Voices, unprovoked attacks, shadow figures, the infamous “Hanging” Judge Jefferies and the Devils’ cup are just some of the reported activity and history of the Skirrid Inn, Abergavenny but what was in store for Real Or Otherside Paranormal Research as Rick and Mike stepped inside its’ walls, alone, for an entire evening!?!?
Reputed to be the oldest pub in Wales, The Skirrid Inn has had an interesting past and was used by Judge Jefferies as a place to hang those found guilty of crimes and the Monmouth Rebellions – in total 180+ lives are recorded as being lost. Thanks to Geoff, and a last minute cancellation, we set off on Saturday 2nd September 2011 to try and capture some of the reported activity and from the moment we walked in we were not disappointed!!!
With access to the entire building and only 2 of us on location we had our work cut out getting round to all of the rooms before the night ended. This was also the first investigation where we had 2 night-vision camcorders running – great for recording multiple angles of the same room and for locking off – but it does mean double the footage when it comes to reviewing the evidence.
In total we captured 8 hours of video and 4 hours of audio. After the initial review process we'd recorded a total of 101 potential 'hits’ which, after previously reviewing countless hours of footage, surprised us both!!! After secondary analysis/enhancement this was reduced to 26 ’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
After 9 months of evidence reviewing and trying to fine tune the process we are now posting a single video containing all of the evidence we feel is worthy of being included. As there are so many ‘hits’ from this investigation we have decided not to explain each one in detail and just allow you, the reader, to jump straight in to the video to see and hear for yourself.
Although there are 26 ‘hits’ presented, meaning the video does weigh in at a hefty 8 minutes 44 seconds, there are many more on the cutting room floor as we believe what we are presenting is the strongest, and most compelling, evidence and provides a better overall context of our experiences.
The evidence you see/hear in the video is as it happened on location. The only modification, or enhancement, we have made are volume increases on some of the audio and some scene edits/cuts to provide a compressed version of events.
… is it Real Or Otherside?
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 Skirrid Inn:
The Skirrid Inn investigation came about as a result of sheer luck (not to mention the ever tenacious Debbie Mains, her sterling telephone manner and of course the Skirrid’s Landlord Geoff). I shan't bore you with the details, but suffice to say that it was only at 11pm on the evening before the investigation that we even knew we were taking a trip over to Wales!
Let's cut to the chase… We captured a lot of usual 'activity' at the Skirrid. In fact, we shortlisted in excess of 100 'hits' during our first review of the evidence and even with subsequent reviews/discussions/debunking, we were only able to whittle this down to 26 'hits' which we can't readily dismiss.
In the main, this activity manifested itself by way of 'seemingly intelligent' torch communication. Whilst the jury is still out regarding whether this is actually 'spirit communication', or simply a result of a faulty torch, I have to say I saw the torch act in ways I haven't previously seen in other locations. Firstly, we used a second torch and at times both were turning on and going off under their own volition. Secondly, the torch activity varied dramatically in different locations within the Skirrid.
It's hard to explain (or even demonstrate in the video, due to the compressed natured of the clips), but you just got the impression that 'if' (and that's a big IF) something was controlling them… it was a 'different' something from room to room. Frequency changed, urgency changed, pulse length/luminance changed… it really was a strange thing to experience! At one point the torches would lay perfectly dormant whilst we requested 'signs from beyond', only to go haywire when we ignored them… or had a conversation amongst ourselves.
Of course, for every 'flash on cue', there were times where the thing would just be doing its’ own thing. As such, for me the jury does indeed still remain out on the torch phenomena argument… but I must say that the Skirrid certainly added more file to the fire!
Outside of torches, there was a plethora of other 'activity' we captured, especially interesting in so much that unlike other locations we've investigated, most of it we heard/acknowledged at the time. Many times we pick up voices/noises later during evidence review, but at the Skirrid it was all out on show.
Within 5 minutes of being in the bar area, as we were meeting/talking to Geoff, I felt something touch the back of my hand (which was on the bar). Thinking it was the barman trying to get my attention to move or something, I turned around only to find none there. Adding fuel to that particular fire, when talking to Mike after we had left Geoff (I didn't want Geoff to think I was a nut job or something!), he to reported being touched by unseen hands during that conversation.
The 'giggle' on the stairs still foxes me. I had heard it at the time (as you will see on the video), but had assumed it was a noise from Mike who was laughing at one of my 'insanely funny' jokes at the time . But listening to it back (time and time again), the 'giggle' happens over Mike… as Mike is laughing. As such, I can't easily find rational explanation, given it was only Mike and myself there (and I know it wasn't me). A coincidentally timed ambient noise perhaps?… if so, of what?
The footsteps running through the bar (or at least, that's where it seemed to be coming from) were also strange. Alas they don't come out too well on the audio (we've tried to enhance them as much as possible, without distorting (cheating) what we actually heard).
I'm conscious of not warbling on too much here, but I have to mention the voice coming through on the Ghost Box that said 'hello'. Neither of us heard it at the time (as is clear from the video), but when Mike played me the sound clip (without the video) I was convinced it was him saying hello. I think my response went along the lines of… "nah, that's you mate" (whilst secretly thinking he'd lost it).
But I'll be darned if he doesn't then play me the video footage, with his lips clearly not moving at the time! Some call this 'Mimicking', where a 'spirit' copies what you've said during an investigation (if you're inclined to believe such a thing of course). Strangely, we have had this happen once before whilst investigating Brean Down Fort… and again, whilst the jury remains out, it is a pretty interesting phenomena/coincidence/delusion (delete as appropriate). You can check that clip out here (I've even timed it so it takes you straight to the relevant section… all heart me!).
All that's left to say is if you even have a remote interest in the paranomal, you simply have to spend a night alone in The Skirrid Inn!
First of all I would like to say a massive thank you to Geoff for providing us with the opportunity to investigate at such short notice and to Debbie, our trainee investigator, for putting in all the hard work to get us on the radar and for arranging it.
The Skirrid Inn has a fascinating history and we could not wait to get on site and begin. As soon as Rick and I stepped in to the bar we both experienced things – with me feeling as though something was touching the back of my neck. Throughout the night we had experiences in almost every room and with almost every piece of equipment we utilized – even the Franks Box which, up until this point, I never particularly held in much regard!!!
We had interesting torch communication in both the bathroom of Bedroom 1 and in Bedroom 2 but both felt very different. Bedroom 1 appeared as if it was trying to respond to our questioning and that it was trying to show some form of intelligence whereas Bedroom 2 appeared to be playing games, trying to annoy us – which it succeeded at – and only seemed to communicate when IT wanted to.
Highlights for me have to be the torch communication in Bedroom 1 especially when I had both torches in my hand and they were going on and off. I purposely had them in a loose grip and was nowhere near the twist mechanism to turn them on or off – alas it cannot be presented as evidence though as we cannot be 100% sure the activity wasn’t triggered by something physical.
The voice on the Franks Box that says “get up” after I sit down in the bar which is then followed shortly after by a voice, which sounds exactly like me, saying “hello” – nothing short of freaky!!! When I first heard it I assumed it was me but when I watched it again I noticed I am on camera and my lips don’t move. After playing the clip for Rick and Debbie, and only revealing what I had captured after they had listened, they too were both amazed!!!
Being hit on the neck while stood in the corner of the staircase by the hangman’s noose where a shadow apparition is seen. I know there was a candle stand behind me but this only came up to just under my bottom rib and there was nothing else near me!!!
There is so much to list and it is impossible to say which is the most exciting but two of the best captures are the apparent female voice we capture on the staircase when there were no women in the building and the sound of someone running downstairs in the bar while we were in Bedroom 1 – it’s just a shame this didn’t come out as well on the audio as Rick and I both know what we heard at the time.
The Skirrid Inn is an amazing location and I think anyone interested in the paranormal must have this on their “to do” list. It has provided us with some of our most intriguing evidence to date and I cannot wait to go back there in 2012 for another investigation!!!
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.