WASHINGTON OLD HALL - Saturday 23rd March 2024

Washington Old Hall report - 23rd March 2024
Team Members - Cam, Sharon, Colin, Alan

Initial Walk-about
Before the guests arrived, the team members got themselves familiar with the areas where we were able to take the guests. As we entered the 'Panelled Room' all 4 of us heard a loud exhale. This wasn't produced by any of the team. We worked with this and each introduced ourselves. We immediately heard movement and taps coming from the corner of the room, behind Colin. This freaked Colin out and he moved as he felt uncomfortable. We continued with our quick call-out. Alan had asked spirit in his minds eye to tap 3 times. A few seconds later, we all heard 3 very loud raps on the wood work. As we were asking questions about something only Cam was aware of, the taps and raps were getting stronger. We all agreed that one corner of the room seemed stronger with energy. This would prove to be the case later in the investigation. We thanked spirit and went to greet our guests.

Cam gave the welcome talk and we all headed downstairs to the Great Hall where Alan conducted the White Light Protection.

The Great Hall - All Team Members and Guests
We remained as one big group and started with our call out. The first couple of minutes were still but as soon as we started talking about the hall we started hearing faint taps in response to our questions. A few guests reported one of the chandeliers looked as if it was moving slightly. There was no one on the upper floor so we were able to rule out this being caused by vibration of footsteps if there were people upstairs. As we shone our torch on the chandelier it looked as if it was slightly rotating. We asked if this was spirit doing this, if they were able to make a noise as to where they were in the room. We heard a loud knock on the wood paneling, closely followed by a faint whistle. one guest picked up on large hunting dogs (the description she gave sounded like Lurchers) she said the dogs were running up and down the hall as if they were excited (either just back or just going on a hunt.)
The guest who were spaced out at the end of the hall near the kitchen area could hear movement and what sounded like footsteps. Cam could hear a female singing and Sharon had saw something move passed the window. A few of them moved into the kitchen area and used their spirit talker app to communicate. They received the names 'Mary' and 'Michael'. They also felt like the energy was female and she was looking on from one of the corners.
We continued calling out to spirit in the hall and we asked if who we were communicating with recognized Laurie and Fiona, the National Trust Volunteers. There was a large wooden unit behind where they were stood. Cam reported seeing a shadow figure standing back, behind Fiona. Just them we heard a loud knock come from the direction of the wooden unit. This slightly freaked out the volunteers as it was so loud and right behind them but we reassured them that spirit was familiar.
Again, Alan asked in his minds eye if spirit could repeat the 3 knocks we had received earlier. We asked if spirit was happy with how the building had been maintained and well run. As soon as we had asked this, we got the 3 raps which Alan had asked for.
One of the guests, Ian, who we weren't aware was a medium stepped forward and told us we had been joined by the energy of a small boy. The child told Ian that he had been trapped and had breathing problems. The work suffocation was also mentioned. The boy was not well dressed, but in what looked like paupers clothes.
Cam and Alan looked at each other as this is what Cam had told the team earlier in the night. We let Ian continue to see what else he was able to find out. We continued with our communication with the small boy and had placed a K2 device on the table in the middle of the room, along with 2 cat balls. These never illuminated but we did hear a metallic tap from the direction of the table. There were items of cutlery and plates on the table so it is possible it was from there.
Cam asked the volunteers if there had been reports of items being moved and if they had ever taken photos of the setup and compared them the following day. They said they hadn't because with the number of visitors, it would be difficult to do. Over and over again Cam kept getting 'items get moved' in her head.
As we continued with our communication, the responses changed and we started hearing what sounded like small stones being thrown. This wasn't aggressive. It was actually quite gentle and was in response to our questions. One of the small stones hit volunteer Fiona on the foot and gave her quite a shock (when we were leaving the room before break, there was a small piece of plaster next to her!) Ian said the little boy was called John and was looking for his mam and how he wasn't linked to the Hall, but the land nearby. Bang on, this is accurate information. He couldn't quite make the definite link at that time as to what had happened to the small boy but the information was definitely on the right track.
Ian said there was a little girl with the small boy, who he thought may have been his sister. However, he was all of a sudden drawn to one of the guests. Where we we stood, we could see a small dark shadow move in front of the guest. Ian asked the guest if there was a small child linked to her, this was confirmed.

We all headed for a break and then split into our groups.

Upper Floor - Tenement Room (Cam and Sharon's team), Equipment: Proximity Bear, Cat Balls
We headed into the Tenement room and placed a cat ball on the table in front of us, one near the fireplace and one in the far corner.
We started calling out and the cat ball on the table immediately lit up. As soon as Cam went to ask another question, it lit up again. This happened 2 or 3 times so to rule out that this wasn't faulty we asked spirit if they were able to light up another cat ball. The cat ball which had been placed in the far corner behind one of the guests lit up but the one on the table didn't. It wasn't long before a female energy was picked up on, guests picked up on the name Eliza/Elizabeth and an image of a female in a long gown, apron and black lace up ankle boots were seen in the minds eye of Sharon and other guests.
The guest who was stood in front of the cat ball in the far corner had mentioned how she had a strange feeling on her right side. She said her right side was extremely cold compared to her left side. She didn't feel uncomfortable, she felt a calming female energy.
Ian asked if another guest, Denise, who was stood next to her could feel anything. Denise said she could and that she could see the energy was of a young female, she had a long dress on which had flowers on it, a white pinny apron and lace up boots. Ian sensed this young female to be around the age 18/19 and was from around 150 years previous.
The room had a calm feeling to it and while we were trying to build a story on what it would have been used for, Cam could see 3 men dressed very smartly in what looked to be a uniform. It was grey in colour and they wore a scabbard. This didn't feel like a military feel as such even though they were very smart like soldiers of importance. It was as if they used to visit the house to discuss stuff of importance.
Ian was seeing a baby and the letter 'E'. Denise said she had the letter 'E' come to her earlier in the night. As we continued with our questions and due to the responses we received we thought that perhaps this young female spirit was a wet nurse. She was very good at her job.
The energy stepped back and again we were joined by the small boy. We couldn't be certain of his name but during the 1st half of the night Ian thought he may have been called John. He responded to this so we went with it.
One of the guests said that he felt like the awful event of what had happened to the small boy was the start of change. I was keen to see if anyone could pick up on the cause and the cat ball next to the fireplace lit up straight away. Cam still didn't let on and let Ian work with it. He could see an impression of the boy being not on the ground but upside down, which is a strange thing to think about, and how he was stuck. The cat ball at the fireplace illuminated again. Indeed, the young boy was the chimney sweep but he did not pass in the house.

We split our team further and Sharon remained in the Tenement Room with 4 guests who conducted a Ouija board session, while Cam took the rest of the group to the Washington Room and also conducted a Ouija board session.

The Washington Room - Cam's smaller group. Equipment: Ouija Board
Cam opened the board and everyone got settled around it. The glass started to move immediately. We got the following 'William loves family'. We got this 3 times and then we also got 'Sorry', 'left mam dad'. We also received the name Marcus.
All of the energy seemed to be focused on 'William'. He continued with his message 'William loves family'. Was he trying to tell us that he was sorry for leaving his mam and dad because he loved his family so much? Something we need to look into.

Sharon’s group
OUIJA board

Activity on the board was almost instant, we got the spirit of a little boy who said he was born in 1759 and was 8 years old when he died. He used to sweep chimneys and died as a result, he is buried in the cemetery where the memorial stands. We asked if he was called John, he replied via the board that his name was Joshua but preferred to be called by his nickname Soot. Just then someone grabbed Sharons leg as if hugging it, which made us all laugh. We continued to talk with Soot who said he was with his friend Paul whose nickname was Tils, and he loved to play a game called Boty, which involved a hoop and a stick. Soot said his mum was called Eliza and he wasn't with her, his mum had no connections to The Hall, and wasn't the same Eliza who had been mentioned earlier. We asked if Soot wanted to say something to anyone in the room, at that point the planchette pointed at Sharon then it spelled out "touch leg" this made us all laugh again and Sharon thanked Soot for trusting her.

Sharon's small group rejoined us and we headed downstairs, swapping with Alan and Colin's group.

The Panelled Room - Cam and Sharon's group. Equipment: Cat Balls, Rempod, and Music Box
We all spaced out around the room. A cat ball was placed in the corner to the left, a Rempod and music box in the opposite corner and another Rempod in the corner on the right.
As soon as we started calling out, the Rempod in the corner to the right of the room went off. This was were Colin had felt uncomfortable earlier in the night. It went off again when we asked if we had a male energy with us.
Cam was stood in the middle of the room and kept getting the need to look to her right. Each time she done this, the image of a man was stood there. He had black and white clothing on. It looked smart but it wasn't a suit. He didn't appear to be very tall, he was taller than Cam but that doesn't take much. This wasn't a guest and he would appear then disappear in a flash. It kept happening throughout the time in the room but it was as if he was looking at her as if she reminded him of someone or trying to confirm if she was someone. It was all very curious. A cold breeze kept happening on the back of her neck but only on the right side. Ian also confirmed that he had picked up on him and said as polite as he could be that he was on the larger side. Ian asked Cam if she knew who he was and Cam said she felt like this was his home. Just then, then cat ball in the corner to the left illuminated and the music box also went off.
Ian was picking up on another male energy and a reference to 'Northumberland'. He said he could see Durham and a link to a bishop. He could also see a white horse but it wasn't from a farm land link, it was like this was the person's horse and it was a hobby. He also asked if a portrait had been removed from the room. Laurie confirmed a picture of a man had been taken down and was currently in storage. Was spirit telling us that he wanted his picture put back up?
We carried on and Cam saw a pointing arm shoot in front of her, pointing toward the corner where the cat ball was. That cat ball lit up again. Cam asked if it was the original paneling in the room. Laurie said it wasn't. Cam asked this because earlier in the night Ian mentioned seeing a priest hole.
The male energy was still with us but had moved back towards the fireplace. The guest who was stood next to the fireplace said he could feel the energy to the left of him.
We thanked the 2 male energies for their communication and headed back to base.

When we were all together back at base, Laurie called me over and showed me a picture on her phone. It was of a man called William James. In the picture he is wearing black and white clothing. He was also the Bishop of Durham. Is this who came through on the Ouija board and was appearing around Cam? Were the men Cam saw wearing scabbards in smart military style dress horse riders. Is this the link to the white horse? Lots of questions but lots of already confirmed accurate information.

Colin & Alan’s group
Panelled room. Rem pod, cat balls, glow balls, dowsing rods

After the guests were spread around the small room, we settled in the darkness, ready to investigate. Little did we know, we were about to experience some unbelievable activity.

One guest was using a set of dowsing rods in the darkness and pointed out straight away that one rod was pointed at Alan and the other at Rob, one of our guests. As mentioned at the start of the report, on our walkabout, one corner of the room seemed to have a lot of energy. This was the corner where there was a grandfather clock and a 17th century wool spinner. Alan was stood in this corner where a rem pod had been placed and he immediately told the group that he was sensing a lot of strong energy. On asking if this was John, the small boy that was picked up on earlier, there was no response. Alan mentioned that he was picking up on what he thought was an older gentleman that was potentially a previous owner or somebody in authority. As soon as this was mentioned, one of the heavy 18th-century chairs that was tucked under a table was pulled out and scraped across the floor. This shocked everybody and we made sure that nobody was next to the chair. We were asking spirit if they were happy that the building was being looked after and conserved and the same thing happened again with the chair being forcefully scraped across the floor and away from the table. This put everybody’s senses on high alert. Both Rob and Alan said that they felt a breath on their head/face and Rob sensed that it had something to do with the fireplace. We continued to question spirit and one guest asked if they were laughing at our surprise… the other chair was moved out from the table with some force (these are big, heavy chairs made from solid wood!). The activity was building rapidly when all of a sudden, the wool spinner was moved behind Alan. Then immediately, it was pushed into the back of his thighs! (Alan was understandably freaked out just a bit!) With torches on, we could see that it had been moved from the corner of the room. The wool spinner is an upright stand that has four arms on hinges that fold out into a horizontal position, in the shape of a cross. In the darkness there was a loud bang and when we turned the torches on, one of the arms had been flipped upright. It is impossible for this to happen without force being physically put under the arm and tilted upright. This was folded back down horizontally and torches turned off again. Alan explained to the group that he was openly uncomfortable so moved away from the spinner and we asked spirit to do it again. There was a brief pause and in the complete darkness the arm was forcefully flipped up with a bang! Everything went quiet so we took that as a sign to move on. The activity was just unbelievable!

Tenement room
Estes method experiment

We decided to try an Estes experiment using an SP7 spirit box app linked to some Bluetooth headphones. One of our guests volunteered to be blindfolded and use the headphones to see what responses came through. Before we started, it was noticed that the handles on the top drawer of a chest of drawers kept rattling. We could not pin point what was causing this, as everyone was standing still. As soon as we started the experiment, the rattling stopped and never happened again. Strange!

We asked who we had with us and the guest replied with the word ‘young’. When we asked how old spirit was the guest replied ‘five’. This tied in quite nicely with the first response so we continued. We asked for the name of the spirit and the word ‘Ruth’ came through followed by the word ‘nurse’. When we asked what country they were from we had the replies ‘Brazil, Europe, New York’ and then the name ‘Sarah’, ‘George’, and ‘John’. At one stage the guest said to the group “it sounds like a lot of words are in German or Austrian” but we couldn’t work out how this was relevant to the conversation. When we asked if the spirit was a nurse on a naval ship the guest replied with the word ‘medal’. The names ‘Ruth’ and ‘Sarah’ came through multiple times so could this have been someone who was a nurse possibly during the first/second world war? After we finished the experiment, it was noticed that on one of the info boards on the wall, a lady named Sarah had lived in that flat and her brother had won a military medal for bravery but was unfortunately killed during the D-Day landings. We closed the experiment down and headed back to base camp.

What an unbelievable amount of activity we were lucky enough to encounter on the event. Washington Old Hall, you did not disappoint. We can’t wait to go back there again.