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

C.A.T.S. Tales of Error

We’ve decided that with our mock ghost hunting show, C.A.T.S. Tales of Terror (C.A.T.S. standing for Cardiff’s Answer to Supernatural, even though one third of the group isn’t from Cardiff) we’d release an episode every fortnight. Weekly would involve too much work – we’d never be able to visit a place every week then get all the editing down as well as working on our writing, so fortnightly gives us breathing space.

So we need to visit more places. First we couldn’t decide where we wanted to go. Well, we know where we want to go, but Ryan has developed an allergic reaction every time North Wales is mentioned, so Beaumaris Gaol is out for the time being. We also want to visit Bodmin Jail, the Jamaica Inn and Poldark Mines in Cornwall, but we’re going to book a long weekend there for those places. So we wanted somewhere closer. After trawling the Internet and our book of haunted places, we decided on St. Mary’s Church in Avenbury, Herefordshire. It’s old, spooky and has great tales of haunting. We printed off the directions, did our research and were all set for a visit. Then we discovered it’s private property and we can only look at it from the footpath. We scrapped it.

Returning to the Internet, we discovered some abandoned forts on the Pembrokeshire coast which look cool. No mentions of hauntings, but that doesn’t mean we can’t explore them. Who says we have to only go to places other people claim are haunted? But the one relies on the tide being out so if we’re going to Tenby, we’d need to get there early to spend the whole day there so we can return to Caldy Island where we often went as kids.

Lynx then found a place on a BBC website called Aberglasney. It came up repeatedly amongst the people who were listing scary places they’ve visited. It’s reputedly haunted by 6 maids who were found dead in their beds after a suspected carbon monoxide poisoning when the house was being renovated. The night before they died, some people reported seeing floating candles along the corridor outside the Blue Room, where they died – corpse candles. There’s a superstition that if you see a corpse candle, which is usually a blue flame, it will lead you to your grave.

Aberglasney

So yesterday, we set off for Aberglasney, which is just past Llandeilo in Carmarthenshire. We got to drive through Ammanford, where our nan’s side of the family is from. Amazingly, we didn’t get lost. Despite the fact we were once again relying on AA route planner. We’ve forgiven it for its massive betrayal in North Wales and it’s working really hard to earn our trust again. Aberglasney gardens are beautiful. There are several different ones and they truly are stunning. There was just one problem – the gardens aren’t haunted. The house is, but only the ground floor is open. Upstairs, the haunted part, is not accessible. In fact, it’s not even there.

So there were no ghosts for our ghost hunting show. This doesn’t happen to Most Haunted.

We decided to return to the car and consult our map. Ryan couldn’t get service to look on Google so like Sam and Dean do in Supernatural, we rang our superhero at base camp, our Bobby – our mum. She was manning the animal army whilst doing some decorating, but she still got onto the Internet for us to find us a place close by. Newton House in Dinefwr Park. It was a few minutes down the road and we’d just driven past the sign for the turning. We circled the roundabout and headed back, not knowing what to expect. We hadn’t circled this place on our map because the symbols say it’s a garden. They neglect to mention it has a castle, a haunted manor house and a slaughterhouse.

All the information we had to go on, was that there was a murder, a suicide and people often felt like they were being strangled. Mum didn’t know where in Dinefwr Park Newton House was or even if it was even open. Then we saw it. And fell in love. It’s a beautiful gothic mansion set in acres of land with woodland and Fallow deer. We’ve never seen deer in real life. Then we saw a classic car – a 1930’s Buick. So we went to photograph that first. At the information centre, we were sorely tempted to go on the Hidden House tour, which takes you to the attic and the roof, where you’re not allowed to go, but we weren’t sure if they’d allow us to film and our episode was already on a life support machine. We asked the lady if the place was haunted. She went silent.

Newton House

We headed for Newton House and showed our receipt to the guide, who was called Scott James. We started talking to him about Aberglasney and hunting for ghosts. He was lovely, friendly and helpful and agreed to let us film him while he told us all about the ghostly experiences that have happened there. We just have to get permission from The National Trust to use the footage. We really hope we can because it will be a welcome change to have in C.A.T.S. Tales of Terror, a coherent professional who actually knows what they’re talking about. Plus he comes across great on camera – natural and knowledgeable. Not like us clowns. He also told us they hold tours there on Halloween. We are going!

We were wandering around the basement, minding our own business when these girls – they must’ve been about 6-8ish, spotted us. Lynx had wandered off and they stopped by Cat. One said “Oh. My. Gosh.” Then they fled. Every time they saw us, they ran. Um, we’re not the ones going round strangling tourists. We walked along the corridor and passed a staircase. The K2 went nuts. It had been silent all day. It was silent all throughout Hell Fire Caves (we were beginning to think it was broken) but there it was, bleeping and flashing with the needle all the way in the red zone. There was nothing there. It was just a corner at the foot of the stairs. We put it to the floor and walls, to see if there were any electrical cables hidden in the walls. It went quiet. We moved it away and it went crazy again.

By this point, we’d attracted a bit of attention. Our secret of being ‘ghost hunters’ was exposed by our manic machine.

The K2 acting like a Lights Alive

Two women stopped to talk to us and they told us they’d felt something upstairs in the restaurant. The restaurant used to be the Billiards Room and is one of the rooms the guide, Scott, told us that strange smoke has been seen in. They were as intrigued as we were with our K2. We can’t explain it. The only thing we can think of, is there was a door by the stairs that was locked. We’re going to back and ask the guides what’s behind that door. If it’s something electrical, like the system for the audio, that would explain the K2’s reaction. Also it’ll give us a chance to see if the K2 does it again.

The K2 continued bleeping as we went up the stairs then it fell silent and didn’t utter another sound for the rest of our time in the house. We somehow managed to miss the old Billiards Room and the garden and according to the map, several other buildings too, so we definitely have to go back. We want to go on the Hidden House tour.  We’re hoping we’ll see the same guide, so he can tell us more about the house and hopefully, what’s behind that door.

We’re hoping it’s the Boogeyman.

Watch the episode here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMn1Z4dWiB4