist asked him " I saw you on
the cctv monitor, who was that with you?". "No one" said
Paul, I was on my own..................?
Arrived at the castle at 5:45pm with fellow investigator Sarah Smith.
My overall opinion of this venue was that I found the basement more
prone to some sort of paranormal activity than in any other part of
the castle? (I give it a 5/10 on my scale.) A big thank you to all the
team, you’re a great bunch (I mean that), and I look forward to
one day of conducting an investigation in warmer temperatures.
After arriving at Tonbridge castle, we done a walk about, taking photos for Rick and I to get a feel for the place as we were on our first visit at this location. I was feeling very comfortable and relaxed it was not at all an eerie venue, which put me at ease.
At 11.30 it was myself and Ian's turn, I was not really looking forward to this. Ian decided he was going into the great hall and I decided to go to down to the stores where Kim and Rick had done their vigils earlier that night.
After taking a seat I set my video camera recording, but had to switch
it off as was becoming aware of noises and started to feel like I was
being watched, I felt really uncomfortable and after 10 mins and trying
to get Ian on the walkie talkie to no avail, I decided I had, had enough
and went to join Ian in the great hall. After joining Ian we stayed
in the great hall for 10 mins with no activity I suggested we go back
down into the stores. On arrival Ian agreed it had an uncomfortable
feel to it, and even though Ian was with me I still didnt like it down
there, at 12.27am I heard some scratching down by the barrels. 12.30am
radio went, end of vigil.
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