On Saturday 5th June 2011, a small group of the Twilight Shadows Paranormal team conducted an investigation in Wardour Woods in Wiltshire.
Wardour Castle is reputed to have ghosts and unexplained phenomena and although you cannot gain access to the castle at night, we hoped that some of its ghosts would join us in the woodland near by the castle.
The castle was originally built in 1393 by John, 5th Lovell. Eventually, the castle became the home of the Arundel family and it is Lady Blanche Arundel who is the most famous ghost there.
The castle was subjected to a prolonged siege from a force of approximately 1,300 Parliamentary forces during May 1643. The castle was badly damaged. Lady Blanche decided that she would defend the castle with 25 of her loyal Royalist retainers. They were obviously outnumbered and the Roundheads’ weaponry was superior.
Lady Blanche held off the Roundheads for five days but after two mines exploded under the castle walls, she and her men surrendered. Although there was a surrender agreement, the agreement was subsequently broken and Lady Blanche and her men were put to death. It is said that she was ‘abused, tortured and killed.’
Since this atrocity, it is said that Lady Blanche’s ghostly figure has been seen by her family and also by other visitors/tourists throughout the years. Her vaporous form has been spotted walking around the ruined castle and people have reported a sudden chill at twilight before she appears, walking towards the lake.
As we entered the woodland, we stood gazing at the castle and Loretta said that she heard a loud thumping behind us, like a herd of deer but there was nothing there. There was also a loud cracking of wood directly behind us but there were no animals (or anything else) there.
We walked around the area and we found a small stonework tunnel. We all felt drawn to it. We sat inside the tunnel at twilight, watching the evening shadows lengthen. We started chatting amongst ourselves and I was saying that I loved this time of the day and it inspired me when choosing the name of our paranormal group back in 2007. Suddenly we heard a female moaning sound. The sound was to the right of us but sounded like surround sound within the tunnel. There was absolutely nobody around. We were amazed as we had not been sitting there for long and we had said nothing to encourage any spiritual activity. I ‘called out’ asking for the same noise.
Sharon jumped and said that she had seen a small spark of light. This was not caught on camera, she just saw it. Sharon then told us that she had read that people have reported balls of light coming from the nearby castle. She said that this was not a ball of light but a very clear spark.
Both of these experiences came from the right side of the tunnel. Sharon said that she felt that the left hand side of the tunnel was peaceful and the right side was busy. Loretta agreed with Sharon but she felt the presence of Elementals from that side. She said it was as if tree spirits and wood spirits were trying to connect with us.
We heard a whistle from the right side of us. I ‘called out’ asking for another whistle but all was quiet. I threw a stone along the tunnel and asked for it to be thrown back and just after, we heard a male groan. The groaning sound seemed to envelop us within the tunnel. I threw another stone and asked for it to be thrown back but neither stone was thrown back.
I asked for another whistle and Loretta said that she could hear a very faint sound like a conversation but she could not decipher the words. She said it was like listening to a conversation just out of earshot. She likened it to an experience that we had while investigating Grovely Wood.
I could hear a low thrumming sound which again, seemed to envelop us within the tunnel. Loretta suddenly jumped and said that she thought she saw a figure to the right of the tunnel. She said that she felt that it was a vision and that there had been a shift in her perception of the physical and astral level. She said that for a split second, she saw a dark ‘flash’ and the physical level seemed to be overlaid with something else. This is when she saw the figure but the whole experience disappeared very quickly.
There was movement and a stone fell nearby but it wasn’t a definitive movement so we thought that this was probably a natural occurrence. I could still hear the thrumming sound and it was making me uneasy.
I ‘called out.’ I felt that we were being watched intensely. Sharon said that she felt the same. Sharon and I discussed how many spiritual beings we thought were watching us. Sharon felt that there were three. I wondered if they were from the same time or were in differing dimensions. Sharon felt that they were together from the same time period. While we were chatting about this, it really felt as if we were being listened to and scrutinised.
We were quiet for a moment and we heard a female moaning sound. Sharon jumped and said “Did you hear that?” Loretta said that she was feeling quite freaked out and she felt that a time portal was approaching us. We were all starting to feel slightly vulnerable. We heard another noise, like a verbal sound but it was really difficult to explain. There was a distant rumble of thunder which enhanced the spookiness of the atmosphere. Loretta said that she felt that a strange time was approaching. It was not quite the ‘witching hour’ but it certainly felt as if it was. We all started feeling uneasy at the same time.
Loretta said that she could hear female voices in conversation close by. I heard a metal clinking sound. We decided to leave the tunnel and we headed back out into the woods. We stopped and turned back towards the tunnel. It looked imposing. We heard a male groaning sound between the tunnel and us. We all felt that the spirits wanted us to leave. Loretta said that she thought they were trying to protect the area and she wondered if they were sentries from the nearby castle.
As I stood facing the tunnel I shouted “We’re going!” Sharon and Kirstee both jumped and said at the same time “Did you hear that?” Loretta and I asked “What?” Sharon and Kirstee simultaneously answered “A voice said good!” Sharon said that the voice came from a very grumpy male. We left the area feeling that we were not welcome at all! But we enjoyed the investigation and we were amazed by the auditory phenomena that we experienced.
Written by: Maria
On Saturday, 10th March 2012, Twilight Shadows Paranormal conducted a paranormal investigation to Wardour Woods. A few members of the team had previously visited this location and we received so much audible phenomenon that we wanted to return with other members of the team.
We walked the short way through the woods to the small tunnel and we all assembled inside. We discussed the events which we experienced previously, mainly the moans and groans which we heard inside the tunnel with us.
I realised that I was becoming nervous very quickly. The tunnel seems to provoke a sense of foreboding. I remembered feeling exactly the same upon our first visit. Jacky said “I don’t like it, it’s too dark.”
There was no particular smell in the tunnel apart from a faint dank and mouldy smell. But suddenly I could smell horses and what I perceived as horse urine. I was just beginning to verbally express this when Jacky said “I heard a horse’s hoof.” Matt went out of the tunnel to investigate but there was no evidence of horses anywhere near us.
We stood quietly for a moment and all of a sudden, we all heard what sounded like a brick thudding down near the entrance of the tunnel as if it had been thrown with considerable force. We looked but we could not find anything which we felt could have made such a noise. Matt was so convinced that a heavy stone or brick had been thrown towards us, that he spent ages looking but with no luck.
We quietly waited and Dave said that he could hear footsteps, right by us. I ‘called out’ but there was no response. I asked if any spirits which may be near could make the groaning sounds like we heard before. We didn’t hear any groaning.
It started to get foggy inside the tunnel. There was a swirling mist in the outside area (to the left of me) which was creeping into the tunnel but the outside area (to the right of me) remained clear. Unfortunately if we needed to run, we would have to run through the foggy area. It was eerie and the atmosphere felt heavy.
I ‘called out’ again, this time to Lady Arundel’s men. We immediately heard a noise at the entrance of the tunnel. Jacky said “The mood is getting heavy.” Dave heard footsteps and then voices. We all listened and we could hear the voices also. It was faint but seemed to be in surround sound. We then heard a woman’s voice whispering but we could not work out the words. I could hear a distant sound like drumming. Matt ventured outside and said that the mist seemed to be clearing apart from inside the tunnel where it was still quite thick.
Matt threw a stone out of the tunnel and asked for it to be thrown back inside. Nothing was thrown. The chatter of voices started again, the main voice being very gentle. It was impossible to interpret what was being said. All was quiet for a while and then I heard a chuckle. Jacky and Dave heard it too. Jacky then said that she could hear a man’s voice but again, it was impossible to hear what he was saying.
Dave heard the sound of something being thrown into the mouth of the tunnel. Perhaps this was a late reaction to Matt’s earlier request. We could not work out what may have been thrown.
All was quiet for a while and we discussed what the tunnel may have been used for. The general consensus was that it was an entrance to something. Sharon said that she had been told that it was a gateway to the castle.
Dave noticed that the mist seemed to be lifting from the tunnel. We stayed for a while longer but nothing else happened and the atmosphere seemed to lighten. We eventually decided to end our vigil and head off home. We all agreed that this was a fascinating place to investigate.
Written by: Maria Williams