February 2010

Ram Inn – 2nd Vigil

 

Here is an account of the second vigil at the Ancient Ram Inn which took place in November 2002.  In fact, I traveled down with Dave Milner and met members of the BCPS down there who  who needed two cars to transport the equipment (and the others members!).  Dave Milner took some fantastic photographs but these will be in the second part as I have to get them from another computer.  I have one of the group though which I’ve found although DM is not in it as he took the photograph!  I’ll post that at the end.

It was an eventual trip, although unfortunately (for myself) it tool place not long after I had injured my back so I had a little trouble in getting around.  Anyway, I made it!  Here is Part 1 as its really too long to do in one post.  Hope Ram Inn enthusiasts enjoy it . . . David.

 

THE ANCIENT RAM INN, (SECOND NIGHTLY VIGIL) Part 1

THE SECOND TIME I visited the Ancient Ram Inn, was not with Ross Gage this time but with members of the Black Country Paranormal Society from Wolverhamption. This visit in fact took place one Saturday night in early November, 2002. I’d obviously been in contact with John Humphries previously and arranged it, and I traveled down there with Dave Milner – independent coordinator for BPOS investigations and activities – by train.

The original intention was to hire a car so we could take more equipment with us and for reasons of convenience. But, due to some difficulty at the car hire place in the West End, we were unable to hire one – something to do with having to pay for an extra day as we could not return it on a Sunday. Whatever, this additional price was astronomical for what amounted to a day’s non-useage, so we decided to take a train. Accordingly, we met the other BCPS members at Wotton-under-Edge arriving about 5 p.m. These included Wayne Pickerell, Founder Member of the BCPS, his wife Heidi, Anne and her husband Jeff, and Wayne’s brother Mark and his girlfriend, Vicky. In fact, they gone in two cars down there, which they needed having quite a lot of investigative equipment. We’d arranged to meet at the church and they’d already arrived by the time Dave Milner and myself got there. The church was chosen because they were reluctant to introduce themselves to John Humphries without my being there; simply because I had already met him and arriving in a complete group made them feel more at ease. We arrived at the Ram around 6 p.m.
Another vigil like the first one took place but this time we obviously had more equipment with us which, obviously, took longer time to set up. But again, we all went out and had a meal first, arriving back at the Inn around 11 O’clock in the evening.

Wayne Pickerell set up highly sophisticated night-video equipment in the Bishop’s Room. We sealed the door but we had a monitor outside so we could sit and watch for any signs of any potential in there. In turn, this was videoed on long -play tape, so should anything unusual or untoward have happened, it would have been recorded.

The other room adjacent to the Bishop’s Room, the one which was also reputedly quite haunted, was also similarly wired up; only in this case, to an audio cassette recorder that might potentially ‘capture‘ any unusual sounds. Again, the door was sealed; mainly to prevent any extraneous sounds affecting the microphone, but also to prevent any member of the group accidentally walking in there. (It should be remembered that we were, by choice, working under very dim light; apart from which, BCPS members were working in unfamiliar territory.) Obviously, one person had to keep a permanent eye on the monitor (we agree to take this in hourly shifts as it was quite a laborious task) and this also applied to the audio tape to make sure it kept running smoothly. While this was going on, the rest of us thoroughly explored the place, in particular looking for any distinct changes in temperature or other signs, such as any changes in dust patterns that might have betrayed the movement of objects.

I do remember that before this particular vigil I had sustained a foot injury, so I was unwilling – if not unable – to go up into the attic. It had been difficult enough to get up the partially broken staircase that led to the Bishop’s Room, let alone to attempt to climb the hazardous almost vertical steps that led to the attic. Two of the others, however, went up into the attic and spent a vigil there in the dark. One of these, Wayne’s brother, Mark, was later to claim that he’d heard some strange inexplicable sounds up there. I do know that after hearing these he took a couple of random photographs up there in the direction of the strange noises. Now, I believe, although I haven’t actually yet seen the picture myself, that when it was later developed, there were some strange light formation appearing on it.

I should add that before all this took place, that is before all this equipment was set up and we’d sealed the two rooms, we took quite a few pictures in the Bishop’s room and elsewhere with our own cameras. Dave Milner had a digital camera and he took some pictures of the whole group before the vigil started. He took some outside the Inn and we all took pictures of the “sacrificial grave” which had still not been covered up by this time, and the old fireplace which supposedly had a secret passage leading to the church. I remember that Dave Milner took a picture of myself alone in the Bishop’s Room before the vigil proper had begun, mainly for the purposes of a souvenir. When some of these photographs were later developed, they showed what appeared to be distinct spheres of light which were moving around. They were only still photographs, but some were taken in quick succession and you could see these distinct although indiscernible transparent balls of light, had moved position; although they were moving across the frame in front of the people, but they weren’t actually visible to anybody being photographed. But they certainly came out on film.

We should perhaps remember that John Humpheries had first mentioned these ‘orbs of light’ when I’d first visited the Ram with Ross Gage and Dave Holland in 1998, but I’d learned in the meantime that these ‘orbs’ that Dave Milner had caught on film had also been photographed by other independent people visiting the Inn using totally unrelated cameras. As a matter of interest John Humphries later sent me some of these photographs which are still in my possession taken on another occasion by another psychical research group from the North of England whose address I have on file, and they too showed identical orbs of light to the ones that had come out on our photographs. They were obviously not taken in exactly the same place, but the point being here is that these were taken by a group completely unknown to us, at a different time and with completely different cameras.

In fact, the photograph Dave Milner took of myself in the Bishop’s Room showed three or four orbs of light; and again, these hadn’t actually been visible to myself at the time when the picture was taken, but they came out on the film. It would seem that while the existence of these “orbs of light” can not ‘proved’ irrefutably, it can be reasonably stated that there may be some sort of unknown energy operative the effects of which can be ‘captured’ on film.

© DAVID FARRANT 2002

Members of the BCPS - Copyright Dave Milner
Members of the BCPS - Copyright Dave Milner

Beaumaris – A ‘Vampire’ Story

Haunted Mansion - allegedly home of a 'vampire'!
Haunted Mansion - allegedly home of a 'vampire'!

As I have received a couple of emails about this article over the last few days – and as I am sure its ‘vampire content’ may be of interest to others –  I have decided to re-post it as a Blog.  I do not normally ‘re-post’ material unless there is some interest or queries.  I have had both; but more importantly maybe, I have just re-located the picture to go with it. 

The visit to the haunted ruin in North Wales was made in 1982; I believe I first published this article (in a magazine) in 1997.

Please note folks, both the article and picture are my exclusive copyright.

David

 BEAUMARIS – A ‘VAMPIRE STORY’ 

BY

DAVID FARRANT

I don’t think anything came close to being similar to the actual Highgate Vampire case, as you’ve probably realised. There were a couple of other cases that I investigated that were supposed to be connected with “vampires”. The first one was in Wales and that goes back to 1982. It concerns an old derelict Manor House which is about six miles from Beaumaris, Anglesea in Wales. It was very isolated and the whole area was practically deserted.

Rumour had it that the mansion was haunted by a “female spectre” and locally she’d become associated with stories of “vampires”. We never found out why, right at the beginning, but this was the general story going around. We spoke to the locals – and I should add here that the Welsh are not exactly the easiest people in the world to get information out of … especially if you’re English – they seemed very guarded as if to protect their own life styles and little communities, and most people all told the same story; that there was a terrible spectre that haunted the Manor House that was supposed to be the apparition of a vampire and nobody went near the place at night. We also checked with the police at Beaumaris before we started the investigation but they were unhelpful except that they confirmed that Baron Hall hadn’t been lived in for many years and it was the ancestral home of the Bulkeley family who were very high up in the community.

The first thing we did, was to visit the Manor House by day – this would have been in the late summer or early autumn of 1982. It was very difficult to find. We had to go up long winding lanes, and there was not even anyone around to ask, but we eventually located it, hidden, right in the middle of nowhere. As it loomed up in the distance, in the grounds, we discovered a short flight of steps, very overgrown but not vandalised, and at the bottom of these were two securely locked iron doors with bars in them at the top, so of course, we had to look through these to see what was inside! When we shone the torch through them – and there is a comparison to Highgate Cemetery here – there were concrete shelves on either side of a small room and at least six coffins were clearly visible. We automatically assumed that these contained the remains of people who had lived in the house and who had been interred in the family vault. At the time, I remember thinking that this seemed unusual because there were no churches in the vicinity and it was almost as if the vault lay on unconsecrated ground. It was a bit of a mystery … the point being of course, that if this was the case, it could probably have given rise, or served as a reason, for the vampire stories.

We went into the house itself and discovered that half the roof was missing at one end of the building. It was a huge building and must have been about fifty or sixty feet high, and originally it probably contained four or five floors. None of these floors were intact, but the whole of the downstairs area was. We found one other short flight of step’s on the left of the building with two massive great oak doors at the bottom, and the temptation was to go and have a look, because obviously, there would have been a dungeon or crypt, or something, underneath. But there was literally no access because lying in front of these doors were great big chunks of masonry and it would have been impossible to move it, and even if we could have done, I doubt if we’d have got the doors open. I did the usual checks … I should mention here that the temperature inside the building was decidedly cold. Now you could put this down to the building being built of stone and that sometimes when you go into a stone building it can harbour cold, rather like a refrigerator, I don’t know – but it was markedly colder than the temperature outside. We also measured the pressure, and the pressure inside the building was a lot lower than it was outside, although it was a very warm late summer’s day; which again in itself is interesting because you don’t usually get drops in pressure to that extent in such a short distance of a few feet. I say it’s interesting because you often find that cases of unexplained phenomena often occur in area’s of low pressure.

We explored the building and we explored the grounds. In fact the grounds were massive. There was a huge overgrown orchard and this must have taken up two or three acres. There were outhouses that were derelict and had long since been deserted; there was a huge ornamental fish pond which had long dried up – the bottom was all cracked. I say “huge”, it was probably bigger then this room.

The other strange thing we found were huge plants which I’d never seen before. It was almost as if they were tropical. I actually got a leaf and the leaf itself was about six feet across. And I have a picture of myself holding it (so you can compare it to my height which is about six foot), and the stem would have been about the size of a small sapling tree. It was covered in spikes. I don’t know what they were, it’s as if at some time people had been experimenting with various forms of vegetation in the grounds.

We subsequently visited the building on other occasions, we got photographs of it, took other readings, including using a compass. Now, a compass is very important because it can actually react in the presence of psychic energy. It can throw the compass out of alignment so instead of pointing North, it’ll go mad and start spinning around. There was a varied reading on the compass. We got a true North reading at one end of the building, then we walked to the other end and the reading was ten degrees different. This happened two or three times around the course of the building, so there was definitely some sort of strange energy in it.

We visited the Mansion on other occasions, as I said. It was by car, in daylight; but we became absolutely fascinated, so we decided to hold a vigil there at night. Colette Sully was there on that occasion; there was … well, I don’t see why I shouldn’t name him, he wouldn’t mind – a person that I know who was a geologist who was living in the area called Geoff Jennings; there were two other people whom I won’t name but – they also lived back across the mainland and were interested in psychic phenomena.

Now, we went there one evening. We must have arrived about 10 0’clock and it was very, very cold inside the mansion, for we’d decided to hold the vigil inside it. I mean, I know there’d been a marked difference in temperature during the daytime but at night it was absolutely icy-cold. I do remember one thing: we kept fairly quiet, but after about an hour, there was a tremendous “slamming noise” and one of the windows at the top of the building flew open and slammed shut with tremendous force: which was unusual because there was no wind at all and it was a peaceful, passive night. But we sensed something there. It’s very difficult to put into words, because what with the temperature and the atmosphere which was overwhelmingly claustrophobic it was as if … if I hesitate, it’s because they aren’t really any words to describe it. Then after midnight when we were facing the right end of the building inside the great front door (the left end of the building was where the stairs had collapsed which led to the entrance of the cellars or the crypt, or whatever it was), one of the girls there suddenly screamed and said she’d “seen a figure” that had come “out of the wall” and which had disappeared through a wall in the vicinity of the staircase.

We all spun around – by the way, I should add it was quite light in there, I do remember there was a bright half-moon and because there was no roof it was quite possible to see without torch-light – and somebody else, Geoff Jennings I think it was, said he had just glimpsed something; but this girl swore to seeing a figure that had just gone across the Hall and disappeared through a wall. She described it as a “greyish” figure and that of a lady. Again, if it was possible the place had turned even colder.

Well, we took photographs but that was really an afterthought because the figure had already disappeared. It did seem … There was a terrible atmosphere. I wouldn’t call it “evil”, I don’t really like that word, but an intense sort of … well, there was almost a living ominous force in there that was “watching you”. And once you got outside the building, it was almost as if a great weight had been lifted from your shoulders. You could hear the odd owl again, or animals in the undergrowth. It was as if you were walking back into a different world.

So – and although I didn’t actually witness it myself I certainly experienced the atmosphere – that was another case of locals deciding that a resident apparition, was a “vampire” …..

David Farrant

Fairly Quiet

Its been fairly quiet.  Or rather I should say, I’ve been ‘slow’ (as usual!) in writing another Blog. 

 News?  Well, that Talk I mentioned before has now been scheduled for May, and as the weather should be warmer then, I really don’t mind doing that.  I just get ultra lazy in the cold weather.

 My dear friend Craig telephoned me very recently to give me news of his ‘working holiday’ and he seems glad to be back. He was transferred to another Computer Company abroad (better not say where or he’ll get upset!) and I don’t think he liked it much as he had to work too late!  They put curfews on getting back to the hotel, which I think rather spoiled his evening fun. Makes sense so really if you think about it – these multi million dollar Companies like their contracted employees to be ‘fresh’ for work each day!

 Went out this afternoon to get a few things.  Miserable and wet, but at least it wasn’t slippery.  Met a friend up the road who I had not seen for ages, so we went to talk and have some coffee.  But apart from that, things have been quiet. 

 I have marked the May Talk in my diary, so just watch for further details here. It is being filmed again which is why I don’t really want to give further details at present.

 But I found a picture of a Talk I gave in 2003, so thought I’d just post that to prove that ‘us witches’ can be pretty resilient when talking about Unworldly things, such as the paranormal!  But that’s more-or-less become routine now, and I don’t really mind it.  In fact, I’m really quite flattered when people keep inviting me.  Shows someone must be listening . . . somewhere!  Here is the Pic. anyway.

 For the moment,   David  (Farrant)

David Farrant Talk circa 2002
David Farrant Talk circa 2002

Real Magic

Bless her!
Bless her!

Well here she is everyone, my 11 year-old grand-daughter. She’s really lovely, and further proof – if any was needed – that good looks just run in the family!  The pic was only taken two days ago, but naturally I had to get proper consent all round to post it here.

I will give more details in the not so distant future, but obviously want to wait until I meet her first.

There’s not much more I can say at this point though.  I just wanted you to see the picture.

 So for the moment,

 David Farrant

Ancient Ram Inn Pt 2

I thought I’d post up the second part of the Ancient Ram Inn article now to save them becoming ‘separated’, so to speak.

But I’ll probably do another Blog this evening to catch up with recent news.

Jamie has just sent me a picture of my very lovely grand-daughter, and thought you might like to see it.  I’m sure she would anyway!  

But I will do that later.

For the moment,  David

 The Haunting of the Ancient Ram Inn (Part 2)

 IT WAS A VERY COLD NIGHT and there was absolutely no heating upstairs where we were. There was light, although we preferred to work by candlelight instead and use torches. An exception to this was a light that John Humpheries had insisted that we left on in in the attic. There had been some partial renovation work done there and he did not want to be responsible if anybody went up there and injured themselves by falling over the rubble. In fact, the attic was lit only by a small table lamp with a dim 40 watt bulb, and ghosts aside, it was easy to see how physical injury might have occurred in the dark It was still very gloomy and hazardous being strewn with discarded furniture and scarcely visible on the floor, and the numerous cobwebs clinging tenaciously to your face did nothing to help you keep balance. The Bishop’s Room, in fact, lay right beneath a part of the attic, which itself ran across most of the main building.

Ross Gage set up an electronic thermometer up in The Bishop’s Room and, interestingly enough, even before that was actually used, there were distinct ‘cold spots‘ throughout that particular room. We actually sensed these ‘cold spots’ before we used the thermometer itself; the thermometer merely confirming this later by its electronic readings. In fact, it was possible to ‘walk through‘ these cold spots, which were about two feet in diameter, and you could actually stand outside them and put your hand inside the invisible space and feel the distinct drop in temperature. And this wasn’t just imagination.

The main vigil was spent within The Bishop’s Room, which, after all, was supposed to be the most haunted room in the building. Ross Gage spent most of her time here recording temperature variations and taking other measurements whilst Dave Holland and myself ‘moved around’ a little more; in particular spending some time in another supposedly haunted room by candlelight (near to The Bishop’s Room) and in the attic – obviously, with cameras at the ready. We also had small tape recorders with us, just in case!

We spent about an hour in that particular room, but apart from the odd strange noise such as ‘creaking sounds‘ bangs or thuds which could have happened in any old building and which were are not necessarily supernatural, at one stage we did actually hear a distinct ‘knocking sound’ up above in the attic. Its hard to say if these could have been rats knocking something over or whether it was of supernatural origin. But we decided to go up into the attic and spend and spend a couple of hours there to see if we could witness anything.

David Holland positioned himself at one end of the attic, while I was at the other. I took two or three pictures at random before noticing that the built-in light meter in my camera had ceased to register, despite the fact I was using an ultra sensitive 1500 ASA film.. Now, even in that very low light it should have picked up some sort of reading; but the needle just remained ‘dead’. I checked the camera but found nothing untoward so focused it directly on the table light itself, but still a zero reading. The needle would not budge.

This apparent malfunctioning of the camera did not unduly surprise me. For on past occasions this had happened at other supposedly haunted places. Indeed, I recall once at supposedly haunted Whittington Castle in Shropshire, the camera had acted in a similar manner when I was trying to take some photographs at the top of one of the ruined towers. It was a bright sunlit afternoon but the camera’s meter refused to register within an area of about six feet but if you stepped outside the diameter of this ‘invisible circle’, the needle  registeredas  normal.    

After spending a good hour in the attic, we went back downstairs to The Bishop’s Room and it was then that Ross Gage confirmed to us that every fifteen minutes the temperature dropped quickly and distinctly by four degrees (she was taking all these readings down in concise detail). It remained that way for five minutes or so and then it returned to normal. But then precisely fifteen minutes later, the same thing would happen again following a consistent pattern.

Apart from these the drops in temperature, she hadn’t actually witnessed anything, other than claiming to have heard some unusual sounds in the an adjacent room. She’d gone outside to look but apparently, there wasn’t any apparent cause for it. By this time it was about three o’clock in the morning, so we thought we might as well lie down in the Bishop’s room, obviously with tape recorders, cameras and torches at the ready, and spend some time there to see if anything happened. The Bishop’s room, I should add, was still very well furnished; there was a large four-poster bed in there with two antique single beds either side so there was no lack of space for people to lie down. John Humphries had supplied us with ample blankets to keep warm, so we thought we might as well relax for awhile for this part of the vigil – so we settled down and just lay in silence for some time.

It was about an hour after that, we all heard a distinct tapping noise coming from the ceiling, obviously caused by something knocking on the floor in the attic. In fact, I was lying in the end bed nearest the window, and this sound occurred right above my head; but everyone could hear it, it was that distinct. It was rather like hearing somebody knocking purposely on a door, to let you know they were there and that they wanted to come in; distinct, and almost ‘deliberate. This happened twice with a gap of about half a minute in-between. There were five or six knocks each time; not pounding, not soft either, rather like somebody using their knuckles knocking sharply on wood.

Needless to say, leaving Ross down in The Bishop’s Room in case the sounds occurred again, Dave Holland and myself went back to the attic and located the spot these knocks would have come from, because you could tell roughly where the beds were underneath. But there was nothing there to account for the sounds them and it was very hard to contemplate such sounds being made by rats or mice, even had they knocked something over.

Apart from these occurrences, not least the regular drops in temperature which went on until daybreak, the rest of the night was seemingly uneventful. But these relatively small things that did occur, were certainly not the result of fanciful imagination, nor did there appear to be any logical cause to explain them. It could be added here – and this cannot be taken as any sort of ‘psychic proof’ – there was a very strange atmosphere that seemed to permeate The Bishop’s Room and the attic. you’d have to actually be there to experience this precisely. But everything was deathly quiet. Perhaps that in itself is not so surprising because there was little or no traffic that time of night and the Inn lay isolated at the edge of the village. But quite apart from the quietness, there was a sort of overbearing sense – and I’m not trying to sound sensationalistic – sense that somebody was watching you. You really felt that everywhere you went, whether walking around lying down or sitting in a chair, ‘somebody‘ was aware of your presence. I can’t really describe it any better than that, because this it was more of a sensation that could only be picked up by the senses, not by any sort of physical means.

But it was not just in The Bishop’s Room or in the attic that this ‘atmosphere’ prevailed. The Inn itself was very atmospheric throughout, maybe partly due to its construction and layout. It was filled with antique furniture, and had extremely old fireplaces which had remained unchanged for centuries, with strange symbols engraved in the stone hearths of some of them, which were most likely symbols of protection against evil spirits. Indeed, a huge fireplace downstairs was strongly rumoured to have concealed a secret passageway leading from it to the church which lay a couple of hundred yards away. Near this, in the same room in fact, there was a deep hole in the stone floor where the floor had been dug up to a depth of about five feet. It was explained to us later, that on an earlier occasion, John Humphries had called in some dowsers who’d expressed an interest in the place, and they were looking for any other underground passages, covered-over wells, or anything of the kind, and one of these dowsers told him that there was something lying beneath the foundations. He’d got a violent reaction with the dowsing stick at this part of the floor. So they eventually dug down (and this was obviously a few years before we visited), and they actually discovered a lot of children’s bones and a couple of sacrificial daggers. Obviously, this was reported to the police, but there was nothing much that the police could do after they’d deduced that the age of the skeletons were several centuries old.

I believe these bones were forensically examined and it was confirmed that they were hundreds of years old. But obviously the conclusion by John Humphries and many other people was., that human sacrifice had taken place in the actual Inn itself at a much earlier date.

We left The Ancient Ram Inn next morning after being given some tea by John Humphries. It was a Sunday and there were no buses running, but somebody kindly gave me a lift to the nearest railway station, at Stroud some twelve miles away. We said our good-byes to John Humphries and he invited us back again. And as we left he more-or -less apologised that nothing much had happened because, he said, that normally anybody that spent a vigil there usually experienced much more definite phenomena. He added that perhaps we had just picked a bad time …

In fact I was to return again to the Ram to hold another nightly vigil there. This occurred in the autumn of 2002 and was attended by members of the Black Country Paranormal Society. But that, of course, would have to be another story.
© DAVID FARRANT

The Haunted Bishop's Room
The Haunted Bishop's Room

Haunting Of The Ancient Ram Inn

Just thought to post a ghost story for a change.  It’s a ‘true’ one – at least its an account of a true investigation that took part at the Ancient Ram Inn in 1998. Just something to read before you go to sleep!

 David

The Ancient Ram Inn 

– by David Farrant –

 SITUATED ON THE INCLINE of a steep hill in Wotton-under-Edge, the bottom of the building partially submerged at the side of the modern road, the Ancient Ram Inn plays host to a variety of ghosts.

Originally an 13th century inn, the earlier building was damaged by a fire that swept through much of the village at that time, but it was rebuilt as a tavern in the 14th century and catered to locals and lonely travelers until into the early part of the 19th century.

The present owner is John Humphries. He brought the dilapidated building (which none the less retained its ancient design and structural character) in 1967 and moved in with his wife and two young daughters. It was only soon afterwards that he learned about a compulsory purchase order that had been put upon the building by the local council. They wanted to demolish it to widen the road, apparently unconcerned about its ancient charm or rural antiquity. But John had other ideas and, backed by a determined campaign that had the support of the local people, eventually succeeded in overturning the council’s order and getting the Ram Inn registered as a grade two listed building.

There was a lot to be done, but John decided to stagger the work – a necessity perhaps as at this time he was working nights as a goods train driver. But before too long, he had turned the Ram into a comfortable home for himself and his family, and certainly discouraged the rats and mice that had long since made their home there undisturbed.

My first experiences with the RAM INN and its associated phenomena took place in October 1998. I had been contacted by Ross Gage, of the Sheffield Paranormal Society some months earlier about other cases of unexplained psychic activity, and we had finally got around to discussing the Ancient Ram Inn.

She had expressed her interest in conducting a nightly vigil there with other members of her group, and explained that she already had the permission of the owner, so it was just a question of arranging a date.

I was invited to attend once arrangements were finalised, and the date was eventually set for October 31 that year. But although originally intending to hold the vigil with four other members of the her group, at the last moment, three of them dropped out due to unforeseen circumstances.

I did not learn about this until the morning upon the intended day, although she told me, one other member of her group, David Holland, was still able to go and would be taking her in his car.

We agreed to meet at the RAM around 6pm. I decided to make my own way there by train. Ironically perhaps, I too, had been let down at the last minute by two local members of the BPOS who had supposed to have been arranging a car. Though I managed to take the matter philosophically, having learned of the unexpected twists and turns that can accompany psychic investigations.
It was already dark when my train had pulled into the station. It was barely 5.15, but the last bus had already left for Wotten-under-Edge, so I was forced to look for a taxi to cover the last twelve miles or so.

On first impressions, the building certainly lived up to its various descriptions. Mostly in darkness due to the absence of adequate street lights and the sunken shades in which it lay, one could just make out the antique timbered outline of its forlorn walls merging almost menacingly with the black sky. The sun – if ever it came out there – could surely never penetrate such inpentrateable blackness; certainly not then, but you were only left to wonder whether the place would still maintain its black gloom in bright daylight.

It was hard to imagine any light being cast upon this formidable place. But then I knew that, imagination, when applied to fields of the Unknown, should not be allowed to stray into the realms of fantasy or supposition, thereby clouding direct perception into things which were not reliant on “normal” visual images or everyday impressions.

I arrived at the Ram Inn, to find that Ross Gage and Dave Holland had only just arrived. John Humphries was not quite as I had expected. I Judged him to be around seventy – and I was actually right as far as that turned out. From first impressions, he looked mildly eccentric, wearing a black leather cap and a ‘Hell’s-Angels-type’ jacket with leather tassels across the chest, and tight blue jeans. He certainly wasn’t well dressed. He spoke with a distinct Devonshire accent, but at the same time, was quite softly spoken and cordial.

He offered us all tea, and almost from the onset he started describing experiences that he’d had in the Ram Inn itself. We learned, for example, that he lived mainly in a converted garage at one end of the Inn which he’d converted into a living room-cum kitchen with a sleeping area upstairs. This was actually an extension to the original Inn, and the reason he’d done that was, because he wouldn’t enter the Ram Inn at night on his own, and he felt more secure in this little self-contained living-quarters he’d constructed. But he told us, that even when he was alone in this little self-built ‘house’, if you like, he’d often experienced drops of temperature and he frequently heard strange noises during the night; for instance, distinct “tapping sounds” or the sound of footsteps walking around in the main part of the Inn. And, needless to say, when he was on his own, he never went into the Inn itself to check them out. But as well as that, he told us about experiences which other people had had, who had visited the Ram Inn. For example, a visitor there had once been “pushed over” in the main part of the Inn. He had been pushed to the ground with some quite considerable force for no apparent reason. Another interesting thing he told us, was that he often saw strange orbs of light floating around the Inn after dark, but he’d seen these so often that he’d become quite accustomed to them, so these didn’t really worry him unlike some of the effects caused by the other ghosts – or whatever they were – that haunted the place.

Another interesting fact that we learned from John Humphries about the alleged psychic activity at the Inn, seemed to bear out that the alleged psychic phenomena ‘at work’ there seemed to be definitely malevolent by nature. It may be recalled that, in his younger days, John Humphries had serious considered the possibility of becoming a Methodist preacher. In the event, this never happened, but John had acquired a ‘prize’ portrait of John Wesley which, in his early days in residence at the Ram, he kept hanging on the stairs. But almost from the first moment he hung this portrait on the wall, ‘something’ kept removing it and throwing it down to the floor. He kept replacing it but systematically, the portrait kept being removed after he had replaced it on the wall. In the end he gave up. He wouldn’t throw the painting out, obviously, but was eventually forced to secure it behind other objects in a corner.

After having explained the basic history of the Inn and bring us up to date with the psychic goings-on there, we decided to go out and get something to eat and come back after ten (it was now about half past eight in the evening) and set up the equipment up to start the nightly vigil for around midnight.

In fact, we later set up most of the equipment we had in The Bishop’s Room upstairs – supposedly the most haunted room in the Inn. (Because the other people hadn’t been able to attend, we had to make without some items, such as the night-vision video cameras).

David Farrant

Dave Holland, David Farrant and Ross Gage at the haunted Ram Inn
Dave Holland, David Farrant and Ross Gage at the haunted Ram Inn

TO BE CONTINUED . . .

Just Thought . . .

Rosy

Just thought to put another two pictures up now – really from yesterday, but I was getting all ‘muddled up’ with transposing photographs then.  Well, not so much ‘muddled’, just couldn’t get them into the file I wanted.  But alright now . . . I hope!

Basically, the photographs show Rosy, Jamie’s beautiful girlfriend.  Gareth’s in one too, and that’s just me sitting in the middle.

            They went back this morning, but seeing them again soon.  No, I’m not saying when – tell you after!

More tomorrow,  For the moment though’

 David

Rosy, Little 'ol me and Count Dracula!
Rosy, Little 'ol me and Count Dracula!

Sunday Anew

Sunday again – I really hate Sundays, ‘cause of the normal monotony.

            But I do have a little bit of news now, apart from the TV thing soon.

            I met Jamie and his friend yesterday, and they spent a couple of days in London.  I am not deliberately trying to hold anybody in suspense, but I did say that if you ‘watch this space’, I would explain who Jamie is.

            Okay, to get to the point for the more curious of you, Jamie is one of my sons, whom I have not seen for many years.

            Anyway, they both turned up yesterday, and we had a really good relaxing time.  They brought some wine with them, and also paid for a tasty curry.  Jamie’s girlfriend, Rosie, had a girlie buttered chicken dish, while the men made do with a Vindaloo, all washed down by copious bottles of wine, and a good few reminiscences.  He also showed me several photographs, and I was surprised – though delighted – to see that I have an eleven year old granddaughter.  Anyway, to get to the point, I had not actually seen Jamie, or his brother, for thirty-nine years – strange, because he claims to be only twenty-eight!

            To be serious, I have to say that he was an extremely good looking young man – no doubt because he takes after his father.  And his girlfriend Rosie is really gorgeous as well.

            Okay, everyone, there is a bit more news on top of all that, but you really will have to wait for it.  I’ve had a hard day, I’m a little bit tired.

            But in the meantime, you might like to see one of the pictures that were taken of the occasion.  (Well, there are three or four, but I’m just posting one up for the moment.)

            Well that’s it, really, sleep tight everyone, I know I am going to, after a really hectic and unexpected weekend!

            For the moment,

            David (Farrant)

Jamie and David

Mundane Things Like That

I don’t know if that Cat’s trying to tell me something, but he put up a reply to my ‘party piece’ Blog (last Blog) today saying . . . well, that’s it, I don’t exactly know just what he’s saying.  See if you can work it out, then some kind person might be able to tell me.  That creature really drives me mad sometimes!  If he’s not insinuating that I have affairs with actresses (or had), he’s making quips about  my private life when I happen to go to parties.  Incidentally Cat, that picture you ‘got your paws on’ is still there on Arcadia, so obviously that actress hasn’t got it into her head to sue you yet!

Finishing off the French chapters in the book, and came across yet another picture of the French author Jean-Paul Bourre in black and white when we visited Highgate Cemetery back in 1980.  I’ll post it  up at the end as, if nothing else, it fills up space.  Apart from which I’ve already written about the French Congress here recently. 

Had a call earlier from a certain TV company again.  Doing another interview on the Highgate case very soon.  Will give more details a little later, although you’ll probably see it anyway. 

Actually, I’m feeling a bit lazy today (tonight).  So much to do, but I just can’t face doing it.  You know; things like tidying the place up and sorting out some clothes – mundane things like that.  Still, there’s no need to at the moment I suppose.  Not expecting anyone immediately; although K. does get slightly angry with me sometimes over it.  At least when she phones she can’t see anything.  Which is retrospect was not such a clever thing to say as I know she reads this!

Well . . . “In for a penny, inn for a pound”, etc . . . I’m going to open a bottle of wine in a minute, and just sit back and do nothing.  So if you want to ‘tell me off’ again Angel, you’ve now got it in writing!

So, I’ll just go back and find that pic, then I can post this.  And then . . . relax!

For now,

David

French author Jean-Paul Bourre and David Farrant
French author Jean-Paul Bourre and David Farrant