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Chillingham Castle is a medieval castle and stately home dating back to the 13th Century that sits in the wild depths of Northumberland near the small town of Wooller, just below the Cheviot Hills.   It is affectionately regarded as one of our most favourite investigation venues, as well as being the location of our longest vigil & most comprehensive investigation to date. This castle has a history spanning many centuries, and experienced the turbulent times of the Anglo-Scots border wars, in which many bloody battles and campaigns or raids were executed.   Edward I is said to have used the castle as a base to conduct his ravages into Scotland, and it is reputed to have been used as a prison and place of torture & execution for many Scottish warriors.   It was also visited by many other kings including Henry III, James I and Charles I over the centuries and appears to have been embroiled in royal events throughout the medieval period.


3. The Ghosts of Chillingham Castle Chapel

Investigation Report

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We had the privilege to spend 2 nights and 3 days at the Castle during the winter at a time when it is closed to visitors, and to have access to all the public areas and sites within the castle that are reputed to be haunted.  We were extremely fortunate to have the castle to ourselves at this time, our group of 5 investigators joining up with another paranormal group from West Yorkshire. In some of the locations we teamed up with this group to do the investigations, and in others we conducted our own.  During our stay we were accommodated in the Dairy apartments which is an area reputed as one of the most haunted sections of the castle. We conducted vigils in many areas of the castle over this time, and report some of the most interesting ones carried out in the Dairy, The Minstrel's Gallery, The Chapel and The King Edward Room.

Prior to starting our investigations, we did not research the history of the Castle, as is standard for any of our investigations, as we prefer to "see what we come up with" then research any history later to see if we can authenticate any impressions, ideas or experiences about the venue, and also to eliminate pre-suggestion of team members as much as possible.  Five members joined this event including two males and three females, ranging in age from 26 to 53.



" I was very tired after the long drive and we had arrived at about 8pm, got our bags into our accommodation area in The Dairy apartment and intended to do vigils later on that night at 11pm, so while the rest of the team members went upstairs to the mezzanine lounge/kitchen to make a meal, I went downstairs to the double bedroom to sleep for 1/2 an hour. There are two bedrooms downstairs and the bathroom, and an open plan staircase leads up to a large kitchen and lounge area. We three girls were all in the large bedroom.   I lay down on the double bed to get some rest at about 8:15pm.

I was very comfortable in the room and I fell asleep straight away, however I woke and although I had been alone in the room I perceived a presence of someone there, at first I thought one of our group had come in the room while I was dozing and I had been woken up.  As I awoke I also was struck by an extremely strong and sweet smell of scent.  It was so strong I was convinced someone had sprayed scent over my bed.  I lay and smelled this for about 10 minutes after I woke up, and then became aware of a lady (or what seemed to me the presence of a female person, who seemed friendly) somewhere in the vicinity looking at me or leaning over me. I got a distinct impression of a female mature lady leaning over my bed looking at me, in a benign and interested fashion, and so strong was the impression I was actually alarmed that someone from the castle staff had come in not realising I was there.   I sat up but no one was there, I was alone.  I could still smell the flowers and scent, so I assumed this must be real perfume. 

When I got up, I searched the room as I believed there must be an automatic air-freshener making the smell. As I did so, the smell dissipated instantly, not fading out but just suddenly gone.  I could find no reason or source for the scent at all.

I later spoke to Sanna, the Castle Administrator, and she told me the scent had often been sensed around the castle, especially during sitings or visitations from the ghost of Mary Berkely, who was supposed to be a friendly spirit in the castle. I had no idea about the story of scent and this apparition before this event took place.

Is it possible I was visited by this lady at that time?"

" Personally, I perceived a presence in the room from the stair area, and from my viewpoint I believe this to have been a young boy who was very shy.   I also had many perceptions and pictures (I believe to be residual) which consisted of Victorian and Edwardian working people many in uniform, busily going about their work in the upstairs. I stressed to the group I didn't believe this area had been used as accommodation until fairly recent history, and it didn't seem to have any medieval history at all, which I found odd as at the time I believed it to be part of the original castle. For whatever reason, despite the furnishings, tapestries and drapes which looked medieval, I just wasn't getting a medieval impression of the place at all, but just very busy Victorian and Edwardian working life, and that the mezzanine area where we were sitting was filled with barrels and sacks and that area had been used as storage "
After the vigil the men went to investigate the locked off camera and the trigger objects down in the bathroom area. We were amazed to then find that there were fingerprints in the flour and some of the coins had been moved, similar to those on the coffee table upstairs where similar fingerprints had appeared.   Strangely, the camcorder downstairs had inexplicably ceased working during the vigil, and unfortunately we cannot rule out that one of our members had created these fingerprints either by accident or deliberately at one point when they visited the bathroom after the vigil.  However we do know that regarding the coffee table trigger objects upstairs, no one had leaned forward or touched the table near where these objects were placed. Opposite is a photo of these fingerprints, but unfortunately we cannot locate the "before" picture of the area.  Lacking resources we could not check fingerprints and can only say that we trust each member present, no one was alone during the vigil and we do not believe anyone disturbed the coins.
2. The Minstrel's Gallery
On another side table out of reach of the team we had laid a crucifix and rosary trigger object that was placed before the start of the vigil and which had been arranged in the shape of a heart, but after the vigil we found inexplicably this had been moved so it now resembled a "pinched" shape of a heart.  The crucifix had moved several millimeters.   During the vigil none of us had moved from our seats near to this table after placing the trigger objects into position, only 2 people standing up to investigate the stairs area.  We cannot account for how this movement of the rosary occurred other than by paranormal means, as five of us were present in the room and we could all see none of us had moved from our seats.   The first photograph shows the table set before the vigil, and the next three pictures were taken after.

We stopped to investigate these noises and take photographs and several "orbs" appeared in this room which was of interest to several members present, as just before they took the photos they had reported "sensing" something in the location, whereas other photos taken of the same location had produced no "orbs". 

At one point during the vigil one of us stood up to investigate a sound on the stairs and one investigator accidentally moved one of the trigger objects when she put a camcorder down.   However, further away from her at another point on the same table some coins had been placed in flour as trigger objects, and on inspection during the vigil these were found to have fingerprints and the coins had moved




















































" On looking around myself I could perceive nothing at first, but then became aware of someone’s attention coming from the gallery above.   My perception of this was a young man or youth who was quite cocky and not willing to interact with us as we wished, but who seemed curious and amused at what we were doing. "
At the same time, team members who were on the balcony above reported they were getting "orbs" in the area and temperature drops.   Other areas had cold spots detectable by touch.  We then took pictures, and in these orbs were apparent whereas before there had been none.  We then all went up to the gallery, and whereas until now we had no phenomena on camera or these light anomalies despite many pictures taken, now we started to get orbs and detected a cold spot using the laser thermometer.   The team member who had described how she perceived the spirit of a youth then said she thought the "spirit" had moved to the right and had come off the balcony into a more central right hand section of the room, and we were interested to find the "orb" taken in the previous picture was now apparently located to the right side of the balcony or room.
The first vigil we did, together with the other paranormal team, started in the Minstrel’s Gallery. We started on the ground floor area currently used as a restaurant.  For quite a while there was no activity.   The leader of the other group was calling out, and then others started.   Generally it was very quiet.  Finally, one of the other team said she detected someone present, from her own perceptions.   One of our own members then also claimed to sense something on the balcony, her report as follows:

Most often these "orbs" can be technologically or practically explained as attributable to dust, moisture etc. and we agree that this is usually the case.  However, we have found not all can be exclusively explained in this fashion without also taking into account other factors.  

Where such "orbs" also improbably coincide with associated sensations, other phenomena such as knocks and bangs, or seem to respond to questioning or have moved to a location when asked to do so, we become very interested in the phenomena as it then appears to have some direction or intelligence back of it.   The question then becomes: this may be dust or have a practical explanation, but is there anything else motivating or causing it?   In the case of the Minstrel's Gallery, whereas previously before we had no phenomena, after two of our purportedly "sensitive" members detected a spirit presence and one specified the Gallery, we now were getting orbs up in that area as well as inexplicable temperature drops.

This picture is included here to show where the "orbs" eventually were appearing, on the right of the room as our "sensitive" group member reported.  They had not been appearing elsewhere or at other times.  

To conclude this vigil, all our members agreed that the the area of the Minstrel's Gallery was a generally calm and comfortable space, and there wasn’t a terrific amount of activity beyond the above, which are interesting in that they appear to coincide with subjective experiences of two people present.

After the Minstrel’s Gallery, the next place we moved to for a vigil, was the Chillingham Chapel, which we also did with the other paranormal group from Yorkshire. 

The information we had from Sanna, of Chillingham staff, is a girl died of cold & starvation, was taken and raped, brutalized and that she had left the castle, then later sneaked back into the chapel where she died. This is documented.  The girl is supposedly called Eleanor.   Sanna told us the chapel was found by Sir Humphrey when renovating the castle, and that this area used to be a reading room but after a builder fell through the floor they found the Chapel underneath, where human bones were then found.  It had been covered up since Henry VIII’s time. 

On writing this report today, our overall recollection about this place was : - supposed to be very haunted but disappointing, the other team we were with got some great moving orbs and were excited about their results, but for me and for our team we didn’t get much & it was pretty flat.  Also none of us recalled perceiving much in there, both myself and Jane thought it was disappointing.   That recollection is very interesting, because the fact is we did get a LOT of information and phenomena, more than we had elsewhere, and we only realized this after we went thru the film footage and the MP3 recording.   Why we both recall very little occurred we cannot know. 

To illustrate this point, I have decided to lay out this report a little differently.  This is what actually happened, exactly per the audio/visio recordings:-

This is laid out by increments of minutes and seconds from the start of our nights vigil, and our entry into the Chapel occurred at 57 minutes into the overall recording.















































57:08   We enter the Chapel and Alison immediately comments how much colder it is than the other rooms.   Almost immediately she catches a photographic"orb" at the back of the room.  

58:02: Tom expresses “Holy mackerel, I just saw a big orb float across the doorway!”

59:03: Jane comments how much colder it has now become.  Pat from other group then begins to call out to the little girl, who is reputed to have died in a corner this chapel after being badly abused.  She asks for a noise to be given or another sign someone is there.

1:1:34:  One of the Yorkshire investigators gets a moving "orb" type of light on night vision camcorder, in the same corner of the room where the little girl is reputed to be.  This light anomaly floats between two team members.

1:1:43: Pat calls out again asking for another light, and immediately one of the Yorkshire team sees another orb again behind another team member, and at the same time a different person gets a cold blast of air.

Meanwhile Alison and our team get nothing on my own night vision camcorder, although in this vigil they don't have infrared extenders.

1:02:28: Tom reports his laser thermometer is showing  a temperature reading of 2.9 degrees in that corner of the room where the little girl is supposed to reside and have died, whereas the rest of the room is 3.9. 

1:02:51: Pat again calls out asking if this is the girl who lost her life in the chapel

1:03:19:  Nor has been reporting feeling even colder while sitting in the "haunted" corner.  Tom immediately checks & reports another temperature drop from 2.9 to 2.5 in this spot.  Photo taken at the same time shows "orb" above Nor in this corner.

1:04:02: Jane gets another photographic orb
1:04:15: Right down by the pew, a very strong draft and temperature drop occurs, yet on inspection no draft is evident as coming from the wall or anywhere that could be a detectable source.

1:06:00:   One of the Yorkshire team reports hearing something rattle and move on the bench, and another member thought the sound was someone that sat on this seat.  No such sound is detectable in the audio recording.

1:07:11: Several of our members report feeling severe drops of temperature, like a fridge.  Tom is asked to check it with his laser thermo, - he records the temp is 3.1 around Alison, but where she says she feels the cold spot near her foot, the reading lowers to 2.7, then subsequently drops to 1.9, then again to 1.7.    She then reports suddenly feeling very sleepy.

1:11:05: Alison gets the impression someone has been very sick in this space, with a high fever (my impression was of someone suffering and groaning due to sickness).  A second later, Pat gets the impression of someone sobbing.

Immediately after this, Jane mentions hearing a moan on the tape “Did you hear that?! I heard a moan!".  No one else in the room heard it, including those next to Jane, although Jane is somewhat away from other investigators & heard the moan by the lectern.

However when playing back the audio recording, we find the following:

1:11:35: There is a distinct, deep moan on the tape like “Ooooooooh!,” like a suffering person, a female, exactly as Jane had described.  For some reason Jane was the only one to hear this, and the voice cannot be attributable to anyone present at the time.

1:12:11:  Pat says she (clairaudiently) heard someone sobbing again, and feels that this is definitely not a child, it’s an adult, a woman. 

The moan in the tape does sound like a mature woman.

1:14:13: Pat calls out again asking for a light or sound, and asks this lady to show herself

1: 14:53: Pat sees a curtain move behind another team member.

You can hear a clip of my MP3 recording including this moan if you download from this link:     MOANCLIP


4. The Great Hall

We next moved into the Great Hall where we reviewed the moving orb video footage taken in the Chapel by the Yorkshire group, which was interesting. Unfortunately our own camcorders had not picked up such footage, possibly due to having no infrared extenders which make a big difference in reaching all parts of a room.

The first thing that happened on entry into this new area was one of the team members reported he saw a movement across the picture tapestry at the back of the room. 

Tom then began calling out asking for movements or lights.  Jane then reported she heard a really funny noise when she entered the hall, that she can’t describe but it was human.  She has difficulty expressing this sound, but that it was in front of her.  She had also heard a loud tap down at that end of the room .

So, all in all most of this activity seemed to happen to two members immediately when they first entered the room.

Jane then began calling out asking for a sign of communication, a light or sound, asking politely.   A few seconds later Jane expressed alarm shouting“Oh, God!!” and accused Tom of grabbing her arm, however she quickly realised Tom was coming toward her and wasn’t near enough to touch her arm.  Tom denied touching Jane’s arm, and was observably a meter or so away.  Jane says it felt like a really strong big man’s hand, bigger than Tom’s.   As it was late, Jane could be accused of hallucinating in the circumstances, however she isn't known for such behavior and is generally one of our most level-headed members.   At approximately the same time, one of the Yorkshire team members reported that his camera had suddenly drained after being fully charged. 

We then cut short this investigation as we were so freezing we needed a tea break!!   This vigil was short, but we got quite some results for a few minutes in this room.  Both groups had quite some "orbs" too.  Shame we didn’t stay longer, but we were just too cold!!

We have added some illustrations of this room for the record,which is a very atmospheric medieval room full of ancient artifacts.  For those interested in "orbs" there are some in these pictures but unfortunately they haven't reproduced very well in uploading and sizing, so spot them if you can, originals are on file.

We then moved on to do vigils in the King Edward Room, the Dungeon area, "torture chamber" and other areas, including the grounds and visited the Chillingham village Church.

The King Edward room is named as it is reputed to have been used by Edward I of England while he was visiting Chillingham during his suppression of the Scots and there are legends that he used the castle in his campaigns over the border, set it up as a prison and execution ground for many Scottish warriors and rebels.  Legends have it that the grounds are full to bursting with the bones of such warriors who may number thousands, that a sadist named John Sage terrorised the Chillingham area including local children whom he supposedly rolled down the hill in barrels filled with fixed nails, and tortured many a Scot to death within the walls of the castle.   After this vigil we checked with Sanna, the Administrator of Chillingham, and found there is no verified factual evidence of the extremity of such stories, nor any real evidence Sage existed, and any original records of the castle in Newcastle would still need to be checked at some point.   However King Edward I is known to have stayed in the castle while he took revenge on William Wallace, a new window was installed for his use in this room, and there have been human bones found within the castle, as well as records that kings and the military did stay there during the wars and turmoil with the Scots.

We did a vigil in the King Edward room, this time on our own as a group of 5 without the other investigators who were also visiting the Castle.   The room is reached at the top of stairs and is more like a turret room.   This vigil turned out to be different to any we had done in the past.  We will present what happened and then leave you to make up your mind, as believers in spirituality and the paranormal may well be fascinated, and otherwise we hope the Skeptics and those with more materialistic or human explanations will find this report at least an interesting case in phenomena of group psychology.


5. The King Edward I Room

The vigil began at 10pm 11th January 2007, and was conducted by 5 members of our own group and none of the other group were present.   At the start of the vigil we sat down in chairs near the door, facing a roped off area where there is a table, suit of armour and various medieval artifacts.  We were extremely light-hearted, relaxed, joking and frankly eventually became bored as we sat in the area.  Several of us mentioned how the room seemed "flat"; no phenomena seemed to be occurring, not even an "orb" - even if only dust .   After some time we even discussed going on to a different room, and how this one wasn't even mildly spooky despite its reputation.

However, we decided to patiently continue, and sat and called out, asking if any spirit presence was there to please give us a knock, light or other sign.   We also sat for some time in the dark a second time, concentrating on any perceptions, ideas or input from our senses & attempting to test out and hone in on any possible psychic skills we may have.   

I will present here the time sequence of events, comments and perceptions of the investigators exactly as recorded on our MP3 sound recording devices.  The MP3 recording of this room started 3 Hours 01 minutes into the night's total investigations, so hence the time shown begins accordingly.

03:01:07:   We enter the room with light hearted banter, we sit down.   Several group members comment how it is very cold, colder than elsewhere in the castle.   One member comments "it's nothing like Wychwood" (a previously scary investigation venue).   Others laugh and agree this does not seem a scary place.

03:08:0: We are all seated, have been there for some time.  Nothing has happened, no phenomena and no perceptions, the room feels fine & comfortable. We discuss leaving & going to a more "active" area, but decide to stick it out for longer.

03:09:08: Jane has been calling out asking if there are any spirit presences in the room please can they show themselves as a light, knock or sound, then asks for a temperature change to show they are there.   Tom then immediately notices temperature dropping on his digital recorder, another member says it feels colder. Tom then reports the temperature has dropped from 5.2 degrees C to 3.6.   At the same time Tom says he's sure he heard something.

03:09:18: Alison calls out asking for a light or sound.  Tom then repeats the same question, and Alison & Jane both then hear a dull but loud thump on the floor.   Jane then begins talking about this being Edward I's room and the Scottish war, and how she loves Scotland.   She calls out telling any possible spirits "if you are Scottish, I love Scotland and so does Ali, our ancestors are Scottish.  Jane then laughs and sings a short Scottish song, and asks for a sign they are there.   As she says this Nor takes a photo and gets an orb in the corner of the room.   Jane continues talking about Scotland, and Ali says "you know, I don't think we are alone in her, like something's come in here.   Do you notice how the room feels different?"   Several group members agree the room feels different, darker.

03:10:40: Jane says: "Was that something to do with Scotland? Are you a fellow patriot?"  Ali hears a noise, and Tom gets up to investigate the location of the sound, and as he does so he reports he sees a light, like a moving orb in the same area.  No one gets any photos of this but none were taken of this area.   Jane then asks why is it called the Edward room, and Nor then gets an orb on the ceiling. 




03:13:00:  The group then decide to be quiet for a few minutes, no cameras or talking and to try to "tune in " mentally to the area and see if they can pick up on anything psychically or through the 5 senses.  Ali calls out once appealing for any signs someone is here such s a light, sound or touch, and asks "it" to do so if it can.

03:18:03: Tom reports alarm at feeling a distinct tug on his red coat, a pinch.   At the same time Jane says she feels a sensation on her mouth as if it had been punched or slapped.  She asks if this is anything to do with Tom having a red coat (hence English soldier) and says she has Scottish ancestry.  

03:21:00: Ali gets the feeling she has been touched on the right side of her head.   Tom says his left hand is getting very cold suddenly, feels like the temp has really dropped.  Digital thermo verifies this has occurred.  Ali feels cold patch on her right side, which is on the same side as Tom is feeling the cold.   Jane reports her bottom lip now feels really swollen "like a pud" & can't understand why.  She asks aloud if this is something that happened to this person.

03:22:42:  Jane asks if this is a soldier or fighter. Tom says his left hand is getting even colder, temp feels it's really dropped. Laser therm corresponds that the temperature is dropping again in this area, & Ali says her right side (near Tom's left ) is now absolutely frozen. Tom asks again if this is a man at arms.

03:24:00: Ali asks "were you innocent and hurt?" Tom asks if it died here. We all agree there is a male presence around. Ali gets the idea of someone coming into the room, bursting in violently at some point in the past, Scottish connection to this maybe.  At the same time Jane hears a faint tap by the suit of armour.  Other questions are asked if this is an Englishman or Scot.  Jane says she doesn't feel threatened but can feel a presence of a man, but he's nice, like he's standing back.

03:27:09: Tom sees a flash of light on the far side near him and Ali reports a blast of cold air at the same time.  Nothing explains where the blast of air comes from as it's not near the door or window, and the night is cold but air is still with no drafts.   More questions are asked about the identity of a man who is a fighter or warrior, Jane asks about the Scottish connection and each time a question is asked it is now followed by Ali getting a cold blast on the right side, and once Tom hears a thump. 

03:28:00: Jane asks if this is a Border Reiver or someone from over the border, and Ali again gets a cold blast. Ali then asks "if any of you were in here on your own now, how would you feel?" All five present agree they would not want to be here now, the atmosphere has totally changed, it feels "heavy", "massy" and "oppressive", whereas it was light when they arrived. Ali says she is sure something is in the room staring at them from the table area.  Nor says it is unpleasant and wouldn't want to stay here.  Jon and Nor have both been very quiet and both say they feel an intimidating atmosphere.   Jane and Ali then begin talking to "it" persuasively to communicate, give us a sign, ask it about if it was trapped here or caught, or died.   All five present feel an intense build up of heavy sensation of hostility, fear, hate but say it doesn't feel directed at us.

03:45:21: Ali says she can pick up a sensation they are "very pissed off", and that there is more than one, which Jane instantly agrees she had been thinking, "like a whole crowd of them in front of us". Jane and Ali both simultaneously get mental image pictures of big, rough but good men in the room, in front of them beyond the rope.   Jane says she gets a strong presence of "big strong solid blokes" and says aloud "All you were doing was trying to protect your family".   At this point the atmosphere gets more intense, Jane reports her heart is racing & the atmosphere feels threatening, but not toward them.

03:49:04: Ali says she really feels like she's getting somewhere, feels spiritually and mentally connected up to them like they are in the space. Jon and Nor are asked what they feel and both report no pictures or ideas but a feeling of heaviness in the room and a tense atmosphere that isn't just imagination but you can "cut it like a knife" coming from in front of the rope barrier.

03:51:18: Ali says "they would do anything to protect their family".  Discussion about the intensity of feeling in the room and how no one would like to do a lone vigil there right now.   At the point Ali mentions protecting family there is another cold blast felt by both Ali to her right and Tom on his left leg.

03:56:01: Ali says "I just get the idea of all that hatred, they were big men who were proud and good fighters but they were caught and it wound up all were killed for nothing".  Ali and Jane both report the same impression of local fellows from over the border, Jane says "not Northumbrian" and as soon as Jane says that there is another cold blast across Ali and Tom.   Jane mentions a feeling like blood running from her lip, where before it was swollen.   Ali gets impression they were brutally tortured then killed, nothing they could do about it, butchered like animals".   Tom then mentions this as an injustice, and 3 present then comment that the room again is much heavier, denser.   Jane and Ali both say it's like they are all in front of us like a rugby scrum, shouting "yes! yes!."   Jane mentions how the anger feels electric from that area, and a sense of raw male emotional energy.





03:56:05: One of the Yorkshire team come into the room with a walkie talkie which makes lots of noise, which seems to interrupt the session and train.  Two present say the atmosphere changes.  Ali still getting icy blasts, and says "they were a bunch of Scottish border men, earlier than the Redcoats" as she says this Tom sees "something" by the table in front of the girls who are sitting near the rope.   

03:58:17: Jane says "it feels like they have come closer to us, closer to the rope, and they are nodding and saying "yes! that's right with anger not directed at us, but at the injustice".

03:59:00: All feel the room has got lighter, more pleasant. Whereas before they weren't talking, Nor and Jon and Tom all say the room felt really nasty, & now they lighten up. Jane says it felt like being in the middle of a rugby scrum.   Ali says "I saw what they were telling us, mentally, it was like they were caught, betrayed by one of their own, a borderman, and it feels like the residue of this is still here at times.   Jane and Alison feel better and laugh, Tom says "this is probably the first time someone actually heard their side of it all, they were caught and tortured".

We then left the room.   Some will see this as a group agreement and multiple psychological phenomena, but of all the vigils we have done in dozens of places, this room remains one of the most memorable to us.  We can all say the experience of atmosphere in the King Edward room felt intensely charged, tangible and very real rather than subjective, and none of us will never forget it.

6. The Still Room And Oubliette Dungeon

The Still Room is a reception area near the entrance to the Castle, and like all the castle is full of interesting historical artifacts.   Most noticeably it is the access point to the Chillingham "Dungeon" area, which leads to a very small room where there is a barred small access point or hole in the stone flooring through which one can view a very deep pit below which was used as a dungeon cell.  Through such a hole prisoners would literally be dumped, often injuring themselves in the process, and they would then be forgotten, hence "Oubliette" from the French word to forget.   The lowest of prisoners in a medieval castle were placed in such prisons, often left to die in the cold and dark,or only fed the barest of food or water essentials.  There are bones visible at the bottom of this pit which we assumed to have been placed by Chillingham staff, possibly 30 feet below and overall it is a very dark and foreboding area of the castle.  We were very tired by the end of the night, but decided to do a short vigil in this area before securing, so arrived around 3am.

Several interesting historical items are displayed in this room including a "haunted" portrait of a woman supposedly a witch, and there is a legend that she has cursed anyone who steals any items from Chillingham Castle.  On display in the Still Room are several letters of confession from erstwhile thieves who had stolen items from the Castle, only to have severe and incessant bad luck, until they were forced to return the item to regain peace and quiet.   Visitors are encouraged to take note that the ghosts of Chillingham and its witch are on security duty and serve as sentinels to anyone with bad intent toward the castle!

There are also several large "pots" or cauldrons which are on display. We had no idea what these were for, but they gave the creeps to one of our team, who was reminiscent of the stories of the sadistic John Sage gleefully boiling people and prisoners alive in the castle.




"I was in the dungeon room with Tom, and I was operating the night vision camcorder. I decided to see if I could take some video footage of the area over the oubliette, where the hole is going down into the pit below. There are thick iron bars over the pit, which then falls at least 20 or 30 feet below to the ground.   I positioned the camcorder over the hole, and placed the lens between the bars, filming the area of the bars and between them, trying to get some view of the pit below, but it was so dark a deep I could not see the bottom in the dark. The camcorder has night vision but it doesn't reach that deep.   I was filming this area, when suddenly a thick white mass, "mist" or light, some sort of apparition just moved across the oubliette right in front of the camcorder. I swore aloud, and couldn't believe it. It drifted or moved slowly from left to right. "

The vigil was started at 4:30am on Saturday 12th Jan 2008, video footage was taken during the event.  As soon as the men walked in they mentioned how much colder it was, freezing.  Tom noted the steel grate over the hole to the oubliette.  Jon said though it was dark, and bones have been placed around for atmosphere, he felt much better in this room than the Edward Room, which he said was really horrible.  Tom agreed that the dungeon wasn't unpleasant to be in, and he then began calling out, asking for a light, or noise and "show us you are here in any way you see fit".   Jon then tells Tom the story supposedly that a girl was thrown down the pit and left to die over 3 days.

At 4:36am Tom then looks into the pit and shines his torch down there, and is then able to see the bones at the bottom. He calls out again about the little girl and both men comment how it has become colder.  As soon as he says this Jon exclaims that he just saw a moving light, an "orb" fly across the room. Tom asks for another light, noise or sign someone is there.   This is followed by a sound both of them heard but is not audible on the recorder.  Tom asks for another light and Jon then kneels down to the oubliette to film through the grid.   He then exclaims that he has seen something, and following is his report:





After filming this Jon told Tom what he had seen, and then they both heard a noise just behind them in the dark.  They then end the vigil and make their way out of the dungeon, and as they do so Jon notices a stick on the floor that he insists was not there when they came in, and which Tom also does not recall when they inspected the small room on entry.

On viewing the footage this is fascinating and appears to show a mass of grey, or a mist shape that slowly moves across the screen several inches below the opening of the oubliette.  As the pit is so deep this is definitely not a rat, person or animal.  The shape and size rules out a moth or insect.  We have all viewed this footage many times since then and cannot explain this, and some of the team are convinced this can only be an apparition and possibly one of Chillingham Castle's ghosts.   We have uploaded this footage to an online server but unfortunately this doesn't copy or reproduce well, but as soon as we can manage to handle this technically we will have it visible for viewers to this site and will paste a link in this location.

We started the vigil just doing the usual meter readings to check for electro magnetic fields, natural explainable by wires or electrical devices that can influence equipment and possibly also influence perceptions in humans, and also to see if there were any such EMF fields that aren't explainable by normal means.  We then did some calling out asking for any signs of a spirit presence in the room, for knocks or to show us any lights to show they were there.  Either by coincidence or in response to these appeals we got more "orb" light phenomena on our cameras here than in any other part of the castle, which seemed to occur after we had asked for a light.

After this the girls sat and did a vigil in the Still Room while the two men Jon and Tom went into the Dungeon area to do a vigil in there, taking a night vision camcorder.  The girls were too tired to do a proper vigil and didn't get very much of a result due to this, however they were surprised to hear the men shout that they had caught something on camera.

Here is a report of the vigil in the dungeon area done by the men:

7. St Peter's Church, Chillingham

While we were at Chillingham Castle, we also decided to pay a visit to St Peter's Church between our vigils.  This is a medieval church which stands just beyond the gatehouse of the castle, and is an extremely atmospheric building which attracted our interest.  It was evening and on checking the door we found it locked, but were fortunate to bump into the friendly keeper at the Gatehouse who had a key and who kindly offered to let us in.

As we walked to the Church the atmosphere surrounding it and in the castle grounds was very spooky indeed.  Wraith like mist descended the area and added to the ambience of the whole scene of the castle and its surrounds.

We did not do a proper vigil in the church or this area, but one incident was of interest during our visit:

When we approached the door within the church vestibule, Jane and Tom were at the back, Jane in front of Tom.  As they were about to open the door, Jane exclaimed surprise and alarm that  someone had spoken directly into her ear, inches away from her head as though their face was next to hers.  She reports distinctly hearing a soft voice say "Oh My God" in a slow patter.   She immediately expressed alarm, at first believing this to have been Tom, but then realising he was nowhere near and that this was not his voice.  The others were in front by some meters.   Jane has not had paranormal experiences or clair audience in the past, yet now on three separate occasions at Chillingham she heard voices and experienced the feeling of having her arm grabbed in the Great Hall.   The voice she heard in the Chapel was caught on voice recorder whereas no one else heard it, however unfortunately we did not record this voice.   

Jane expresses interest and surprise at this incident to this day, stating she definitely heard the voice above outside this Church as we entered, and due to the character of Jane we tend to believe she did hear something, though we do not know what.

Some photos of the Church and area outside are here for your interest.

Our stay at Chillingham Castle is definitely the longest investigation and set of vigils we have done in one single period of time. Each room produced fascinating phenomena in the way of sounds, lights, orbs, smells and mental impressions all of which very often coincided with questioning in these areas, asking for "a light" or "a sound" which consequently apparently were produced and which were oft times experienced or viewed simultaneously by more than one person, and some of which we managed to record.  Some of these will undoubtedly be regarded by the skeptics among us as psychological reactions albeit of a group following the nature of humans gathered together in an impressionable situation, and influenced by pre-suggestion or images and triggers from the environment, or mere coincidence and otherwise explainable natural phenomena.   

As a group we have agreed that due to our experiences on a first hand basis, and that we were generally reputed to be level headed, not prone to hallucinatory experiences and nor do we react in the screaming excitable mode that some renound paranormal groups have, we cannot discount these occurrences as mere coincidence as mathematically they defy all probability.

On each occurrence we made an effort to find the natural explanation, look for the draft under a door or from a window, assume wood could expand and be cracking as it warmed, however we concluded that there were incidents, sights and sounds and impressions that we cannot explain by such means, and therefore we can only suggest that they may well have been caused by paranormal causes.   At the very least, those skeptics among us cannot rule this out.

As far as these investigations go, and until new evidence on the paranormal contradicts, the believers among us definitely conclude that Chillingham Castle is indeed haunted and the unbending skeptics have been unable to prove otherwise, even admitting that there are many aspects of phenomena we encountered that they have been unable to explain or clearly attribute to natural causes.  Whatever our differences we all agree this is one of the most fascinating, beautiful and atmospheric venues we have visited to date.


Several days later we did a vigil in our apartment at The Dairy in the upstairs lounge.  We used night vision camcorders, cameras with flash, EMF meters, set up trigger objects and tests with sprinkled flour to detect any physical disturbances while we were absent from various areas. 

During the vigil we were all together up in the lounge and everyone was accounted for.  Before starting, the men set up locked off camcorders downstairs in the bathroom area, and placed the flour 

We started off the vigil by calling out asking if any spirit presences were there, & if so could they please give us a noise or knock to show us.   We were interested to then begin hearing knocks coming from the stairwell area, and as we persisted with further questions we found these knocks were coming in answer to the questions asked, again from the stairwell and the floor below it. One of the men got up to investigate the sounds and ensure no one had come into the apartment from below, but no persons were found and no reason for the sounds.   The knocks were so instantaneous and distinct in answer to questions that we could not conclude that these were just the expansion of wood or from heat, and such sounds were not heard at other times when we were in the area & when questions were not asked.

As soon as the knocks began, one of our female members reported:

The questions we asked subsequently followed this subject line, asking about a young boy in Victorian times, and it was to these questions that the knocks seemed to be responding, on the staircase area.   There were also many bangs and noises coming from the back of the room and lobby below and area of the bathroom where we had set up a locked off camcorder around other trigger objects also sprinkled with flour.   These knocks again seemingly occurred in answer to more questions regarding a Victorian history of the area and demise of a small boy.   Three of those sitting in the vigil got the impression that this boy was standing on the stairwell peering at us, and two reported a dark shadow or the shape of a figure apparently in this location. 

Chillingham Castle - January 2008

1. The Dairy

This is a 6 bed apartment that we had as our sleeping quarters and acted as the base for our vigils, with its own lounge and kitchen, and bathroom.  We had no idea of the history of this particular area of the castle, although we obviously assumed it to have been the location of the castle dairy at some point.

At the beginning of our stay there, one of our female members had a bizarre and interesting experience within an hour of arriving, which is included here for the record:

Following this vigil we sought the curator, Sanna, to find out more about the history of The Dairy, and were fascinated to discover that this was a section of the castle had been added in the 1800s, after which it had been used as the Dairy, hence its name, and that this area had been a busy working dairy and store area at that time.   We could find no evidence of this online or elsewhere and can only assume we had perceived a bit of the history of the place, or encountered an unlikely coincidence in guessing its period of history, as ostensibly from all appearances it is merely another section of a medieval building.

Another phenomenon of interest in the Minstrel's Gallery was noted when one of the other paranormal group members reported that she felt something on the back of her neck, a coldness and presence, yet nothing was visible to the eye nor noticeable by touch.  One of our team then took a photo at exactly the same time and lo and behold there is an "orb" on the back of her neck in the picture.

In these instances, we believe the jury is still out on these kind of "orb" phenomena and more investigation is required before they are dismissed as purely caused by random dust or moisture alone.  However, we do not deny that a large quantity of such phenomena is simply down to such causation and hence we will often dismiss "orbs" if not accompanied with additional factors.   Anyone can take a photo in the rain and get an abundance of fairly similar blobs of light in a picture.