This a write up of my virgin experiences on my first Ghost Hunt at Bursledon Brickworks
|1st Location: Kiln for the opening ceremony
2nd Location: Warehouse and Maintenance room
3rd location: The Attic
11.30pm Break for Refreshments
4th Location: Horse Room and Second corridor
5th Location: Boiler room
1.30am De-brief of events.
When my friend Paul asked me if I wanted to go Ghost Hunting at Bursledon Brickworks in Southampton, I was originally sceptical of the idea – the image of Most Haunted popped straight into my mind.
I had never thought much of Most Haunted, often watching it with them freaking out at the slightest noise, and thinking to myself 'Well obviously, fear breeds fear'. If someone starts shrieking at something they can't understand or explain, soon it escalates into an uncontrollable mess with everyone blubbering to the camera about how frightened they are, and not much paranormal investigation going on.
So, I decided to shell out my £40 and sign myself up for it.
Last night was the night, and boy was I in for a shock – it was better than Most Haunted could ever hope to be.
We arrived at the imposing brick building at about 7.30pm generally quite jovial, and full of laughs. We went inside to the meeting room, and were welcomed by the friendly team, and offered a cup of tea before we started. In the room at the other end of the table, there was a raucous bunch of about ten teenagers that had signed up for the experience, which made our hearts sink when we saw them in their typical 'modern teenager fashion'.
They were being cocky, asking ridiculous questions like 'If we die, can we get our money back?', 'If we don't see a ghost, can we get a refund?' – along with several other gems of wisdom that followed that same general gist and just being pretentious to act big in front of their friends. The first thing we asked of the team leaders was 'please put us in a seperate team away from them, all they will do is ruin it', and our wish was granted – luckily Paul and I had been put in a team with a father and his two teenage children who were actually extremely decent people.
However, I will get back to the raucous bunch later on.
After a quick health and safety briefing (of course), we were put in our teams by our group leaders and sent on our ways.
Our team's first stop was one of the old brick kilns for an equipment brief, mainly for my benefit as the ghost-hunting virgin, and opening up ceremony of the evening.
We were asked to join hands as we stood in a circle, an electro-static meter at our feet; and visualise a ball of energy above us to penetrate us and encapsulate us for the evening to protect us from whatever was to occur that evening.
At first I was sceptical, as we stood in that circle for a good ten minutes in the freezing cold with nothing happening. I decided to persist, and in hindsight I am glad I did. After ten minutes of nothing, Paul and I started feeling a breeze on our cheeks and the back of our necks, in what had been an entirely still room with no drafts.
After we had reported that, I'm not sure what happened to me next. I began growing dizzy, and nauseous, feeling as though I was going to faint; and my head was feeling as though my brain was expanding from the inside, while being squeezed at the same time. I warned Vicky, one of the group leaders who was standing next to me, that I was feeling faint and she wanted me to get out of the circle straight away, to move away from the centre of the energy and take a breather outside. I stood by the arch of the entrance, and almost threw up, before Vicky made me sit on the steps outside so I could get some fresh air. She returned back inside to close down the circle, whilst I sat out in the dark, next to an abandoned, supposedly haunted building on my own, with a set of extremely dark stairs behind me. Needless to say, my mind was buzzing with the possibility of hearing noises, and feeling as though someone was coming down the steps behind me; but boy was I glad to be out of the suffocating kiln!
After our team had reunited, and discussed feelings on what had happened, we were lead onto our second location of Bursledon Brickworks, the warehouse.
In this section, we were offered the equipment from Vicky's case to try our own experiments. Paul and I first tried our hand at dowsing rods. At first Paul appeared to get an interesting reaction when he asked for a yes answer, as the right hand rod began swinging towards its left hand counterpart. Intrigued, we asked for the 'no' answer, to which there was no response. After trying and failing at anything from the dowsing rods, we turned our hand to taking pictures to look for orbs.
We predictably didn't get much of a result with this, but all of a sudden, we all became aware of a prominent dripping sound coming from near the lathe behind us. We searched in vain for a theory in order to debunk this sound, but found nothing. It sounded as though it was coming from a workbench right behind us, and as much as we searched, there was not a source of running water in the vicinity, or outside, no-where. As Christie began looking around the lathe for a source of the noise, suddenly Vicky called out, saying she had seen a large grey mist above the green double doors. Interestingly, at almost the same time, Christie yelped and ducked as a light flew for her face and the grey mist sailed over her.
Intrigued by this recent unexplainable phenomena, we resorted to taking flash photos in an attempt to capture some orbs on metaphoric film, considering the strange occurrences we were experiencing.
After about 10 minutes, and several calls out of 'flash' (altogether now Aaahhh-aaahhhh), it was time for us to move onto our next location after our pictures were providing less than fruitful results.
The next location we visited in the Brickworks was the attic room for our most intriguing investigation so far. After traipsing up some narrow rickety stairs and having to pass a terrifying white mannequin in a neighbouring room, we arrived in the attic to set up a glass experiment.
The glass experiment was similar to a Ouija board, but according to our guide Vicky it was a lot safer; the method also chosen due to her aversion to Ouija boards. The experiment was simply a glass turned upside down on a table, flanked by red and green LED lights, acting as the 'yes' and 'no' indicators.
Our guides Robby and Vicky set up a trigger object towards the back of the room and kept an eye out on temperature and general checks, whilst us five seemingly masochistic volunteers sat at the table to ask for the spirits in the room to present themselves.
At first, the glass was moving barely at all, and we were failing to get any response from the spirits, when suddenly it dawned on us that the dripping sound we had heard together in the Warehouse was back and apparently quite close behind us. Vicky and Robby went about searching for anything that may debunk this noise as we began asking questions of the spirits.
First, the general questions, went along the line of 'Are you a male spirit?', to which the glass shuddered slightly towards the green light, and remained there off-centre to the table. We asked another question 'Are you an adult spirit?', to which the glass shuddered closer towards the green light.
We asked about the dripping noise, we asked if it was associated with the job that they had held at the brickworks. To which, the glass shuddered towards the red light and closer towards the centre of the table.
Before long, we realised just how active the spirit we had with us was. When asked if he was related to anyone at the table, the glass slid more easily over towards Rob, Christie's twin brother, before moving the centre of the table. Intrigued we asked the spirit more questions about his association with Rob. Did he know Rob when he was alive? No. Does he like Rob? No. Is it because your personalities clash? Yes. When asked where he was around the table, the glass slid violently over the table to come to rest between Rob and his dad Mike's, shoulders. Thanking the spirit, we asked him to move the glass back to the centre of the table, which he did so violently.
At this point, Vicky started, stating she had seen a shadow flit across the dark room right in front of her. And if you had met Vicky, you would understand that she was not the type of person to flinch at such trivial things – but that had scared her.
After the spirit had revealed that he had not liked Rob, but he had wanted to give him a message, Rob asked whether the spirit had been the face he had seen in the window when he had first arrived in the room. To which the spirit replied yes.
The experiment had began to really start terrifying me, also not helped with Christie continuing to look over my shoulder at 'something she thought she had seen'.
From the glass barely moving, it had taken 10 minutes for the spirit to gain energy, and start moving the glass more violently. We began asking him to set off the trigger object and break the beam, but the spirit was adamant that he would not. When asked by Vicky if he thought it was simply a party trick, the glass moved violently towards the green light, before returning to the centre once more. Vicky began challenging him, stating that she thought he was just taking this as a laugh. To which he responded yes. She challenged him to open the door, to which the glass shot to the red light. It was becoming clear to us that this spirit did not want us here at all.
With the room getting extremely cold, Vicky decided we would end it there. We thanked the spirit for his time, and packed up the equipment ready to leave. As we arrived at the only entrance of the two double doors, a chill shivered down our spines. The door had been opened, the same door that the spirit had been adamantly refusing to open. We all agreed it had been closed when we got in there, even being prompted by another team as to why we were moving about, to which Vicky answered that she was closing the door. After de-bunking the theory that a draft could have not possibly opened the door, with Vicky having to give it a fair shove for it to repeat what we had discovered; we retreated on sprightly feet back towards the meeting room, with me suitably terrified.
When we arrived at the meeting room, the gaggle of rowdy teenagers had appeared to become more subdued, which gave us a giggle. Not so cocky now, were they?
With refreshments over, we headed to our next area, the Horse room. After taking the obligatory temperature readings of the wall, floor and model horse's gigantic arse, and setting up another trigger object, we took a seat at a table to do a spot of Electronic Voice Phenomena (E.V.P.).
Robby set the Dictaphone on the table, and turned it on, doing his usual introduction for their records. We asked our questions in succession as we sat in the pitch black, pausing between each question to give the spirits wherever they were time to respond. After playing back a fruitless first attempt, we decided we would give it another go, considering all of us were there. Again we asked the spirits more questions, and just before Robby turned off the Dictaphone, we heard our previously recording playing back to us, clear as day. Even though the recorded was sitting silently on the table in front of us. Rob and Paul looked into the theories of possibly de-bunking it, suggesting maybe the other team were doing another recording of the same sort of thing, but no they weren't. Suitably unnerved, we did a couple more experiments of calling out to no avail, and moved onto our final area of the evening, the Boiler Room, for a bit of face-scrying.
Paul was the first one to take the mantle for face-scrying first. He sat on a chair in front of us, as a boiler sat silently behind him, with a torch pointing towards his face in the blackness so that we could watch for any movement. At first not much was happening, but suddenly Paul's eyes began flickering, the whites visible underneath. When asked if he was twitching his eyes, Paul replied that no he was not, they were closed, but something was making him want to open them.
After not much else happened, Rob decided to step up for the experiment. After being told of his previous malevolent experiences of participating in face-scrying, uneasily, we asked for the spirit to move forward and use Rob's face to take form. He became more sinister, with a permanent sneer etched across his face. When asked questions, he would nod for yes or sneer if he didn't like the question. We got onto the subject of how he died, and when asked if he was killed he sneered. Rob confirmed to us he was feeling a tight feeling around his neck, like he had been hung or strangled.
I decided to grow a pair, and asked the spirit if he had been hung. Oh how I wish I hadn't – Rob's eyes snapped open and fixated directly on me, to which I squealed and hid into Paul's shoulder. I refused to ask anymore questions after that! Soon, the spirit was treating our interrogation as a joke, laughing and sneering at us as though we were imbeciles.
Vicky piped up, and said to him 'You're not Ed are you? You aren't the Ed you've been telling us you are all night are you? You're 'Arry, aren't you. 'Arry.' There was a stone thrown behind the boilers and the spirit stopped sneering, knowing he had been found out.
After the eventful face-scrying, the spirit was asked to leave Rob alone, and we formed a circle so that we could close down the session.
Thoroughly chilled to the core, we packed up our things, and headed back to the meeting roof for a de-brief on events. One obvious missing factor when we arrived was the lack of the raucous teenagers, to which, predictably, we laughed. It seemed they had indeed been too big for their boots, and had promptly scarpered it when they got too frightened.
Needless to say, when we were being told about their first area by their team leaders, apparently one girl had got so scared she had' weed a bit', obviously feeling not a hint of embarrassment as she had then told her whole group of volunteers. The 'yoof' of nowadays, eh?
We left after the de-briefing and said goodbye to the the Bursledon Brickworks, suitably impressed with the display of paranormal activity it had provided for us tonight, after feeling so sceptical beforehand.
Maybe seeing is, indeed, Believing, because I most certainly believe now!