Twilight Shadows Paranormal

The Swan Hotel

On Sunday 5th July 2009, Twilight Shadows/ Phoenix of Wessex Paranormal investigated The Swan Hotel in Bradford on Avon.


The Swan Hotel is a Grade II listed building. Dating back to the 18th Century, it oozes character and charm. The Swan is situated right in the heart of Bradford on Avon close to the 14th Century Bridge which crosses the river. It is 7 miles from Bath.


Two weeks previously, the team had investigated The Fat Fowl in Bradford on Avon, which is almost next-door to The Swan. So we had all ready had the chance to see the outside of the building and we were excited about our forthcoming investigation there.


We drove from Salisbury and met up with Jacky, Dave and Chris in Bradford on Avon. Initially we were shown round the premises by Gareth and then left to our own devices.



We decided to commence our investigation in the cellar so we entered the little passage leading to it which was spooky enough in its own right. The cellar is an amazing room and very large with interesting stonework. There is also an area which may have contained a well but has now been bricked over. There is a bar inside the cellar; and tables. We had been informed that the staff do not like going into the cellar. I can understand why. The team divided into two.


We sat round a table and attempted to conduct a séance. It wasn’t long before I heard whistling. I ‘called out’ and Melodysaid that she heard 2 thuds responding to my request.


Christina asked if the table was moving slightly. We thought that it may be. I felt a knock which seemed to come from underneath the table. Melodysaid that she felt the table was moving slightly.


Christina said that she had started to feel immensely sad for no apparent reason. Louisa said that she could feel a sudden cold breeze. Suddenly, Christina jumped and said that something had patted her on the head.


Matt heard a swishing sound like fabric and Christina was touched on the head again making her jump. I could hear tapping which was confirmed by the others.


Dave M was sitting in the alcove where the well was supposed to be. We moved to a table nearer to him.


We sat there for a while and became aware that there was water running very close to us. It sounded as if it was pouring through the ceiling and splashing down on the floor right by us. We thought that maybe someone in the hotel had let a sink or bath overflow and it was pouring through the ceiling. As we talked, the sound of the pouring water got louder. The boys went to investigate and they found puddles but no evidence of where it had come from. We were later told by staff that this incident is a regular occurrence in the cellar. The cause has been looked into by plumbers but nobody can ever find the reason for this strange phenomenon. The staff mop up these puddles regularly. This was very strange as we actually heard the water pouring heavily and we have recorded this sound.


When we had settled again, some knocking on the table started. Matt suddenly, jumped and said that he had seen a figure by the door. We then heard a lot of creaking in the room with us. This was very loud.


Loretta thought she heard something in the main room and went to investigate. She found nothing. Immediately upon her return to us, we heard movement back out in that room.


Dave M and I heard a squeaky sound.


Suddenly, the table started really shaking. Christina said that her arm was being tickled. There seemed to be‘energy’ between Christina and Louisa. I looked up and saw a figure walk past the entrance between our room and the main room. Immediate investigation proved that there was nobody there.


Dave M thought that there may be two spirits with us. Melody said that she felt a sudden cold breeze around her legs, followed by a definite chinking of glasses on the bar. The bar was clearly within vision and there was no reason for the glasses to make a chinking sound. This was a phenomenon which also occurred in the Fat Fowl restaurant nearby.


The atmosphere seemed to thicken, we all felt it change. Richard and Dave M saw a shadow figure at the bar. Again there was nobody there. The glasses chinked again and then we heard footsteps at the far end of the room we were sitting in. We could all see that there was nobody to make the sound of footsteps.


We sat quietly again. We all heard a child’s voice in the room with us. Upon examining our equipment we have managed to capture the sound of the child’s voice.


Matt saw another shadow figure and then exclaimed that something walked right through him. We heard the sound of rustling fabric from the far side of the room.


We sat in silence for a considerable time and the spirits were silent also.


Eventually, Melody said that she could feel something touching her right leg and Louisa said that she was suddenly feeling very cold.  We heard a big dragging sound nearby which was extremely eerie.


We decided to move to the other side of the cellar. There was a large mirror hanging there and we decided to attempt scrying. We stared into the mirror. Some of us looked positively evil.


Christina’s mouth appeared to change. It looked as if someone was superimposing onto her. I was lightly leaning on a table which was in front of me. Although I had not asked, the table started to move. Christina said that she felt like crying. Louisa said that she could see someone else in a gap between two people. I was just going to see if I could see this also when I became aware that Christina was really crying. She was filled with incredible sorrow. The table, on which I was leaning, knocked loudly.


Christina had managed to compose herself. I looked at her face and she looked oriental. She even appeared to have painted –on eyebrows.


Louisa’s face seemed to be changing also. Her nose appeared larger and she looked older.


Melody said that her reflection blinked but she didn’t. Melody’s face looked long and thin.


Although several team members were scrying in the mirror, only Christina, Melody and Louisa’s faces seemed to really change. The rest of us looked as we usually do.


Function Room

The girls left the area of the cellar and walked outside and over to the function room. We sat around a table.


Louise felt that a spirit was affecting her and she became tearful. She asked the spirit responsible, to remove this phenomenon from her.


Christina said that Louisa’s face had changed; it looked pale and much older.


As we sat around the table we were aware that it was moving gently.


We all heard a noise over by the bar. Melody could hear whispering and Christina heard a tap.


Louisa felt that she was compelled to continually stare at Christina. She closed her eyes to try and stop this feeling. She said that she did not feel like a spirit person had tried to enter her aura but she did not feel like herself. Her heart felt that it was racing.


Christina took a photograph of Louisa and said that the photo looked like her Grandmother. Louisa’s eyes looked sunken and her nose looked bigger. Christina compared the photo of Louisa to a photo of her deceased Grandmother. We all agreed that there did seem to be a resemblance when we compared the two photos, even Louisa thought so. Compared to the cellar, the function room was relatively quiet on the paranormal front.


Four Poster Bedroom

We re-joined the boys and all assembled in the four poster bedroom. We had been informed that accidents happen in this room.


Quite quickly we heard a tap starting to drip in the bathroom. We asked for it to drip faster but it didn’t. We did not feel that the tap was anything to do with the paranormal. But strangely, we discovered that Jacky’s team also experienced the dripping tap not long after they entered this room and were later told by management that this tap does not usually drip.


Disused Bedroom

This room had a reputation for events of a spooky nature. It was not used by hotel guests anymore but staff occasionally slept in it. We did not experience anything of a paranormal nature in this room.



We returned to the cellar and to the left side of the room. We were chatting, as we were nearing the end of our investigation and suddenly Loretta jumped up and uttered a series of ‘expletives.’ She was terrified! When she had finally calmed down she said that she had heard a definite growl to our left. Dave M also heard it. By this time all of our equipment was switched off as we were about to pack up so we were not able to record it.


Earlier in the evening we had set trigger objects. At the end of the evening we discovered that the trigger object that I had set had moved which was exciting as this rarely happens.


After a final drink with the rest of the team, hotel staff and management, we made our way home.


We would like to thank the management of The Swan Hotel for allowing us to investigate their premises. We had an amazing night.


Written by: Maria Williams 



Jacky’s Report

On Sunday the 5th of July 2009 Phoenix of Wessex and Twilight Shadows had the privilege to investigate the lovely Swan Hotel situated in the middle of the picturesque town of Bradford on Avon. The Swan Hotel is a beautiful Grade II listed building dating back to the 1500's


A Brief History of Bradford-on-Avon

The earliest known settlement in Bradford-on Avonwas over 2500 years ago when an Iron Age tribe arrived on the promontory above Tory, and Bradford on Avon has been in existence as a community more or less since then. These people remained in their small settlement during Roman times, gradually spreading towards Bath & Monkton Farleigh. The Saxons then arrived, probably settling on the high ground of what is now St Margaret's Hill, leaving as their main legacy the SaxonChurch.

The Normans also had their turn in shaping the town - building the Church of Holy Trinity and the original Bradford-on Avon town bridge. The Romans too left their mark - part of a Roman road has been excavated in the grounds of the OldRideSchool, and coffins, coins, and the remains of a prosperous Romano - British villa have been found on the site of the St Laurence playing fields.


Once we had been given a quick tour of the hotel by one the hotels manager Gareth, we headed into the cellar bar for the first of our vigils. As this is quite a large area I decided that splitting the team into 2 groups would be the best course of action. The cellar bar had a very oppressive atmosphere to it which you noticed as soon as you walked in. Gareth had told us during the quick tour that no one on the staff likes to be in the bar by themselves and this included Gareth also. I did wonder if the atmosphere and oppressive feeling was down to the ceiling being very low and the fact you knew you were submerged underground.


Before we started I set up a trigger object experiment where I left a series of coins in the shape of a cross on a piece of plain card with pencil markings drawn around the outside of the coins. This shows if the coins have moved at all during the course of the night.


After a few minutes trying to figure out how to turn off the lights myself, Dave and Chris sat in the main part of the bar and Maria and her team went to sit in the bunker. We were attempting some glass divination and at the same time Maria's team were attempting to try some table tipping.


After calling out for any spirit people to try to communicate, our team did not experience any movement with the glass but we did hear running water during the glass divination experiment. The water seemed to be falling onto the stone floor and we could hear the water splashing on the ground. I went to look to see if anything had started to leak and at the same time a staff door opened and one of the managers came out with a cloth that I assumed was for the leak. I noticed there was a sizable puddle on the floor and the manager slipped a little when he walked through the water. I went back to the team and we resumed the experiment.


Whilst in the cellar bar all EMF readings were normal.



As it was fairly quiet in this room we decided to relocate and move to the function room.


Myself, Dave and Chris took a little time to get used to the room. We set up another glass divination experiment and settled down at a table and started to call out. This room did not feel particularly oppressive or threatening but already it had an atmosphere building. We started to hear taps at the far end of the room where there is a coat rail and rest room. We asked questions to see if we could get a response and to our amazement we would hear taps almost immediately after a question was asked. I started to feel that the presence was female and asked if this was correct. We heard a tap and took this to mean yes. Chris also said that he was sensing a female presence who he felt may have worked in the building but she was happy and not in any distress. Dave also exclaimed that he thought he could hear a violin being played and both Chris and Dave thought they saw someone walk past the outside window whilst we were in the room. But when we looked no-one was there. We all thought at one point we saw movement reflected in mirrors in the room.


Whilst in the function room all EMF readings were normal.


Our next vigil was in room 11. This room had a beautiful four poster bed in it and had a lovely welcoming atmosphere to it. We settled in the room and sat in silence whilst we tuned into the room. We asked out for quite a while and at the time we thought that nothing we could call paranormal happened whilst we were in there. However, during our time in the room the tap started to drip in the bathroom which we discovered is not normal for this room at all.


As we thought that room 11 was quiet we decided to go back to the cellar bar for a final investigation.


Maria's team was in the other room to which we had access and in this room it was reported that the water would actually gurgle up the drain pipe and a spout of water would shoot out of the plug hole in the sink into the room. Even though this has been looked into by plumbers the problem has never been solved.


We decided to go and sit in the lounge part of the cellar bar which was were Maria's team had been earlier. We turned out the lights and called out for a while. We did not experience any activity whilst in the room but the oppressive feeling was still very much there.


As it was a Sunday we decided that this would be a good time to call it a night. We were invited back into the main bar by the management and over a drink we discussed what we had experienced during the evenings events. During this chat we found out to our amazement that none of the staff know where the water comes from that appears on the floor in the cellar bar. I exclaimed that we had heard it falling and splashing on the floor and we assumed that David the manager (who I saw at the time) was coming to clean the water up. He then told us that he had only come down to the cellar for something and had slipped in the puddle on his way out.


As most of the team had now gone home Gareth thought it would be a good idea to show us some more mysteries of the hotel and have a look in the cellar bar again. We were shown a stairway to nowhere which is partly visible in the kitchen cupboard. We then went back to the cellar bar and noticed another puddle but not in the same place as before. We had a look at the archway above the area where the first puddle appeared and this was bone dry. There were also no water marks down the wall or any holes in the floor. We again explained what we heard whilst down in the cellar and can only describe this as water falling from a height and splashing on the floor.


We discussed our collected information gathered from both teams with the staff and both teams felt there was a female presence in the hotel but she was harmless and totally happy.


My trigger object that I had placed in the cellar bar had not moved but Maria's trigger object she has set up also in the cellar bar had moved which I took a picture of.


We would like to thank the staff at the Swan Hotel for this amazing opportunity to investigate one of Bradford's long standing landmarks and hope to visit again soon.


Written by: Jacky Wicheard