Twilight Shadows Paranormal

The West Kennet long barrow is a Neolithic tomb (its initial construction commencing approximately 3600 BC, 400 years prior to the first stage of the building of Stonehenge) situated on a prominent chalk ridge (as all local barrows are) near Silbury Hill and very near the small village of Avebury. West Kennetis one of the largest long barrows in Britain. In Britainthere are 260 long barrows of which 148 are in Wiltshire.


Although this barrow is very long, the burials within were placed inside the chambers located at the front of the barrow. The passage and chambers only takes up one eighth of the length of the barrow (the actual length of the whole barrow is 100m (320 ft long). It is thought that the long barrow was used over a period of 1,000 years and at the end of it's use, the passage and chamber was filled with chalk rubble and stones by the local inhabitants (known as the 'Beaker people'). 


As you stand at the front of the long barrow, you face a row of large, upright sarsen stones. If you go around these and through a small gap, entrance is gained to the chambered tomb. Once inside you will see a small forecourt which have two burial chambers either side (four) and at the end is a much larger polygonal chamber (the King's chamber). These chambers contained the remains of a minimum of 46 people of all different ages and of both sexes. With these burials were beads, pottery shards, flint implements and other objects.



Dr Toope of Marlboroughfound human bones within the barrow in 1685 and in his own words "...and stored myself with many bushels, of which I made a noble medicine that relieved many of my distressed neighbours."


John Thurnham excavated 4 and a half metres of the West burial chamber. He was confined to a small area because the landowner refused permission for any stones to be moved.  He discovered flint and pottery sherds, the skull of one infant and 5 adult burials. The burials were:-

* Teenage adult male in South East corner, buried in a crouched or sitting position.

* 50 year old male in centre with skull fractures which possibly occurred prior to burial.

* 30-35 year old male in South West corner, lower jaw separated from skull.

* 30-35 year old male in North Westcorner, lower jaw separated from skull (flint     scraper nearby).

* One arm, lower jaw and a few other bones of a middle ages adult male.


Thurnham also found Neolithic Peterborough ware and Beaker pottery, a stone bead and a bone pin.


Piggot and Atkinson implemented a large-scale excavation in 1955. They discovered the other 4 chambers which had been undisturbed since the final sealing of the barrow. They discovered a disorderly assembly of bones in all 4 chambers with additional cremated remains in the northwest corner of North East chamber. There were the remains of at least 40 people of both sexes and all ages. Fewer skulls than bodies were discovered.



1 adult male and 1 adult female lying together was discovered with a sherd of a Windmill Hill bowl between them. The top of the bowl's rim was decorated with 'pseudo-cord' impressions. Also in this chamber were many infant bones including a foetus of 5 - 6 months. Also interred were needles, bone pins and scoops.



Evidence of the sharpening of stone axe blades was discovered as there were polish marks on the north wall. In this chamber were the burials of 9 adults which included a youth, a child and two infants. Animal bones were also found including a dog, ox, sheep, goat, polecat and a jackdaw.



In this chamber was a mass of disarticulated bones. However, there was 1 adult male who was in an articulated state. Also in this chamber was a 'Bell Beaker' pot which featured incised geometric diamond patterns and came from the 'secondary fill' above the burials. The 'secondary fill' was a deliberate act which sealed the chambers.



An elderly man was placed in this chamber upon his left side on stone slabs which was partially above an older burial (showing how the long barrow was used - over 1,000 years). This chamber also contained brownish/black Windmill Hill pottery shards, a flint leaf arrowhead and many flint edges, scrapers, and pierced shells.


Outside the eastern most stone of the chamber entrance, 6 Roman coins were discovered.


This beautiful long barrow is a gift from our ancestors and we are so lucky to have free access to it. On the paranormal front, local legend tells that this tomb is visited every Midsummer day by a ghostly priest, accompanied by a large, white hound.


When my children were young I took some GCSE's, one of which was archaeology. It was the most interesting course I have ever taken. After studying about the West Kennet long barrow, finding it fascinating and paying homage to the ancestors throughout the years, I was extremely excited at the prospect of taking the Twilight Shadows Paranormal team to this magnificent Neolithic long barrow.



On the 21st April 2007, the Twilight Shadows Paranormal team conducted an investigation at the West Kennet long barrow, near Avebury in Wiltshire.


We arrived at West Kennet on a relatively chilly night. However, once inside the chambered tomb we were all warm and comfortable.


We explored the chambers respectfully, taking care not to touch any of the offerings left there by people.


Unfortunately, in various places someone had written on the walls in chalk. At least it was only chalk but it does not seem fitting to write inside this beautiful long barrow.

We soon discovered that we were not alone. Loretta was by herself in the South East chamber and heard movement. It was a swallow trying to sleep on a ledge inside the chamber. He was not unduly worried about us but he did give Loretta a bit of a fright initially.

Loretta and I went into the South West chamber and we immediately felt uncomfortable (we have felt uncomfortable on previous visits in this chamber). We both felt tingly, Loretta felt light-headed and very aware of her torso, I developed a severe headache (which immediately disappeared when leaving that chamber) and slightly nauseous. We asked Vikki and Charlotte to join us and they also felt tingly and uncomfortable. We decided to leave this chamber and we all felt a lot better.


James, Matt and Loretta went outside to explore the area and the rest of us sat inside the 'King's Chamber' to have a chat about how we all felt etc. We all felt warm, protected and safe.


We decided to conduct a séance. We sat quietly and wondered if the ancestors would understand us and our modern language. As we did not know their language, we thought we would try to communicate and see what happened.


We sat quietly and started to 'call out.' James, Matt and Loretta rejoined us so we were all together. For a long while, nothing happened. After a while, Vikki and I heard the voice of a female which sounded as if it came from the forecourt just inside the chambered tomb. Neither of us could identify what she said.


Loretta, Vikki and I also heard footsteps which sounded as if they came from behind us. This was strange as we had our backs to the wall but the acoustics of the tomb are such that you have a 'surround sound' effect.


We sat for a while and I asked if the spirits could knock or tap on the wall. Two definite and purposeful knocks were immediately heard by us all. The sound originated behind myself and Loretta. Although the request to repeat the knocks were made, no more knocks occurred.


We all noticed that the atmosphere had changed and Vikki said that she was getting cold. Charlottefelt the presence of spirit in the tomb with us and started to tingle and I felt an icy draught up my back even though I had many layers of clothes on. Vikki informed us that the temperature was dropping rapidly as she was using an infra-red thermometer. The air felt charged.


We decided to just sit quietly. The female voice was heard again (by more of us this time) and then again approximately ten minutes later. After this nothing else happened. We stayed for a while chatting and we all decided that whatever had joined us had now left.


We decided to leave and began our journey over the field towards our car. As we passed a large tree (where people hang their wishes), Loretta and I thought that we felt the presence of a male standing by the tree.


We all enjoyed our visit to West Kennetand we are looking forward to viewing the video footage to see there are any additional paranormal phenomena.


Written by: Maria Williams


An Electronic Voice Phenomena we captured on a Dictaphone within the Long Barrow chambers, which we believe to say "The Light Bringer". In Paganism 'The Light Bringer' relates to Venus - the morning star. This is obviously not the voice of one of the ancients as they did not speak the same language as us.