9th June 2004
On the 9th June 2004 Paul and I set off for our first 3 day investigation at Berry Pomeroy Castle in Devon. This castle is reportedly the most haunted castle recorded with 70% of sightings during the daytime. It has also been a site I have promised myself I would revisit since I first went there in the 90’s. You might say there was unfinished business.
We arrived at the castle in the afternoon during one of the nicest days so far this year. We went straight there before checking in at Berry Farms B&B.
The site is looked after by the English Heritage and they keep the ruin in a good condition repairing and maintaining the site for visitors. We paid our entrance fee and made straight inside the castle. It was surprisingly very busy and there were a lot of people visiting the site and walking round with those annoying talking tours stuck to their heads.
The site felt very welcoming and friendly not at all how I remembered her being. When I last went it was out of season and we were the only people there so that may have been why.
We walked the grounds for a while snapping pictures and checking out all the different parts of the castle. I was really keen to walk along the rampart wall and visit St Margaret’s tower.
Margaret Pomeroy was imprisoned by her elder and jealous sister Eleanor Pomeroy. The story tells how they both longed for the same man. Seeing Margaret as serious competition she locked her beautiful younger sister away in the cell out of sight. With her Father away fighting for the country and Eleanor left in charge there was no one to stop this from happening.
These stairs lead down to the part of the guard tower that was to become Margaret’s prison for 20 years. Margaret was finally released from her anguish by her sister who allowed her to starve to death.
For me the interesting part of this visit was that when I first came here on my first investigation of the site we came down these steps and was met by utter darkness straight ahead of us. There was no light whatsoever and it’s hard to describe the feelings that we were both hit with. We didn’t even raise our hands out to see if it was a wall in front of us painted black it was so dark and overwhelming. We both turned on our heel and ran up the stairs. This has been reported by numerous visitors over the years the feeling of wanting to be left alone and the need to get out of there quickly. This time however Paul and I walked down the stairs and I was amazed to see three windows which allowed light to pour in from outside. The windows had no shutters and I could see no sign of their ever having been any.
Paul asked the staff if these windows are ever covered up and to her knowledge they are not. To be honest there isn’t a lot of need to, the bars keep any would be visitors out. So a strange incident indeed. It could possibly be paranormal the utter blackness and the feelings of repulsion. It is not unheard of.
This time the cell felt ok. We sat for a while and though you could sense that it wasn’t the most happiest place to be I certainly didn’t feel the need to go away just maybe a little sorrow. Maybe Margaret has resigned to the fact the visitors are not going to stop.
On the way to the castle an idea came to me that we should possibly get on the good side of the spirits and bring a goodwill gesture in the form of a toy for Isabelle (more on her later) and some flowers for Margaret. Everything I have read on the ghosts of the castle seems to indicate if you show them some respect you get good results. So I asked what colour flowers we should get and I got a picture of a bunch of blue flowers. I’m no florist so I couldn’t tell you what the flowers are called but when we arrived at St Margaret’s tower outside her window was predominantly blue flowers. There were also a couple of yellow and pinkish variety around the castle as well but the majority around the tower were this blue colour.
It’s not proof of anything paranormal I know but I do find incidents like this interesting. Having read how spirits and guides communicate and had instances of a similar nature I didn’t want to ignore it and I did have a gut feeling that this might be a little sign that Margaret was okay with us visiting. Which may be why the cell didn’t feel as threatening as on the previous visit and I was expecting it to be. I did make contact with Margaret and another female energy at the castle the next day and Ill cover that later.
What was also quite unnerving was listening to the playback of an actress portraying Margaret over the electronic tour guides. Sitting in the cell listening to this woman pleading and crying to be released. It was about then that I think I really took on board what she must have gone through.
A lot of mediums have made contact over the years and there have been séances etc and they have always described the white lady as evil and foul mouthed when using the Ouija board and other tools but I got none of this and just felt she was still there and was still feeling sorrowful for a wasted life. Eleanor is still there also and I believe she has been seen as an orange or red woman. I feel that Margaret and Eleanor both roam the castle to this day but the situation is reversed and now Eleanor is the persecuted one.
Having had a good tour of the place and gotten some good footage we departed the castle after a cup of tea in the tearooms and set off to Berry Farms B&B.
Berry Farms was great and was just down the road from the castle though it wasn’t walking distance sadly.
What was a plus though was that they owned the fields adjacent to the castle and gave us the all clear to park there in the evening which was a great bonus seeing as the grounds were shut off to cars after 5:30pm.
For anyone visiting Berry Pomeroy or Totnes it is worth noting at this point that the Fish and Chip shops shut at 8pm. As we discovered when we went to get dinner.
After a couple of pasties and a bag of crisps we set back off to the castle about 9:30pm. We parked up by the farm gate right next to the entrance to the castle driveway. The view from this point was quite impressive. The driveway up to the castle is about 1/2 mile in distance and leads through the haunted woods.
There are reports of people being shoved by non-existent entities as they walk away from the castle, soldiers walking along this road and sightings of non-too friendly looking ghosts working the grounds. On top of that there have been blood curdling shrieks, lightning type energy coming through the trees and un welcoming presences. People who are aware of the wild life in the area and know what a fox sounds like have reported these. One frequent visitor is an ex policeman who has become hooked on the site.
All the sightings reported by people seem to have one thing in common they all look decidedly evil. Its not surprising how this plays on your mind as you walk through the haunted wood.
When we finally arrived at the castle we stopped for a rest at the closed tearooms and got our stuff together and ready for the vigil. As Paul unpacked the equipment I went over to where I felt Isabelle was and had a little one to one with her. I wasn’t aware at the time but Paul was filming the whole thing and I look forward to seeing the footage, as I must have looked quite mad as I chatted to my invisible friend.
I left her a little toy, it was nothing special but I wanted it to be a good will gesture towards Isabelle as she is the one who has been known to leave the castle and cause problems. I mean big problems for some people. We had done the right thing I felt and she was certainly happy.
Paul and I got our stuff and began our vigil of the castle. Still it felt fine to be there and I began to wonder if maybe we had overdone it on the softly softly approach.
As the evening went on there were definite energies coming from the castle but in all honesty it felt ok. I was expecting the overwhelming urge to get out of there but no such thing. Paul and I chatted and we watched as people walked dogs and came and went. It started to get dark and it looked like the area above the rampart wall was shimmering which was an interesting effect. We felt this was where the slate had heated up during the day and was radiating this heat into the cool summer evening.
Paul captured some anomalies, which looked like insects on the night vision camera, which gave an interesting effect against the Rampart wall.
As the evening progressed some people who lived in the area out for a walk joined us.
We told them the tales of the castle and how it was supposedly the most haunted castle in England, I don’t know if they will ever come here again at night but if they do we are hoping they will let us know if anything happens.
We stayed until about 11:30pm. It was so dark that the cameras were picking nothing up at this point so we decided to call it a night and come back tomorrow. Another incentive for leaving was our new found friends were going as well and we kind of like the idea of there being a larger group as we walked through that wood again and back to the car.
As we said our farewells we came across another group just arriving. They had been to the castle the night before and experienced what they described as an evil laugh coming from within when they had shined a torch light onto the kitchen walls. The kitchen is said to be the most active part of the castle.
What was interesting was they had no idea either of the stories of ghosts at the castle and looked a little horrified when we told them of the stories surrounding the castle.
We left them to explore the castle with this knowledge and we declined to join them. Our B&B waited along with a cup of tea and a good nights rest after a long day.
I am hoping they will email us one day with what happened on that night as they were going to be there at the best time of the night. A time that Paul and I were going to attempt the following night 12:10.