Twilight Shadows Paranormal

Farleigh Down Tunnel

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 to happen.


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 office area.


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.


Sharon whistled 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 voices.


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 footsteps.


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 necessary.


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 remains unexplained. 


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 office area. 


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 whistling anymore.


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 investigation.


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.


Written by: Jacky Wicheard