Room at the Inn

The Skirrid InnLurking in the graveyards, going in places we shouldn’t be and frightening other ghost hunters. Yes, it’s another episode of Calamityville Horror. Last night we got to do two things we’ve wanted to do for ages – meet Laura Dixon and Jack Strange from Jack and Laura Ghost Series and spend the entire night in the Skirrid Inn. The last time we were at the Skirrid was October 2012, before Neen joined the team and we spent our time behaving inappropriately towards Fanny Price’s name and dancing. We couldn’t wait to go back.

The Skirrid InnJack and Laura had organised the ghost hunting evening and sleepover and invited us. We arrived early (we know, this never happens) and spent our time wisely: eating and getting a bit wobbly on the vodka. After just the one we had trouble standing. Two more later and navigating the uneven, warped stairs of this beautiful 17th century building while laden down with our equipment proved to be an unwise decision.

The Skirrid InnWhile the patrons continued drinking in the bar, we met up with Jack and Laura and also Karin, Lorraine and Colin for our night of ghost hunting. We dumped our stuff in bedroom one then gathered our equipment and headed out to the graveyard, where us two debated about the location of Fanny’s grave. Trying to find fanny in a graveyard isn’t what they recommend on dating sites. Lynx was right. We soon found it and did an EVP session there. The Mel meter had quite a high reading and when Cat asked Fanny if she remembered us, it bleeped. Either that was in acknowledgement, or the Mel meter was censoring Fanny’s enraged outburst. We used our laser grid pen for the first time, spattering purple dots over the graves but Fanny refused to play shadow puppets. She used to be the landlady of the Skirrid and is rumoured to still haunt it after dying of consumption. Cat was concerned that her camera couldn’t see anything, then after 30 minutes, realised it wasn’t on nightshot mode. *Facepalm*

The Skirrid Inn

Room one

We moved on to the church, where Lorraine picked up on a little girl called Alice. She made herself known to Jack and Laura the last time they visited. Again, the Mel meter spiked and bleeped. Jack discovered the church was open, so in true Calamityville style, we went in. Calamityville’s rule is, if they don’t want us entering, they should lock their doors. Jack and Laura joined us and we did some calling out, praying the person who appeared was not the vicar or the police. Cat was up in the pulpit, so running down the steps in the pitch black to avoid capture would not have been safe. But it would have made great viewing.

The Skirrid Inn

room two

We returned to the Inn and set up in bedroom 2. Cat’s Sony night vision camera lost 20 minutes off its battery. This has never happened. Colin’s REMpod started bleeping by the bathroom door even though no-one was near it. Neen moved into the doorway and when she later left, somehow managed to stab herself in the eye on the REMpod’s aerial. This takes a special kind of skill. This was after she hurt her knee getting on the bed. The Skirrid InnWe returned to room one for a break then took turns going into the downstairs adjoining bathroom in pairs. Laura saw strange flashing white lights at the top of the stairs and when we were in there, there was a thud on the ceiling, but as it’s the roof, this was probably a bird outside. The Mel meter emitted a high pitched noise and didn’t stop, despite numerous requests for the spirit to move away. When Lynx shouted “Oi! Move away!” the meter immediately fell silent. Coming from a family of teachers is useful when dealing with unruly spirts.

The Skirrid InnWe headed downstairs and Cat said to Lynx, “don’t fall, my camera isn’t on.” Lynx fell down the next step, but managed to save herself before crashing headfirst into the zombie butler. As Cat laughed, her camera tipped off the tripod, bruising her finger. Karma. We moved to the bar and attempted to contact the spirits using the Saints Row ‘Gat out of Hell’ Wee-Ja board that Tom got us (thanks Tom, you’re ace) but the spirits didn’t want to come and play. We can’t help thinking that spirits screen their ouija board calls and when they know we’re on the line, they won’t answer. The Skirrid InnColin removed the tankard from above the fireplace, as this apparently angers one male spirit. Cat pretended to drink out of the tankard to see if she could get a reaction but regretted it after inhaling the mouldy liquid inside it. Then Neen called “Alice” in a really creepy way. Colin flew off his stool, nearly hitting the floor while the rest of us laughed so hard our stomachs hurt. Lorraine and Karin had an ovilus and though we mostly can’t understand what oviluses are saying we all heard two words: “Fuck off.” This is the first time a device has sworn at us. That was a proud moment.

The Skirrid Inn

room three

We returned upstairs for another break then did a seance in room 3, which is Fanny Price’s room. Neen lay on the bed while we all formed a circle around her, looking more like an exorcism group then ghost hunters. Sadly Neen did not start levitating and swearing in Latin. Karin, Lorraine and Colin went downstairs while the rest of us stayed in room 3, but got no activity. We moved to room one’s bathroom, where a lady once ran out claiming a woman tried to drown her in the bath. Lynx was volunteered to sit in the bath.The Skirrid Inn

Karin, Lorraine and Colin left about 4 ish so we moved down to the dining room with the Wee-Ja board. We kept hearing distant voices. We’d heard them when we were upstairs, like people talking, but we were the only 5 people in the Inn.

The Skirrid Inn

room one bathroom

We eventually retired to bed at 4:45, with Jack and Laura taking room 3 and us lot taking room one. We set up the night vision camera to watch us sleep in a really creepy manner.

The Skirrid Inn

breakfast in the dining room

In the morning, the landlord, Geoff served everyone breakfast then agreed to be interviewed. He told us one woman fled her room, and another couple left a note with the money, saying they couldn’t stay but would return one day with friends. He’s owned the inn for ten years and many years ago, used to own a pub which is just down the road from us! In fact, we held the wake for our grampy there. Small world. He’s invited us back and even said we were professional. Calamityville Horror, professional? Next we’ll be behaving like grown ups and getting permission before entering buildings.

We had a fantastic night. It was great to finally meet Jack and Laura and hopefully we’ll team up again. Though we feel they didn’t get the full Calamityville experience. We were a bit quiet and didn’t misbehave. Next time though…The Skirrid Inn

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