Twilight Shadows Paranormal

Sally in the woods

On Friday 25th April 2008, Twilight Shadows Paranormal was invited by our close friends from Phoenix Paranormal to join them on an investigation at Sally in the Woods, near Bradford on Avon. Wessex Paranormal was also investigating with us.


I have previously heard ghostly tales of Sally in the Woods and recently my friend suggested that our team may find it interesting to investigate there. She has heard that Sally appears to males who are driving along the Sally in the Woods road. She is either standing in the road or when the driver looks in his rear view mirror, she appears. She told me that it is thought that Sally lost her fiancée in that area.


When Jacky from Phoenixinvited our team to join them at this interesting location I was very excited because of the recent information given to me by my friend. I did a little research and discovered that there are a few stories associated with this area. The area of Sally in the Wood lies beneath the woods of Brown's Folly. This road is apparently renowned for road traffic collisions. There have been at least 8 fatal accidents of which 7 have remained a mystery as to why they occurred. This road is thought to be haunted by Sally's ghost. There are several theories of who Sally may be. Speculation upon her death includes the tale of a gypsy girl who was locked in the tower of Brown's Folly during the 18th Century and left to die without food and water. Others say she was a 19th Century titled Lady who died when trying to escape from the tower of Brown's Folly. Sightings of a ghostly figure running across the road have been reported, but strangely in many cases only front seat passengers have seen her.


Walkers in Brown's Folly have reported seeing the strange apparition of a gypsy girl. Screams and disembodied voices have also been heard.


A child's ghostly figure has also been reported on the road and the crying of a baby has been heard in the woods.


We could not wait to meet the other teams and explore the area.


We all met up in the car park and headed for Brown's Folly. At the beginning of our investigation the sky was overcast and the woodland seemed very dark.


We walked into the woods. We reached an area with a wonderful view of the street-lights of Bath. I noticed Chris was crouching down by a grassy bank on his own. He later told us that he had picked up on a gentleman who had received a blow to the side of the head. Jacky said that there had been a battle at that particular site. She also told us that the name Sally was associated with the word skirmish which I found interesting, wondering if this was the true basis for the name of the area.


Everyone felt fine. Jacky led us into Brown's Folly and to the tower where either the gypsy or titled Lady is thought to have met her demise.


The tower was built by a gentleman named Mr. Wade Brown in 1848. He owned the local quarry. Mr. Wade Brown died 3 years after the folly was completed. A plaque sits above the entrance with the initials 'WB 1848' and directly underneath are the initials 'CH 1907' which refer to Charles Hobhouse. Charles Hobhouse owned the estate in 1907 and adapted the folly for use as a hunting lodge. The underground workings of the quarry were used by the military during the 1930's for the storage of ammunition.             


We assembled around the tower. Some of us went exploring nearby. Jacky, Sharon and Michelle stood a little way off. I immediately felt the presence of a female in this area. I would say she had dark hair and was standing behind Jacky amongst the trees. I asked Chris if he was picking up on anyone. He replied that he had made contact with a female but he did not think she had been locked inside the tower. When he said this I felt a strong emphasis of agreement from the spirit that was connecting with me, verifying what Chris had said.


My youngest daughter Aneira had come home for the weekend from university and had decided to tag along to this investigation. Aneira has always been a natural medium, ever since she was a tiny little girl. Although she did not feel confident to share her experience at the time, she told me what she had seen after we got home. Aneira described a black shape behind Jacky which she actually saw. She then tuned in clairvoyantly and could see the black shape was actually a woman. The woman told Aneira that she was 45 years of age. Aneira said that she had long, dark hair which was extremely messy. She looked older than 45 and had a very weathered, wrinkled face. Aneira said that she was pulling the most unpleasant face, she made it look distorted and she was asking if she could come forward towards our group. Aneira did not think she meant us any harm as such, but her energy was unpleasant. Aneira silently protected the group psychically and the woman immediately withdrew, leaving Aneira to wonder about her motives. Jacky said that she felt uncomfortable and that this area was unnaturally dark. The woman was very close to Jacky which is probably why she felt this so strongly.


Emma, Craig and Ben had discovered an area, a little way off which they felt had a very dark and sinister feeling. We stayed in this area for a considerable time.


The tower had a door on one side of it. We all wanted to go inside but unfortunately the door was locked. Ben noticed that there was a significant gap under the door and he suggested that we put our hands under the gap with a camera and take photographs so we could see how it looked inside. A marvellous idea. 


We eventually left the area of Brown's Folly and Jacky led us to Sally in the Woods. We all felt fine as we left the area of the tower and the atmosphere seemed to lift. After we had been walking a while I suddenly felt the presence of a spirit. When a spirit presence approaches my aura, the palm of my left hand starts to tingle. Aneira suddenly experienced terrible back pain. She hurried forward as she knew that her pain would not diminish until she left that area. As soon as the atmosphere lightened, Aneira's back pain immediately disappeared. We carried on walking and I heard a howl very close to my right. I shone my torch towards the noise but I couldn't see anything. Jacky also heard the howl. I'm sure it was probably a wild animal but it was a very eerie sound. We carried on walking and approximately 2 minutes later I heard a growl to my right. I was the only person to hear the growl. It really made me jump.


A short time later we all stopped for a chat. I was talking to Jacky and suddenly she turned around and looked behind her. I heard a loud whispering sound and Jacky said that it was right in her ear. She heard the whisper for longer than I did and she said it was an actual sentence. She initially thought that it was Sharon but there was nobody behind Jacky and Sharonwas standing quite a distance away. It was a female voice and though it spoke a sentence, Jacky could not work out the content of the words.


We carried on walking and found that we had walked in a complete circle and we ended up back at the car park. Not ready to end our investigation, we decided to explore the cave that we had previously passed by.


The cave was quite large inside and we all climbed down into it. It looked man-made. There was evidence of a fire in the middle of the cave. There was also a bat flying about inside. We stayed there for a while to see if we could pick up on anything paranormal. We all felt that the atmosphere felt completely flat and we eventually left the cave.


The time had raced forward and it was now the early hours of the morning. We decided to end the investigation and start our long journey home. We would like to thank Jacky for inviting us to this investigation. It was wonderful to work with both Phoenix Paranormal and the boys from Wessex Paranormal again.


Written by: Maria Williams 

I received this account in April 2011of a very scary experience, so I thought it would be interesting to add it to this report.

I'm not what you would call your average paranormal chaser. In fact, there's only been one time I've ever spent a prolonged period in an area that is well known for such activity, and that was when me and my 2 older brothers went on a 3 day camping trip to Sally in the Woods in our early teens. Needless to say that trip was amazing in the daytime, but tense and uncomfortable at night. Sleep was not on the bill with the sort of experiences we had. What looked like hands pressing into the tent lining, pegs and guy lines being pulled out, the sound of children outside, some laughing, some crying.


I haven't gone looking to put myself in situations such as that since. Well, that is until last summer. I went to spend a night with my girlfriend in a campsite not too far from Sally in the Woods. A small place called Stowford Manor Farm. It wasn't until the night-time that weird things started happening. I mean, if this is normal, then I've obviously not spent enough time outdoors, but crows deciding to caw at 1am, really loud, just didn't seem normal to me. And that's when the banging started, not like gunshots or bombs, but like wood hitting wood, from the forest across the road. Curiosity once again got the better of me. And for the first time since I was 13, I ventured into a forest at night, foolishly without a decent torch. (I only had one of those silly head-torches.)


I walked for what seemed like ages, when I tripped. Laughing to myself I looked back, and in the torch I made out what I had tripped over, a pile of rocks. And that's when I stopped laughing, because it wasn't just one pile, there were at least 10 intricately placed rock piles, polished pebbles mostly (not what you'd normally find on a forest floor) placed in a circle. Now, most people when I tell this story stop me and say, "camp fire, obviously the outside limits to a campfire to stop it from spreading.” Oh how I wish that were the case, but even ignoring the lack of charred ground inside the ring, the rock piles were not touching, it could not have been a campfire and it could not have been anything other than man made.


Instead of turning back, my curiosity only wished more to be sated, so I walked further in, and that's when I found it, a camp. Tents made from tarps, filled with bales of hay, rocks with what looked like blood on them (on closer inspection it was only dried red wax) and animal skulls hanging from branches of trees, some rodent, some small birds. I decided this was a place I was not to be in, and turned back. Except for the first time I suddenly realised that I was not alone in that camp. I could make out shapes moving between the trees on the perimeter of the camp and quickly. Who ever was living there obviously knew I was there too, except my measly torch didn't shine enough light to see who, or even how many. In some ways I see this as a gift, because I think if I were able to see who was there, I would have been infinitely more terrified. I began to make my way out of camp, deciding not to run, but walk at a brisk pace until I saw the tree-line. I had armed myself with a log to be on the safe side. Once clear of the woods I dropped the log and ran as hard as I could back to the tent, woke up my girlfriend, forced her in the car, and drove hard all the way back to Bristol. I came back the next day to pack up the tent.


To this day, the memory still sends me shivers, and I have not been able to drive past or stay anywhere near Stowford Manor Farm since.


I think the most terrifying bit of it was the fact that I knew I was being watched, and I knew there was more than one person, but I couldn't be specific on numbers. I'm not someone who is easily scared, living on the rougher side of Bristol means I've seen a lot of things, but this was just on an entirely new level.


I think the only way I'd go back into either of those woods would be with a group of like-minded people, that aren't into freaking each other out. But I have a common curiosity for something a little bit different.


By all means feel free to put my experience on your site :)


Written by: Luke from Bristol