CRAIG Y NOS
On Friday 28th March 2014, Twilight Shadows Paranormal joined West Country Paranormal at an paranormal investigation at Craig Y Nos Castle, Powys, South Wales.
Craig Y Nos Castle is a Victorian
Gothic country house. It is well known for being owned by the opera
singer Adelina Patti. The main building was originally constructed by
Captain Rice Davies Powell during the period of 1841 – 1843.
Captain Rice Davies Powell was a county magistrate and a High Sheriff
of Brecknock. It was said that his family were cursed, as his younger
son died in 1851 from cholera, his wife and his younger daughter also
died before his own death in 1862 and his eldest son was killed in
1864 while hunting on the Isle of Wight. His eldest daughter Sarah
inherited the estate and lived here with her husband Captain Allaway
until his death in 1875.
Morgan Morgan purchased the estate for
£6000 in 1876. He lived here with his family for several years.
Adelina Patti bought the castle in
1878 during a time when her career was at its height. She spent her
life at Craig Y Nos, leaving the castle only to sing in European
opera houses and undertaking a tour in the United States.
Adelina began modifying the castle
when she added the North and South wings, the clock tower, the winter
garden and the conservatory. The Adelina Patti Theatre is a Grade 1
listed opera house, built to be her miniature version of La Scala in
Milan. It also incorporates features from Wagner's Bayreuth
Festspielhaus opera house in Bayreuth and the Theatre Royal, Drury
Lane in London. Adelina used it as her own private auditorium and it
has a back drop of Madam Patti riding in a chariot. It has a
mechanical auditorium floor which can be raised or sloped. The
theatre organ was dismantled during the 1920's when the building
became a hospital. The theatre could seat 150 people. The back of it
contains a gallery where the domestic staff were permitted to sit to
enjoy performances. The orchestra pit can hold up to 24 musicians.
Upon Adelina Patti's death in 1919, the castle and its grounds
were sold to the Welsh National Memorial Trust. This organisation was
founded to combat tuberculosis and Patti's widower (her third
husband) asked for the sanatorium to be called The Adelina Patti
Hospital and it admitted its first patients in August 1922. In 1947,
the children of Craig Y Nos were the first in the United Kingdom to
receive the first effective TB medicine and in 1959, it became a
hospital for the elderly, finally closing as a hospital on 31stMarch 1986.
Craig Y Nos is now a hotel and used for weddings and conferences.
It is known for its ghosts and is said to be haunted by Adelina and
her second husband, French tenor Nicolini. There have been strange
presences reported by many different people who have visited the
castle. During the time of the castle being a hospital, nurses used
to report the feeling of an invisible person passing them on the
stairs, the sound of footsteps when nobody was there and other
unexplained noises. Some people have experienced shortness of
breath/breathing difficulties and on one occasion a film crew were in
the kitchen discussing that Adelina Patti had never mastered the role
of Carmen, when a heavy saucepan flew to the floor.
It is said that the Top Children's Ward is the most spiritually
active within the castle. Many children admitted to the hospital,
died there. Full apparitions have not only been seen on numerous
occasions but are also known to be interactive. The castle has been
investigated by TV's Most Haunted.
We started our investigation in the dining room. This is a
beautiful room but we did not experience anything of a paranormal
nature in here.
As we went downstairs into the cellar, it felt very eerie. We
settled around a small table and Jacky started to 'call out.' My left
hand started to tingle which is something I get when I sense a spirit
nearby. I heard a little knock on the table and as soon as I
mentioned it, I heard another knock. I asked, “Are you waiting for
us to start?” We realised that the sound I had described as
knocking was actually the sound of fingernails tapping on the table.
The table started to shake and move and Jacky and I both felt that
the spirit communicating with us was female. We asked if our
intuition was right but we received no response. After a little
while, the table started moving and lifting. At the same time, we
could hear movement elsewhere in the room. Jacky and I both felt
coldness around our legs. There was a strange tap in the room and
then the energy seemed to change.
I saw a traveling, glittery light with my own eyes and not on
camera. I 'called out' and asked if the spirit was connected to the
time when Adelina Patti owned the castle. Jacky then asked if this
spirit was connected to the castle when it was a hospital. We
received an affirmative answer. Jacky then asked the spirit if 'she'
had died there and the answer was again affirmative.
Dave said that he had seen several flashes of light and I had
noticed them too. We could rule out photography flashes from some of
them. Jacky asked. “How many spirit people are with you?”
Although we didn't hear this at the time, the Camcorder has recorded
a female voice which clearly replies, 'One.' Simultaneously, there
was also one tap on the table as if to confirm it. There were two
bright flashes and then as I looked to the right of me, I saw the
figure of a woman standing in the corner. She was looking at us. As
soon as I jumped, she disappeared. I tried to tell the others that
I'd seen her but I was so shaken, I could hardly formulate my words.
I have since discovered that Adelina has been seen standing in this
cellar but I have no idea if it was her or another female spirit.
Upon her death, Adelina Patti was embalmed and her body stored
inside this cellar until it was taken to her final resting place.
Adelina and the great composer Rossini held each other in high regard
and it was her wish to be buried next to his grave in Paris. Her wish
was granted and she was buried alongside Rossini although Rossini's
body was later removed and returned to Italy.
We set up the Olvius and the Ghost box. There was running water
flowing through this cellar which we thought was an old drainage
system as the harder it rained outside, the more noisy the running
water in the cellar was. We wondered if the energy of the running
water would enhance the spirit communication. I spoke to any spirits
that may be present, explaining that we were English and therefore
could only understand and speak English rather than Welsh. We
assembled inside a little room within the cellar. No sooner had we
settled, Jacky heard movement from the corridor outside the small
Jacky 'called out' and asked that if there were any spirits in the
cellar, would they please tell us their name. A woman's voice was
instantly emitted from the Ghost Box, saying Ruth, I heard footsteps
coming down the stairs but when Dave checked, there was nobody there.
1st FLOOR ATTIC
We went upstairs to the attic which had two floors. This used to
be a 'Tuberculosis Ward' and it certainly still felt like a hospital
ward albeit in a creepy, horror film way. There were random pieces of
old furniture around the attic, including an open coffin. It was not
a real coffin but it added to the ambiance of the room. Dave went
upstairs to explore the 2nd Floor Attic. He shouted down
the stairs, “It's as eerie as hell up here.” Jacky, Andrew and I,
all agreed that he was very brave to venture up there alone. We sat
for a considerable time but nothing of a paranormal nature occurred.
2nd FLOOR ATTIC
As we were climbing the stairs to the 2nd Floor Attic,
we could feel that the atmosphere was thick and very frightening.
This floor had lots of different rooms, again with old furniture in
them. Some were bedrooms and other rooms were like living rooms. The
furniture and fittings were all extremely dated and it was like
walking backwards in time. After exploring all the rooms, we settled
in one that felt like a lounge. We sat around a table and for a
while, we were all quiet, just soaking up the atmosphere. Eventually
I said, “I have never been in a place that's so scary.” Jacky
'called out' and the table knocked immediately. We asked if the
spirit responding to us would tap once for yes and twice for no.
Have we met you before this evening.
Do you stay on this level of the house.
Do you move around the house.
Does anybody ever see you?
Does anybody ever hear you?
Can we hear you?
Can you speak to us?
We would love to hear your voice.
Can you walk around so that we can hear your footsteps?
Can you really stomp about so that we can hear you?
Are you still here?
Is anybody else with you?
Are you aware of other spirit people?
Can you tap out on the table, how many spirits are here with you?
(There were 5 definitive knocks on the table).
Can you walk around in here?
(We heard two floorboards creak).
Can you really stomp about?
Can you make a noise in one of the rooms that we aren't in?
Can you throw something?
Can you shut the door?
(We heard something move/shift in the direction of the door. We
heard a floorboard creak).
Can you make that noise louder?
(We heard the noise again and it was much louder).
Can you do it one more time?
(We heard the noise again).
We could feel the temperature plummeting. Jacky swung round and
said that she'd heard a child's voice.
Can we hear your footsteps?
(Dave said, “Shhhh, I can hear footsteps.” We all listened and
we could all hear footsteps as if someone was walking around).
Can you say hello?
(We heard a noise in between a cupboard and the fireplace and then
Are you standing behind Dave?
Can you make a noise behind Dave?
Yes. (It did).
Can you knock loudly? (There was a big knock. We could also hear
Are you around the table with us? Can you knock like this? (Jacky
knocked a pattern of knocks).
The pattern of knocks was repeated. Jacky then explained to the
spirits that Ben, one of our team investigators loves it when spirits
tap out 'shave and a haircut.' She said, “Although Ben isn't here
tonight, we will be able to show him what you can do from our
recording equipment. Please will you do this for Ben?” Jacky tapped
out the beginning of the rhyme and the spirit obliged immediately
with two taps for 'two cents.' We then asked if the spirit could tap
out the whole rhyme of 'shave and a haircut.' The spirit knocked the
whole rhyme. It sounded like a child knocking the rhyme as it
faltered slightly but got better each time.
Dave said it sounded like fingernails tapping rather than the
knuckles of a hand (just like in the 1st cellar). Jacky tapped out a
pattern with her fingernails and the spirit copied her. It did sound
like fingernails. We started chatting about a spirit lady who had
dragged her fingernails across the underside of a table during a
previous investigation at '21st Century Antics.' It really
freaked Jacky out and she has never forgotten it. Jacky dragged her
fingernails over the table to demonstrate to Andrew (as he was not at
that investigation). The spirit copied her immediately. We laughed as
the spirit seemed mischievous. We told the spirit that we would like
to discover more about 'him.'
Are you a little boy?
How old are you? Tap out your age. (There were 10 taps).
You are 10?
(There was movement in another part of the room and Dave said that
he saw a shadow person move away from the door).
Did you come here when you were ill?
Are you Welsh?
Do you speak Welsh?
The Olivus said 'No' as well.
Jacky described our equipment to the spirit child, trying to
compare it to items that he may know about. We learned that he did
not know about televisions but he did understand what a radio was.
Jacky asked the spirit to try to talk to us via the Olvius, which
responded with a 'Yes.'
Andrew heard footsteps walking around the table. We started having
a game of 'copy the knocks' with us taking turns in knocking out
patterns and the spirit copying the patterns after us. The spirit
appeared to be having as much fun as we were. We started chatting
amongst ourselves, saying that we'd all be too scared to stay in this
room alone. Andrew said that his legs were now icy cold. As we were
all contemplating how we felt, the Olvius suddenly said, 'Boo!' We
decided that we would go back downstairs to the 1st floor
attic room. We asked the spirit if he would come with us but we were
1st FIRST FLOOR ATTIC
We heard a sound like a horse 'whinney' outside the the window. To
our best knowledge, there were no horses in the immediate vicinity,
It was approximately 03.30 and we didn't think that anybody would be
out riding. Nothing of a paranormal nature happened on this floor.
ADELINA PATTI'S THEATRE
We sat inside this beautiful theatre. We sat on and nearby the
stage, facing the chairs as the performer would face the audience.
After a little while, Jacky saw a light with her eyes and not on
camera. I 'called out' and asked if Adelina could sing for us. We
waited for a while and nothing happened. I said to Jacky that I could
not feel anything at all in this room and Jacky agreed with me. I
knocked on the stage and asked any spirits that may be present to
knock back. Nothing happened. Jacky 'called out' asking for any
spirits at all to make contact with us.
Suddenly Jacky thought she could see a little boy peeping around
one of the chairs. I looked and I could see him as well. As always,
we investigated to see if we could find a rational explanation and we
discovered that a light from a door was causing a shadow from my
camera. So sadly, we discounted the image of the little boy. Jacky
said that she saw a light anomaly.
We were aware that some paranormal teams have played recordings of
Adelina Patti singing, with good results. So I decided to play some
of her recordings. I started playing one recording and immediately
there was a bang from underneath the stage and Jacky said that she
saw a huge light anomaly. I played another recording and we heard a
door bang. We could all feel the atmosphere changing. I then played
her recording of 'Home Sweet Home' which we believe may have been one
of her favourite songs. It is also believed that the playing of this
recording, incites the spirit of Adeina to appear/make contact. As
this recording started playing, Jacky felt that 'something' was
changing. I saw a shadow moving and as I said that I'd seen it, Jacky
said that she'd been drawn to that part of the room.
On playing back the footage of this, I can hear heavy breathing
while the track 'Home Sweet Home' is being played. The camera which
has picked up this sound was placed in the middle of the audience
area, nowhere near my phone which was playing the music. None of us
were near to this camera either so it was not the sound of us
breathing. It only happened during this specific recording. Andrew
said, “There's a noise by the door” and then the door opened
slowly. I played another recording and we all said that we felt that
playing her music had really stirred things up.
We heard a woman's voice. It was just a small sound with no words
identified. I played another recording but we felt that the energy
was draining away. All was quiet for a while and then we jumped as we
heard a loud thud. Jacky said, “If you would like us to leave you
in peace now, please make that big thudding noise again. There was
another thud immediately so we kept our word and ended our
We were sleeping in the bedrooms upstairs and we wondered if we
would have anything of a paranormal nature occur in our rooms. We did
not experience anything.
Twilight Shadows Paranormal would like to thank West Country
Paranormal for sharing this amazing location with us.
Written by: Maria Williams.