On Saturday 20th March 2010, Twilight Shadows Paranormal and Phoenix of Wessex explored
Farleigh Down Tunnel in Wiltshire.
Farleigh Down sidings was utilized during WW2 to convey
ammunition from Monkton Farleigh ammunition depot. The tunnel is about a mile
long and is on a steady incline before the steep hill up to the Monkton
Farleigh depot. Prior to the tunnel being built, ammunition was transported to
the sidings via an aerial ropeway.
Monkton Farleigh ammunition depot made use of an old stone
quarry below a plateau which was 450 feet above the valley floor where the main
line railway was its primary source of supply.
Before the bespoke depot could be specifically constructed,
a proficient process was required to bring in ammunition from the railway at
Farleigh Down Sidings. The sidings were directly just over a mile from the
depot but were actually more than four miles by road.
The Great Western Railway were contracted to lay the sidings
in November 1937 and a 1000 foot long raised loading platform was built,
complete with a narrow gauge track to carry the ammunition wagons. Outline
plans had already been designed to drive a mile long tunnel from the heart of
the workings, coming to an end in an underground sorting yard which was built
beneath the sidings in the valley below.
The tunnel was intended to handle 1000 tons of ammunition a
day however this was not scheduled for completion until 1941.
We arrived at the location, walked up a lane and found
ourselves at the remains of the transit shed. The transit shed would have led
to platforms for easier loading to the waiting trains. As we approached the
isolated, decaying shell of what would have been (at one time) a site of great activity,
I felt that we were entering a vortex of history and I hoped that some of the
memories would linger and perhaps let us visualize times gone by.
We all entered the entrance of the tunnel and went down some
steps into a large room covered in graffiti, some of which was excellent
artwork. Further in were some offices but we decided to investigate this area
on our way out.
We started walking up the tunnel and soon began our incline
into the dark beyond. The atmosphere felt light and I did not experience the
foreboding feeling that I had anticipated. That was to come later.
We walked for what seemed a considerable time, chatting with
each other. It felt as if everyone was in a happy mood. When we reached the end
of the tunnel, we discovered that it was bricked up. However, there was a hole
that we could look through, which looked as if it was filled with rubble and an
old cart lying on its side.
We decided to assemble near the end of the bricked up tunnel
and see if we could communicate with any spirit which lingered there. I was
hopeful as Jacky, Dave and Chris had heard the sound of a woman’s voice and
footsteps when they had carried out a recce at the tunnel a couple of weeks
previously, although this was halfway into the tunnel and not at the end.
Jacky ‘called out’ and immediately we heard movement which
was not attributed to any of the team. I also heard what sounded like a
footstep behind me. It then sounded like something had been thrown and then
more movement. I also heard three strange noises which I really cannot
describe. I noticed that these things seemed to be happening when we were
facing the dark void of the tunnel with our backs to the tunnel that had been
bricked up. When we turned round and faced the opposite direction, less seemed
Jacky ‘called out’ again and we heard a strange whistle type
noise. We then heard a small noise, followed by a huge bang behind us. We all
jumped out of our skins with shock. The sound was metallic and after we had
confirmed that nobody was standing by the corrugated iron sheet on the floor, we
came to the conclusion that something may have been dropped onto it. We tried
to recreate the sound but it was either too loud or bounced. I suspect we will
never know but we all thought that there was something else within the tunnel,
causing these strange occurrences.
We stood in silence and I could hear voices. Matt said that
he heard a whisper and Jacky said that she could hear voices. I heard another
movement behind me. This was when I realised that I was not scared at all when
I walked up the tunnel but now the atmosphere was very scary. I shared my
feelings with the others and Jacky said that she felt the same. She said that
the spooky ambience of the dark tunnel “creeps up on you.”
I ‘called out’ and we heard a couple of thuds. We decided to
walk back down the tunnel to the half-way point. There was a small alcove to
the side in which Jacky and Dave stood. Inside here was old fashioned art work
dated 1940, 1941 and 1942. Chris left us at this point and walked down to the
I ‘called out’ and thought I heard a small moan. I threw a
stone up into the tunnel and asked that it would be thrown back. I was not
really expecting this to happen but then something was thrown into the alcove
by Jacky. A minute later something was thrown near Matt.
Dave threw another stone up into the tunnel. Shortly
afterwards, we heard a chinking sound. There were used nightlights inside the
tunnel and it sounded as if it could be one of these that had been thrown. We
waited silently and heard a thump. Dave said that he heard a footstep nearby.
and asked if ‘someone’ would whistle but we had no response. Dave threw another
stone and in response we heard a chinking noise again. Dave said he could hear
We decided to walk down to the offices. We heard footsteps.
Chris said that he felt this place was really dark in the sinister sense. He
felt that unpleasant things had happened here. I had been feeling that
something unpleasant had happened to a woman. Matt said that he could hear
Some of us sat down on a large block of cement. Jacky
‘called out.’ It was quiet for a while and then we heard something of a
considerable size moving up inside the tunnel. Jacky asked “Is somebody up
there?” We were all accounted for.
Jacky took a photograph. Dave asked her to take another
photo as he thought he saw a figure from the previous flash. Nothing was seen
when the camera flashed another time.
We were looking around the offices. Chris said that he had
picked up on a foreman who had worked here, just a memory link. Dave said that
he could see a man wearing a brown overall type coat and wearing round glasses.
Chris said “That’s it!”
We looked around the offices for a while but the atmosphere
now felt flat so we ended our investigation.
Many thanks to Chris for taking us to Farleigh Down tunnels
and as usual thanks to everyone in the team for being fantastic as always. I am looking forward to sharing this scary place with other team members.
Written by: Maria Williams
On Saturday 20th March, Phoenix of Wessex and
Twilight Shadows had the privilege to visit the abandoned Browns military
complex we believe to be connected to the underground complex now referred to
as Site 3.
On a previous visit a very small group of us had come to
check the accessibility and safety of the location and had discovered to our amazement
that the location contained a series of underground offices and a tunnel with
full access.As our time was limited we
covered what we believed to be half the length of the tunnels length.We were to discover on our next visit just
how wrong we were in that assumption.
We approached the location feeling
somewhat nervous about what was laying in store for us in this very exciting
location.As we descended down the steps
into the darkness, we had to enter through the old blast doors made of reinforced
steel (originally made of iron).Once,
these magnificent doors would have stood firm protecting the site and its
employees against enemy attack in the Second World War.Now these doors, one left still standing and
one on its side on the floor left the site open to anyone wishing to enter.
Words cannot describe the darkness we
were faced with once we had descended down the steps and had walked what used
to be the offices for this underground location.Even with our torches on, the light given off
did nothing to dispel that ominous feeling of the darkness closing in around
you.After our eyes had adjusted we
showed the team around.These offices
are covered in graffiti, some quite ornate (some not) and it is obvious that
these offices are used by local youths as party rooms in the nicer
weather.Luckily the weather was fowl
outside and I had no worries that we would be disturbed by any youths or
inquisitive walkers wondering what we where doing.
After the team had got its bearings, we started on our quest
to travel the tunnel and find out where it leads.You can see remnants of a conveyer system
that would have taken the stone and then later Ammo delivered from the nearby
railway up to safe storage deep underground.The tunnel started off with a gentle incline.This steepened the further we travelled.The tunnel started off quite wide and square
in shape.After a while the tunnel
changed shape to an arched shape and the building material changed to red brick
half way up the wall.We got the impression
that this part of the tunnel was older than the entrance.This was also the point we reached on a
previous visit we believed to be the half way mark.We carried on walking.Every now and then there would be parts of
the conveyer belt still in situ but mostly it had been removed and just the
rollers were left behind.A bit later
along the tunnel we came across a junction where the conveyer belt may have
split into 4 ways.These entrances had
long been bricked up and now stood as empty alcoves.The machinery for the conveyer belt was still
intact in this area and took up most of the tunnels width.It struck me just how noisy it would have
been whilst it was active.We carried on
passed the machinery and the incline became much steeper.We eventually came to the end and were
disappointed to find that the tunnel had been bricked up at this point.We could see that there was a hole in the
brick work though which we could see through but it was not big enough to get
past.From what we could see on the
other side was a lot of debris and an old cart on its side.It looked as if that part of the tunnel had
suffered a roof fall and it was common practice to just brick off that part of
the tunnel as the quarry tunnels were no longer needed and repair was not
We decided that now we had reached as far as we could
travel, we would stand for a while with out torches off and get a feel for our
surroundings.Once the torch lights were
gone, the darkness almost felt loud and heavy as it descended once more.We stood silent for a few minutes and I began
to call out to see if I could generate some paranormal activity.Just as I was about to ask for any spirit
people to make a noise we all heard a loud noise to our left where the tunnel
had been bricked up.It sounded like a
large stone had been thrown.This did
make us all startle a little but once we had got over the shock I called out
again.We kept hearing lots of movement
to our left and Matt who was facing back down the tunnel said he thought he
could make out movement from that direction.As we all had our attention facing back down the tunnel we were not
ready for the very loud noise that was about to happen to our left.This really did startle us and for a second
we all bolted to our right, ready to run away.I stood firm as did a few other members of the team and managed to
prevent a mass exit.Once we had calmed
down and a few of us had pealed themselves off of the ceiling, we set about
trying to recreate the sound.It was
definitely metallic and there were a few pieces of corrugated iron lying around
on the floor.Once it had been ruled out
that the sheet had not been stepped on, we tried to recreate the noise by
throwing small stones onto the sheet.This made a noise that was far too loud.After several attempts we failed to recreate the noise and for now it
We decided now was a good time to head back down the tunnel
and explore the office area which can be found at the entrance of the
location.As we began our journey back
it struck us how much the atmosphere in the tunnel had changed.In the beginning we all felt a bit
apprehensive but not threatened.None of
us now liked having our backs to the bricked off area of the tunnel and I
noticed that no one had that cheerful banter that could be heard on the way
in.In its place was a quicker paced
walk and the cheerful banter had now disappeared.Dave commented just how spooked he felt to be
the person at the back of the group.I
offered to swap places but he said no.He said that he kept feeling like someone was behind him the entire way
back and that this person was bearing down on him the whole way.
When we reached the junction area on our way back, we
decided to stop and try calling out here.I stood in the alcove along with Sharonand Dave, Maria, Loretta and Matt were stood just outside and Chris decided to
walk on ahead and make sure that the office area was secure.After a brief time admiring the very old
graffiti on the walls dating from 1940 onwards we started to call out.After a couple of attempts to get a response
we were startled again by a stone hitting the corner of the alcove where I was
stood.This made me feel very uneasy and
after a few more minute trying various experiments such as throwing a small
stone up the tunnel to see if we could get some more activity.I was very pleased to get moving back to the
On the way back I became aware of someone whistling.It was the sort of whistling you hear when
someone is working or walking along.After I asked who was whistling, Sharonsaid she could hear it too and thought it was Matt.I said I thought it might be Dave who denied
this and said it was not him.When we
called down to Matt to see if it was him he also denied this.We then realised we could not hear the
Once we reached the Office area again, the team had a good
look around and we noted just how cold it had become.We started to ask for any sort of paranormal
response but after a good 10 minutes we had not got any kind of response.After asking the team if they were happy to
call it a day we all agreed that this would be a good time to conclude the
After just one last look around Chris asked Dave which
office he thought the foreman would have used.We both stood trying to tune into what Chris had picked up.I pointed to the office on the end of the
right hand side of the complex and said I was drawn to that one.Dave agreed and Chris said he felt that was
right also.When he asked Dave if he
could see the foreman Dave concentrated for a bit.He initially said no then said he could see a
man dressed in a brown overall.They
both said they could see a man smallish man with spectacles on.I asked if this was a spirit in visitation or
just a memory that Chris could see.Chris said that it was just a memory.
I would like to thank Maria, Chris, Dave, Sharon,
Loretta and Matt for making this giving up their Saturday evening and making
this investigation a great success.