World of War

Dinefwr World War 2 Summer

brothers in arms

We were persuaded to visit Newton House’s World War 2 summer event, organised by Scott James (you may remember him from episode 5 of Calamityville Horror). There would be guns, history and soldiers in their uniforms. Hell yeah we were going! It was fantastic! We made the Glamorgan Home Guards on the barrier very suspicious as we kept passing them to fetch things from the car and only had one pass between the 3 of us.

Glamorgan Home Guards

stop or we’ll shoot!

We tried to convince them Ryan was a spy and should be shot but sadly the mischievous twinkles in our eyes gave the game away. Maybe next time…We spent ages in the US/German camp talking to the soldiers. Turned out, one of the soldiers was Ryan’s neighbour! And they’d never met. Small world. He loaded Ryan up with equipment and made him run about 50 yards, to experience what the soldiers had to experience. We were hoping he’d launch a grenade after him to fully add to it. Sadly not. Their reluctance to gun down this varmint was worrying. He must’ve paid them off.

Not only did we get to pick up the rifles (which were nearly the same size as us), we also got to sit in the genuine WW2 Jeeps! We were desperate to nab one for a test drive but no keys were left in them, sadly. Though we did get to play with the machine guns mounted in the back and pretend to shoot people 😀 How badass would we look filming the next Calalmityville episode in a WW2 Jeep? Does anyone have a spare one they don’t want? Preferably one with a machine gun?

World War 2 Jeep

Jeepers Creepers

The lady from the Medic tent asked if she could take our photo for her son as he used to be a Goth. Naturally we obliged. Even more coinkidinkally, one of the soldiers happens to run the website about the Bridgend POW camp that we tried to get into. Remember the pics of us squeezing through the fence? That one. And they’re having an open day! We’ll finally be able to see inside in a legal, won’t-have-to-run-from-the-cops manner! Our mum will be thrilled. And the escape tunnel is still there. Might have to recreate that German POW escape…

The battle re-enactment was brilliant. Scott told us the best place to film and we were right by the action. It was so exciting. Not only were the soldiers extremely friendly and knowledgeable, they were also really good actors and the German sniper was captured with only two casualties.

World War 2 re-enactment, Dinefwr

band of brothers

Then a group of soldiers came over and wanted their pics taken with us. Lots of pics 😀 They even let us sit on the bonnet of their Jeep. In the Resistance exhibition we met an old soldier who taught us about the Smith and Wesson revolver we were playing with. He also wanted our photo. It was like being celebrities! We weren’t even part of the event!

We returned to the basement where the K2 meter had given us such great hits on our last two visits. It was silent. Maybe because the audio wasn’t playing, though that wouldn’t have effected it anyway, but it’s the only explanation we can think of. The K2 didn’t go off anywhere else, which was very strange as Newton House has always given us plenty of K2 activity. Maybe the soldiers scared the ghosts away. In the wards there were a variety of tools with those scanning barcode things for Smart phones to find out about them. As our phones are so old, we ended up inventing uses for them. Eyeball grabbers, brain hooks and nose pokers being amongst the favourites. Cat tried to take Ryan’s jugular blood from an over sized syringe. None came out. Maybe he’s a vampire.

Dinefwr World War 2 summer

HALT!

We strong armed our sister and her family into going the next day. Apparently, as soon as they mentioned us, all the  soldiers raved about us 😀 (We’re now FB friends with 2 of them) Surely we can’t have made that much of an impression, not with the large number of people who were there. Although our outfits were very popular. We highly recommend everyone goes to Dinefwr to witness it first hand. It was amazing. Even more so because it was the first event Scott’s organised, so we were doubly impressed! And he did look rather handsome in his uniform 😉

Dinefwr World War 2 summer

us with Scott James

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