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
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