Cleeve House is a charming Edwardian House which is now used for weddings, conferences and a B + B.
Steeped in history, the house stands in six acres of land/woodland with the most beautiful views over Salisbury Plain and the Vale of Pewsey.
Originally a residence named Rew House stood half a mile from where Cleeve House now stands. It was owned by renowned owner, Wadham Locke III. His son, Wadham Locke IV demolished Rew House and built Cleeve House as a family home. Frances Locke (Wadham's sister) later became famous for going to the Crimean War.
Squire William Heward Bell was married to Hannah Taylor Cory Bell and they had four children. One of the children, Colonel W Cory was an MP and Sheriff of Wiltshire and he lived at Cleeve House until his death in 1961.
Another child, Clive Bell was a famous writer and critic. He later married Vanessa Stephen and the couple were valuable members of the
The famous writer Virginia Woolf was Vanessa's sister.
We arrived at Cleeve House just before dusk. It was a beautiful evening and we explored the grounds, marvelling at the splendid views and the spring flowers which were out in bloom. As dusk descended and the crows got louder in their cawing, the house looked a little more sinister. The team had already explored some of the rooms and expressed that they disliked the Salisbury Room. Christina had captured a light anomaly in this room which was strange. I was impressed by it and I'm not generally a fan of orbs caught on camera.
We split into 3 teams.
Team 1 - Dave, Chris, Pete and Nettie
Team 2 - Kirsteen, Christina, Richard and Melody
Team 3 - Jacky, Sharon, Loretta and Maria
My team started our investigation in the Tea Shop. From the moment we entered this room, we did not feel anything of a paranormal essence at all. (We later discovered that Team 1 and Team 2 also felt that this room was paranormally flat). We all sat quietly chatting while we were in this room. We thought we could hear the team in the library making some strange noises but upon our finished time in the Tea Room, we discovered that the team in the library thought the noises were coming from us. This has remained a mystery.
I liked this room as soon as I walked in. It felt very different to the Tea Shop and I could feel my hands tingling which is something that happens when I sense a spirit nearby. When I say "I liked this room" I do not mean it wasn't eerie. It was.
This room has huge windows and a large expanse of floor with tables and chairs stacked up at one end. We found ourselves sitting around at the right side of the room. Jacky and Loretta sat under the window and Sharon and I sat on a large table at the end.
Jacky began to 'call out.' We all felt the atmosphere change and it seemed quite tense. I felt 'something' to the left of me and I was almost too scared to look. When I did look, I couldn't see anything untoward but I could not shake off the feeling that someone was standing very close to me. I felt as if I could almost feel the breath of someone, like 'he' was standing right in my personal space.
Jacky said that she had pins and needles in her hands. I was experiencing the same thing but that is not unusual for me while conducting paranormal investigations.
Jacky was still asking any spirits that might be with us in the Salisbury Room to do something physical for us to show us that they were there.
Suddenly, something small was thrown and it pelted into the radiator. It was not the usual noises of radiators clicking on and off. Also, we can undoubtedly say that there was absolutely no heating downstairs. It was freezing, so much so that Loretta was wrapped up in a blanket. We went over to look to see if there was anything on the floor by the radiator and there was a small stone on the floor.
We sat for a while longer and I thought I heard something outside the door, coming from the Great Hall. I asked Jacky "Shall I go and have a look?" But before she could reply, Jacky rapidly leapt to her feet and ran across the room exclaiming words that one shouts when suddenly traumatized. Although it was very funny, we could see that she was really shocked. When Jacky had calmed down she said that 'someone' (there was nobody behind her) had put their hand up her top and touched her back.
After a huge fit of the giggles we finally calmed down and carried on with our séance.
Jacky said that she kept seeing something that was "low down and running around." She thought that it may be a dog but she could not be sure what it was.
Jacky felt that the spirit with us in the room was quite indignant that we asked 'him' to show himself. We were asking the spirit to manifest so that we could see him. We discussed what we would do if the spirit did manifest, especially if 'he' manifested between us and the door.
The next room that we investigated was the library. This room was set up with chairs and tables which had writing paper and pens at each place. There was also some really beautiful antique furniture in this room containing some old books, but this room is obviously not used as a library now.
We explored this room for a while and eventually assembled at the end, facing the large windows. We 'called out' in this room and soon felt a spiritual presence.
After a long while we heard some knocking, down in the right hand corner in response to our questions. I asked the spirit to tap twice if they were definitely with us in this room. Two definitive raps were heard.
After a while all went quiet but I could see strange little lights with my naked eye, in the same corner as the knocking was heard. They were not there before but I assumed that it was just my eyes playing tricks so I didn't say anything.........until Jacky said "I can see little lights darting about, down in that corner!"
Later, we all started to see dark shadows (not an adult human size) moving around the room. We stayed perfectly still, hardly daring to breathe. The shadows kept darting from one table to another, disappearing and then darting over to another table. It was really strange.
After a considerable time, our vigil in the library was over and we all assembled in the Great Hall for a chat. We decided that we would all join together for one last vigil in one room. We made a group decision that we would like to go back to the Salisbury Room. We discovered that someone from each team had been touched in that room.
We all gathered in the Salisbury Room, spreading out and sitting around the perimeter of the room. Jacky started to 'call out' again. Pete said that there was a little girl of knee height running around. I quickly remembered that when we had been in this room previously, Jacky had said she could see something small, running around. We had assumed it was an animal and had not thought of the possibility that it could be a small child. Pete said that her name was Betsy Samuels and she had died after a long illness.
Some of us heard a groaning noise and then a little later another different kind of noise which I assumed was someone's tummy rumbling. It was funny as we had all heard the same thing until Pete asked if the noise was a tummy rumble or something else. Everyone denied that their tummy had rumbled so we were left unsure of the origin of the second noise. However, the previous groan was definitely not a team member. Pete and Kirsteen identified where the groan was emitted and nobody was sitting there.
We sat there quietly and I felt myself drifting off, but not to sleep. I could hear the voices of my friends 'calling out' to spirit. After a while, I found that their voices sounded further away than they were. I was sitting with my back against the wall and my legs straight out in front of me. I had the strangest feeling that someone was going to grab my feet and pull me into the middle of the floor. It was an unsettling feeling but I remained calm as I was aware of Pete sitting to my right and Chris just opposite me. Their presence was comforting. I heard Pete say (although his voice sounded quite far away) that William (or Bill as he liked to be called) was here and Pete asked him why he didn't do something to show us that he was in the room with us. Pete scolded Bill for "Preying on the innocent" and told us that "The Master didn't like Bill as he had figured him out straight away." Pete reiterated that Bill "Preyed on the weak and innocent, spying on women through windows and keyholes, waiting to get them on their own." Pete informed us that "Bill was scared of crossing over as he was frightened of the judgement he would receive when he got to the other side."
Pete said that Bill would like to frighten the women in the room but he was afraid of the men present and felt that they were too powerful.
Pete's comments worried me slightly as I was wondering if it was Bill who had made me feel rather vague and helpless. I started to focus and eventually felt that I was back in control of myself.
Jacky began 'asking out' again. We all heard tapping which appeared to be in response. Jacky asked another question and another tap seemed to respond. She asked again and all was quiet. Pete said "Do that again, come on Bill."
Eventually all went quiet and we decided to end the investigation.
We would like to thank the owners of Cleeve House for letting us conduct an investigation there. Thank you Jacky and Dave for arranging the evening. We all enjoyed it.
Written by: Maria Williams
When I told Jacky of my experience during our second séance in The Salisbury Room she said:
"That links with what Pete was saying. The male spirit William (Bill) was not a nice character. He had done horrible things to ladies while they were alone but would be too weak to stand up to a man. The master of the lodge found out what Bill had been doing and punished him for his crimes. I expect that was exactly what he would have done to you. I think that this male spirit has probably gone beyond human with his evilness."
"I actually felt physically ill from being touched like I was. I could quite clearly feel a large hand snaking around my back but digging in quite hard. It was just horrible."
I really was terrified in the library as I could see things moving around knee height, all around the place."
I had a fantastic time at Cleeve House and have captured some unexplainable objects/things in a few of my photos.
In the library we 'called out' and experienced nothing at first, but then the atmosphere changed, we all became very cold and something did not feel right. Richard said that he felt as if somebody had walked through him, which he did not like. Kirsteen also felt that somebody was sat to her right side but she just spoke to them and they eventually moved on. We all discussed our experience afterwards and described it as though someone was on a circuit in the room, just walking from corner to corner. I also picked up a few orbs in this room - or what I believe to be orbs.
Next was the Tea Room which was not too exciting.
Last but by no means least, was the dreaded Salisbury Room. I say dreaded because from the second I walked into the house, I had an awful feeling about this room so therefore went straight to it and got some amazing pictures. I acted slightly sane and thought of a logical explanation so took double photos to see if it was a reflection. The second photo was not the same, therefore not a reflection. I captured three great photos in daylight here and at 22.00 hrs I captured some more orbs behind Melody when she said that she felt as though someone was behind her.
Overall, a fantastic evening and I would like to thank the owners of Cleeve House for allowing us to visit.
Written by: Christina Faircloth
When Nettie and I first arrived I had a distinct monastic feel about the place. I got the impression that the building as you see it now was not the original building and that the foundations had a very earlier connection. Whether the building had been used as a monastery or had somehow been used during the reformation, I'm not sure.
This was borne out when we were in the room that had the most activity. Whilst Nettie, Chris, Dave and myself were in there I visualised the room as being a room of study.
I saw the wooden plinths that you often see in medieval literature with the large books open on and a scholar working on it in candlelight.
After a short while I picked up on the energy of a woman. She came across as being very afraid as she wouldn't come forward. I did, however, feel she was a woman of breeding that had resided in the property and her demise had been sudden.
I felt that she had had a liaison with the not very nice male energy that we all felt in that room.
He was a gardener, gamekeeper or woodsman. I picked up on his name being Bill to some and William to others. Nevertheless, he was not a nice person and had a thing for the ladies.
I know he didn't like Chris, Dave and I. He shied away from our strong energies and favours women that he can bully and manipulate.
I felt that he was holding the female back as he didn't want her to speak to us.
She, I'm certain, had her life ended as a result of this man. I felt that she had realised (albeit from peer pressure as well) that it was not going to go anywhere and as he was not a man of means she was forced to end the relationship.
I wasn't able to determine whether he had taken her life or she had taken her own life herself because he was blocking her and he certainly didn't want to communicate with me.
Whilst Nettie, Chris, Dave and I were in the room Nettie had her neck touched. During the evening I believe others had been touched also. I know for certain Jacky had been.
The other rooms we held vigils in we felt were sterile.
Written by: Peter Tomlinson