How I started my paranormal journey.

I would sit up late at night watching those old black and white horror shows. Then I was brave enough to move onto colour.
I was always interested in ghost stories, old legends and stories from our past.

Then my nan told me a story that would put me on my journey into the paranormal
It was about a headless man that walked a country lane next to my nan's childhood home. In fact, she had seen him herself.
I had always remembered the story and a few years ago, I found, quite by chance, a newspaper cutting about a murder in the area my nan lived. I researched my nan's story and found out the true facts.

I realised that I enjoyed researching as much as an investigation.
With this in mind, every area I visit, I research and you will be surprised what information can be found.
So thanks to my nan, I lead an exciting life as a paranormal investigater.

I would like to point out that I do take this very seiously.
I am out to prove, one way or the other, IS THERE ANOTHER LIFE WHEN WE PASS or is it just our imagination.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

DENBIGH AT HALLOWEEN

This Halloween, I returned to one of my favourite towns - Denbigh.

I wanted to investigate ---



the hospital









the castle









the friary







I wanted to cover these three locations in one night.

Denbigh is a market town in North Wales. In Welsh it is DINBYCH, which means little fortress. This area, as with much of Wales has seen much bloodshed and fighting.

BRIEF HISTORY OF WALES.
Man has lived in this area since Prehistoric times. A human Neanderthal jawbone was found at the Bontnewydd Palaeolithic site in the valley of the River Eley. The person this jawbone belonged to lived about 230,000 years ago. These people probably roamed the land following herds of animals or moving during our different seasons. The earliest farming communities date from about 4000BC. During this time, chambered tombs were built including those built on Anglesey. Prehistoric mining first appeared in Wales about 2500BC for copper and then followed by bronze. There was a copper mine on the Great Orme. The earlist iron item found was a sword from Llyn Fawr in the Rhondda Valley, which dates from about 600BC. The Iron Age saw the building of hillforts across the country, example can be seen at Pen Dinas near Aberystwyth. A significant find from this period was made in 1943 at Llyn Cerrig Bach on Anglesey. Many items were found including weapons, shields, chariots along with their fittings and harnesses.








During the Roman Invasion of Britian in 43AD, the country was divided into tribes. The Ordavices and Silures put up the strongest resistance to the invasion. But the Romans finally won. They built roads, forts, mined gold, conducted commerce but mostly military.






When the Romans left, the country was left to govern itself along with the rest of Britain. Welsh Kingdoms were built up with Gwynedd being the most powerful during the 6th and 7th centuries. These kingdoms fought eachother and battles took place in England. A great battle took place at Chester in 616AD, the forces of Powys and other British Kingdoms were defeated by the Northumbrians lead by Aethelfrith.



During Medieval Wales (700-1066), Powys was the major kingdom. This kingdom originally sread into Cheshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire. Its ancient capital was Pengwern which has now been possibly located as Shrewsbury of Baschurch.
This map shows the kingdoms in todays border of Wales.






Wales started to be ruled by one King. The first to rule most of Wales was Rhadri Mawr (the great), originally King Of Gwynedd during the 9th century. When he died, his land was divided between his sons. Rhodri's grandson, Hywel Dda (Hywel the good) extended his rule from Deheubarth and took back most of Wales by 942. He is traditionally associated with the "Laws of Hywel" (a policy of peace).

Gruffydd ap Llywellyn (King of Gwynedd) was the next ruler to unite most of Wales by 1055. At the time of the Norman conquest in 1066, the main ruler in Wales was Bleddyn ap Cynfyn (King of Gwynedd and Powys). The killing of Bleddyn in 1075 probably by the Earl of Shrewsbury's men, led to civil war and gave the Normans the opportunity to seize lands in North Wales. The welsh fought against Norman rule. Gruffydd ap Cynan won part of Gwynedd. His son, Owain Gwynedd allied with Gruffydd ap Rhys of Deheubarth to beat the Normans at the Battle of Crug Mawr in 1136.

One of the greatest of Welsh leaders, Llywelyn ab Iorwerth (also known as Llywelyn Fawr the Great) made his capital at Garth Celyn overlooking the Menai Straits. By his death in 1240, he had united most of Wales. His son, Dafydd ap Llywelyn was next in line after his father's death but King Henry III of England would not allow him to be as powerful as his father. War broke out in 1241 and in 1245. Dafydd died suddenly and his brother Gruffudd had been killed trying to escape from the Tower of London in 1244 and so conflict took over in Wales again. Llywelyn ap Gruffydd (known as Llywellyn the last leader) tried to take control and bring order to Wales but Edward I saw this as his chance to seize control of Wales. War followed in 1277 between England and Wales. Llywelyn was lured to a meeting at Hawarden Castle on the 11th December 1282. His brother Dafydd ap Gruffudd continued the battle but he was captured in June 1283 and he was hung, drawn and quartered at Shrewsbury.

Edward I built castle's in Wales and he complicted his domination of Wales by crowning his son Prince of Wales in 1301. A Council of Wales was appointed which sat in Ludlow, now Shropshire.

There were a number of rebellions after this including Madog ap Llywelyn in 1294-95, Llywelyn Bren, Lord of Senghenydd 1316-18, Owain Lawgoch twice planned an invasion of Wales with French support in 1378, Owain Glyndwr in 1400. He controlled most of Wales for a few years before the English took back control. During his control, he held the first Welsh Parliament at Machynlleth and made plans for two universities. Owain was never caught and he was widely supported by the Welsh people. Because of this, the English Parliament passed the Penal Laws in 1402. This stopped the Welsh from carrying arms, holding office and living in a fortified town.

During the War of the Roses (began in 1455), both sides used Welsh troops. During 1485, Henry Tudar landed in Wales with a small force to claim the throne. His claim gained a lot of support in Wales as Henry was of Welsh descent. Henry defeated King Richard III of England at the Battle of Bosworth to becaome King Henry VII of England. His son, Henry VIII, made the laws in Wales Acts 1535-1542. This abolished the Welsh legal system and banning the Welsh language from any official role but it did define the England-Wales border and abolishing the Penal Code.

Wales was mostly Royalist during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (Civil War) in the early 17th century. Many Welsh wen fought for the army of King Charles Ist and at least no major battles took place on Welsh soil. But during the second civil war (1648), a few unpaid Parliamentarian troops in Pembrokeshire changed sides and this lead to a couple of small fights on the surrounding borders.

The 18th century saw the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and a far more peaceful time for Wales.


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DENBIGH HOSPITAL

If you have read my blog, you will know I have been here a few times, so I dont have to cover ite history or ghost sightenings again.




Unfortunally, this building is now a no go area. It is such a shame what has happened to this building and the other buildings associated with it. Security has been stepped up and there is so much damage to the surving buildings, that a proper investigation is impossible.



If anyone is now so stupid to enter here without permission, I will know that they are just thrill seekers and their conclusions or comments will not be taken seriously by serious paranormal investigators. I will not return to this building again and I will miss her. Unless the building is made safe and permission is given to people like myself who try to find out the truth, this building should now be left alone.

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FRIARY

This was my first visit to the Friary and I was suprised that this building is hidden away. It was so small and located about 2 miles from the Castle.




The White Friars of Denbigh or Carmelites Monks were unlike other monks as they moved around teaching the word of the Apostles and begging.



The Friary was established in 1289 under the patronage of John de Swynmore. They preached around Denbigh, meeting other parish priests. They were supported in the later part of the Middle Ages by the Salusbury Family of Lleweni and Bachymbyd, many of the family were buried here. It was also supported by the Bishops of St Asaph. Bishop Henry Standish (1518-1535) lived here in the bishop's chamber and so did Robert Purefoy who followed Henry.



The Friary was surrendered in 1538 by the orders of Henry VIII. At this time there were four friars in residence and the friary was made up of a choir, vestry, chamber, hall, kitchen, brewhouse and buttery.



All that remains today is the main church, many of the other friary's buildings like the chapter house etc would have been knocked down or used as farm buildings. This well was dug after the friary had closed for use with the farm buildings.




PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
--- a dark hooded monk has been seen walking around the friary

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DENBIGH CASTLE










Denbigh Castle was built following the 13th century conquest of Wales by Edward Ist, overlooking the town. It was built upon an earlier Welsh stronghold.





The stronghold was held by Dafydd ap Gruffydd, the brother of Llywelyn the Last. A castle was built and this belonged to Llywelyn the Great before 1230.


The castle we see today was begun by Henry de Lacy in 1282. King Edward 1st, gave him this land after the victory over Dafydd. The old Welsh Castle was knocked down and the first phase of the building of the new castle began. In 1294, the incomplete castle was captured back into Welsh hands during the revolt of Madog ap Llywelyn but the revolt collaspsed a year later. Henry de Lacy continued building work and the castle was finished in 1305.

In 1400, Owain Glyndwr and his forces attacked Denbigh. The town was bably damaged but the castle was not captured.

During the Wars of the Roses (1461-1468), Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke, tried twice and failed to take the castle.

During the 16th century, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, held Denbigh between 1563 uptil his death in 1588.

During the English Civil War, the castle was held by Colonel William Salisbury on behalf of King Charles 1st of England, but in 1646 Denbigh and the castle fell to the Parliamentarian forces. It was used as a prison for captured Royalists.



With the restoration of Charles II in 1660, the castle was abandoned and left in ruin.
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PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

--- KNIGHT'S FIGHTING--- 2 knights in shinning armour on horseback have been reported by the main entrance. It is said as soon as you look at them, they disappear.
--- DRAGON--- this is a legend regarding a dragon which lived in the castle. A man with 8 fingers on each hand killed it.
--- GREY/WHITE LADY--- a shinning lady has been seen around the castle and esp in the woods by Goblin Tower.
--- BLACK DOG--- a large black dog with red eyes and snarling has been seen just outside the castle walls esp in the woods. Is this the werewolf that was reported in the 18th century between Denbigh and Wrexham?
--- BLACK SHADOWS--- dark shapless figure seen dashing arounf Goblin Tower. It is said to be the son of the castle's builder. He was falsly accused of having an affair with the landowner's daughter and he was thrown to his death from the top of the tower.

--- YOUNG BOY--- another sightening from Goblin Tower. This involves a young boy seen in one of the tower's windows. He also throws stones at people walking past. He is said to be the son of the builder. It is said that he was playing in the tower when it was still being built and un safe. He fell to his death.

--- ROMAN CENTURIAN--- he is said to roam Denbigh Moors but there have also been a couple of sightenings upto the town walls. This phantom is an omen for death for the person who see's him.

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INVESTIGATION

It is Halloween, the weather was chilly but clear and me, Lee and Phil decieded to spend the evening in one of the most haunted countries in the world. It is beleived in Wales, that on Halloween ghosts manifest at every crossroads and with all the legends that come fron this area, we thought this would make for an interesting outing.

The day got of to a very disappointing start as I said earlier, the Hospital is now a no go area.

Me and Lee deceided to go to the Castle (Phil wasnt joining us till later).


We had a good walk around the castle.

I tried some EVP work and took about 100 photo's, but no evidence was caught.






After a couple of hours, me and Lee met up with Phil and we headed to the Friairy (both me and Lee had been here earlier in the day).





We started by just walking around and after about half an hour (now about 5.30pm), we settled down for some EVP work. Phil placed his K2 meter on the ground where he had picked up on a reading earlier on. I also put a cross next to it. We asked a series of questions and asked for the lights to be turned on the K2 if the answer was yes. The K2 meter lit up twice, once when we asked if a monk came back here and the other was when we asked if the monk was still with us.


Lee picked up on a female either Mary Madalene or the Virgin Mary figure. He also picked up on a bowl being placed on this shelf. I later found out that this area was a sink used by the priest to cleanse the chalice and paten (plate) after mass.








We continued to ask questions and then Lee picked up on a male staute. He thought its name was St Sebastain and the area where Lee was standing held a safe. I have yet to find a connection with this saint but I will add to this section if I do.







Just before we all left (about 8pm), Lee picked up on a cold feeling by this side door. No one else felt anything and as we were about to leave, Lee said this cold feeling had left him.







Had Lee or the K2 meter picked up on the spirit of the monk, with so little to go on, it is hard to say but it has given me enough interest that I will return to the friairy again.



Our last call was to the Goblin Tower, just on the outside of the Castle. The Castle had closed for the day and you can only walk around the Castle at night. Goblin Tower is easy reached if you fancy a walk through the woodland area. Pretty spooky at night but with two big strong men at my side, I had nothing to fear.


Goblin Tower was a two storey, irregular hexagonal tower over a limestone cliff. It had a narrow stairway leading down from the lower floor to a deep well. It had a well house which housed the well's mechanism.



We reached Goblin Tower about 8.30pm. The walk through the woods had made the three of us a little more alert. Walking through this wood made you feel a little more alone esp with it being dark and knowing the legends and ghost stories surrounding it. We looked around the area for a short while and then settled down to do some EVP work. Phil sat down next to the K2 meter and me and Lee stood a little away from him. We asked if there was anyone with us, could they light this machine up just by standing next to it. After a short while, it lite up. The only information we received was that a male was with us but he wouldnt answer anything else, no matter what we asked. If we didnt get a responce after a while, we asked if he was still with us, which the lights would light up again. So he was there but didnt want us to know anything about him. At times we all heard footsteps circling us and Phil felt someone standing behind him. In fact, I asked if this person was behind Phil and the K2 meter lite up. We heard footsteps again and Lee felt a very cold chill.

We stayed till about 12.30am but nothing else happened. Had we met a shy male spirit?


As we said goodbye to Phil, Lee and myself stayed for a while by St Hilary's Chapel. This tower is all that is left after it was demolished in 1923 when a new church had been built in 1874. This chapel was originally built around 1300 but it had been partly rebuilt in 1707-11 and updated during the 15th century. It had been built for the English who settled here during the time of Henry de Lacy.






We had stayed here in the hope of seeing something but in the early hours, we left feeling a little disappointed. It had been a quite investigation but had we come across two spirits, one in the friairy and one by Goblin Tower. I think more evidence is needed but hopefully after another investigation in those two places, we can say yes or no.


MORE VIEWS OF THE CASTLE














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