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Clitheroe Castle Ghost Hunt Report Report 17.02.12

Built around the time of 1186 by Robert De Lacy, the castle was an administrative centre for his estate. During the 14th century the Earl of Lancaster inherited the property, but after his execution it became part of the royal estates. Charles II then gave the property to the first Duke of Albernarle, who helped him regain the throne in 1660.

Standing isolated on a rocky hill of limestone about 35 meters above the River Ribble’s valley floor, the keep of Clitheroe Castle is a prominent landmark for both the county and the town itself. The layout of the castle consists of an outer bailey, an inner bailey and the keep with its curtain wall and a gate house. Like all the best things in Lancashire, it has several claims to fame: it is one of the oldest buildings in the county; the castle is said to be the second smallest keep in England with rooms reaching only twenty foot square and it is the only remaining castle in Lancashire which had a royalist battalion during the Civil War.

The keep was deliberately damaged after its capture by Parliamentary forces during the civil war, however was repaired in 1848 with limestone.

Another local tale that you’ll hear (Though generally only from someone drunk on real ale) is that an evil spirit threw a boulder off Pendle Hill which hit the castle. Either way, the damage can still be seen today. Pendle Hill, only a 10 min drive from the Castle and also can clearly be seen from the castle, is another famous and eerie landmark. Known for the Pendle Hill witches, Clitheroe Castle plays the part of holding the witches captive when their sentencing was awaiting them. Rumor has it that you can still hear their wailing within the keep at night.

Views from the old castle walls are absolutely breathtaking, as is the walk up the hill but fortunately you can stop half way at the castle’s museum which really does bring to life this history of the area. The museum reflects both the local geology and history of the area. Two floors of displays cover the history of the Ribble Valley from the Hacking ferryboat to witchcraft, local birds and geology. There is a reconstructed lead mine, Clogger’s shop and an Edwardian kitchen.

Spooks was intrigued to hold a Ghost Hunt Event at Clitheroe Castle after reading the stories surrounding this ancient and prominent piece of history. And I must admit that the thought of the Pendle Hill Witches did it for me. We made our arrangements and endured the hours of driving to arrive at Clitheroe Castle. I must admit I was a little disappointed at how the museum had arranged the castle, it had lost a lot of its original features and was now just painted walls and plexi display boards. It thankfully still had a nicely set out Edwardian kitchen and study. But saying that this is only my opinion I believe an historical building should be kept how it originally was.

We set up all our equipment, cameras and EVP recorders. We also placed in the Study and Kitchen a couple of trigger objects that would be filmed on the cameras at all times. We split into 3 groups as we believe it is a lot easier and quieter this way. Throughout the night we carried out many different experiments including, EVP sessions, table tipping, trigger objects and K2 interaction.

One group did have quite an experience with the table tipping and of all rooms it happened in the one called the witches room, this room is dedicated to the Pendle Hill Witches. I must state at this point that myself and other members of the Spooks Team do not take part in the table tipping as we would want any speculation that as the hosts we are faking anything, therefore the only people on the table were the guests. As they stood around the table with only their fingertips touching the top of the table, I got them all calling out asking for any spirits present to move the table. It took a good few minutes of calling and standing around but then the guests were all stating that they could feel what could only be described as a vibration through the table. At this point I told them to turn it up a notch and keep calling out. Eventually to their amazement they actually had the table spinning around in a clockwise motion to the point that they were running round in circles trying to keep their fingers on the table. At times the table also stood up on one leg and stayed there for a second or two before dropping down. This was an amazing sight to see.

At another time in the night another group also had quite an interaction with the K2 meter. They sat around a table and was asking yes / no questions and had stipulated that one flash was for “yes” and two flashes were for “no”. As they asked the questions they were getting responsive answers of either one or two flashes. After a few questions they would sway the answers ie. One flash is “no” and two flashes were “yes” and they were still being answered. Unfortunately all activity came to an abrupt stop when another group came through the door.

There were numerous smaller personal experiences through the night like we were constantly hearing bangs, taps and footsteps. It was very hard to investigate the keep as the wind was blowing a gale through there so hearing or recording anything was near impossible.

At the end of the night everyone was shattered and tired but all had had a good time. Clitheroe Castle is definitely a place to visit and in the dark gives of a totally different sensation.

Over the next few days we had hours of footage and recordings to go through. But as any real paranormal investigator would know this is all part of the job. We were thrilled to find that we had actually caught eight different EVP recordings at the castle. Though they are very quiet and are best listened to through earphones, which is what I wear at all times when searching for them, there are distinct voices and whispers on the recordings.

The first recording was captured pretty near the beginning of the night when I had sat down in a circle with my group and was about to start an EVP session. I hadn’t even asked my first question when there is a voice captured on my recorder telling us to “Go Away”. Charming for sure. The next two recordings I found were unclear as to what is being said but you can definitely hear whispers of some sort trying to talk over me as I was talking to the group. Then another EVP I found was captured when one of the ladies in the group was carrying out an EVP session and was asking if the spirit was a woman or a child. We can’t be sure if the answer was “No” or “Who”, but the response to her question was definitely there. The next voice captured was again with a lady in the group asking questions, and she asks if the spirit present was the boy they are talking about, a distinct reply comes back saying “Who”. I believe that at some point within the night the guests were trying to get spirit to interact with a certain member of their group, as the next EVP was captured as one of the guests asked spirit to show Jenny that they are real??, unfortunately spirits answer to this was “No”. The following EVP I heard was again unclear as to what is being said but when I came across the last one recorded within another EVP session in the castle, a group member is asking them to make a noise if they are in the room, the response was totally clear that they were asking “Why are you here?”

On reviewing the CCTV footage we were also very impressed to find that we had also actually captured physical activity, now I must make clear at this point that due to Health and Safety reasons when we set up all the CCTV cameras all wires are either taped to the floor, skirting or walls to avoid any trip hazards and we are all walking around in the dark with just torches to light our way, and also the cameras themselves are taped down and the recorder unit itself is hidden away. Now that that is clear, as I was saying the physical activity that was captured by our CCTV was within the study room, we had a camera on the mantlepiece, behind the desk and facing the doorway. In view of the camera was the middle to right hand side of the desk and also the doorway so that anyone coming or going out of the room would be captured, and also please note that this is the only door in and out of the room. After a couple of hours sitting and watching this same room, I noticed the camera pan left once and then again. At this point there was absolutely no one in the room and as stated the wires couldn’t have been pulled as they are all securely taped down. The only way to move the cameras view would be to actually swivel the camera head itself. This was a very strange thing to see. We at Spooks are very weary of what are called Orbs, there is sooooo many other things that they can be rather than just spirit energy. You have the dust factor, you have moisture, you have bugs, you have light reflection, you have lense flash and the list goes on, therefore it’s a very rare occasion that we will even look twice at them. But this one “Orb” that we captured on CCTV in the kitchen area was very strange indeed. As we were setting up and throughout the night no bugs or flying insects were noticed at all so I rule that out and its shape and flight pattern did not really conform to dust or moisture. This orb also cast a shadow on the kitchen table as it floated past and was a strange shape aswell not just round. I cannot explain this one at all.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]