Colin's Event Blog
We kicked the New Year off on Friday. Here is the report, I hope I've done it justice, if any guests have anything to add, please feel free to comment.
4th January - Strelley Hall, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
This was the first event of the year for Dark Soul Events and found Abbie and I travelling, with our daughter Jenna Martene, 4 miles up the road to our favourite local venue (Our weekend retreat, we wish). With a lot of friends booked on to this event Abbie and I headed off early to meet up with Paul Jones, Helen Joneslen and Katie at the Broad Oak Strelley pub for a meal before nipping round the corner to the hall. As we finished our meal, Abbie suggested that as it was still early we should go for a walk round Strelley cemetery as other groups had got some activity there. As we prepared to leave, we were joined by Kelly Weare and Gareth Merrick who came with us to the cemetery. After parking up, we started off down to the cemetery as Ann Marie Pooleman arrived and she joined us as well making a total of nine of us trailing along to the church. In the cemetery, after a short walk round, we formed a circle and started calling out for spirits to come through. The first thing that we noticed was that although we were in a cemetery, overshadowed by the church itself, it was so light we had no trouble seeing each other even though there was no artificial light source anywhere. While we were in the circle I felt we were being watched and as I looked behind me to the three standing headstones I saw a shadow dart behind one and Kelly asked if I’d seen something. As I explained what I had seen, Abbie and a few others noticed it as well.
So having had a good start to the night, we headed back to the Hall and waited for everyone else to arrive. When we got there, Andrew Dark-Se and Dave Havok Trenholm, the rest of the team were busy getting the base room set up and we were introduced to our guest team member for the evening, Cheryl Easingwood. Andrew also introduced us to Barrie John Medium who was joining us for the evening. We were also joined by Jayne Louise, Lynda Brookes, Jacqueline Dixon and Joanne Clare as well as several others who had been with us on previous investigations. With all the guests present and various recorders etc placed around the building, we started the evening. The base room had been set up in the Morning Room so for our opening session we moved across to what I have always called the Dining Room although it was pointed out to me by Ann that it was actually called the Panelled Room. This was interesting as a few minutes before we started the night off, I had led the team in a short meditation and grounding session and the setting for the meditation had come to me a few days earlier, based in a panelled room. However, when I led the meditation I simply said a large dark room with cracks in the window frames etc for small amounts of light to come through. As we finished the meditation and went round saying what we had felt etc, Ann, not knowing at this point the name of the room told me she had seen herself in a panelled room, exactly as I had a few days earlier while thinking about what meditation to do. Coincidence or were spirits already sending us messages from beyond?
With all the guests seated, this was our largest group to date as Strelley can easily hold larger numbers I led them in a longer version of the team meditation and included some grounding and light energy protection to create a safe place for guests if the events of the night became to intense. After the meditation we asked what people had got and people on my side of the room said they felt and smelt various things while the guests on the other side of the room didn't have a great deal to report. Andrew then pointed out a large beam across the centre of the room and told us that that beam was the end of the original castle building and the guest on the other side of the room were actually effectively sitting on the outside. Following the meditation we had a five minute break in the base room to finish drinks etc and to split the guests into team.
Abbie and I were team A with Jenna, who decided to come at the very last minute, Kelly, Gareth, our friends Ashleigh Hall and Tim Jackson who had been at Ashbourne Town Hall with us and two more couples new to Dark Soul Events. With the other teams sorted we headed down to the cellar to see who would come through. As Kelly had been affected very strongly last time she visited the Hall I was aware that her stress levels were high and spent time encouraging her to control her breathing and to go to the safe place we had created at the beginning of the night and after a short while she had overcome her fears and started to fully take part in the vigil getting some great reactions and activity. Jenna however got completely overwhelmed by the cellar and the large presence that had already felt lurking there; Jailer you are a big bully, so Abbie and Ashleigh took her upstairs to the Castle Room to sit in with another team while we continued downstairs. With everyone back with us, we formed a circle and went dark. Boy was it dark. Abbie and I have been to Strelley a few times but we couldn't remember the cellar being as dark as it was last night as in the past we’d been able to see shadows etc moving round, one of whom was responsible for Kelly fleeing the cellar last time, Jailer, behave. We started calling out and immediately one of the guests reported a cold breeze going across her head and so it began. Noises were heard coming from up the steps, low level conversations kept being heard, light flashes were seen, people were touched, Tim felt a large presence behind him, he was standing in the same place as The Jailer was seen last time we were there and he could feel the spirit’s energy. The most interesting thing to note was as soon as we went dark, the cellar seemed to expand in size giving us all the impression we were in a vast chamber and not a fairly small room. This was brought home to us the first time a torch was switched on as the far wall seemed to slam up against us bringing the room back to its normal size. This concept of the room being larger happened every time we went dark but it was a new feeling for me as I had been down there many times. Later in the night I mentioned this to other groups after they had been down there and they reported the same sensations. As we had been hearing a lot of noises from the corridor, including child laughter and a stone being thrown, we regrouped at the top of the stairs, I was the last to go up and as I put my foot on the bottom step there was a huge bang from behind me, sounding like someone had slammed a door, but the cellar is away from the main building, under the car park and no one was outside as the front door was locked during the vigils. As we gathered at the top of the steps, we heard chattering coming from the cellar so after a few minutes of calling out and getting activity both in the tunnel and the cellar two male guests went back to the cellar to call out while Gareth moved further along the corridor to see if he could pick up anything there. The ladies soon joined the men in the cellar and I went down also, leaving Abbie up with the rest. As I started calling out in the cellar I was aware that we had someone with us, an adolescent who was a bit of a joker. The ladies had started rocking from side to side so I called spirit to move them more and they stopped moving. So using a little reverse psychology I told him to leave the ladies alone and to move the man standing beside them and once again the ladies started moving. When I said not to move them at all, they moved faster and they said they felt like they were on a boat. I then challenged the spirit to give them one big push and counted to three and said now. As I said “Now”, Kelly who was up in the corridor was pushed very forcibly backwards and Abbie called down to see if I’d just asked for someone to be pushed. While we continued down in the cellar, up in the tunnel Abbie and crew were getting loads of activity as well. The door half way along the corridor had been pulled closed behind us and they saw a white and green light moving around behind the door and then the lights started moving down the tunnel towards Gareth, only disappearing as they came very close.
Buzzing from all the activity we had got in the tunnels and cellar, we headed up to the base room for a much needed refreshment break and to collect Jenna back in to the group.
After the break we headed into Abbie and my favourite part of the Hall, The Castle Room and we were joined for this vigil by Barrie who was spending time with each group through the night. We got settled around the room and went dark, calling spirit forward. One thing Abbie noted was that even though we had Remmie in the room and a couple of tech devices, the room was remarkably dark, much more so than on previous visits. As she said this I looked up towards the far end of the room where there is a window covered by a shutter and saw a number of light flashes. The room didn't prove as active as it sometimes is even though we tried several different methods of communication including people playing a round of poker to see if we could get anything. Unfortunately it seemed like Nicholas and co weren't in a chatty mood. Jenna mentioned that when she was in the room before with the other group a man was in the armchair by the fire and that they had got a lot of activity around him so Barrie and Abbie swapped places and very soon Barrie said he felt like he had aged considerably. The main thing to note about our session in the Castle Room is that everyone stated that they were feeling colder and colder as we stayed in the room however I was monitoring the temperature on my EMF meter and it showed the temperature actually rose from around 16.5 degrees up to about 18 before we left the room for another break. We had heard the group go down to the cellar as we got settled in the Castle Room as they were chatting and making a reasonable amount of noise. As we weren't sure when we were meant to be having a break we were listening out for them to come back up. We eventually gave up waiting for them and headed off to the base room only to find both groups already in there. On questioning about their return from the cellar we were informed they were as loud coming back as they were going, so why hadn't we heard them? Did spirits dull the sound in order to keep us in the room?
Before we started the final vigils of the night, I asked everyone to congregate on the stairs where I had previously laid out a length of wire from the ground floor, all the way up to the top landing. With everyone standing at various intervals around the stairwell, holding the wire, I explained that if you send electricity through a coiled wire, it creates a magnet and that was what I was trying to create. I human magnet joined by the wire to try and attract spirits. So, starting from the very top, each person took it in turns to call spirit forward and show themselves in some way. When everyone had called out I asked if they had experienced anything. Someone had felt very uncomfortable and didn't like being there, others felt wind blow over them, I felt quite nauseous even though I was only half way up and people reported various things that they were feeling. Having thanked everyone for taking part in the experiment we then broke into our groups again and headed off for the final hour of the night.
Our group had four areas to use for vigils; the base room, the panel room, the kitchen and the stairwell. We started in the panel room where a spirit board was ready for us and with several guests sitting round we called spirit to communicate with us but for whatever reason they didn't want to use this method although we did seem to get some answers coming through on the Alice box. From here we moved into the kitchen and tried glass divination on the table. Abbie and a few people went into the side room while we stayed on the table. As we walked into the kitchen I spotted a large shadow figure at the end of the kitchen and this was seen by several of the people there as the session progressed. The glass did move with everyone’s fingers either on the side or turned over to show it wasn't us moving it but again spirit was very reluctant to really interact with us. Abbie suggested we try some scrying and as there was a large mirror in the hall area at the bottom of the stairs, this was our next area to visit. Several members of the group spent time in front of the mirror with two ladies going first and both of them took on male aspects as we watched in the mirror. Finally we headed to the very top of the stairs to the alcove area with two ladies sitting in chairs on different levels with spirit boxes in hand. Again spirit didn't really come through with any noticeable activity so we finished the session and headed down to the base room.
Andrew asked everyone to go through to the panel room for the group pic and the closing down session. After having formed a circle and Andrew taking us through another grounding session and binding spirits to the hall, we thanked all of our guests for attending our first 2019 event and said our goodbyes.
So did Strelley Hall deliver? Absolutely with every group getting something from the night including Michael coming through in the Castle Room lighting up three K2 meters. Is it worth a return visit? Definitely, as every visit to Strelley brings something different. We left Strelley looking forward to next weekend which see us having two events, The Haunted Antiques Museum on Friday and the one we've all been waiting for, The 1871 School return visit with the same group as last time plus two extra guests. It promises to be an amazing paranormal weekend.
Founded in 2018, DARK SOUL Events will seek to remove you from your comfort zone and place you into real haunted locations.