Twilight Shadows Paranormal

Private Investigation in Downton

On Saturday 24th January 2009, the Twilight Shadows team investigated a private residence in Downton. This charming cottage is owned by Mary.


Some of the Twilight Shadows Paranormal team members had already visited Mary's cottage with our previous team in 2006. Below is a report written by Charlotte from the 2006 visit.




Mary's house dates back to at least 1788 and she has lived here for three years. The house still has some of the original beams and had a warm and friendly feel to it. It used to be a pub called 'The Free and Easy' before the floods of the early 1900s.


The previous homeowner was an old lady called Sarah, who was known to like a drink. Sarah died in one of the upstairs bathrooms and was not found for a few days. Mary believes that Sarah has not left her house, she has smelt perfume by the front door a few times and has felt someone tapping her on the shoulder when in the house and nobody else is about.


A pendulum was used in the back bedroom and it kept levitating by the corner of the bath. We decided to set up some trigger items upstairs. We placed a coin on a piece of paper with a coin placed on top of the drawn area, we positioned one on the toilet lid, one in the bath and one in the bedroom. We checked that no draft or breeze was going to disturb them, took some room temperature readings, left a Dictaphone recording in the bathroom and went downstairs.


We set up the camera equipment and started to record our séance, we used a flute wine glass turned upside down on a level table with 'yes' and 'no' cards. At first we had a gentle energy come through, it felt like she wanted to turn the glass right way up. The glass was gently rocking and zigzagging across the table most awkwardly. We said goodbye to this spirit and replaced the glass to avoid that happening again, with a goblet wine glass. A stronger spirit moved the glass, gliding it around the table. Maria asked whether it was a lady spirit and the glass moved straight to the 'yes' and back to moving around the table. Maria asked if the lady had lived in this house and again the glass went to the 'yes' card. Mary asked if it was Sarah and the spirit went to 'yes.'


While filming the séance an orb had been seen. When we watched the recording later we could see two orbs within minutes of each other. Sarah was asked if she was grounded and she replied 'yes.' When asked if Sarah wanted to go towards the light, she replied 'no.' We asked if she had died in the bathroom and did she love the house, both replies were 'yes.' We asked whether she minded us being there and the reply was 'no.' Maria asked is she knew who lived in the house and the glass went straight across the table over to Mary. The glass moved with more energy around the table in a circular pattern, stopping in front of each one of us in no particular order, so we all introduced ourselves.


The movement of the glass was a lot faster and its tempo had changed, Maria asked whether this was a new spirit, the glass went to 'yes.' The glass whizzed around the table and stopped abruptly in front of me. When asked if the spirit knew me, the glass went to 'yes.' I asked whether it was a family spirit and the answer was 'no.' I paused to think who it could possibly be and asked whether we had gone to school together and the reply was 'yes.' I asked whether it was Thamesmead and there was a 'no' and then I asked whether it was Cuckfield and the reply was 'yes.' I asked whether the spirit was my friend Suzie and the reply was a strong movement to the 'yes.' I was shocked and pleased but could not think what to ask. I then asked whether she had a brother, which I knew she did, the reply was a 'yes.' I asked whether she had a sister and the glass moved away from the 'yes' to the middle of the table and moved towards me. I felt like she was saying "you know I don't, I'm not wasting my energy for that question." I asked her if she was ok and having fun where she was and the reply was a 'yes.' I wanted to talk to her lots more but there are so many limitations and another spirit had come through. Suzie had an asthma attack, three weeks after her eighteenth birthday and died. She was buried in her mother's wedding dress, as she had wanted to wear it when she got married, very sad.


The next spirit was the grandmother of someone in the circle and then the glass seemed to move very fast to another spirit, which tipped the glass over. We decided the time to stop for a while, had arrived.


When we restarted the circle, the glass moved quickly as if a spirit had joined us almost immediately, as if it was waiting for us to return. This spirit was a friend of Maria's, and then another spirit came through. After some illumination we found out that Mary's mother-in -law Joan came to say hello and said that she looks out for them.


We went up to the bathroom to see the trigger objects - the coins had not moved. We played back the Dictaphone and it had captured some banging noises similar to banging on the side of the bath and someone whistling. The whistling had stayed the same volume from when it started to when it stopped, no fading.


We decided to sit in the bathroom for a while with the lights off to see if we felt anything or catch sight of an orb. After fifteen minutes of nothing we decided that the bedroom next-door may be a better option.


We were filmed, all sat on the bed in a circle holding hands, allowing our energies to combine. When asked if anyone was present and to show themselves, the temperature dropped. The Camcorder picked up a bright orb. Maria said that she felt her hair by her ear being twisted around and Mary saw a bright flash. I also saw a bright flash in front of me. When we played back the footage there were eight orbs in total, with the first one being very bright and a large fish shape, the other seven orbs were bright and more circular. A fascinatingly 'orbastic' evening


Written by: Charlotte Phillips


On the night.........


We arrived at Mary's cottage and following introductions, we explored the cottage and set up a trigger object, motion detectors, a locked off Camcorder and Dictaphones.


When everyone had walked around it was established that some people wanted to try glass divination. I wondered if it would be possible for two groups to do this in two different rooms. I was curious to see if both groups achieved the same results. Marian took a group into the dining room and I stayed with the other group in the sitting room.


It soon became apparent that the group in the dining room had quickly made contact with a spirit. Although the group I was part of, experienced glass movement it certainly did not seem connected to anything that Marian's group was linked to. We did not feel that our link was particularly relevant to pertinent communication so we discontinued our session.


We sat chatting and Chris and Dave both told me that upon our initial walk round of the house, that the dining room was more active. I am not sure if this is why Marian's group had positive results with their divination or if their link was person related (that the spirits wished to talk to them).


Eventually, some of us went into the bathroom where Sarah had died. Since our previous visit, the bath has been removed and a shower fitted. We sat in the bathroom and at times the atmosphere did seem to change and we felt like we were not alone. We also heard a few strange noises coming from within the bathroom even when we were still and not talking. We could not discover the origin of the noises. One of Mary's guests offered to sit in the shower. We asked the spirit of Sarah if she could perhaps switch the shower on. Luckily for this brave girl, the shower did not run by itself.


Following our séance in the bathroom, we sat quietly in other rooms but nothing of paranormal significance occurred.


Written by: Maria Williams




We chose the dining room to perform a glass divination, because the structure made it seem separate from the rest of the ground floor. Historically there had been a pub in that location and we hoped to make contact with someone from that era.


Four of us sat at the table, including the owner of the property. We used an upturned wine glass and paper labels for 'Yes' and 'No.' We each placed one finger lightly on the glass.


The glass took a while to move, and then started gently making small movements. The comment was made like it was breathing. Gradually the movement grew in strength until the spirit was able to respond to questions by sliding the glass to the 'Yes' or 'No' labels. Initially the responses were tentative, as though our contact didn't know what to do. However, with practice the movement grew in strength and purpose. The glass sometimes stopped moving and we were concerned that the spirit no longer wanted to communicate, but when asked he always confirmed that he was happy to continue.


We quickly established that the spirit was a young teenage boy who worked at that location, but lived across the road and had been to school locally. He had no concept of time, so he was unable to tell us even the century in which he had lived. We asked if the building was a pub and he replied "No." After that it took many more questions to identify the work he had done and his relationship with the building. It turned out that he had worked with his father building the house. We discovered that he had one brother, but nothing else about his family. Although he had died young, he seemed rather vague about whether it was an accident and what had happened. It seemed to have happened at that location. We suggested illness, but received a half hearted "No," on the other hand when we suggested that he's met a violent death or been murdered, the "No" was most emphatic.


As he became more familiar with the communication process, we felt he was trying to tell us something, because at times the glass positively moved to an empty position halfway round the circle between the two labels. The direction was towards the small fireplace and window next to it. Sometimes it was in response to a question and other times the glass simply moved there. We made various suggestions to him to try and understand what he was showing us, but the only time we had a positive response was when we asked if there was another spirit with him. Apparently he hadn't known the other spirit during his life time. At the time the other group was in the room above us and our spirit confirmed that his companion didn't want to communicate with us and was with the party upstairs.


Although our spirit was happy to carry on, we began to feel he was flagging and we certainly were, so we thanked him for joining us and said our goodbyes.


Written by: Marian Hibbs




The team arrived at a private residence in Downton at 19.30 hrs. The property is a lovely cottage dating from the 1790s. Up until a severe flood in the 1990s the building was previously a public house known as 'The Free and Easy.'


We were greeted warmly by the owner Mary who ushered us in. We were also greeted by a lovely, friendly dog and a bouncy, fluffy pup.


The cottage rooms had low ceilings with large, old, oak beams, presenting us with an extremely warm, cosy and welcoming atmosphere. In the lounge we were introduced to Mary's daughter and a couple of friends that were joining us for the evening, all who seemed to be excited at the prospect of possibly seeing or hearing something paranormal. We had a short chat (while waiting for a couple of the others to arrive) where Mary explained a little of the history of the property. A previous owner, who they believed was named Sarah may have committed suicide in the property, she was also known to be an alcoholic in the village. It was rumoured that she had taken her life after a period of depression following her husband leaving her.


Once everyone had arrived, we took a look around the cottage, viewing each room, all very nice. Maria asked us if we felt anything in each room that we entered. One room which was set up as an office appeared to feel a little different but I couldn't quite get what I was feeling. The bathroom seemed to have a heavy feeling. Chris said he felt a bit woozy in there, as if drunk, but otherwise the rooms seemed peaceful.


We returned to the lounge where it was decided that we would start the investigation with some glass divination in two adjoining rooms, the dining room and the lounge. We opened the circle by saying a protection and surrounded ourselves with white light. Maria, Chris, Emma, one of Mary's guests and myself were in the group in the lounge. Petrina (a guest investigator with the team) sat in the room with us.


Maria began 'asking out' and after a short time the glass did start to move in a circular clockwise direction, then stopping in front of us individually. We took this as a request for us to introduce ourselves which we did and the glass continued moving.


Maria asked if it was the spirit of the woman called Sarah and the glass continued moving, slowing down almost as if it was thinking about it, but quickly speeding up again.


We continued for a while and asked if there were any other spirits present with the one with which we had contact. Deciding to use the sheets with 'Yes' and 'No' and 'Goodbye' written on them, we were able to get a better response. We were told 'Yes' and it then moved to 'Goodbye.' The glass returned to the centre of the table and Maria asked again if any spirits were present. The glass moved and Maria asked if they wanted to talk to us. It moved to 'No' and then to 'Goodbye.'


Maria asked if we should go upstairs to which the glass moved to 'Yes.' So a few team members went upstairs to the oppressive feeling bathroom, to see if anything would happen.


The glass divination was continuing in the dining room and they seemed to have a better response. They had managed to discern that they were in contact with a spirit of a young boy in his teens. It was later felt that he had been working with his father building the house and was carrying bricks and mortar, when he was killed in an accident.


Meanwhile upstairs, they were still waiting for things to happen. Chris stayed in the lounge while I went to the room’s upstairs, taking pictures in each room on my own for a while to see if anything would happen. However, there was no response in any room when I asked out.


Returning back downstairs I continued to take pictures. A few orbs/light anomalies were present in a few of the photos. While sitting on the sofa talking to Chris, I accidentally took a picture. This turned out to be the best picture of the evening with a brilliant sun-like anomaly in it.


Everyone returned downstairs and commented how bright the anomaly was. At this point we decided to have a coffee break with a few nibbles that Mary had kindly provided.


We all decided to try table-tipping in the dining room to attempt to contact the spirit of the boy they had previously encountered. The dining table was large and heavy. Everyone stood around with their hands resting on it.


After a while there were very faint knocks in response to questions asked by Maria. The knocks didn't get any stronger when asked to try harder. After about an hour we retired to the lounge using a smaller coffee table but to no effect.


We closed the evening with thanks to Mary and her hospitality and for kindly letting us investigate her lovely home.


Written by: Dave Wicheard


During this investigation, the motion detectors were not activated and the trigger object did not move.


Twilight Shadows Paranormal would like to thank Mary for letting us investigate her property and for providing us with refreshments. We all enjoyed ourselves immensely.