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Michelham Priory

Investigation Report

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Michelham Priory in Sussex is a beautiful historic building set in grounds located on an island surrounded by a moat and defended by a fortified medieval gatehouse. The building was once an Augustine Priory, dating from the 1200s, but after the Reformation was used as a farm and later converted into a fine country house.  Visitors agree in the daytime it is tranquil and serene, secreted deep in the English countryside, surrounded by beautiful gardens with their statues and garden art.  

In current times, however Michelham is most famous for its ghosts & nighttime paranormal activity, and is well known as the very first venue visited by the Most Haunted team of Living TV, and so began a new era of many modern ghost hunts by both hobbyists and serious investigators alike.

On 14th May 2010 two of the Everything Ghost team joined a ghost investigation arranged by our friend Sue Smith and the Caspian Group, who are based in the Sussex area and conduct competent investigations in many haunted locations across the South East.   This vigil with the Caspian Group took a slightly different angle as Sue is a well known Spiritualist medium, and this time there were no skeptics among us at this venue but mainly "believers" who also displayed some healthy skepticism, which still made it balanced and a fascinating and enjoyable event.  We had the use of many EMF meters, laser thermometers and sound recorders, and members investigated every sound and light anomaly, assume natural explanations until inspected just as avidly as the skeptics normally do!   Following is our report of the night's events:

 

The first vigil began in the Gatehouse at 8:55pm.  This is fortified and guards the bridge and entrance to the Priory grounds, appearing much like the typical gatehouse of a medieval castle.  The vigil was located in one of the towers on the 2nd floor, in a large room containing a staircase to a 3rd floor which was accessible to us but empty.   There were around 20 people present, all sitting in a large circle.  Several people sat in front of a large fireplace in the center of the room & opposite the door and stairs leading up.  Five K2 EMF meters were placed in the room in various locations, on the center table, near walls and on the stairs.

Following is a chronological account of events during this vigil, exactly as recorded on audio equipment and from photos as available:-

08:55:00pm Around 25 people in a circle, all silent & attentive to the center of the room.  Sue begins calling out, asks for any spirit presences to indicate they are there with a light or knock, or to light up the boxes.   Sue asks if anyone is sensing anything please say so. Ali reports the room feels "buzzing" or charged, a tingly feeling.

09:00:43:  Sue sees something move down from the top of the stairs, two women and a man together say they hear a knock at the top of these stairs.

09:01:31  Emma gets the impression of someone writing on paper in here at one time or making an agreement.  Ali says it feels a very comfortable space.  Another female mentions a coldness coming down the chimney behind them.   Temperature readings are then taken: 13.5 C floor, 14.0 ceiling, 11.5 wall near window, 13.6 on other walls.   Sue then asks if anyone else feeling anything and two people a man & woman both report feeling their hair was touched.

09:02:pm   Man sitting by the fire (Chris?) reports he saw something move on the stairs facing him, and instantly two women near him say they also saw the same. 

1. The Gatehouse

09:02:32  Sue and Ann both see a flash in the corner of the room opposite the stairs and door, and several others present murmur agreement they also saw this.   At the same time four people sitting with their back to this corner report it has suddenly got colder and one man sitting there says he felt a breeze on the back of his neck. Temp reading is taken and temperature is seen to be dropping fast, recorded from original 13.5 but now 12.2 to 11.9 then 11.0 in succession over several seconds.  More people in this area report how it is much colder.

09:04:30  There is a big crack or bang heard by all in the room from behind the people sitting in front of the fireplace.  This causes shock and alarm to those sitting there, much commotion as this is discussed by all who heard it.  The man Chris who is sitting there says he heard it but also felt it.

09:07:00  Ali calls out again asking any spirit presences to produce more knocks, a light or cause a sign they are there.   Sue then sees something near the corner where the earlier flash came from.  She suspects a mobile phone flashing or something, so asks everyone sitting there to report anything flashing naturally, Sue says she keeps seeing it.  No one has any device flashing, but they report it's gone colder again in this corner.   Temp reading is taken & is now 10.9 C. Sue again sees flashing, and one bright light go across the area.    A photo taken then shows an "orb" behind Jane who is in that area, and other members report similar "orbs" in the corner on their photos (not available).

09:09:00  Emma says she heard something upstairs again, and two others voice they also heard this.  Emma says "it's like someone dragging something"  

09:09:20 A man near Emma then calls out " If anyone is upstairs, can you please come down and join us".  There is then a lot of alarm and reaction by those sitting near him, in front of the fireplace, several present shriek "did you hear that?!!" and some jump out of their chairs, lots more people in the room say they heard something, that it was behind & in the fireplace.  Diane sitting in front of the fire is very alarmed, saying it was a woman saying "hhhheeeeerrrrr" in her ear and Chris (next to Diane) also says it was a woman moaning .

Many more people in the room are in a state of excitement or fear & discuss that they also heard the sound.  Chris says "I aint sitting there any more!".   Jane sitting opposite them says she also heard it but thought it was to her right & that one of the girls said "haw haw haw" but when she turned to look no one was there, just a young couple looking frightened a meter away.

The audio recorder has picked up this sound, which does indeed sound like a woman sighing or moaning.   A clip of this sound is available to download here, recommend listening with earphones:   SOUND  

We have since been informed that one member of the Caspian Group was videoing this vigil, and as the sound occurred a light is seen to move out of the fireplace into the room, from the place the sound was heard.  If we get a copy of this footage we will try to have it available to watch here.

09:10:39pm  Sue asks for it to make the noise again.  A woman hears a knock upstairs, says "Did you hear that?!!" and several say they did.  This knock also is recorded on our audio equipment.   One of the men goes upstairs to check no one is there or in a fireplace above ours, and there is not.  Another knock occurs that Sue and Ann hear.  Sue thanks them for the noises and asks for more, or a light.   Instantly she says this Sue and a man near her who are facing the corner see another flash in this area.  Ali who is has her back near this corner reports a cold "patch" coming from there hitting her.   Sue suspects an electrical device or mobile phone is flashing there, so asks everyone to check who is sitting there, which they do but no devices are evident.  Several more people discuss how earlier they also heard the moan, & Emma, Chris & Diane said it was definitely coming from the fireplace behind them & was in their ear.   Emma then asks aloud if anything was hidden in the fireplace.

09:12:38:  A woman near the stairs says she heard someone walking upstairs again, nothing audible on the recording but there is a lot of background noise. A lady also mentions she and Lacy have been shaking all through this.  Several other people say they have been freezing.  Several people take photos of the room and report they have "orbs" in the corner where the cold patch is and flashes have been seen (photos are unavailable).  

09:14:44: Sue then calls out again asking for more knocks, lights, or other signs they are there. Two people report hearing footsteps upstairs again, not audible on the recording. Emma says something pulled her hair, and asks for it to light up the EMF box on the table.  A man then reports hearing the knock upstairs again, so he asks for it to give one knock for yes, one knock for no.   Instantly lots of people report hearing a noise upstairs "like water dripping" which is again not audible on the recording.

09:22:15:  Sue asks if it can communicate to us with these noises, or give us another flash.  Ali says she sees a flash in the corner where Sue saw it before, a tiny green flash, and a man reports seeing this flash above Kerry's head on the ceiling.   Sue then asks for another flash or sign and there is a loud click upstairs.  Sue then asks for it to do it again or another noise, and there is a double "click click" heard by both Ali and a man.

09:25:01:  Ali says she feels they are coming closer, the atmosphere is thicker, heavier.   A man asks it to come and join us, says we can hear you, and 3 people report hearing a knock again upstairs.  Ali says it's getting colder again.   She then says she is getting a strong impression of several rough men, must be in medieval times, drinking in here and playing games, doesn't feel very good for women to be in here, feels hostile if a woman were on her own .  The men seem bored, military types or guards that she thinks were using the room for a short time, temporarily.  Sue says she just saw something move right in front of her as Ali said this, another woman said she heard something, and a second woman heard something like laughter behind her.

Ali says these men are not friendly to women & were out of control, she thinks it's a residual pattern on the room and atmosphere. Emma says earlier she just got writing in here, Sue says it's a different time period.  Several people say it's got much colder & Sue says her head feels like it's buzzing.  Ali says these men were drunk, got the idea they had a girl up here who was terrified.  Sue says she thought that as well.   Ali says she thinks the girl was raped, & Sue agrees, she got that too and thinks her name was Elizabeth.  A man calls out asking for a knock or sound, & Sue then asks him if he moved his hand in front of him, as says she saw something white go past the front of him, but he says he didn't move.  Emma says "I think this is residual"

09:30:18: Sue sees a flash again, and another woman says she also saw it and that it moved down.  Diane then says "will you stop picking on me and stop putting your hand on my side & pulling my hair" but the other person says they haven't done this.

09:31:36:  Several people say it feels even colder. Someone says they feel uncomfortable, nauseous, and another woman says she feels scared, "got the feeling I'm being watched" to which a 3rd woman says she feels exactly the same.   Emma mentions she has attention that someone or something was hidden up in the fireplace, possibly a little boy.   Around 30 seconds later two of the K2 EMF meters in front of her light up.  No one is holding them and they are not near any wires or electrical devices.  

09:33:34: Chris mentions the moan he heard earlier was a woman or girl, not a man or boy.  3 EMF meters again light up that are placed around the middle of the room, no normal explanation for why.  Sue says she thinks the little boy and the woman are from two different incidents in time.

09:44:36 We then left this area to investigate other parts of the Priory in the main building.

2. Stairs, Corridor & Exhibition Area

10:10pm: We are all seated in the area near the window, which faces the entrance to the Prior's Room. Ann sits in the window seat and is holding a Gauss meter, which has a needle and dial, and which reacts to EMF fields or fluctuations by moving the needle and different pitches of sound, louder in the case of high EMF.  She doesn't start using this for a while and at the beginning Sue is calling out asking for any spirit presences to let us know they are there by communicating with a sound, knock, light or touch

10:18pm: Sue feels pressure on her head like it's being pushed & feels emotional, says the other place felt hostile, this one feels griefy. There is a loud click which everyone heard, not sure where it came from.  Sue or Ann says they are picking up on a woman with a broken heart over a child, few seconds later another knock by the door. Sue then asks if a presence is here please can it try to influence the EMF boxes, light them up or influence them. At this point the Gauss meter starts to read, low sounding & needle movement, yet is still in the window area & is not near any wires or electrical devices.

10:22:17: Sue asks "if it's you making this meter read, can you make it do it more. The meter needle surges instantly , goes for while then stops suddenly. Sue asks for "them" to move the needle again, - needle moves half way up the dial. K2 meters are not reacting elsewhere in the room.

10:26:07: No more response, so Ali calls out again, asks for a sound, smell, knock, light, or to influence whichever person it feels it can.  As soon as she says this the meter with Ann starts to react, and also the K2 meter 3 feet away lights up.    Another girl says someone is touching their hair (thinks someone else is doing it, but no one is behind). Ali then says she saw a white blob or shadow move off Ann's hand down to her feet. Ali says "can you effect that meter again?" and the Gauss meter reacts instantly, K2 meter does not.  Ann is then asked to ensure the meter is held very still, she then has it flat on her lap and it is observably still.  Ann asks "can you move the needle if only for a second?" and the meter instantly reacts again.  Sue then asks for any other sign &the light on the K2 meter changes and dims, & at the same time two people see a shadow move "like a hand or arm shape" on a wall, & meter reacts as they say this.  Sue reiterates to keep the meter very still, Ann has it flat.   Everyone is quiet and reticent to say what they feel, so Sue encourages them to talk.

 

10:30pm:  Ali again asks "if that's you moving the meter, can you change it when I ask a question so I can see it's definitely you moving it?"  and the meter reacts again as soon as she's asked this.  There are several more tests like this and the meter continues to react.

10:31:14:  Ali asks if it is a woman & the meter speeds up.  Ali asks several more questions according to mental impressions she is getting: asks if it is one of several sisters who lived here? Ann or Mandy ask if the name is Elizabeth, and also a Katherine. Sue says she also got the name Elizabeth, and on all of these questions the meter reacts instantly, which is exciting to those present. Ann mentions how she doesn't usually say things that happen to her at vigils.

10:32pm:  Ali says she gets the impression this is from a family that lived here with several daughters, not from when it was a Priory.  Ann asks if there was a child that fell & the meter again speeds up. Ali says she's getting the impression of late 1700s, or early 1800s.  Sue also says "it's 17 something" and then Ali describes a lady in a dress with hair tied up and collar like in the late 18th Century.  Sue says she had the same image.

10:34:03:  Ann says "I think of a young boy, falling" and the meter reacts, a big surge and loud buzz.  Asking more about the young boy the meter is surging bizarrely high, really loud, and then there is a knock & at the same time the other K2 meter lights up on the table 5 feet away.   Ali asks if the person died young as a child & the meter surges again, then asks about the Elizabeth connection to the child.  Ali has the impression it's a happy family, Sue agrees but says a tragedy happened and the meter reacts.  A lady next to Ann says her hair was touched, a photo is taken & "orbs" are on hair of both people next to Ann.

10:36:pm  Ali says "I got the impression someone drowned in the moat"  Ann then says "Oh!! I thought that earlier but didn't say!"  Sue asks if the child drowned in the moat, & after this the audio equipment records knocks like someone is pacing around, clomp-clop-clomp, but at the time everyone was sitting or standing very still.  Jane was sitting in the corridor next to those standing up & no one passed or walked about.

10:37:54:  Another woman says she saw a big flash above the cabinet. Ann says "I think they thought it was an accident but it wasn't, - a little boy drowned in the moat"   Several people mention they got the idea of someone drowning in the moat, Ali got it was male, but not necessarily a child.  Sue says again if anyone is getting anything please speak up. A woman says she feels sick at the moment.  Mandy says it was a young boy, & says she feels really, really cold.  Ali says at the beginning she got someone drowning, but then a child dying of illness.  

10:40:pm  Sue mentions picking up on a "Father John". When she says this there is a big clank sound, and also the meter reacts.  Mandy feels really shaky again.  Ali feels the atmosphere is relaxing and not threatening or spooky. We decide to end and go to the Prior's Room.

 

We moved into the Prior's Room opposite our last vigil. This is a large rectangular room with a fireplace, which is mocked up like part of the medieval priory, even having a dummy of a robed priest sitting writing at his desk.  Due to this psychological suggestions cannot be ruled out, however just after we did this vigil in the Prior's Room we did a 5 minute vigil in a room that was furnished and equipped as a nursery with cots and childrens' garments.  Despite this none of us got the impression it was actually a child's room and that it "felt" like a gentleman's room, of the 1800s or earlier, tobacco and tweeds!  This is noted in contradiction to the theory that the group would be inevitably be open to suggestion from obvious historical items or decor.  

Before entering this room Ali said she did know this had been an area where apparitions had reportedly been seen, and where a famous photograph was taken by a group doing a vigil, whereby a figure is visible in a chair by the fireplace.

3. The Prior's Room

10:47:pm  We move into the Prior's room, place EMF meters all around the room & Sue calls out asking any spirits here to influence the boxes, let us know you are here, - there is a big surge in the Guass meter as in earlier vigil. Ali says she felt a brushing feeling on top of her head.  Ann says the meter needle drops again but no sound.  Ali asks "is there a priest in this room?" & the Gauss meter buzzes away loudly.  Ali asks if this was a big man with a beard (like in the photo taken by the earlier group) and there is a strange singing moan noise recorded on the audio equipment.

10:52pm:  Sue and Ann both heard something on the ceiling & Ali saw a flash there at the same time.  Ali says she knows it has the dummy etc, but it really feels like a priest's room too.  Ann then says she heard 3 knocks in a row on a cabinet, & Sue & the others at that end of the room by the door also say they heard it. The audio equipment doesn't pick this up, but is at the opposite side.

10:54:pm:  Someone says they pick up on a "Father John" which Sue mentioned earlier.  Sue asks "were you the head monk?" and there is a loud knock by the window which is detected on the audio recorder.

10:56:pm:  Ali and Sue both smell something like smoke, an "incensy smell" or aromatic wood, & someone says they see a flash on the floor. Three more people then say they smell the smoky aroma, like sweet wood burning, one says tobacco. (Gauss meter needle drops here).  Ali says she's picking up on something hostile (Guass meter needle drops again).  Ali says "it's like it's sick to death of people like us coming here asking questions, annoyed or offended. Sue asks aloud "are you really annoyed at us asking questions?" & there is a high read on the Gauss meter, buzzing loudly.

10:58:pm  Ali says she gets the idea this hostility is coming from the corner behind where the dummy is & by the fireplace.  A man in the room says he feels very cold suddenly.  Ali says she's picked up on a very powerful man, religious, who seems to object to what we are doing.  Sue says her head is buzzing like mad, and asks again if it's offended by us, Ann says meter has surged, then drops totally. Ali says it's gone very cold suddenly by her legs, Jane says the same at this end of the room by the dummy.  Photos of the areas are taken and again there are "orbs", whether by spirits, dust or coincidence.

Ali continues to say how this man thinks the Priory should be respected as sacred, and it violates his beliefs that groups do this, like some people don't come here for spiritual interest but for "a fairground attraction".   Sue says everything Ali says is causing a reaction on the meter held by Ann, it's going mad.  Sue says she feels anger too, gets the idea he isn't going to communicate properly.  She asks again if he wants us to go, and suddenly the meter stops reacting and goes dead.    We then left the area.

We could find no electrical devices or wires, or sockets near where the Gauss meter was during this vigil or the last one to explain normal EMF fields.

Strangely, in discussion at the end of the night the other group who did a vigil here the same night believed they contacted the same or a similar character, though they consider they managed to communicate with him by discussing God.

4. Upstairs Living Room

 

We next moved to a large room at the end of the house, on the second floor.  This room is furnished like a living room, with models of cakes and refreshments as if placed there for tea. This was a comfortable and warm room which didn't seem "spooky" at all to the Everything Ghost members present.  We sat around the floor and placed the K2 (light display) EMF meters in various places around the room, taking care to keep them away from any electrical outlets or devices.   To note, although it is often noted in these accounts that the meters had been reacting just after a question is asked or a statement is made, they were not reacting randomly in general at other times during the vigils and generally they were quiet or not registering, and therefore it is all the more interesting that the meters were definitely reacting coincident with these times.  This proved to be the case during all the vigils done in this investigation.

11:06:pm:  Everyone is positioned and sitting on the floor or standing still.  Those present are all asked to give their first impressions of the room s they enter.  Sue & Ann both say they feel sick, Ali says it feels more active, a man says it feels relaxing. Sue then calls out asking if there are spirit presences there then please make themselves known, asking for a sound.  Immediately this is said Jane, Sue and another lady simultaneously say they heard something, a knock.  Ali gets the idea this is a family room, a family with lots of children who were mainly girls.  Ali says it feels buzzing in here, and Ann says she sees a white light just in front of her.  Again the Gauss meter seems to be reacting exactly when questions are asked or statements made eg: Ali mentioning the family of girls.  Ali mentions the time of the family to again be late 1700s, probably the same family we got before in the corridor but when the girls were younger. The meter gives a big surge, & Sue reports feeling drained suddenly.  She then says she picks up the same thing, females and children, and Ann says she thinks needlework was done here (meter surge again). Ali says it was happy at this time.

11:13pm Sue mentions this being used as a hospital, or if the children were sick in this room, Ann thinks so too but it was a temporary thing, like if there was an epidemic or illness.  Ali also got the idea of an epidemic.  Sue asks for a sign they are here, and suddenly there is a big drop in temperature, goes cold. The Laser thermometer reports the temp going from 19.6 C to 18.7 on the ground within a few seconds, and from 18.6 to 16.5 in the hallway. Ali asks "were you happy as a family here?" and the K2 EMF meter lights up, this meter is not held by anyone and is sitting in the middle of the floor. Ali asks again if this was a family of young girls in this room, and two different K2 meters again light up instantly.  Sue says "they were happy at first, but there was a tragedy" and the K2 meters flash for a 3rd time.  These meters then flash again when asked questions about the girls and what they wore.

5. The Kitchen

After the break, we went to the kitchen area and did a short vigil there.  This is a large room, with a big open fireplace and lots of vintage cooking artifacts and cauldrons.  We again placed EMF meters around the room in several locations; K2 meters on the large central table and a smaller table near the door and we also had the Gauss meter.  Group members stood around the area some by the fireplace and others on the opposite side by the door.  The Everything Ghost members there did not feel this area was "spooky" nor had an atmosphere at the time, but were very interested in the knocks and other phenomena that ensued.

12:07pm:   Many of us are taking pictures in the kitchen, when two cameras stop working at the same time, apparently flat on batteries but it seems a coincidence both drained at once.  Sue called out asking for any spirit presences in the area to make themselves known, and two EMF meters also stopped working straight away.  Ann says the Gauss meter has gone flat, and a K2 Alison has is also not working properly & seems to have drained.  Luckily we still have 3 other K2 meters that are working!  Sue then calls out again asking for a sign they are here, and the 3 K2 EMF meters all go off at the same time for a second.  Sue then asks for a knock or movement, Ali says she has attention on the doorway & asks for a knock, & there is a loud knock behind Ann who is by the fire & one EMF meter lights up at the same time.

12:13pm: From this point over the next several minutes there are many questions asked by Sue and Ali, and each time there is a definite knock in response, almost like a conversation is taking place. Some of these are thuds audible on the audio recording, some are noted by several members during the vigil, especially near the fireplace.  Exact times and details are on the audio recording but this is summarised for ease of reading this report.   Most of these questions are Ali making sure these are not just a coincidence, yet there are more than 10 knocks heard in response to questions such as "if it's you please tap". Ali then asks please tap 2x for no, 1x for yes.  She asks if this person is a priest and gets 2 taps, if it's a male and gets 2 taps, asks if here a long time gets 1x tap.  This question is repeated and there is another single tap.

At 12::27AM we decided to move elsewhere, there is discussion about whatever is here we feel it's a bit subdued here and "we're not really getting much".  This is surprising now we are looking back at the footage and listening to the audio recordings, as the knocks from different parts of the room are often obvious on the recordings, were definitely reported by several members of the group who were present and the EMF meter responses seem quite remarkable to us now.  This was factually the case for all of these vigils at Michelham.    We note how it is generally odd in investigating that during a vigil in a room or area sometimes we are really impinged upon by the atmosphere of a particular space and we never forget it, yet may get relatively few such "responses", whereas other vigils like this one in the kitchen or the one in the Chapel at Chillingham Castle, or Room 5 at The Crown, at the time we described as mediocre or "flat", yet this is far from the case when we fully review the actual recordings, and our memories just didn't seem to fully register what had actually occurred.  We find this a fascinating phenomena in itself, as it is often universally shared among all or many of the group members.  In these it appears there is some kind of difference between an area that seems to be pervaded by a "presence" we can all feel and apparently detect spiritually, or emotionally perceive by no ordinary means and even better if backed up by phenomena, and the kind of vigil in the kitchen where this pervasion is less obvious or absent but lots of physical phenomena seems to be evident and recorded.

After the Kitchen we moved to a new area, which is well remembered by the Everything Ghost team and members of the Caspian Group with fondness, and is definitely one of the vigils I described above as one of those "special" ones that personally impinged on us, and that we will never forget.

6. The Dining Room
The Dining Room is the main reception room of the Priory encountered after you enter through the Undercroft, and is a very atmospheric medieval room hung with tapestries and furnished with artifacts of the time.  It has an attractive fireplace and is set with a long "banqueting" table reminiscent of Elizabethan times, so there are many "trigger" artifacts here that could lead to suggestion and inspire the imagination.  We had already been told that it was haunted by an apparition that apparently descends a long-gone staircase passing through the from the floor above, and knew that several years earlier Derek Acorah had detected an evil and cruelly perverted past owner from the Tudor period; his description of the then powerful Thomas Sackville. However neither of these "suggestions" bore fruition in our own vigil here, as we encountered an entirely different character.   Following is our report, again written as a script from the audio recordings & notes:

12:31am: We are seated or standing in the Dining Room in the areas not roped off, Jane and Ali are sitting in front of the fireplace, everyone else is adjacent to them in the walkway in front of the dining table.  Several are next to Ali in this area.  Several K2 EMF meters are positioned, but only one is near the fireplace held by Ali,, however it is not operated by the button but by held down switch, so cannot be manipulated by hand, and unlike the Gauss meter doesn't fluctuate with movement.  It is entirely "dead" at the start and no EMF fields are indicating.

Ali mentions how she came here several years ago and got a very strong impression of a man standing next to the fire, in the corner of the room, who looked like a Cavalier.  Many people point out it's very cold here, Mandy says she is shivering, Sue says she suddenly feels a sensation in her solar plexus again.  Ali says she just feels the history of it all, the atmosphere feels strong, like this is the "hub of the house".  She says she still feels the same chap is here she picked up on years ago, she gets the feeling of the Civil War, that in this room a discussion or meeting happened here at that time.

12:34am:  Ali starts calling out, asks for a light, appeals to any spirit presence to make a light or influence the green light on the EMF meter, or change the temperature, make it drop.  Temp is taken at 13.4 C on the floor, 15.4 ceiling.  Sue says it feels colder straight away, around her legs. Laser thermometer reads the temperature as dropping quickly, goes down to 13.1 within seconds by Sue's legs.

12:35am:  The K2 meter has been un reading since the start.  Ali again calls out asking it "to make the green light on the box light up", and the K2 meter on the floor flashes, as well as the one in Ali's hand. A man says he feels a coldness hit his shoulder.

12:36am:  Ali says she is mentally picking up on this Cavalier again, she starts asking questions, according to what she is getting:

Q: "If this is a gentleman, please cause a knock, bang or make a change we can detect" - KNOCK.                                                    This occurs in the corner of the fireplace, about 8 feet away from Ali, but where she says she "saw" the man standing. (This is loud, audible on MP3 recording). A photo is taken & the photographer reports an "orb" in that exact place.

Q: "Can you make the meter light up again, or cause another knock?" - TAP (from the same place)                                                    Q: repeats (to make sure) "Are you a gentleman?" - K2 lights up on the floor (I will now describe with the work "flash")                 Q: "Are you a powerful gentleman who used to own this place?" - FLASH                                                                                                     Q: "Are you the same gentleman from the Civil War time?" - Ann says it's got much colder suddenly where she is, near to Ali        Q: "Was this your domain at some point, this room?" - FLASH

Ali says "I feel it in the room, by the fireplace. Jane says she feels very happy here.  Ali says "I get the idea he is very powerful, and dominant, a boss" - FLASH

Ann says "This is making me feel quite lowly, I feel he is so far above me, like l I need to keep quiet" - K2 flashes when she says this.   Ali says he's standing here in red pantaloons strutting around in front of the fireplace, saying "I'm in charge here!"  

Q: "So you were the boss eh?" - FLASH  Q: "Did you own the house or commandeer if for the war, own it?" - FLASH                       Q: "Did you own it?" - FLASH

12:45am Sue asks "Were you married to someone with a family in this house?" - No read, so we take it as no. Ali then says she gets the idea he was married but had "relationships".   Q: "You were a bit of a womaniser weren't you?" - FLASH    Sue says she thinks he was a bit of a rogue.  Q: "Were you a bit of a rogue?" - FLASH     Q: "But I bet he was a good chap, doing his duty. Were you doing your duty?" - FLASH (big flash, with at least 3 lights)

12:46:am: There are more photos being taken, and Ali asks if they got any more orbs around her and Jane, who seem to be the focus point, and others in the room answer yes, really, really clearly.   Sue then asks Q: " Are you near Ali & Jane?" - FLASH           A second later Sue, Ann and 2 others say they see a light go right across the ceiling above them. Ann says "it shot right across the ceiling" and several others say "we all saw it at once".   Sue asks Q: " Did you do that John, did you make the light?" - FLASH Mandy says she feels really cold, on her back, Ali says she feels the same.   Ali then asks Q:" Are you stuck here so can't make it out of this place?" - no read, we take as negative.  Ann then says Q:" Is it because it is yours?" - FLASH   Ann then says she sees flashes around Jane & Ali again, by the fire, & Sue voices that she can see them too, Sue says "it's quite misty there too, around you".

12:47am: Ali says "it's interesting because I'm getting the same impressions as I had 5 years ago when she came before, same character" - FLASH.  Sue asks Q: "Do you remember when Ali came here before?" - FLASH.  Ali then says she saw a bright light flash over from her to Sue.   Ali asks Q: "Were you a bit of a bully too, but in the best way?" - no read, we take as negative.                Sue says "I think he just liked to keep his men in order" - FLASH.   Q: "Do you still consider this house is yours?" - FLASH         Ann asks Q: "Did you have children?" - FLASH   Ali says "I think he had lots of children, and all over" - FLASH.  Sue laughs and says "married, but pretty maids all in a row" - FLASH.  Sue says she can feel he is pacing around that part of the room. Q: "Did an incident happen in this room?" - FLASH and then the meter keeps flickering slightly   Q:" Was there a fight or an altercation in this room?" - FLASH    Ann asks Q: "Was this something to do with a woman?" - FLASH                Q: "Someone here you couldn't have as they were already married?" - FLASH     Ali says she gets the impression "it's also something to do with the war" - FLASH           

12:52 am: Ali gets the impression he was a very full, live character, powerful, to which several others in the room say they can feel the energy of his personality. Ann says "you can almost feel you know him, we can all feel him in the room.   He was well respected, well liked".   At this point all of us started to feel warmer.   Sue asked Q: "Do you want us to leave you now?" - FLASH

We then ended the vigil and left this room.    However, Ali and Jane report they were personally affected for days after this, felt like they "couldn't get their attention off this character, like he was just in our space" and reported a sense of affection for him.    Several others who had been the room reported that the experience of this particular vigil had been profound, like the personality of this person was extremely tangible, as a whole experience different from the other rooms.   No one thought the room was spooky or unpleasant.  The EMF meters had been on the floor, one in Ali's hand but this kind of meter has a switch that was on so it couldn't be affected by movement or pressing any buttons.  Due to this, the impressions we got, the temperature changes and the visual lights and flashes we saw directly coincident with questions and statements that were made, then "orbs" appearing in the same area when photographed, it had seemed to us that we were in direct communication with this character.   We were even more amazed when we researched the history of Michelham, although we had to spend many days digging into obscure facts and online documents regarding Michelham to find what we were looking for.   Please see Research Notes at the end of this report.

12:38am:  Ann says she saw a flash of light over by the fireplace where Ali & Jane are sitting.  More questions are then asked using the K2 EMF meters, which are not responding at all other than when noted here, as follows:      

Q:" Were you an Officer?" - FLASH  Q: "Were you owner of this household?" - FLASH.   Jane is also picking up ideas about the character, so suggests asking if he was for the King Q: "Were you for the King, a Cavalier?" - FLASH   Q:" Did you support the King?" - FLASH   Q: again "Did you support the King?" - FLASH   Ali then gets the impression of a Cavalier with dark hair, dark goatee beard, a kind of commanding man like he's an aristocrat.   Jane asks Sue if she got any impressions of a name, and Sue says "I get a John" - FLASH   Jane then points out there is a cast iron fire grid behind them in the fireplace with the name "John Rivers 1645" on it, Sue isn't sure this is the same thing or not.  Ali says she just gets this Cavalier, and when she was here the first time four years ago as soon as she entered the room she got an impression of this same character standing by the fireplace saying "This is MY house, MY land!"

12:41am: Q: "Have you been seen in this room, coming down this old stair case where it used to be?" - FLASH

Ali asks if anyone else can say anything or give impressions of what they are experiencing, and Ann says "I just keep seeing these flashes, little flashes all around where you two are sitting".  Ali suggests they take photos, which are taken at this point and Mandie then reports there are orbs appearing on her camera in this space, several over Jane & Ali's heads.

Jane then suggests asking him if he had rank.                              Q: "Were you a man of rank, an officer?" - FLASH   Jane then says to ask him if he was a captain.                                                   Q: "Were you a Captain for King Charles?" - FLASH (very big light up, 4 lights)

7. The Music Room
We then moved into what we call the Music Room, which is a room at the far end of the ground floor containing a harpsichord.   We knew this room had earlier reports of phenomena, especially that the harpsichord has been known to play on its own, or that several people had heard this from elsewhere in the house, but that when they came to investigate the music had stopped.  We did a short vigil in this room, all of us sitting along the walkway as most of the room was cordoned off by ropes.   We were aware that there were security sensors in the main body of the room beyond the ropes, so were careful to place 4 EMF meters just next to the ropes, a few feet away from any of us sitting nearer the wall.

12:17am:  Sue says she has seen a white mist, which Ali also thinks she may have seen.  Questions are asked as follows:

Q: Did you live in this place? - TAP                                                     Q: Were you a Servant? - TAP                                                              Q: Were you female? - TAP                                                                   Q: Are you just visiting us today? - TAP                                            Q: Were you happy in this house? TAP                                             Q: Did you help someone sick in this house? - TAP                        Q: Did you help children when they were sick? - TAP

We notice most of the knocks are occurring on the fireplace side of the room, though not always in the same place.  To rule out any tapping by a person near the fireplace (though the knocks don't sound like someone rapping) she asks for it to knock elsewhere in the room, maybe by Ali who is on the other side.  At that point there is a knock on the opposite side of the fireplace, about 6 feet away from the other noises, but not on the opposite side of the room as asked for.

12:24am:  Sue then says she has a feeling this has something to do with water in a well, maybe under here.  Sue then asks again "can you give us a knock on the other side of the room" - to which there is another knock but this time it sounds like it's through the back door in the room behind the kitchen.  One of us check in that room and no one is in there.   There is again discussion about someone drowning in the moat, and Jane says she seems to remember a woman did drown in the moat, as told by Most Haunted.

12:26am:  Sue says she gets the impression someone was shut down here, bricked up in here - TAP.                                                Q:Ali then asks if there are any undiscovered remains? - K2 EMF meter on the table flashes instantly.                                                    Q: Are there any remains of bodies? - K2 EMF meter flashes.         Q: Is this any connection to the Priory? - 2X TAPs (No)

11:19pm: Sue has the idea there has been a school in here, or the room was used for lessons. She asks "were there school lessons in here?" and the K2 meter on the floor goes mad, flickering strongly on 4 levels of light (shows a strong surge).  Ali says when she first came in she got the idea of a lady in a long grey dress, like a governess.  Sue suddenly feels very cold, Ali further describes the lady then says "there were several girls and one boy" to which there is a meter surge again. Ali says "these were not aristocrats, but came into money, maybe in business, they were a family here in the late 1700s or early 1800s, I think the same ones we mentioned earlier in the corridor.  There was a gentleman at the head of the family.   Lots of girls and a boy used this room"  when she says this the meter is surging several times.  Sue then says "I get the name Thomas" and Ann reports the K2 meter by her and Sue is observed flashing strongly.

The room then seemed to warm up and a new temperature reading gave 18.5 C average around the room.

11:23pm: We then leave the room and as we do so Sue mentions to Ali that she also got the impression of fire & Ali expresses surprise as she's been getting a smell of sweet wood smoke starting in the Prior's Room.

After leaving this area we had a tea break, and the lights were turned on with group members then able to wander around looking at the exhibitions in the central hall area.  We were amazed to discover various facts about the house and the family that lived here which we had not previously known to us and which personal perception and the EMF meters had seemed to indicate accurately during the vigils.   This information is at the included end of this report under Research Notes.

We all moved into the main house & formed a smaller group for our next vigils, the first of which we did in an exhibition area located on the 2nd floor which is a wide room within the corridor and next to the main staircase.  On the way up we remembered of a visit to Michelham several years earlier when we experienced a strange voice on the stairs on the landing, so we took a picture of that area after calling out "if you are here can you show me a light there at the top of the stairs". Although there are many opinions about "orbs" this is what we got, and note we had taken dozens of other pictures without this effect, including ones on this staircase.

The room was warm and well heated and felt comfortable. We sat around the window recess and some on the floor.  No electrical devices were in sight nor wires near the EMF meters placed around the area.  Vigil result is as follows:

1:02am:  As we were not enjoying what we all perceived as a negative atmosphere in this room at this particular time, and not getting any further responses, we decided to end off our vigil here.

We would have liked to have tested for infra sound, but don't have the equipment. We will see if we can detect any vibrations below 20hz on the audio recording.    Sceptics would say that as a group we were all victims of suggestion, psychologically influenced by each other or had over active imaginations, however we all agreed this was a totally different experience in this room to the previous areas, and couldn't make sense of it as the room looked pleasant, was very cold yet didn't seem to be any less heated than other rooms.  

12:54am:  We moved into the Music Room just next to the Dining Room, Sue asked what each person sensed as they entered, and almost everyone said it was definitely a lot colder on passing through the doorway (door had not been closed).  Temp then recorded as 18.5 near the Dining Room door, 15.5 in the middle of the room, and 14.5 on the side walls.  EMF meters were placed along the passage beneath the ropes.  Sue then called out asking for any spirit presences to make themselves known, give a knock, light, or light up the EMF boxes, or even play the harpsichord.  Two people then commented that it is really very, very cold, getting colder. New temp reading gave 14.4 in the middle of the room.   Ali said it just doesn't feel the same in here at all, "feels spooky like there's something to it, not quite sure what", & Sue agreed.

12:58am:  Sue asks again Q:"Can you knock for us if you are here" - KNOCK instantly, seems to be from the opposite side of the room beyond the ropes.  This knock is audible on the audio recording, but at the time no one said they heard it but Ali.  At the same time Sue says she saw a movement in the far corner. Ann says she feels unsteady for some reason, & Ali says she doesn't like the feeling in here, feels turbulent, like a pervading fear or anxiety.   Sue agrees there is an anxious feeling in the atmosphere, very different to the Dining Room.   Another lady says it's like you get the idea a haunted place would feel like.  Sue says it's like something is looking over her shoulder, Ali says uncomfortable, negative, & gets the impression there is something emanating from the far left corner of the room in front of a picture hanging there near the window.

1:00pm:  Ali again says something unpleasant, evil even. Sue agrees something over in that corner, photos are taken again and "orbs" are in that specific area whereas there were not before. Mandy says she is getting other lights on her photos now.  Ali repeats her feelings about the room then asks "Is this just me or does anyone else here feel this way, or think we are just talking a load of rubbish?" - there are then several people saying no, they also feel the same. Ann says she definitely thinks the same, and a man says he feels sick.  Another lady says "it's like bad intentions, like a sick mind", Jane says it feels unpleasant sitting where she is, Ann says she feels like she's being watched & another man agrees.

 

Research Notes

After completing the vigil in the upstairs Living Room we all had a break, during which time the lights were turned on and we discovered some of the history of Michelham.   Regarding general perceptions during the vigil in the Exhibition room and corridor and the upstairs Living Room, as corresponding to the coinciding reads of the EMF meters we used there, we found the following:

The names Thomas, Elizabeth and Katherine were all found to be relevant to Michelham during the late 1700s and early to mid 1800s.  A businessman rather than an aristocrat, Thomas Childe had owned and lived at Michelham together with his wife Elizabeth and six daughters from 1791 until 1861.  One of the daughters was Katherine.  

Subsequent search of the internet for evidence of a drowned child proved difficult: we found lots of accounts from past paranormal investigators who referred to a drowning of a child of the Sackville family, and consequently a "Grey Lady", his mother who haunted the moat area.  However we didn't find any actual historical documentation of this, although this doesn't mean there isn't any.   We did eventually discover that Thomas & Elizabeth Childe also had a son, Robert, who had died in the moat as a boy, which tied in with our own results.  We found this hard to discover by research, and didn't find any reference to this particular drowning on the information boards at Michelham, nor did it occur in any earlier TV shows about the house, which all appear to a different incident.

We found that there had indeed been a fire in the upstairs living room area of the house, to the degree that this side of the house was almost entirely destroyed and had to be rebuilt.

Sue came up with the name "Prior or Father John" during the vigils and again the name Thomas. We found this bore out, as there had been no less than three Priors named John, the last being John West elected in 1482 and remained Prior until 1509, and seems to be the last long-lasting Prior before it fell into total ruin.   An earlier Prior was John Leem 1374 -1417 who was the most distinctive character of those who lived at Michelham, & who built the moat & Gatehouse & ran the Priory well, expanding its lands and wealth.  The very last Prior was called Thomas, under whom the Priory became a deteriorated into a "ruinous condition" until the dissolution.

Regarding the "Cavalier John" we seemed to encounter in the Dining Room, who seemed to be an officer of rank and past owner of Michelham, this proved very difficult indeed to research.   Initially we had assumed the "John Rivers" iron fireguard in this fireplace to give his name, which proved to be a red herring after many hours of searching for Mr Rivers we found nothing, and eventually found from Michelham Priory guides that this fireguard had been a wedding gift to the owners many years later than the Civil War!  So as far as we can tell John Rivers has nothing to do with Michelham.  Indeed we could find nothing whatsoever on any John owning Michelham at all, especially not a Cavalier, and only references to the Sackville family owning the property.

However, persistence & a late night search eventually bore fruit in the hunt for such a character.

We found that Thomas Sackville had indeed owned Michelham in 1601.  Watching the Most Haunted TV show investigation of Michelham, we found this to be the name Derek Acorah came up with on Most Haunted's vigil, Derek describing him as an evil and perverted tyrant who ruled Michelham with an iron fist.   However our research found that Thomas Sackville had never actually lived at Michelham, and it is highly unlikely that he spent any time there at all, as it was mainly a farm at the time & not a grand country house.  Thomas owned far finer houses and property all over the South East.

However Thomas' descendent was Margaret Sackville, who eventually inherited Michelham from her father.  Every mention of the Civil War period seems to show she is the owner, however an obscure fact we discovered is that the estates of her late father were almost bankrupted when she inherited, and her inheritance was only saved by her husband, John Tufton, who saved the day by paying nearly £7000 to clear her father's debts and as a result he became the owner of all of Margaret's estates, including Michelham Priory.    John Tufton was indeed the owner of Michelham, then tenanted as a farm, during the Civil War.

Our research into this character John Tufton led us to discover that he was non other than the 3rd Earl of Thanet, an extremely rich and powerful aristocrat who owned vast lands across Sussex, and who lived at Bodiam Castle during the Civil War.   John Tufton was a "staunch and loyal Cavalier in the service of King Charles the 1st", who in 1642 led a regiment to try to raise a rebellion in Sussex in support of Sir William Brockman in Kent.  However, Brockman's revolt quickly collapsed and the Earl was forced to surrender.  He suffered considerably from confications and sequestrations of his large estates during the English Civil War.   Earl John was the last owner to actually inhabit Bodiam Castle, and he lost vast amounts of his property to the Roundheads during this time period, & sold Bodiam & other estates to pay fines to them.   As occurred in the vigil, it would be understandable how he would feel upset at having his properties commandeered and be assertive that the Priory was his!   What occurred with Michelham in the turbulent years of the Civil War is not known, at least not to us, but it is known that the Earl was on campaigns across his lands in Sussex, and it can only be reasonably assumed that he would use whatever resources he could use in the area, possibly even visiting or meeting at his very own Michelham Priory.   From their impressions, knocks in answer to questions and meter readings, the members of the vigil believe this haughty Cavalier was in strong protest that this was his house, that he had used it as a base and met there for the purposes of this war.

We discovered that John was indeed prolific in that he fathered 11 children.  More on John Tufton can be found here: http://www.answers.com/topic/john-tufton-2nd-earl-of-thanet

The documents about the Earl were more obscure and found on this link, and adding his name and Michelham into the search engine:   http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=56961

During the vigil were of the impression he was dressed in red with black hair, and were interested to find a report that the Curator has encountered an apparition of a man dressed in red with black hair in the Priory.  Could this be John Thanet, and could John have visited the Priory during his campaigns across Sussex to raise his army?  

Of course we cannot be sure of this.   Nor can any readers know for certain that we did not investigate this before the event, or lie about the phenomena we observed, and sceptics may always believe otherwise.   We can only insist that we knew nothing of the history laid out above before our investigation.    If only for ourselves at least, we can be sure of this:  We had several EMF meters in the room at the time, these were not operated by a thumb-pressed button but by a switch, which was fixed down, so hence was not influenceable by the holder.   The K2 EMF meter we used did not fluctuate when it was moved around and was not reading at any time other than those specifically noted in the script above, mathematically against the laws of probability and ruling out coincidence that it read in direct response to those questions which now prove fruitful in this research.  Those questioning were often many feet away from the meters or away from the source of the knocks and bangs we heard.   Similarly the Gauss meter in the Exhibition Room was reading, we had knocks, bangs and lights in response to questions about the Childs and the Prior as well as EMF readings.   The people who were there as "sensitives" or mediums, or just people who seemed to perceive something extraordinary on this vigil were coming up with information that is remarkable, in that even had they already known the history of Michelham, the EMF meters were reading directly in response to their particularly accurate statements or questioning, almost like a conversation with a living person, and were not being held by them, nor influenceable by them in the case of the K2 in the Dining Room.

Conclusion

We can only conclude from our experiences at Michelham Priory, that this venue produced some of the most remarkable and best results to date in terms of recorded phenomena which seemingly directly coincided with information we thereby gleaned about the history of the building and its inhabitants or owners.   We found this information astounding once we finally discovered this was validated during research, bringing to light history that we often did not find easily, at least regarding John Tufton, which was obscure in his connection to Michelham but eventually evident.

As to the question "Is Michelham haunted?", at the moment many of us would say that there are a lot of things that occurred in this investigation that cannot otherwise be explained, and others will say "definitely!",  and we cannot wait to go back!