Here is an account of the second vigil at the Ancient Ram Inn which took place in November 2002. In fact, I travelled down with Dave Milner and met members of the B.C.P.S. down there who needed two cars to transport the equipment (and the others members!).
It was an eventful trip, although unfortunately (for myself) it took 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. I hope Ram Inn enthusiasts enjoy it . . . David.
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 Wolverhampton. This visit in fact took place one Saturday night in early November, 2002. I’d been in contact with John Humphries previously and arranged it, and I travelled down there with Dave Milner – independent coordinator for B.P.O.S. 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-usage, so we decided to take a train. Accordingly, we met the other B.C.P.S. members at Wotton-under-Edge arriving about 5 pm. These included Wayne Pickerell, Founder Member of the B.C.P.S., 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 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 activity 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 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, B.C.P.S. 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, they weren’t actually visible to anybody being photographed. But they certainly came out on film.
We should perhaps remember that John Humphries 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 not taken in exactly the same place, but the point 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.
(c) David Farrant 2002