Disembodied footsteps, a torch with a mind of its own and physical contact from beyond … these are just a few of the things we caught on camera as we investigated the Llandogger Trow in Bristol.
On Friday 29th July 2011 Real Or Otherside Paranormal Research, and their guest medium Paul Stevens (AKA: The Pinstripe Medium), travelled to The Llandoger Trow in the heart of Bristol to perform a solo investigation of this historic pub. With its links to pressgangs, piracy, Treasure Island and Black Beard himself expectations were high as we settled in for a night of paranormal investigation.
During our investigation we had full access to the Llandoger Trow including the reputedly active cellar, bars and restaurant areas. During the evening we captured around 4 hours of video and 4 hours of audio. After the initial review process we recorded a total of 8 potential 'hits’ which, after secondary analysis/enhancement, was reduced to just 3 ’hits’ which we believe to be of interest and are presenting here.
We have classified each piece of evidence, or ‘hit,’ against our R.O.O. SCALE to determine how paranormal we think it is. More details on how we analyze, review and present evidence can be found in the How Do We section of our blog.
EVIDENCE SUMMARY VIDEO
In addition to the investigation summary and personal experiences detailed below, we also produce a video showing any events we believe to be of note. The footage shown in these videos is as it happened on location, with the only modifications made being volume increase/noise reduction for some audio segments, and minimal edits/cuts to provide context or a compressed version of events.
We highly recommend you wear headphones when watching our videos to help you decide … is it Real Or Otherside?
FULL EVIDENCE REVIEW
BUST ROOM STAIRWELL: FOOTSTEPS (R.O.O.3 – POSSIBLE)
Shortly after several personal experiences in the Bust Room (see below) Rick, Mike and Paul all hear what can only be described as footsteps on a creaky wooden surface. These footsteps get progressively louder, so much so that it is assumed the source is natural (i.e. a member of staff returning to the pub).
Upon investigation no staff member can be found and the footsteps remain a mystery. As we cannot guarantee no-one entered the building without our knowledge we cannot rate this experience above a R.O.O.3 (possible). However, you will note from the footage that only the stairwell we were directly opposite seemed to produce a noise similar to what we all heard, and we can categorically state that no 'living person' was on the stairwell at the time. Of additional note is the fact that footsteps on this stairwell are a reported phenomenon at the Llandoger Trow.
BUST ROOM: TORCH COMMUNICATION (R.O.O.3 – POSSIBLE)
If you are a follower of Real Or Otherside you'll know that we've previously had results with torch communication and we have now started using a secondary torch in an attempt to rule out the possibility of a fault on our primary torch.
We tried torch communication several times during our investigation of the Llandoger Trow, however it was only on our final attempt (and prior to laying the secondary torch) where we caught apparent intelligent communication. So unexpected was it that we didn't actually have the camera trained on the torch when it initially came on, much to our amusement (as you'll hear). What you will see though is a direct request from Paul asking for the torch to switch off, which it did.
No other torch activity was reported after this incident.
BUST ROOM: PHYSICAL CONTACT (R.O.O.3 – POSSIBLE)
Shortly after coming into contact with an entity, our guest medium Paul Stevens felt he was pinched or bitten on his right shoulder. Our footage shows Paul's surprised response to this attack as we quickly establish a camera shot of the affected area, which does display red welts, suggesting a bite or scratch has occurred.
Unfortunately as our camera was locked off at the time, ghost hunting 101 dictates that the footage cannot be presented as 'fact', as we don't maintain a constant view of the affected area. This of course is perfectly reasonable logic. That said, the footage is too good not to present, so here it is in its’ uncut glory and can only reasonably be classed as a R.O.O.3 (Possible).
For the record, having been present at the time of the occurrence, we speak with confidence when we say that we find Paul's experience and the resulting welts difficult to explain. Whilst the camera was not always focused on Paul's shoulder, we were, and we saw nothing to indicate that this was anything but a genuine experience.
As with any investigation there is evidence we can present and moments that have to be put down as a personal experience. Here are some of our personal thoughts on our time at the Llandoger Trow:
Having been born and bred in Bristol, I’ve been visiting the Llandogger Trow since I was about 6 … pubs were a bit of a family tradition back in the day you see. Life was so much simpler back then … give me a Coke and a packet of Salt ‘n’ Shake and I was as happy as Larry!
I always thought it a creepy place back then, and so the thought of wandering around the building, in the dark, by myself was about as appealing as having the school nurse perform ‘the cough test’. Oh how times have changed (on both counts!).
And so it was with a sense of excitement that I approached our investigation of the Llandogger. This was our first investigation with Mr Paul Stevens (AKA: The Pin Stripe Medium) and a night able to fulfil my sense of nostalgia, whilst leaving my questions around the paranormal very much unanswered.
Investigating the Llandogger presents challenges of its own. Firstly the building is still in active use as a pub … especially by the student population of Bristol. As such our 12am start time, soon drifted out to 1am and even then there was still noise pollution from outside until around 2am as people attempted to remember the way home.
In addition, stock needs to be counted, rotated and replaced – so staff members were on site until as late as 3am. All this made ‘inadvertent’ noise contamination a real consideration when subsequently reviewing evidence.
It was also quite difficult to go dark. Light bleeding in from outside was very prevalent and as there were several floors/rooms with many more light switches, we were unable to locate all of them and go completely lights out.
I should quickly add that whilst the location challenges were frustrating, the staff at the Llandogger were very warm and welcoming. The fact that we even got into the location at all, let alone allowed to run our investigation through until 5am (not the norm, so I’m lead to believe) was a coup in itself. The trust that these locations place in groups such as ours really shouldn’t be undersold, and we were very grateful for the opportunity to investigate the Llandoger.
The evening for me was very quiet until around 4:00am when things took a more active turn – all in the ‘Bust Room”. There was a point where I thought I saw a small dark shadow come out of a doorway, across the room, up some steps and disappear around the corner. When I say small, I mean small – think small dog / large rat (whichever floats your boat). It could of course have been a rat, though equally perhaps it was a trick of the light? The manner in which it moved was strange, as it almost seemed to float up the steps – but again, it was late and it may be a case of selective memory. Alas, we weren’t running video at the time!
Within 5 minutes of that incident, in exactly the same spot, I felt a tap on the back of my neck – prompting an instinctive jump 6 foot to the side (much to Mikes amusement – Paul was on a different floor at the time). It wasn’t a cobweb or a fly, as it had real weight. However, again a moth could perhaps hold enough mass to produce the same effect.
A few minutes later, Paul had returned to the group and as he walked into the same spot, he too jumped – suggesting he had seen a dark mass to his right. He couldn’t have seen my reaction, so I found this quite interesting. Again however, we weren’t running any equipment as it all happened so quickly (school boy error).
It was then we turned on the camcorder and captured the footsteps we cover in the evidence review… so all was not lost.
All in, whilst the conditions were tough to control at the Llandoger, it was nice to return after so many years, great to see Paul as part of the team (as open minded sceptics, it’s only right that we keep our minds open to all types of paranormal communication) and of course a total pleasure to be hunting for the ‘Otherside’ with my partner in crime – take a bow M.J.Garde )
The Llandoger Trow is steeped in history and it was a pleasure for me, being a born and bred Bristolian, to have the opportunity to investigate the pub.
Real Or Otherside Paranormal Research are always open to new ways, or methods, of investigating and for this investigation we decided to deviate slightly from our usual “techie” approach and extend an invitation to Mr Paul Stevens (AKA: The Pinstripe Medium) to see if he would be able to pick up on any of the energies in the Llandoger Trow and help us identify any spirits or entities we may come in contact with.
In hindsight the investigation proved to be relatively quiet apart from a flurry of activity towards the end in the restaurant/bust room area where Rick saw a shadow that he described as about the size of a rat but floated over some steps rather than how you would expect a rat to navigate them (I quickly checked the area and there was nowhere, if it was a rat, that it could have escaped), Paul saw a shadow figure appear next to him in the same place where Rick had felt something touch the back of his neck, torch activity and Paul seeming to be bitten or scratched by an unseen force. We also heard what sounded like footsteps on the stairs and, after running downstairs, couldn’t see anyone in the bar area. This was an interesting event because, as you can see in the video, the only thing that makes the same creaky noise is the staircase as the bar area has flagstones!!! We cannot entirely rule out someone being in the bar area before we made it downstairs, as the night porter was still on site, but even if he had been in the bar you wouldn’t hear the creaking noise from the floor? What is more intriguing though is that the sound of people on the stairs, without anyone ever being seen, is a reported phenomenon at the Llandoger Trow!?!?
My lone vigil in the cellar was an amazing experience but, for the most part, I felt relatively calm. The only time I thought something may have occurred, the sound of jangling bottles, I am pretty sure it can be explained as members of staff disposing of the empty bottles in the bins at the top of the cellar entrance. That is not to say it didn’t cause my stomach to do a cartwheel and make me express my feelings with a few “choice” words at the time!!!
With each investigation that passes Real Or Otherside Paranormal Research are growing in confidence, gaining a better understanding of what we do, how to do it and how to organise investigations – which has to be a good thing? We were also able to expand the way we investigate with Paul joining us and, I think, this was a great success!?!?
If you have any questions, or comments, on the above analysis or the methodology used please feel free to post below or contact Real Or Otherside Paranormal Research via email by clicking here.