Oxney Bottom - Ringwould, Kent

Oxney Bottom is the site of one of our favorite locations. The ruined Norman church of St. Nicholas sits unsigned and almost forgotten among the woods. The church itself shows various signs of rebuilding though the ages yet very little is actually known about its history. There is no discernible limit to the churchyard and there are no grave markers suggesting that it was abandoned before the start of the fashion of marking graves in the 17th Century. The traditional churchyard yew tree stands at the east of the church. Since the abandonment of the church the woods have reclaimed the site and it has been largely forgotten. Approached by a long walk up a dark driveway and another walk through the woods avoiding fallen trees it is the picture of a spooky location. Indeed there is evidence which either indicates dark practices at the site or the work of bored individuals. The trenches dug during the First World War make wandering off a dangerous prospect.

Ghost Connections always have differing results and experiences at this site and this is part of the lure.

Our previous reports can be read on the Previous Investigations

We have gradually, over time, become accustomed to the effects of the lights and sounds of passing traffic, the sounds of wildlife including the resident badgers, and the natural sounds cased by movement of the trees subject to the wind which is prone to blow across the hills here from the English Channel. The nature of the sudden onset of mist from the low lying road below us has also been experienced previously. We approached this investigation safe in the knowledge that we knew what could be explained here.

Aim:

To investigate reports of paranormal activity at Oxney Bottom.

Background:
There are varying reports available in published form on the internet and in print from many people who have experienced many things at this site. Apparitions have been reported from the road below the site, swirling mists,and shouts and screams from the woods and the previously ruined manor house nearby. Other groups have reported strange occurrences at Oxney Bottom and our previous findings have been documented.

Apparatus:

Video camera-
Sony DCR HC-24E with night vision and Sony HVL-IRM IR light
Sony DCR-HC30E with night vision and Sony HVL- IRM IR light
Samsung VP-D351 with night vision and Sony HVL-IRM IR light

Digital Camera-
Fuji 4900 Finepix
Fuji Fine Pix S5500
Nikon Coolpix 3100

Voice recorder -
Olympus VN-2100PC
Olympus DM20

Team:

Kim
Paddy
Dave

Method:
Using visual and scientific methods combined with spiritual information investigate the background to alleged paranormal phenomena at Oxney Bottom.

Investigation:

We arrived at Oxney parking at the usual location and walking to the church. We noted on the way that there was the usual proliferation of traffic on the road although no persons were seen on foot for some miles in each direction.

We spent the first half hour or so checking the church and surrounding area for signs of disturbance, fires or vandalism. We found nothing new and this was unusual to find the site undisturbed since a previous visit. It was nice to see that if there had been visitors during the last few months that they had cared for this ancient place as we do.

Photographs were taken and then we set up the chairs and video's in our normal spot under the yew tree.

We then took note of the conditions. Different to previous visits it was not raining and neither was there any sign of the coastal wind blowing through the trees. In fact it was very still and there was little noise at all. The traffic could be heard clearly rumbling past but other than that very little caught our attention for some minutes.

Becoming accustomed to the conditions and sounds we sat quietly and waited. The temperature was recorded at 6.7 deg C and we all felt comfortable with the temperature.

The darkness of the woods is apparent. There are no street lights nearby and only the fleeting glances of car lights through the trees. With the video camera's running with additional infra red lighting they see far more than we do.

All too often we would be drawn to the sounds of movement from the approach path. A movement that would make a sound of crunching on undergrowth but would last for a split second. It would not approach us further and nor would it be heard receding into the woodland.

Voices were heard between the north wall of the church and the road at an estimated point in the woods. These too would get no closer nor get further away. There were no sounds of movement heard with these voices. We knew that these voices, if they belonged to pedestrians on the road, would get louder as they past our location.

After an hour we took a break. At this point we had not called out for any evidence to be given as yet.

Refreshed and tapes replaced in camcorders we started again. On this occasion Dave placed his voice recorder by the church door in the recess that would have been for the Holy Water Stoop. A place where all the congregation would wash their hands in blessed water prior to entering the church.

It is necessary at this point to mention the presence of a speed camera further along the road to Ringwould. It faced in our direction but the range of the flash had never been noticed before. On at least two occasions we would note a high intensity flash of light being seen against trees by our location. This had never been noticed on previous visits.

Dave saw movement around the area of the door of the church. This was a dark human adult sized form.

The team heard a heavy footfall from the area of the approach path. It was not followed by any other noise until a short time later it was followed by another.

Dave felt something hit his left arm but this was found to be the deposit of a bird!

The team would all comment on the fact that the area seemed to be getting lighter as they could see further into the woods. It was nowhere near dawn.

There was a general feeling of being surrounded. No indication was given as to what or who this might be.

There were sounds of snorting from the woods in the distance but this was believed to be the resident badger population.

At one point a loud bump was heard. The sound was likened to a loose manhole cover being hit by a passing car yet came from deep in the woods.

The team began to sense it getting colder and all would comment on now feeling cold. We had dressed to expect this so this sensation was a surprise. A glance at the thermometer would reveal that it was now 6.4 deg C. A breeze could clearly be felt coming through the trees from the direction of the road.

Calling out for spirit produced further instances of sounds of movement and feelings of uncertainty crept in until all commented how different it felt there to previous occasions. After a further hour the 'drop' in temperature would give us cause to pack up and go home.

On occasions the dogs at the nearby kennels would start barking momentarily. They would not set each other off as had been heard on other visits and it would stop as soon as it started on to re-occur later. This would be repeated through the night.

  Results
We have already noted that there was no wind on this night. There was no sound in the trees as had been noted on previous trips.

The nature of the woods here is that there are hidden ditches up to six feet deep in places. The ground is covered in ground hugging woodland plants, stone work, brambles, ivy and dead twigs. Fallen trees present a hazard in the dark. The only discernible path is the one we took to enter the woods and finishes at the church. Any other movement in the woods will cause noise and it is dangerous beyond stupidity to wander in these woods after dark without lighting.

This then gives us certain points of reference -
1.Any voices belonging to persons would be accompanied by sounds of movement at some point and / or torch light.
2.Any lights belong to torches carried by any persons would be repetitious or remain on and would be accompanied at some point by sounds of movement or voices.
3.Anyone wandering in the dark would produce sounds of movement and unavoidable hazard being encountered would produce audible responses.
4.Any animal walking in the woods would produce continuous sounds of movement however slight and would be heard clearly moving through the woods, and this direction would be traceable audibly.
5.Any human walking through the woods would be heard approaching and torch lights seen at some point and would not suddenly cross our field of view in darkness and vanish again without sound.

It is not known if the speed camera flash can be seen from this distance or indeed be capable of illuminating the trees near our location. It is a cause that we discussed however had never been seen before in our five previous investigations so cannot be ruled out in the same regard as it cannot be held responsible.

Applying the principles of points 1-5 above we cannot account for those phenomena described above.

Nothing of any interest was recorded on audio recordings.

Nothing of interest was recorded on visual recordings.

The breeze was different to all previously encountered naturally occurring wind. This is not to say that this was not natural although it was coming from an entirely different direction and was coming through the trees as opposed to through the tops of the trees as previously encountered. It may be this that was responsible for the more noticed drop in temperature and explain why this only actually measured 0.3 deg C. Having said that it was a very mild breeze.

During our stay a certain amount of 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 enquiries@ghostconnections.com

Conclusions
  Again a very different night at Oxney. We have been able to study this area quite closely now and do feel that we can account for many things which is why there is little within the report. What is in the report we hope will be food for thought as to what we actually heard or saw at the church. We cannot explain a lot of what happened.

Could it be that the long walk in darkness through neglected and over grown woods to an ivy clad mediaeval ruined church with an undefined graveyard heightens ones senses to a degree that causes susceptibility to suggestion?

We don't know the answer but you can be sure we will be back in an attempt to find out.

2004/2007 Ghost Connections UK