Ghost Hunting: Wainbody Wood & Gibbet Hill

Last night was my first ghost hunting experience and it was very interesting indeed! I have always been very open-minded and have wanted to try something like this out for myself – for the very reasons, if nothing else, that I’ll be able to tell when someone is hiding in the dark trying to scare me against something altogether otherworldly happening.

The night started off with meeting up with the rest of the group, walking through to base camp and being split off into smaller groups. My group of six and the guide/organiser of the event, after taking some time to protect ourselves spiritually/psychically, first went down a trail into the woods where very quickly we noticed a severe change in temperature. Whilst we were standing in the dark, calling out, we became aware of flashes of orange light some distance ahead among the trees. This light began to appear from different directions as we continue to speak out to the spirits, should any be present and I got a feeling of being watched and at one point saw a hazy mist just above head level off to my left. I also got a sense of time from the area, like the residual energy and spirits were a few hundred years old.

2013-08-31 23.51.52

Russell stands off in the darkness, with this strange shape/light to the left of the shot (it appeared on 3 consecutive shots in this direction).

We began to walk around back to the base camp (the path in this part going in a circular direction) and as we reached the second part of the path the icy air and sense of being watched dissipated and the woods felt a lot more “normal”. Back at the camp, we were asked to try a spirit board to see if any of the spirits would come through. I was intrigued to try this as I’d never “dabbled” with Ouija boards or anything, having been “warned” off them by my mum at an earlier age. However, I was feeling brave and wanted to experience it and be sure I wasn’t “pushing” the glass or anything.

We took turns in asking questions to any of the spirits that wanted to communicate. After a few moments of pause, the glass gingerly began to move. The first concrete message to come through gave us a man, called F. Gulf from 1845 whose profession started with an “S”. After that we had another male who gave the initials “CJ” as a name and then began to spell random letters, though it occurred to me that perhaps they were Roman Numerals (I, C, M etc.). After that the board seemed to go quiet, however during the time we were using it and calling out, there was a lot of activity in the woods around us; noises and such that appeared to be coming closer to us.

Next, two of our group (my partner and another lady) opted to go back down the path towards the “cold area” and see if they could pick anything up. Whilst they were down there, we at camp could here noises coming from that direction, including a large “snap” of wood and the sound of a pained man calling out – as if someone had fallen over in the dark. When they came back to the group, they said they hadn’t heard anything and that it hadn’t been my partner who had tripped or something.

After that we swapped guides and went off towards Gibbet Hill, where historically three soldiers had been executed for the murder of a man in Coventry and their bodies tarred and hung in gibbets for 69 years as a warning that Coventry was a lawful city. Once we walked over through the woods to the right area, we were split into groups of two (though my partner and another lady we’re put on their own) and we tried calling out for any spirits. It seemed reasonably quiet, but we did hear a few heavy sounds in the bushes ahead of us; but it was more like foot-falls rather than some animal moving through the foliage.

Then we moved up a bit further and tried out a “human pendulum”, where we formed a circle holding hands and one person stood in the centre and we asked the spirits to use our collective energies to move the person. We didn’t have much luck with this and then another group joined with us and we tried it again, finally getting more of a result with a couple of members. But still not very much communication or anything clear.

2013-08-31 23.44.36

A strange shape that featured on 5 shots along the path at the Highwaymen Camp area.

Once again we swapped groups and went with another set of guides back towards base camp. They took us back towards the area we had first been in and whilst I was walking towards the back of the group I took a number of photos. In every single one, there appeared a white “blob” in the left hand corner. I checked that my fingers weren’t in the way and that the lens was clean and still the shape appeared. Then when we stopped and were split up, I took pictures in all directions around me and the form was gone. We spent some time on our own, in the dark, whilst the guide called out. I felt something “stand” just behind me and began to feel very uneasy and then out of nowhere there was the sound of a woman screaming.

That scared me quite a lot and I ran to the nearest person (my partner). Logically I thought it must have been someone in one of the other groups. The guide came to stand with me and I explained what I’d felt so he sent my partner to stand where I had been. He called out and I took pictures in the direction and a white shape appeared once again in the left hand of each shot.

We headed back around to base camp where we met up with another selection of the main group who had also heard the scream but had thought it was one of us. By the end of the night, it had been established that everyone had clearly heard the woman’s scream but each person had thought it to be someone in another group. We also asked about the history of the area we had been in and were told that it had at one time been a highwaymen camp and that the people of Coventry had begun to get tired of the robbery and so soldiers had gone in and slaughtered anyone they found living within the woods.

We were then lead up towards what had until recently been used as a pagan circle as well as a camping ground by local Scouts. This little area had such a wonderful and peaceful energy and the trees opened up to a clear sky, where we saw a couple of shooting stars! It truly was magickal and I would love to visit this area again in the daytime.

From that small respite of positive energy we headed down to another area which had apparently been quite active earlier in the night with other groups. It was instantly much colder again and I didn’t like the sense of the area without specifically being able to put my finger on it. We spent quite a while in this area as a small group but nothing really seemed to happen; all photos didn’t show anything up and despite a feeling of unease there was no real activity.

The guide decided to split us up into pairs and spread us out through the area. Myself and my partner went and stood further up the path and in the darkness we called out to any spirits in the area. At first there was nothing but then slowly the energy began to change; we heard noises around us, my partner head whispers and mumbling behind him. It felt like we were being watched by different people and then there was this sense like we were being circled. It was very negative and the emotions I could feel around me included a lot of anguish and fear, to the point where I began to feel nauseous.

It began to get a little too close and overpowering and so we instructed the spirits to back away, thanking them for their effort to communicate with us. Shortly after, the guide came up the path to us explaining that he felt “drawn” to come and see if we were alright and we explained what we had just experienced before re-joining the rest of our group.

2013-08-31 22.25.42

Strands of mist and haze close to base camp.

I asked if we could go back to the pagan circle, just so I could ground myself a little after feeling such a blast of negative energy and then after that we headed back to base camp, though we seemed to get a little “lost” and ended up taking a very long way around to get back there, rather than the more direct route along which we had originally come.

We spent more time at base camp, listening to some conversation, explaining what we had seen/heard etc. with the others. It was then suggested that we all go back up to the pagan circle to try a larger human pendulum. The majority of us headed back there, whilst the organiser of the event saw a couple of people who decided to leave back to their car. We waited in the circle for him to arrive, with me generally just enjoying the sense of peace and stillness in this little area.

Once the organiser came back he approached my partner and I and asked if he could borrow us for a little experiment. We agreed and our friends who we were with came also. He took us back down the trail to the area where my partner and I had had the negative experience and we all stood there in the dark as the temperature around us dropped, chilling us to the bone.

He asked us what we had originally experienced when down here as the general feedback had been that it hadn’t been very active which he was surprised about. We explained that it had been quite until we had split off where my partner and I had had the rather negative experience.

2013-09-01 00.22.27

Friends Martin, Kylie and my partner Russell with an unexplained “mist” in the corner.

That’s when he explained that the area had been used by at least a dozen reported suicides by hanging in the 80s. One of those people, had been his boyfriend/partner who had killed himself in that very area one night, using a jacket that he had lent him, to hang himself. He then when on to explain how his partner had had a very hard time accepting being gay (early 20s during the beginning of the 1990s) and that usually if any openly gay people/couples are present in the area the spirit usually reacts badly to them, causing nausea, pushing, scratching and sensing of negative emotions. This was fascinating as well as saddening, and during the entire time I was stood there my stomach was in knots and I had an aching pain under my diaphragm.

We finally left that area, my sense of fear, emotion and nausea dissipating by the time we reached the base camp. That was the end of the night, just after 2am in the morning. Tired, a little chilly and certainly with a lot to process, we said our goodbyes and headed home. A lot of the photos I took during the night didn’t particular show anything other than darkness and a bit of flash-highlight foliage, however some (like the ones I’ve included here) had strange mists or haze or blobs that couldn’t be explained as a finger or dust etc because I was doubly sure to check for that; especially in the series of 5 photos where a “changing” shape featured in the same area of the frame (whilst I was walking along a path and stopping to take photos every so often).

All in all it was a very interesting night and I would definitely go on future investigations to other places as well as back to the woods to see what other things I can experience firsthand!