On Saturday 12th May 2012, a small group of Twilight Shadows Paranormal decided that we would go on a three-location paranormal road trip.
Our third and final location led us to Dilton Marsh in Wiltshire. Some of the team had previously joined the annual Dilton Marsh ghost walk and part of the ghost walk had taken us to a crossroads where three witches were buried. We decided that we would like to return on our own at night.
The term crossroads denotes the union and joining of paths. Historically, crossroads linking to Witchcraft is associated with the joining of three roads, the balance of opposites and the meeting of time and space. Crossroads and Witchcraft goes back to ancient Greek and Roman times. An ancient writer Verro, wrote that the Goddess Hecate with her three faces was able to guard the crossroads as they branched out. Many other Goddesses have an association with crossroads.
Crossroads are also linked with ancestral spirits called Lasa or Lares. These spirits were once thought to be spirits of the forests and meadows, the Fey and nature spirits. These spirits later became associated with cultivated fields which resulted in Lara becoming the protectors of the family and home with close associations to the hearth.
In ancient Rome, small towers were constructed at crossroads and an altar was placed before them where offerings were laid. It is thought that this may have been the grounding for the notion of watchtowers in current witchcraft.
Although crossroads have historically been a meeting place for witches because of their links to Nature Spirits and the Moon Goddess, Christianity later made them places of dread. Gallows and gibbets were constructed on crossroads. Suicide victims were buried there as they were not permitted to be buried in the consecrated grounds of churchyards. Witches were also buried at crossroads so that their spirits would get confused and therefore lost when trying to find their way back. The Christian Devil was also thought to lurk near crossroads resulting in them becoming great places of fear. This fear helped to tarnish the sacred grounds where witches gathered.
It is thought that it is not wise to linger near crossroads at night for fear of meeting witches, vampires and demons but obviously that would make the Twilight Shadows Paranormal team members want to stay there longer.
ON THE NIGHT
We parked our cars and walked up the long lane to the site of the crossroads. During the ghost walk, several people said that they could feel 'something.' Others said that they could feel 'cold spots.' Divining rods were used to locate paranormal areas. Most people did not like the atmosphere. For me, there were too many people present to notice any subtle 'paranormal' experiences. The guide who was extremely knowledgeable about the area, told us that horses have been known to shy when they reach the crossroads. Sometimes horses would even rear up and they would refuse to go any further.
We were hopeful that as we were such a small group, the spirits would respond to our calling and make contact with us.
When we got to the crossroads, we stood around, chatting about our first visit there and the experiences that people had. I felt a sense of emptiness while standing there. It just seemed cold and barren. I did not feel any spiritual connections there at all. But sometimes that happens initially so I was hopeful that things would change.
We 'called out,' each of us asking different things and trying to connect with the three women (that were said to have been witches) who were murdered and buried there. we also 'called out' to any other spirits that may linger at the crossroads. We received no response.
We stayed there for a considerable time, looking at the stars and chatting about the folklore connected with crossroads. The area seemed zapped of energy and the atmosphere was really flat. The only feeling I experienced at this location was a feeling of misery and desolation. It just enveloped me.
Eventually, we decided to end our investigation at the crossroads. It's a shame that we did not feel that we had encountered any ethereal beings but that's all part of paranormal investigating.
Written by: Maria Williams