On Friday 19th June 2009, Twilight Shadows/Phoenix of Wessex Paranormal conducted a paranormal investigation at the Fat Fowl restaurant/tapas bar/jazz cafe in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire.
Bradford on Avon was established in Roman times and the town was constructed around a ford. There is an exquisite Saxon church which may date back as far as 700AD. The town also has a larger Norman church and the main town bridge was constructed in Norman times.
Most of the town originates from the 17th Century where wool was traded and many buildings remain from that period. The building which now houses the Fat Fowl restaurant used to be a post office.
The Fat Fowl is constructed from Bath Stone which you can see from the outside but upon entering the restaurant you step into a bright conservatory.
The restaurant was still open upon our arrival so we all went upstairs. It was still light outside and it did not feel at all spooky.
There have been reports of the piano tinkling light musical notes on its own and strange shadows and apparitions have been seen. Doors close by themselves and cutlery is moved. The atmosphere was so light that none of us felt that we were likely to experience anything of a supernatural nature. We were wrong!
Some of the team assembled around a table and Dave 'asked out.' After a little while, a knocking started which continued for a while. Dave asked if there was anything else a spirit connected to the building could do and received a very quick response as the table moved. The spirit seemed to prefer knocking as when I asked what it preferred to do, it started knocking. I asked "Knocking?" A definite knocking commenced. The table was heavy so I did not blame the spirit for preferring to knock the table rather than use up excess energy by attempting to lift or move the table.
As we sat there, I felt something touch the top of my knee. I quickly checked and all of the team had their hands placed lightly on the table. The knocking sound on the table became stronger and there seemed to be orbs of light going round and round the table. The table also started moving slightly.
I asked if this was a female spirit as it was knocking and banging at the same time. I explained (tongue in cheek) that women can do more than one thing at once. The table suddenly moved clockwise with great force. This seemed to shock Christina and Melody. It was their first proper experience of a table moving powerfully.
We asked how many spirits were with us and we received two distinct taps. We asked if the table could move and we did not mind where it took us. A little voice belonging to the team said "But not the staircase please." We all laughed and the table started tapping continually.
I asked if the person tapping and moving the table was the spirit person who had been seen in the restaurant. There was a slight judder and then the table moved. Dave was feeling that someone was touching his face and he kept jumping. I thought I felt a touch on my right arm. Dave wondered if the spirit was the Post-Mistress and perhaps accompanied by the Post-Master.
Some of us felt that something was under the table. The table started tuning anti-clockwise. Melody asked if the table could move across the room. The table shifted considerably. Dave was still experiencing the touching of his face. He described it as a cobweb being pulled over his skin. We were not sitting in a dusty area; the room was very clean and well-maintained.
Suddenly, we heard a dragging noise in the room. We all froze but interestingly everyone thought that the sound came from a different direction. The table gave two, large, juddering movements and then one more movement. We asked "Where are you taking the table?" Matt laughed and said "I'm planning on getting out of here before that table comes at me!" Dave was still getting bothered by the cobweb feeling on his face.
By this time the customers had gone and staff came to tell us that they were going and would leave us to lock up the building.
Dave was still saying that he was feeling cobwebs and suddenly I felt hysterical with laughter. Poor Chris was 'asking out' but I was aware of Dave jumping and emitting little "Oohs" when he was touched. I could not stop laughing. When I had composed myself, Dave and I both heard something move behind us. There was nobody there.
All was quiet and we saw a flash of light through the stairwell, coming from downstairs. We then heard a slow creaking of a door opening downstairs. A few of us got up and ran down the stairs. Everything looked normal and then we heard a voice from outside the fire door. It was a police officer who had noticed that the fire door was slightly ajar downstairs. He advised us to shut the door so intruders could not enter the building and then he went on his way, laughing at us because we thought he may have been a ghost.
We all returned upstairs and recommenced our séance. Chris abruptly left the table and went downstairs as he thought he heard a noise. He finally returned with no explanation. Dave jumped as his face was tickled again which made us laugh. We all heard another noise coming from downstairs and then a shuffling noise on the staircase. We all had a good view of the staircase and nothing was there.
Matt heard another shuffling noise in an area of the room where nobody was. We then heard paper rustling. A tapping noise came from within the room. I asked if the tapping could be repeated and it was.
Dave and Matt decided that they would go downstairs and check out the kitchen area. They walked to the other end of the room towards the other staircase and went downstairs. I was sitting with my back facing the other staircase and I suddenly heard footsteps running up them. I swung around quickly and of course, there was nobody there.
Suddenly, Matt came running back up the other stairs with Dave closely behind him. Matt seemed afraid and shouted to the rest of us "Do not go down there on your own!" Matt and Dave were both visibly shaken and said that they had been down in the kitchen and they had both seen a black shadow run across the room. They ran quickly out of the kitchen and back upstairs. We decided to go down there and explore the kitchen. Matt warned us that there was a horrible feeling down there which made you feel like your skin was crawling. James wondered if that sensation was connected to static which may be coming from the fridge/freezers.
Matt was still shocked and he said "I have never experienced anything like that before, it's the first time I have seen something and someone else saw exactly the same thing!" He felt that there was a lot of activity down there.
I found myself with Dave and Chris. Dave showed us how the shadow figure moved.
We went through to the downstairs bar. We just stood quietly and we heard the sounds of shuffling coming from different parts of the room.
There were some glasses stacked there and as I talked with Christina and Melody, some glasses made a chinking sound near us. There was no obvious reason for this. It happened several times. Eventually we returned upstairs and sat around the table and the table started moving with force.
After a long time, we realised that it was very late so we ended our investigation. We all really enjoyed this location and left on a high.
We would like to say thank you to the proprietors of the Fat Fowl for letting us investigate their premises and to Jacky for arranging this investigation. We were very sad that she was too ill to attend the investigation herself, we really missed her.
Written by: Maria Williams
Christina (the following day)
Table tipping last night was fantastic!! Rich and I really enjoyed last night and we are looking forward to doing that again. I still can't get over the range of movement in that table.