Ravensworth Castle – July 8th, 2005
Tyne & Wear, UK (formerly County Durham)
On July 8th/9th, 2005 my team, Anomalous Phenomena Investigations (API) participated in an investigation of the Grade II Listed historic caslte of Ravensworth. We were guests of the team hosting the event, so as a result, we do not have copies of the actual reports. The investigation carried on through the night and until the early hours of the morning, ending about 5:00 am.
We arrived early in the evening, just before the sun went down, and were taken on a tour of the property, which is quite extensive. Pheasants run wild in the woods and the cries they make can be very unsettling once night fully sets in. It helped to set the eerie tone.
One of the areas investigated was the location of what was once the underground cellars and dungeons, entered through a hidden passage, where one then has to crawl through a tunnel and shimmy down towards the ancient stairs below. This area is considered to be one of the most haunted at the location, with a somewhat sinister and unfriendly ghost/spirit. More than one person has left from here in absolute fright, never to return, and one person refused to even return phone calls or emails to talk about what happened to them. Another investigator was witnessed to have been physically picked up and thrown against a wall by unseen hands. He, too, bolted for his car and never returned.
This is also the location where I (Cindy) was expected to stay, all alone in the dark, for 45 minutes. As the other teams headed off for their first vigil locations throughout the castle complex the host of this investigation and I entered the underground, just the two of us. We turn off our headlamps so I can see what its like. It was so very dark, a pitch blackness that was not penetrated by any above ground light source. I literally could not see my hand in front of my face. One small pinprick of light dimly glowed on the video camera located near the exit stairs. I had expected a bone-numbing coldness, but it was surprisingly warm down here. We switched on our headlamps and he led me through the various rooms and corridors of this subterranean maze, the sound of rubble crunching under our feet the only noise, other than our own breathing. The realization that there was no way I could find my way out of here alone if it became neccessary added to my rising sense of unease and discomfort. Okay, I admit it, it added to my rapidly growing FEAR!
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, we arrived at the medium sized room tucked away off the side of one of the corridors. It was furnished with a single plastic chair. We entered and played our headlamps around the walls and floor. No boogie man (or sadistic team member) waiting to jump out and scare the crap out of me.
So, the time has come. Will I stay, or will I bottle out? I am already starting to feel the grip of panic. I do not like this room. As a matter of fact, I do not like this maze of tunnels. But, I go ahead and sit in the chair. The host sits down in front of me, about 5 feet away. This is the testing period, about 15 minutes, before he makes his way back to the top, leaving me alone down here.
“Are you ready?” he asks me.
“Not really, but lets see what happens,” I reply.
We both turn off our headlamps. The darkness is suffocatingly thick. My sense of hearing is on full alert. I hear him ask from in front of me…”Are you okay?” I respond that I am scared out of my wits. Suddenly, from behind me, the sound of a heavy footstep. I swing around in my chair and turn on my headlamp. Nothing. Not even a mouse. Off goes the headlamp. Almost immediately I feel it, the hackles on the back of my neck starting to rise and that slight tingle one gets of anticipation or fear. The touch at first is so light, just a soft caress on my neck, that I try to convince myself that I am imagining it. I think I want to cry. I mention the touch to my host, so he can document it on the investigation report. We sit quietly for another 5 minutes or so. Right behind me…(((CRUNCH))). My host asks… “Did you hear that?” Me…”Yes! Its right behind me.” Before we can come down from the shock of this noise in the dark, it happens… SOMETHING is directly behind me. I HEAR it whisper something right next to my ear, and then something grabs and yanks my hair. I jump up, just manage to stiffle a scream, hit the on button on my headlamp, and yell… “What the f**k was that?!?!” I am shaking. I am terrified. I am DONE!
“I can’t do this. There is no way you can leave me alone down here,” I say.
The host tries to calm and reassure me…”Hey, its okay. Just don’t let it know you are afraid. You can do this! We’ve been here 15 minutes. How about I leave now and you only stay alone for 30 minutes?”
Me…”No! I want out of here, NOW!”
Host…”How about just 20 minutes?”
Me… “I said no. I am not staying down here alone. If you bring someone in to stay with me I’ll do it, but not alone.
Host…”If you do this I’ll never ask you to do it again, and everyone will know you have balls of steel. If you leave you’ll get the rep for being a chickenshit.”
Me…”I really don’t care what anyone else thinks. I am not staying. Take me out of here, right now.”
He finally stops trying to talk me into staying. I am still shaking from being grabbed by whatever unseen force lives down here in the dark.
We start walking down one corridor after another, and then pass through another small room that I am assured is a short cut. This room has a red plastic chair in it. As we start to walk through the doorway and into another corridor we both hear the sound of something being thrown behind us, possibly a small rock or piece of rubble. We get through the doorway, and as we exit something pushes me from behind, causing me to stumble into the wall. It feels suddenly cold. My host makes sure I’m okay and asks if we can stop for a minute to take some photos. I agree and take a few of my own. Below is the result, and I appear to have captured an amorphus misty shape blocking the whole doorway.
We make it back to the corridor that leads to the exit stairs without further incident. I am still on edge. The host and I decide to sit down and relax for a few minutes. He apologizes for trying to push me into staying and for insinuating that people will think I’m a chickenshit. I accept his apology and remind him that this “chickenshit” can easily kick his ass.
We stand up and prepare to leave. As we do so we both hear it, the sound of shuffling footsteps coming towards us from the dark corridor in front of us. The stairs are behind us. We both stand quietly, listening, trying to determine what it is. The shuffling sound gets closer. We aim our headlamps down the corridor. We see nothing. Then, further down, about 30 feet away, we both witness a discarded soda can suddenly being kicked from one side of the corridor to the other.
We look at each other, and say at the same time…”Did you see that?!?!” As we stand there in both awe and shock we feel a sudden coldness descend on and around us. Whatever is with us can be felt first in front of us, and then hovering just above our heads. And then we can see it, a faint mist moving towards us. The photos below are what I captured.
Now that I can see what appears to be a mist with a purpose, i.e. to get me, I am ready to head for the stairs and get the hell out of here! My host is in agreement. We turn and head quickly down the corridor towards the exit, and safety (we hope) only to be confronted by another, even thicker mist, ON THE STAIRS! I do not want to go through that mist, but it is the only way out. I also need to photograph this so fire off a shot, and as soon as I do this the mist comes away from the stairs and can be felt floating past us! I waste no more time at this point and dash up the narrow, stone steps, to the top, where my host meets me and lifts me up into the exit tunnel. I reach back and offer him a hand up, and once we are both in the small space I scramble out of there and into the fresh night air as if demons are after me.
After relaxing for a few minutes back at the host team’s caravan, we headed out to join one of the other teams. Below are photos taken throughout the night and early morning at various locations on the castle property.