Tatton Old hall in Cheshire, just outside Manchester. What followed was fascinating, yet frustrating night. Of which I shall summarize. Following a conversation with Nisi (Denise Mott) of Compass Paranormal Events, was invited as a guest to attend one of their events.
Hosting the event at Tatton Hall, were 4 hosts Karen, the witty and straight forward Barrie John and 2 in-house paranormal tech guys Ross and Lewis. Having shared the journey to the banter of Barrie John and Karen, atmosphere was good. People and the punters pardon the pun were in good spirits anticipating an night full of adventure and mystery.
The introduction saw something wholly unexpected almost three quarters of 46 attending held their hands up to having never been on a paranormal event/ghost hunt at all. This was to be their first experience. Over half held their hand up to the reason they have come is they are expecting a message from the other side, perhaps a loved one. Which Barrie John to his good credit, said if they come through with something personal, which they may. That is not the purpose of the evening, so if there is a message it shall only be brief and nothing more.
What struck me about the place was its archaeological and historic significance, which may well have been all but lost to demolition. The Tatton Hall gift shop effectively became the hubroom. Armour, swords, displays, fabric adorned the room. Details of the areas part in stone age, anglo-saxon, norman, viking and tudor. The main houses history the part it played during the training of paratroopers and early commandos during the second world war as well as family and ownership heritage information. Mike the steward of the hall, was a insightful guide. Whom I spoke with frequently throughout the night.
The core locations besides the hubroom were a large barn, the great hall and the main old hall house. Taking the guests for a tour with Mike and Barrie John. Then later into 3 groups to explore each area, and in turn rotate round.
When groups split down, it was easier to get into conversation with people. I wanted to get a feel of what was expected from the fact that 3/4 hadn’t ever been on a ghost hunt before. Many said they follow Compass events, some said they frequented their events for their professionalism. A couple said they wanted to try the competition. A few groups said they do ghost hunts annually. The majority commented that they are spiritually open-minded. General expectation was open to whatever happens.
I caught an video interview with Ross and Lewis. Who made mention that this was a favourite location for them, due to the amount of experiences they have had here. Of which they enthusiastically gave some examples.
Each group was allowed to take a selection of “ghost-hunting” equipment, Some usual suspects of k2 meters (7 of them were available) Night vision googles, sound amplifiers, temperature gauges…whilst dowsing crystals, Ouija boards, glass divination were demonstrated and touted as effective methods of communication with the “other side”
and last but not least a broken radio, franks box. Worrying I quote… “We get out best results from this”.
Of the evening 3 moments stood out
The bat splat – Whilst doing glass divination in the great hall, to no response at all. A bat in the ceiling could not have aimed himself a better bullseye by letting one go and landing centre of the top of the glass. Sure to be well remembered.
Being called stupid – Whilst in the kitchen / dining room of the main hall, I walked into a broken radio franks box session being conducted. A table surrounded by guests and Ross, asking random questions. “Are you there?”, "Are you really there?”, “Do you want us to go?” “Are you William who doesn’t like women”, “Why does James I keep coming to mind"?”. The radio panning back and forth across the bands. Everyone was plucking out answers as the radio picked up words being spoken by stations it passed. There was awkward pauses as everyone was trying to work out, what answer fitted what answer and no one could really decide.
At which point, without wanting to be rude I sat down at the table. As the radio panned over the station, there was a distinct operatic singer. Counted how many stations there were until it came back round, and listened a few more times through to make sure. 19. The crowd were getting silly, do you know you are dead. What year did you die.
“O.K.” I spoke up “Let me get this right, are we under the belief that a person is giving us actual answers, when we keep asking questions over one another?, I mean for this to even exist, the ghost if he exists at all. Would have to be a time traveller”. Which everyone went quiet. “The opera singer, there is 19 stations between it coming back round. So the ghost is listening to each of your questions, going over to the radio station somewhere hundreds of miles away. Then because songs are part way through, have the insight to foretell your questions, go back in time influence the DJ to play a song with the relevant answer or say a word with the answer at that time you ask. Or how about when its half a word on one station, then the second part i.e. on another station. Let alone do this for the dozens of questions we are all asking. What this is a form of audio apophenia, seeing answers and patterns in randomness”. At which point, someone one of the guests speaks over me and says “Stupid. You’re stupid”. Apparently that’s what she heard on the broken radio, then other seem to join in. “That message was meant for you”. Facepalm…
The third was the close of the evening in the barn everyone in a circle bare in mind there is 46 guests, this circle is very wide. Barrie John conducted a human pendulum experiment. One of the guests, who was in a suggestive state of consciousness following some relaxation techniques. I don’t tend to give to K2 meters being used in investigation exercise other than their actual purpose of detecting where electrical cables are. But… we are in a barn, in the middle of nowhere. None of the buildings have any electricity. We are at least 2 miles from any road. Everyone’s mobile phones are off, or least should be… These k2s which are on the floor within the circle light up like its Christmas. And I don’t mean all at same time. One at a time. However no one is moving, we are all in a circle, all are linking hands. There is illumination from the bright moon to see everyone and the barn interior.
After the pendulum experiment where apparently a female, teacher to the children who lived there, in 1537 came through. Barrie John makes mention of an angry gentleman who is present too. The guest returns to the circle. The temperature seems to drop. The k2 at close to her feet, doesn’t stop fluctuating. As people start asking questions out, the k2 at her feet appears to be responding in a yes/no fashion. Karen speaks forward “Are you the man, the terrible man who was here before?”. All of the k2 meters light up to full simultaneously. “Are you looking for Denise, the lady who called you out before?” The k2s on the opposite side of the circle to myself illuminated up to full, repeatedly fluxing. The 3 on my side (if there is such as a thing as a side within a circle) nothing. “She is not here tonight?”. They all flash up to full, then all stops. Barrie John says “He has gone”. Karen speaks up to say, the last time they were here, Denise got quite annoyed with him, and told him to do something, choke one of them to which Karen felt hands around her neck and she couldn’t breathe.