10th June 2004
After enjoying a good breakfast at Berry Farm we set off to the castle again so that we would be there for when it opens. Like the day before it was a really good summers day and some of the best weather we have had so far this year.
We went in to the castle tooled up this time and we took our kit bags loaded with all kinds of gadgets and toys. First off we did some shots of the castle. Just some general panning shots that swept across the ruins and surrounding grounds and woods. It’s a really picturesque site with a great view of the valley below. We then set about locking cameras off in different locations along the rampart and left them to run.
We have captured nothing of note yet other than the occasional tourist with the dreaded black plank strapped to the ear. (See previous days note re tour) We have yet to scan through the footage with a fine toothcomb, however, and in the past this has usually either turned up a strange anomaly or EVP. So watch this space.
After this Paul and I parted company to do our own filming at different locations. Being near the gatehouse I set up a tripod inside and aimed it at different locations around the structure. This is one of the few locations in the castle that is properly roofed and with that came a nest of birds, which did make me jump as I ducked to avoid it leaving.
The gatehouse it was assumed doubled as a family chapel for the castle as well as there is a medieval picture that is on one of the walls that depicts the three wise men in the nativity.
I was in there for about 30 minutes filming from different angles and going over the place with the EMF meter to see if anything was registering. One of the staff mentioned that in the past an investigator had picked a reading up in one of the guardrooms on the lower levels. There is no electricity in there and it is also a place where it is said if you stick your hand in from the outside it can feel very strange at times. I have read also read that the apparition of a grinning toothless guard or soldier has appeared in here as well at night.
I didn’t register anything out of the ordinary on the meter and proceed to start filming the corridor that goes from the main room and to a flight of stairs that goes up to the top of the gate tower and also to a flight of stairs down to the guardroom.
It was at this point I experienced an entity that had had enough and didn’t want me filming anymore. I tried to bare it out but the whole chapel took on a very dark and foreboding feel and I grabbed my equipment together and went back onto the rampart for a break.
Back in the sunshine the feeling lifted almost immediately. I guess I had just outstayed my welcome for the time being so I decided it might be time to see if I could find out what or who it was that wanted me to leave. I got the pendulum from my pocket and after tuning in I asked if there was anybody there with me at that moment in time. There was and it turned out they were female. I was very excited by this and proceeded to ask if her name was Margaret. According to the pendulum it was and it was swinging with almost extra vigour at this point.
I must admit I was stuck for words as to what to ask next. What do you ask next? How is your day? Do you come here often? I could feel a presence the whole time but it didn’t feel foreboding as it had done in the chapel so maybe she was happy I was out and I had done as she wished. Being stuck for further questions, I will think of some more for when I visit again, I thanked Margaret for coming through and put the pendulum away.
At least I knew who had run me out of the chapel. What is worthy of note where I was when I got the reaction from the pendulum is right by the chapel door and also the spot where the supposed picture was taken of the white lady. Now I know with all that in mind you would think I was expecting to get Margaret come through but in all honesty I thought I would have had that in the tower where she was imprisoned and knowing the amount of ghosts that have been sighted here it could have been anyone of them. I had spent a good while sitting here and I decided it was time to finish my filming inside the chapel again.
I pointed the camera in various locations and captured the medieval painting on the wall on film also. I set the camera up on the tripod in the hallway again and prayed it wouldn’t get knocked down the stairs below, as they were stone and probably very unforgiving on electronic hardware. I left the camera to film whilst I took some more EMF readings up and down the hall but all the time I was being watched.
Margaret was with me all the time in that part of the castle watching what I was doing and I became very self conscious by the end of it.
I no longer felt like I was gaining anything at this point and felt as if I was beginning to try her patience a little so I once more gathered my stuff together and made my way out of the chapel and down the rampart towards her tower. After all if she wanted to make contact this was going to be the place.
Once I had got there I set the camera up on the tripod and began filming the rampart from the other end. Whilst it was filming I felt another presence behind me so checking it wasn’t human first I whipped the old pendulum out again and discovered that again they were female and I thought here we go this will be Margaret again, being in her tower, but when I asked if her name was Margaret as before I got a very definite NO this time.
Now this surprised me as I was almost convinced it was going to be her and had moved down that end of the castle with the idea that maybe she would be a little stronger down that end. So I was a little bit knocked back by that.
So who was it? I didn’t know where to go from there with the pendulum after all with only yes, no and unknown as an answer there isn’t much I could ask apart from discover they were female. I put the pendulum away and making sure I wasn’t going to get a surprise from the public sat on the wall and tried a bit of psychometry.
With both hands on the castle walls I tried to get an idea of what was going on by shutting my eyes and clearing my mind. What I got was Margaret’s sister, I believe, Eleanor. I also feel, from the feelings I got, that she is now the one being persecuted by Margaret and the tables have turned. Margaret is totally unforgiving and keeping them both earth bound in torment. She seemed quite sorrowful and it was confusing as to who I was getting at this point as it was a little blurred.
It’s strange interpreting all this as it’s working off impressions and symbols and I wonder if its imagination or a spirit or energy piecing together the pieces or an active imagination. I know what my gut feeling is but the question still needs to be asked, as I don’t want to appear blinkered.
I met up with Paul shortly after, I think he was on his 2nd lap by this point. We had a tea break and then carried on exploring the castle. As the day went on more and more people began arriving and it was hard to find a part of the castle that was secluded. Eventually we managed to find a time when we could climb to the top of the towers unhindered.
It was a great view and I believe Paul got some great shots of the area up here. As I looked down on the grounds I tired to imagine what the place would have looked like with its roofs and smoking chimneys on the ruinous walls of the manor house. It was recently reported that a private aircraft was flying over the castle and experienced what is a kind of time slip and saw the castle in all its glory with its roofs and smoking chimneys in tact. The story goes they were quite surprised to see the castle in its current state when they came to see the place after.
More Tea and more filming followed and eventually we decided to head back and get some dinner and prepare for the evenings visit.
We parked up at the same place as the night before by the gate that leads to the castle driveway. It was dark this time and was not the pleasant summer evening like the night before when we set off. We got our kit together and entered by the footpath entrance and made our way towards the castle. This time it was darker and certainly a lot more eerie. We both knew it was a long walk but it seemed a lot longer. We had torches at the ready and shone them into the woods whenever something caught our eye. Eventually we saw the castle appear as we came to the end of the drive and it looked dark and menacing unlike the night before. There was definitely a very different mood and feeling about the place this night.
We made our way onto the grassy area in front of the rampart walkway and waited. It was about 11:50 at this point and we had read that 12:10 was the time to be there. We waited for what seems like an eternity in the dark. It was so dark Paul couldn’t pick anything up on the camcorder even with is powerful infrared light attached. We edged closer to the castle but by this point I was feeling a real unwelcome feeling pushing me away. I’m not sure if Paul was feeling it as well but neither of us were as cocky as we were earlier that day. As we edged closer again I suddenly caught what looked to me like a hooded white figure standing behind the bush at the entrance of the castle. It seemed to me they were peering round the bush and looking over and then going back behind it again. This really did unnerve me and by now it was 12:40.
The figure didn’t come out from behind the bush and I would like to think it was a trick of the light but there was none that night. I had enough at this point and urged Paul to leave also. We were no longer welcome and as I sit here in the cold light of day typing this I feel a bit daft as what could have possibly been so bad but at the time every cell was screaming to go and I wasn’t going to hang about a moment longer. My chest felt like it was being squeezed in a vice and my heart was pounding. It was a stark contrast to the night before. We headed back up the driveway at speed and I was aware on the journey back that what ever wanted us to leave was almost escorting us up the drive.
I have never walked so fast in my life and when your carrying a camcorder and a lot of other gadgets it makes for an excellent work out. Paul was confessed to me later that he would have started laughing if anything had jumped out on us at that point, as he was so shattered. There wasn’t much else we could have done as the energy was sapped from us due to the hike. It was 1/2 a mile up hill in a haunted wood and I felt we were being followed… you can imagine. I got to the car and didn’t even take my equipment belt off or jacket just climbed straight in and started the engine.
With the demisters blowing full blast we drove off back towards the farmhouse. The tension lifted as we got further away from the castle and its grounds and by the time we reached the farm I felt fine. A little exhausted but calm. We went straight to the kettle and had a cup of tea and I don’t recall much more of the night as I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.
In the morning we decided to go to the castle one more time, as we didn’t want our last memories to be of us fleeing from the place. It was back to its old self again and as friendly and as inviting as it felt on the first day. I feel we got a real taste of the varying moods and feel of Berry Pomeroy castle over our three day visit and looking back I think I can say for both of us we look forward to visiting again and to try out new ideas and approaches, though this time I think we shall be going in a larger group.