Fringe Box



Things That Went Bump In The Night At The Spike!

Published on: 19 Mar, 2013
Updated on: 19 Mar, 2013

By David Rose

Inside the cold dark corridors of the Spike the wind outside could be heard howling, and that wasn’t the only eerie noises that broke the silence.

Paranormal investigator Colin sets up a camera.

Paranormal investigator Colin sets up a camera.

I had been invited to the Spike heritage centre in Charlotteville by members of Spirit Explorers, a group of keen paranormal investigators from Berkshire, Hampshire and the surrounding local areas. They had arranged with the Charlotteville Jubilee Trust that looks after the building, (once part of the Guildford Union Workhouse), to conduct a night of “ghost hunting” there while raising money for Comic Relief on Red Nose Day, last Friday (March 15).

The preserved building was once the “casual ward” of the workhouse – the place where vagrants and tramps (we now call them homeless people) could get a bed for the night. Well, the beds were in individual cells. These have been preserved as they were when opened in 1906, and are open to the public.

It has to be said, not many people go there at night!

I joined the paranormal investigators at 9.45pm – the plan being to stay for an hour or so and to observe what they were doing.

To begin with we were asked to stand in a circle and hold hands. There were about 15 of us (difficult to count in the half light). Colin, the lead investigator then spoke, addressing any spirits that may have been present, telling them to not fear as we meant no harm, and invited them to communicate with us.

Three of the paranormal investigators sit in one of the "cells" in the former casual ward of the Guildford Union Workhouse.

Three of the paranormal investigators in one of the “cells” in the former casual ward of the Guildford Union Workhouse, now the Spike heritage centre..

We then split into a couple of groups, my group going downstairs to the part of the building that is used as a community centre.

The group had set up video cameras in parts of the building and had brought along various items of electronic equipment to help find ghosts and spirits and to indicate any paranormal activity.

In the darkness we stood in silence. One of the pieces of handheld kit flashed its green LED lights – this evidently indicated that something or someone “from the other side” was in the room with us.

Some members of the group then sat at a table on which they had placed an upturned glass tumbler.

I was asked whether I would like to join them in placing my finger on the glass. About six of us did so. Colin then explained that he felt a presence in the room and invited us to ask the “spirit” some questions – while inviting whatever it was to move the glass across the table by way of answering.

For a couple of minutes nothing happened. Then, to my amazement, the glass slowly began to move across the table – with the tips of our fingers still on top of it.

Colin then began “speaking” to the presence. He said he believed it to be a girl. He asked “her” how long she been here? Did she die here? Was a man controlling what she was saying?

As each question was asked, the glass tumbler moved one way or another across the table, until it ended up going around and around – all the time with our fingers on it.

Others also took turns to place a finger on the tumbler – still it moved as questions were asked. Colin then thought it time to stop and thanked the “girl” for her presence and communication.

It all seemed very odd. I couldn’t quite believe what had happened. Could we have moved the tumbler with the pressure of our fingers on it. It seemed unlikely.

The main corridor of the Spike - photo taken last autumn during the daytime.

The main corridor of the Spike – photo taken last autumn during the daytime.

We then moved back up to the main corridor of the Spike where the “cells” are. Some members of the group elected to sit in the cells (some alone, others in twos and threes). The doors were shut and there they stayed for neatly an hour, trying to make their own contact with spirits and such like.

I went and stood with Colin in what was once the reception area. It is the first room where visitors who now visit the Spike on a conducted tour are taken.

Still the wind howled, and the old building creaked. There was a strange noise on two occasions outside and a bang or two on the door. Could it have been one of the other “ghost hunters” outside. Colin was sure it was something paranormal.

Another investigator, Dave, came in and we spoke. After a while we all went back into the corridor and Dave suddenly said he had just seen a black shadow of someone pass right past him. I hadn’t seen anything.

Members of the investigation team then met up again and made plans to go and sit in another room and take part in other investigations. For me it was time to leave. Not that I was scared, just rather intrigued.

I am still not sure what I witnesses when seeing that glass tumbler moving so erratically across that table. I have to say it was strange and something that I had not personally witnessed ever before, but something I have read about many times.

Spokeswoman for Spirit Explorers Ali Lloyd has confirmed that collectively their night at the Spike has raised £1,700 for Comic Relief. I say well done to them and a big thank you for inviting me along.

Check out Spirit Explorers’ website. Click here.

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