Twilight Shadows Paranormal

s.l.corden & Sons

On Saturday 28th January 2017, Twilight Shadows Paranormal conducted a double investigation in Warminster, Wiltshire. Our first investigation was in a lovely shop called S L Corden & Sons. The shop is an amazing hardware store which seems to sell everything you could imagine. I have been lucky enough to investigate this shop many years ago and so I was excited about being given the opportunity to meet its spirits again.


Sidney Lancelot Corden was born in 1860 in Brentwood, Essex. He was married to Alice and they had six children, Robert, Hugh, Winifred, Evelyn, Kathleen and Mildred. He moved to Warminster and opened the shop in 1882. The 1901 census shows that Mary Wallis, Frederick Corden, Alfred Wallis and Mary Sanger were all living in the same household. I hoped that we would make contact with one of these people. However, the Ovilus repeatedly emitted the name Walter. So I researched the name Walter Corden and discovered that Walter Greensmith Corden was born in 1824 in Derbyshire and he was Sidney's father.


Dave and I walked around the shop on our own initially. I 'called out' quietly and Dave noticed that some spoons (which were hanging) were shaking. We started to get excited until we realised that the floorboards on which we were standing, were causing the movement.

We went into a little room which is like walking back in time. It is full of really old, brown, wooden boxes and drawers. Sidney Corden used to sit inside this room and it certainly feels very atmospheric. The shop as a whole is huge. Dave and I explored the ground floor and then we went upstairs to join the rest of the team.

I went with Sharon into the staff room. Matt, Lesley and Nettie were already in here. We sat with them and I said that this was the room that I felt a spiritual presence in last time I visited. I felt the same this evening. We were talking about the fact that this was originally a nursery and that the Corden's employed a nanny to look after their small children. Matt said that he may have felt a presence in the adjoining room. Lesley said that she had felt someone touch the back of her head.

I 'called out' and I heard the swish of fabric in the adjoining room. Sharon heard it too. We both went into the room and tried to make contact with a spirit that may have been in there but nothing happened. We went back into the staff room. After a while we all heard footsteps. We listened quietly and then heard them again. They were walking out of the room which we were in and going into the adjoining room. The atmosphere now felt flat and we thought that the spirit walking out of the room indicated that they had gone and we wouldn't be able to now make contact.

We walked downstairs to meet with the rest of the team. Dave told us that he'd smelt tobacco in Sidney Corden's room which is a regular phenomena in there. The Ovilus said 'gone' and 'arrived' and then 'Walter' twice. Was this Sidney's father trying to make contact? The Ovilus also said 'Nanna' and Pete said that this made sense. When we heard the footsteps earlier, we did not know that there is the spirit of a nanny who is thought to be upstairs looking after the children. Sue (Corden's owner), informed us that people can often feel the spirit of the nanny and they keep the door open for her, as she gets annoyed when people close it. If they don't leave the door open, the nanny makes the room icy cold. She likes the door left open so that she can check the baby.

Pete felt that the footsteps we heard belonged to the nanny. He described her as a handsome, striking looking lady who was wearing a grey dress with a white pinny. He thought that the swishing of material was her dress, probably made of taffeta. Pete said that she stands outside of the nursery listening for the children. He said that the nanny was a spinster. The children were her life and she was dedicated to her profession. Pete said that he has heard the nanny singing to the children. He felt that the nanny was 'haunting' upstairs and Sidney Corden was downstairs.

I went behind the counter into a small room. As I walked into the room, the atmosphere was palpable. I immediately felt as if we were not alone and as Sharon and Dave entered the room, they could also feel it. Sharon saw a flash of light in the corner. We could not work out a rational explanation for this. Dave said that he could feel tingling on the back of his neck, We could all feel an energy building up. Dave said that something was blowing down his neck. We went out into the main part of the shop. The feeling we had, disappeared immediately as soon as we left the room. Andrew and Lesley went into the room and they both felt a presence. Andrew said that the feeling was strong. Andrew said that he felt wet and cold.

We went back to Sidney's room. Hannah and Emma were in there. They said that they could smell tobacco. I could now smell it and it was getting stronger. There was a pleasant feeling in the room and Pete said that there were no malevolent spirits in the building. The Ovilus said 'Nine.' Andrew realised that he was standing next to a sign which had a '9' painted on it. Pete said that Sidney presented as a grumpy person but he was a very kind man who would go out of his way to help people. The Ovilus said 'Nine' again. Apart from Andrew standing by the sign, we could not work out the relevance.

Some of us went back upstairs and I used the Spirit Box to try to make contact. The Spirit Box said 'Nine' really clearly so that was the Ovilus and Spirit Box concurring. I 'called out' and the Spirit Box said 'Preacher.' There is a church opposite Cordons but I don't know if that is related. Lesley said that she could feel an energy in the adjoining room. Matt said that he could feel it too. Dave came in to join us and the Ovilus said, 'David.' After this the energy started to diminish.

We went back downstairs and into the back room where the shop displays Christmas ware. Sue and her staff were in the process of putting the Christmas stock away. Pete said that there is a little girl who passes through this area. She had perished in a fire. He told Sue that she loves this area of the shop when the Christmas decorations are on display.

We decided to end our investigation here as we had our second investigation at the Organ Inn to attend. On behalf of the Twilight Shadows Paranormal team, I would like to thank Sue for letting us investigate her lovely shop and Pete for arranging our visit there.

There were lots of words coming out from the Ovilus and many of them could relate to a hardware store. The words included Walter (three times), Daddy, Nanna, preacher (twice), spirit, children, lady, baby, son, screw, crayon, wrench (three times), cable, grind, surface, wire, tool, reel, copper, paint, unlock, iron. The Ovilus also said David and Dan which team members names.

Written by: Maria Williams