Beyond the Grave

the Skirrid InnLast night we spent the night ghost hunting at the Skirrid Inn with Beyond the Grave Tours. It was a return to our roots episode as it was during the Beyond the Grave tour of Ruthin Gaol that kickstarted the abysmal show that is Calamityville Horror. We only nearly got lost a couple of times but made it there with plenty of time to spare. For the record, the blame lies entirely with AA route planner. It told us to take the first exit at one roundabout, sending us to police headquarters. Can’t help thinking this was planned. What it actually meant was second exit. At the final roundabout, it told us to take the fourth exit. But what it meant was third exit. What fools to misunderstand!

We arrived early then Cat embarrassed herself by being unable to open the door that led to the room where all the guests were gathered. So we stayed outside for a bit, sitting in the corner of the Inn like naughty children. We eventually walked in and the tour guides immediately recognised us from Ruthin Gaol. Guess showing up half an hour late in a cloud of rage sticks in people’s minds.

We started the night with a group vigil in bedroom one. There were 19 other guests and 4 tour guides. Some of the guests claimed to be sensitive and were doing the whole Derek Acorah thing of ‘I’m getting a…’ then giving a name. Where were they getting these names? Wikipedia? Lance was one. Lance? Really? We’re in WALES, love. They don’t name people Lance here. Strange how the ones who claimed to be sensitive were also the only ones getting ‘harassed’ by the spirits. Some girls beside us kept complaining their legs were cold, like someone was sitting on them. We were sitting perfectly still for an hour. Of course your legs were cold! The blood flow had  stopped and the room wasn’t heated! Someone else complained they were itchy. Buy a flea collar. We itch all the time. It’s not ghosts harassing us, it’s the cats letting us know we’ve forgotten their Frontline. Ryan said at one point he felt like crying. Guess we should lay off the teasing. One guest said she was feeling angry. We were annoyed but that was nothing to do with picking up on the spirits’ energy, it was just the other guests getting on our nerves. If there was a child spirit touching the girls beside us, why didn’t it come to us? If you look up  ‘child-friendly’ in the dictionary, you’d find our scowling faces with a speech bubble “tell your kids to shut up.”

Two guides were heading out to the cemetery. We went with them. So did everyone else, much to our annoyance. We were hoping the freezing temperatures and midnight hour would scare them off. We left them standing round a gravestone while we explored the graveyard, hunting for the grave of Fanny Price, who supposedly haunts the Inn. Fanny Price's graveThen some girls started screaming and legged it. What did we do? Rush the spot that frightened them. Most Haunted have nothing on us. They claimed they saw a shadow by a tree. Ummmm Lynx had her big external camera light on and was moving around. The likelihood is she projected Cat or Ryan’s shadow onto the tree as we were skulking around the graves like Goth versions of Burke and Hare. It wasn’t a ghost, ladies, it was simple shadow play.

We shook off the group and ventured around the other side of the church. Cat found herself standing on a grave, turned around- Fanny Price’s grave! We decided to do an EVP session there but spent most of the time making jokes at the expense of her name. For our American friends, ‘fanny’ is slang for ‘vagina’. Yes, we are professionals 😀 In the Most Haunted episode we watched Thursday night, friend of the show, Derek Acorah, claimed to have a vision of 4 Price graves and a blank one. There were 4 Price graves, but the ‘blank’ one belong to Charles Warren. Come on Derek, that was clearer than Catherine Price’s engravings. What you should’ve said was “I know there are 4 Price graves but the production crew didn’t gibe me the name on the headstone next to them.”

Anyhoo, during our EVP session, we noticed how quiet the graveyard was. It was midnight, 0 degrees and everyone else had buggered off back to the Inn. We were completely alone. FINALLY! At one point we asked Fanny to give us a sign she was there and a huge gust of wind buffeted us. We’re putting it down to the weather conditions. That or she was  really fed up with the ‘Is Willy in here?’ jokes.

We returned to the Inn to find ourselves locked out. Guess Fanny wasn’t the only one who was sick of us 😀 We took one of the guides, Darran, back to the cemetery to show him the grave. Yes, we dragged a stranger into a pitch black cemetery at midnight. Hell, on Monday we got into a stranger’s car in a secluded wooded lay-by. We flaunt the horror film rules here at Casa Raven. Then we locked ourselves in the storeroom where the condemned prisoners were apparently kept. Nothing paranormal, unless you find boxes of cups terrifying, though Lynx did headbutt a candleholder. Then we headed up to the attic where Lynx knocked over a sign that squashed her toe. By now everyone else was doing a vigil in the bar. So we headed to room 2, apparently the most haunted room. A planchette was set up so we wanted to test our theory that it’s always someone in the group responsible for moving it. We all lightly touched it. As predicted, it didn’t move once, despite us willing it to spell out ‘Ryan is a jerk’. He just doesn’t believe us so spirit confirmation would’ve been epic. C.A.T.S using a planchetteWe then ended our vigil in that room with an impromptu dance session before moving on to room 3. Despite there being 19 other guests, we managed to spend the entire night alone. It was amazing! Room 3, which is supposedly haunted by Fanny, wasn’t very interesting so we headed back down for Red Bull. One of the guests asked us if we’d been bouncing on the beds as they could hear banging when they were downstairs doing their vigil. Bouncing on the beds? Did he think C.A.T.S would be that unprofessional? Excuse us, but we were doing Calamityville Horror, Gangnam style. Forgot they had cameras set up.

After the refreshments, everyone was supposed to gather upstairs for a last group vigil. We went to the bar to our own, using Ryan’s iOvilus. We put the iOvilus inside the tankard apparently used to offer ale to the devil. Sadly it didn’t offer to make us rulers of Hell but came out with a bunch of random words, our favourites being ‘their blood’. We were joined by Jason, who was helping out and when we were telling him about Fanny’s grave, one of the K2 meters started reacting. So we tried having a conversation with her, even resorting to taunting her about standing on her grave. It did react but not very strongly.

We returned upstairs and Ryan dared Cat to walk through the pitch black room one  by herself and go down to the bathroom where a woman claimed a spirit tried to drown her. Like that was a challenge! Shrugging, Cat set off by herself. Seconds later there was a thud followed by a ‘crap!’ as she fell down the top step of the bathroom stairs, much to Lynx and Ryan’s delight. We left the Inn at 3:20 and in true Calamityville style, took the wrong road home and ended up on a road we couldn’t get off, heading for England. Luckily it turned off to Raglan. We arrived home at 4. Ryan went straight to bed. We were up feeding the cats and telling our mum about our adventures (the Raven family don’t sleep much) so didn’t get to bed til 4:35. Still awake at 5:15 then were up at 8 (rare  lie in) to feed and clean out our pets, our neighbour’s pets and our  sisters’ pets. Everyone’s gone away! Ryan surfaced at 11:30. Lightweight.

We had an amazing time and would love to do it again. Though if Beyond the Grave see our dance off, this might be the last time we’re allowed on a vigil. *swinging lassos* Calamityville Gangnam style.noose at the Skirrid Inn

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