The Ancient Ram Inn

The Ancient Ram InnLast night we stayed at what is the Mecca for ghost hunters – The Ancient Ram Inn. And we travelled there in style, in Calamityville Horror’s newest member’s camper van. Neen joined us on Calamityville’s Edinburgh adventure and has never left. And what was even better was her mum lent her a newer model of Sony Handycam with night vision. We spent two and a half series without night vision, and suddenly we have two cameras. We started off checking out St Mary’s church, which is apparently joined to the Ram via secret tunnels. We strutted in wearing our noisy cowboy boots, which echoed on the tiled floor. And found a group of children having choir practise. They all turned and stared. We explored the church trying to walk as quietly as possible but each footstep sounded like a gunshot. We left.

the Ancient Ram InnThe owner of the Ram, John, sadly has dementia so every time he saw us, he forgot who we were and why we there. Luckily, Neen’s uncle Rob has lived in Wootten-under-Edge for years and has even done several investigations at the Inn, so John remembered him. As we sat in the van, a loud THUD! hit the roof. We pulled the ladder down then Cat climbed onto the roof to check it out. There was nothing there. Then the motor for the camper step died. It has died before so this was just a coincidence.

We did a daylight walk through at 8 p.m. after visiting the pub. John told us not to come back sober 😀 But we did. The Ram is amazing. John’s a hoarder so the place was crammed with interesting objects and hasn’t been cleaned in probably over 30 years. The most dangerous thing in this place was the dust and the uneven stairs. It was built in 1145 on a 5000 year old pagan burial ground. In the bar area is an open grave where daggers and children’s bones were found.

The Ancient Ram Inn

the ancient grave in the bar

The University of Bristol has confirmed the age of the daggers, so it’s possible it was a ritualistic killing. As we passed through the curtains to the bar area, Cat’s head was swimming. It’s the same feeling you get when you put your arm into a fish tank full of water. Though we when we say that to people, they stare blankly at us. We can’t be the only ones who have done this. This feeling lasted until we left the Inn, but when we returned later, she didn’t have it. We attribute it to the dust, dim lighting and uneven floors.

After our uneventful walk through, we returned to the camper for food. John retired to bed, locked us out then forgot who we were. After Rob got him to open the door, we then left it on latch, otherwise we would have spent the night in the car park. Not exactly a glamorous haunted location. We returned inside at 10 p.m. There was no bulb in the light above the open grave so after we found a bulb lying around, Ryan climbed over a grate that blocked the area off and screwed the bulb in then we headed upstairs.

We set up base camp in the Bishop’s Room, which is reportedly the most haunted room in the Inn, with 5 ghosts plaguing it, including monks and a Cavalier. Yet we felt really comfortable here. It was our favourite room and the one where we felt most at home.

During a vigil in the Witch’s Room – so called because people have seen an old witch and her cat in there – we found a Ouija board on the table. Us and Ryan sat around it and asked questions but as usual, nothing came through, reinforcing our belief that Ouija boards are purely gimmicks. We moved up to the attic. The stairs are so bowed we could only go up one at a time.

The attic is rumoured to be haunted by William Crewe, a highwayman who hid there every time he returned to Wootten-under-Edge. On one occasion he received 300 lashes. Another time it was 200. He clearly doesn’t learn. He apparently robbed and killed an old woman and was executed in Gloucester in 1786. After we had been up there a while, the K2 meter started bleeping and the needle climbed to red. It bleeped faster so we did an EVP session. The K2 went silent so we played back the DVR.

We all heard a voice.

The Ancient Ram Inn

The Bishop’s Room

We replayed it. Rob thinks it said “I’ll kill her.” We need to put it on the laptop for proper analysis, but when we returned to the attic later in the night, the K2 was silent. Rob left at 12:45 a.m. so we all headed downstairs. The bulb above the grave was missing. It was on a barrel nearby so Ryan screwed it back in. The light switch was still in the on position. The bulb blew, shorting the electrics in the house. We found the fuse box and tripped the switch, which turned everything back on. We’re great at shorting electrics in Casa Raven. We suspect the bulb removing culprit was John, but he would have had to climb over the fire grate, and we have no idea why he would remove the bulb, rather than switch the light off, as the other light was left on. But we couldn’t ask him about it – he wouldn’t remember doing it even if he had. We stayed in the bar and did a vigil in the dark then we decided to split up for lone vigils. Neen and Ryan both wussed out so we headed upstairs with Neen’s night vision camera and Lynx’s Canon. Lynx stayed in the Witch’s Room with the Canon while Cat sat  in the Bishop’s Room with the Sony. The most frightening part wasn’t being alone in the dark in the two most haunted rooms but the drunks walking past our windows. The Inn is set lower than the road so the upper floors are level with the pavement, which is very unnerving. Evil ghost witches, murderous Highwaymen, Incubi and poltergeists while we’re sitting alone in the dark? Easy. Drunks passing outside our windows? Terrifying.

The Ancient Ram Inn

The Witch’s Room

Lynx heard footsteps clumping up and down the landing. She assumed it was Cat and called out to her. When she got no response, she went to the Bishop’s Room. And couldn’t open the door. The footsteps weren’t Cat – she was locked in. When Lynx finally opened the Bishop’s Room, Cat asked her if she’d been to the toilet, which was opposite the Bishop’s Room. Cat heard a door squeaking open. The only time Lynx left the Witch’s Room was to check where Cat was. We’ll have to play back the cameras to see what caused these noises. Downstairs in the bar, Neen and Ryan kept hearing footsteps walking around and assumed it was us pacing the rooms. It wasn’t.

We headed downstairs and regrouped. We set the JVC camcorder up as a static camera pointed at the light bulb to see if it was John who removed the bulb then headed to the barn. When the barn was partly excavated to build a new wall, posts found in the foundations were dated – they were 3000 years old. We returned upstairs and stayed in the Bishop’s Room for a while, eating cake and drinking Red Bull before asking questions using a crystal. Ryan didn’t get much response from the crystal. It behaved a bit better with Neen. As we were lounging in the Bishop’s Room in complete darkness, we decided to break out Ryan’s iOvilus, which is always good for a laugh. After sprouting a load of gibberish, at 1:26 a.m, three words came through in quick succession.

‘Demon. Hour. Run.’

The stairs in the Ram are way too dangerous to run down. It would have to better than that to scare us. Then something started flapping by Cat and Neen, landing on them then vanishing. The night vision  identified it as a butterfly. Knowing the butterfly would die if we left it, we captured it, put it in our empty food tub and went to every window to try and release it. None of the windows open. To get out of the Ram we’d have to pass John’s room, so we opened the tub slightly to give the butterfly enough air until we left.

So…all that happened in the demon hour was…the butterfly. We now suspect the butterfly to be the cause of all the paranormal and poltergeist activity. At 3 a.m., after an impromptu zumba session in the Witch’s Room (in keeping with our zumba moves in Edinburgh’s witches’ circle), we were all knackered and nothing else had happened for a long time, so we packed up and headed out to the camper. The bulb was still in above the grave. We released the butterfly and it flew off into the night. We fully expect all paranormal reports to now stop 😀 Then we can quote a line from The Simpsons. “It was the butterfly!”

We went to bed in the camper about 4 a.m. and weren’t attacked. We got up at 9 a.m., only to realise there was not an accessible toilet nearby and John was still asleep. There was only one way to save our kidneys – with a plastic cup. We then took more photos of the outside then returned home.

So our first solo overnight investigation started with what is considered the most haunted house in England and ended with peeing into a cup.

That’s how Calamityville rolls.

Calamityville Horror

Bewitched

Tintagel castle cliffs3 people, 2 suitcases, food and other essentials on a ghost hunting tour of Cornwall for 3 days. In a Mini Cooper Convertible. It sounds like the start to a bad joke or at least a comedy show. It’s Calamityville Horror Roadtrip. So yeah, the start to a bad joke or a comedy show 😀

After weeks of crappy weather, we’ve had nothing but hot sunshine on our holiday. Our pasty skin blinded passers-by, who donned their sunglasses and hissed at the rare sight. We made good time and didn’t nearly die once. It was looking good. Except our big black cat, Warlock spent the day on a hunger strike in protest of us leaving. Temptations swiftly ended it. Our first destination was the witchcraft museum in Boscastle. the museum of witchcraft, BoscastleWe didn’t even know of its existence until we were circling places on our map and discovered it by accident. We’re so glad we did. We initially drove out of Boscastle so pulled into a petrol station to ask for directions. Only for a lorry to pull in behind us and jam us in. We thought it was getting diesel. No. It was unloading supplies for the shop. It was hot in the car so we ate some lunch while we waited to be freed, our patience melting with our skin. Then Cat hit a low point by arguing with the pay and display machine because it swallowed her 5p, until Ryan told her to press the coin return. That worked but the relationship remained frosty.

The museum was fantastic. We were speaking to the owner at the start and he told us he’d seen the beast of Bodmin Moor – 3 years ago! He even let us interview him. We’d only just arrived and already we had an interview for this sinking ship that is Calamityville. He was certain we would love the museum and he was right. There was everything related to witchcraft including poppets, wands, Mandrake root, herbs, Ouija boards, swords and skulls. And even entire board relating to penis amulets. We even bought an iron Athame. Yes people, we now have our very own wand. Ryan is now a little scared of the power we wield. The witchcraft museum, BoscastleWe even used a Tarot machine for the first time. Basically, you put a coin in, the needle spins and lands on a card. Ryan tutted at us for paying 2p as he slotted £1 in. If writing paid better, we’d be less stingy. His tarot card was Judgement. Lynx’s landed smack between The Fool and Justice. Cat got The Devil. Throughout the museum were signs warning people not to lean across the displays as they were alarmed. While we were loitering by the magic mirror (if you see a face, it’s the person you’ll marry. Wentworth Miller didn’t appear) an alarm blared around the museum and a guilty looking Ryan stepped back from the display.

We then headed to Tintagel castle. It was basically ruins but it was right on top of a cliff and was the birth place of King Arthur. Merlin’s Caves were underneath. The views were stunning. Unfortunately Cat’s bad knee had been playing up all week and the steep cliff steps finished it off but she ignored the pain and we climbed another cliff to more ruins. Luckily she packed her ice pack and crutches. Tintagel castleAfter that we headed for Hayle and our Travelodge. For those who know our tales of woe when trying to find our Travelodges in North Wales, you won’t be surprised to discover we couldn’t find this one. Turned out in wasn’t actually IN Hayle. Travelodge name them after the nearest town, not the actual destination. We were directed to a garage and pulled in to the car park, only to discover it was Premier Inn. As we toured the car park, we spied Travelodge lurking behind a Shell petrol station, spying on us. And it had just caught us flirting with another motel. We scurried over and assured Travelodge that it wasn’t what it looked like, we were just LOOKING at Premier Inn and it meant nothing to us.

Penzance ghost walkWe had just enough time to unpack and have a quick snack before leaving for Penzance. Mum told us to leave at half seven for the half eight ghost walk. We left at 7:55 – we had to wait for Ryan’s equipment to recharge. We got there on time and were even allowed to film. The walk lasted til 10:15 and it was brilliant. The guide, Ian Addicoat, was really entertaining and clearly knew a lot about the area. There were 15-20 of us on the walk yet we were the only ones who had a light. In the pitch black cemetery, Lynx kindly lit the steps for the elderly people in the group so no one broke a hip. That would really sour the spooky atmosphere. We kept getting left behind as we skulked in the dark taking photos like perverts. Iain told us of the legends of black dogs and how people die soon after seeing these spectral creatures. Ryan was then paranoid about meeting them. We planned to tell him we couldn’t see any black dogs if he spotted one.Penzance ghost walk

We found our way back to our Travelodge no problem, which surprised us all. A whole day in Cornwall and we didn’t get lost once. In other news, Jupiter has melted.

Calamityville Horror

Our amateur ghost hunting show, C.A.T.S Tales of Terror is being revamped after only 3 episodes. It’s had a name change and is now called C.A.T.S Calamityville Horror, after a creative dispute. In other words, the third member of our team, Ryan, suddenly realised we were doing a show and now wants to be part of it, instead of just accepting his role as the C.A.T.S clown. But don’t worry, he still trips over and gives us great out-takes. We think the new name reflects the disastrous things that happen on the show. We’ve also bought fancy new editing software so hopefully the show will be much improved. Well, the filming will be better quality, even if the stars aren’t 😀 Not even Ryan’s fancy HD iPhone can make us look good. We just appear in HD. No-one wants to see that.

Yesterday we returned to Newton House in Dinefwr to do the hidden house tour and get answers for what happened last week. We were accompanied by Hayley, who was our guest for this episode. We wandered the house beforehand and returned to the basement where we got the reaction from the K2. We got another reaction from it, in the same place. As usual, we were thrilled. You wouldn’t think a bleeping, flashing machine could make us so excited. Simple things… We got another reaction outside the Tea Room, which used to be the Billiard’s room. People have reported smelling pipe smoke in that room, which we managed to miss out on our last visit. Not sure how that happened. It’s probably Ryan’s fault. Cat put the K2 to Ryan’s body and it flashed and lit up. She put it to his head and it went really quiet. Obviously no brain activity.

We told our guide, Kevin we were interested in the ghost stories and he asked if we were the ones there last week. Our reputation obviously preceded us 😀 As long as we left good impressions. People do tend to remember us. Like horror movie monsters. Once you’ve seen us, the fear lingers and haunts your nightmares. We got taken to the offices and the creepy corridor, which featured in Most Haunted. In the room where one man was carried out on that show, the K2 was silent. We got to go on to the roof and were very tempted to push Ryan off to see how well his iPhone’s Steadicam worked under extreme pressure but there were too many witnesses and he wouldn’t have gone quietly. He’s a struggler.

On the tour, we passed the Tea Room and the K2 remained silent. Kevin told us when he was coming down the basement stairs, he once saw a man dressed in Edwardian clothes. We then told him this was where the K2 went off. After the tour, we took Kevin down to the basement and again the K2 performed for us. We’ve asked two members of staff – Kevin & Scott, who we spoke to last week and they both said there’s nothing behind the door. Kevin then opened another door, which led to an original Victorian urinal. Tourists aren’t shown this part. We had behind the scenes access! We were more excited than was normal at seeing a urinal. Wonder if the Victorians adhered to the same weird urinal rules modern men do. We returned to the tourist office to show other staff members the footage and Scott took us back in to see a 400 yr old skeleton of a cat which was discovered under the floorboards. It’s still there. Yes, he moved the floorboard for us. That is customer services. Apparently people used to bury things in floorboards to keep away evil spirits. Children’s shoes were discovered under there. An ancient belief was if you killed someone and buried them in the foundations, the building would stand. So when we have our castle, we might have to try this…

View the footage here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtzQaomk8QY