Haunted Tutbury Castle

Our 10th investigation, which took place on Friday 8th April 2011, saw us revisit Tutbury Castle. The investigation gave us the chance to meet up again with GPS, Lesley Smith and an opportunity to capture some of the noises and strange light anomalies we had experienced during our first visit in 2009.

The investigation ran from 8pm until Midnight and we were lucky enough, on this occasion, to have 4 members of Real Or Otherside gathering evidence as Rick and I were joined by Sam and Debbie.


Haunted Tutbury Castle


While on location at Tutbury Castle we captured approximately 3 hours of video and 3 hours of audio and after our initial analysis we recorded a total of 13 potential 'hits.’ After our secondary analysis/enhancement this was reduced to just 2 ’hits’ that we believe to be of interest.

Once again we have used our own R.O.O. SCALE to help rate how paranormal we believe any piece of evidence, or 'hit,' to be. More details on how we analyze, review and present evidence can be found in the “How Do We” section of our blog.


As we only have 2 ‘hits’ we have presented them in a single video for ease of viewing. The original footage has not been edited in any way and it is presented here in its entirety to help you decide for yourself if it is Real Or Otherside? We have also included beneath the video additional details about the capture as well as an area plan so you can see where the ‘hits’ were captured.

TUTBURY CASTLE: FINAL EVIDENCE VIDEO [Real Or Otherside Paranormal Research]

All members of the group were seated in the Main Hall when we captured the first light anomaly on the far wall above Ricks’ head. This type of anomaly can be described as a ‘Sparkle,’ due to the visual effect being like a sparkle from a firework, and is believed by some to be the first signs of a spirit manifestation.

We captured a similar light anomaly on our previous investigation at Brean Down Fort so our first thought was that it was potentially the camcorder. Having looked at the evidence again though this is unlikely due to a number of factors:

  • The speed at which the camera pans across the room is different.

  • Lighting conditions are different as one is filmed inside and the other outside.

  • Brean footage was filmed by Rick and this footage was filmed by Mike so our filming styles would most likely be different and Rick is about 4 inches taller which would also change how the camera is positioned.

  • The ‘sparkle’ is captured in a different area of the recorded image so it cannot be a defect on the camcorder? If it were the ‘sparkle’ would always appear in the same place?

  • The ‘sparkle’ appears larger than the one captured at Brean Down Fort so again if this was a camcorder defect we would assume it would remain the same size?

  • In over 24 hours of captured footage, our camera has never otherwise displayed these 'sparkles', again indicating that a camera fault is unlikely.

We also tried to debunk it as a reflection from the IR lamp however the camera sweeps and focuses on the same area several times during the course of our time in the Main Hall and not once is the anomaly replicated.

With all of the above in mind we have rated this piece of evidence as R.O.O.3 (possible).


While filming in the Dungeon which, as you can see on the plan below, is a fair distance away from the other buildings, we captured another strange light anomaly that seems to pass from left to right across the view of the camera.

Our first thought was that this was either a fly or dust but, having seen numerous instances of these during our review processes, it quickly became clear this was something different.

What sets it apart from the normal dust/fly debate is that it appears to be almost electrical in appearance and, as far as I am aware, there is no electricity running to that building? What is also interesting is that, unlike a fly or dust, the anomaly disappears twice from view before reappearing. If it was IR lamp reflection it would remain illuminated throughout the length of its journey? The anomaly was also not seen at the time by any members of the group in the dungeon.

While we cannot be entirely sure this was not a fly, or other winged insect, it is a very interesting capture and so we have rated this piece of evidence as R.O.O.4 (unlikely).




As a team we experienced some activity at Tutbury Castle, in particular Sam becoming very emotional while in the Main Hall, as well as dipping lights in the same area. We have presented those we are able to here on this blog as evidence and the others will simply have to be logged as personal experiences.

Here are some of our own personal thoughts on our time at Tutbury Castle:



Tutbury Castle was a return to roots for Real Or Otherside. Our first ever investigation was at Tutbury… long before R.O.O.P.R. was ever conceived, way before we had any investigation experience and back when the only equipment we had was a torch each (and that was only cause we'd bought a couple of ‘cheapies’ the day before we went).  Oh how things change!

I actually had a couple of personal experiences at the time.  Most notable were seeing a cluster of blue ‘sparkles’ hovering for a split second above the North Tower and feeling two consecutive cobweb-pull type feelings on my right ear when stood by the fireplace in the Main Hall… and no smart asses, it wasn’t a cobweb; well not one I could see anyway :o )  Of course, a few years have since passed and I’m far more sceptical than I was then, however two points of note…

Firstly, I spent a long time researching the blue sparkles but never did find any reference to them in any other investigation reports.  That is until about a month ago when Mike noticed that our friends from GPS had reported a similar experience during their last visit to the castle, though this time in the South Tower.

Secondly, we caught just two pieces of potential ‘evidence’ at Tutbury this time around… both were light anomalies one of which was captured in the dungeon below the North Tower. Coincidence perhaps?  It’s a shame Night Vision doesn’t capture colour really, now I’ll always wonder if they were blue as well!

So have our two investigations of Tutbury Castle convinced me that there’s an ‘Otherside’?  I’m afraid not.  In fact if I’m totally honest I left this second time feeling somewhat disappointed (though not with Lesley's Mary Queen of Scotts rendition I hasten to add… just in case you’re reading Lesley!).

Be in no doubt that Tutbury Castle is beautiful, the location is heaped in history and many paranormal experiences have been reported at the location.  In my opinion however if haunted locations were ice creams, Tutbury Castle would be a Choc-Ice… Totally satisfying until you try your first Magnum, after which you’d still enjoy a Choc-Ice or two but you’ll be thinking of the Magnum while you do! :o )



Having been to Tutbury Castle on 2 separate occasions I have to say it is a beautiful location steeped in history and in its curator, Lesley Smith, has someone who cares deeply about it.

Our first investigation provided us with some interesting noises and light anomalies and I couldn’t wait to return with all of our new equipment to see if we could capture some of them.

Although there were some interesting occurrences during our time at Tutbury overall I couldn’t help but feel slightly disappointed as my own personal experiences were extremely limited, something I have not really encountered before on an investigation. My only experience of the evening came when I suddenly got a headache sitting on the altar in the remains of the chapel, but this could have been due to dehydration following a long drive from Bristol with no refreshment?

Is Tutbury Castle haunted? As yet I have not personally experienced anything on either of my visits that would lead me to believe it is but I do know other people that have, even during this investigation. I do know one thing though that if there is anything at Tutbury Castle it is peaceful and in no way malevolent.



Am I emotional, ask those who know me well and the answer would be yes. But ask if I am prone to bursting into tears in front of a bunch of strangers and the answer would be no way!!  For me paranormal experiences are, as selfish as it may sound, all about me.  I am not like 'the guys', interested in providing evidence to the rest of the world.

I have always had a sense or an instinct for things that are wrong, be that a charged dangerous atmosphere or a person telling a lie.  Now everyone can say that but the night I went merrily off on my first paranormal hunt to the Blair street vaults I was so sure that it was all rubbish until in the White Room I had my first unexplained feeling of overwhelming sadness and despair. On this occasion I held back the feelings, in the Great Hall at Tutbury I could not and was so overcome that I did publicly cry.

I have a passion for all things Tudor yet Mary Queen of Scots is not a favourite of mine and I would always be on the side of Elizabeth, so found it even more strange that I would be affected by a room associacted with someon the I associated with the enemy of the true England.  What is coincidental is that one of the only two bits of visual evidence captured happens during my emotional encounter.

As I say 'it is all about me with' these feelings and people can take my accounts as they wish, but i know what I felt and that something affected me in the Great Hall.  It's up to you to decide if its Real Or Otherside?


If you have any questions, or comments, on the above analysis or the methodology used please feel free to post below or contact our investigators directly via email by clicking here.