Farnham Castle 30th November 2005-11-06
Scenes from Farnham Castle’s history hanging in the dinning hall. (Sorry, did not note the artists name to enable credit)
What a fantastic location! If you are interested in history and haunting, Farnham Castle is the place for you. Unlike our previous investigation at Saffron Walden, there is a great deal of information in the public domain relating to this site stretching back to Caedwalla, King of Wessex (686-688) who gifted Farnham to the church in a Charter of 688 AD in gratitude of the help given to him in troubled times by Bishop Wilfred, late of Lindisfarne and York.
The site became the Palace of the Bishops of Winchester and is one of the oldest, most continually inhabited buildings in England. The earliest parts of the castle date from around 1138AD and are Norman being built by Henry De Blois, who was a grandson of William the Conqueror. Henry was enthroned Bishop of Winchester and also Abbot of Glastonbury, so a very powerful figure, not only in status, but in terms of revenue generated from these vast estates.
Moving forward to modern times, the castle is now an internationally renowned Briefing and Conference Centre, providing intercultural management training and meeting facilities for many of the worlds leading companies. It is also a venue for local events and wedding receptions. The castle was last used by the Bishop of Guildford in 1956 with the Church Commissioners finally finding a suitable use for the premises in 1962, when they were leased to the charity which now run the conference centre with English Heritage and Waverley Borough Council overseeing the modifications required to provide modern, well appointed bedroom suites.
More information can be found at http://www.farnhamcastle.com
On this occasion we stayed at the Premier Travel Inn in Aldershot, which was about three miles from Farnham Castle. This provided a relaxed, comfortable base without the inconvenience of having to vacate the room early in the morning of our return to Sussex. This investigation was slightly unusual taking place over Sunday evening to Monday morning, being the only time that the castle is available to Paranormal Tours. We spent the Sunday morning wandering around Farnham in the rain and were surprised how vibrant it was, with many shops and cafés being open. Being our first visit, we were impressed by the architecture in the High Street and its obvious antiquity in many places, with all manner of alley ways and side roads revealing hidden treasures.
Marlene had already provided Paranormal Tours with her thoughts regarding the location before our arrival and added to these after our walk around the town in the morning. Just about every thing on the two pages of notes that she provided proved to be correct including the name “Henri / Henry De Bl…” “1132”. This is contemporary to the official construction date given as 1138AD. “Royalty links”. Many Kings and Queen have passed through the door. One interesting observation is the name of “Fox”. Marlene knew that there was a Christian name but she could not see it and therefore thought he may be blind. To our surprise, the very prominent Bishop, Richard Fox (1501-1528) who was Godfather to Henry the VIII, was known as “The Blind Bishop” and his portrait hangs in the Great Hall.
Some Big Questions
Now, with this amount of information being provided, we find ourselves in an interesting area of debate. That is, just what is Marlene linking into to draw upon this information? She is definitely not cheating, so is it from individual Spirit entities? Unlikely, as the information seems too broad. Is it a collective of Spirit entities? Or perhaps, drawing from a collective consciousness or over mind? What ever the answer, it just seems to work.
In fact, this leads to another and perhaps more important question – what does linking in mean? Is it sending the thought out? Motivating your mind towards the location? As we have said, to what source? Are we to suspect that if you were to ask a number of different mediums, you would receive any number of differing replies? Would this be due to the fact that we are each individuals and as such, the experience would be different for each person. Perhaps the experience may be similar, but would depend upon the individual mediums ability to describe the experience because they happen to have had a better education or use language more effectively to express themselves. Could it be that the question is so inextricably related to “what is consciousness” that it is impossible to define and is part of the great mystery of who we are and what we are? The answer to which continues to baffle the world greatest minds. All that we can say is that searching for the answers to questions such as these only adds to the fascination of this type of work.
Getting Tuned In
Thirty guests and the Paranormal Tours team, led by Steven Brown, assembled in the Old Kitchen, which is now the dining room. After the introduction, Marlene led the guests in a psychic exercise to prepare them for the vigils later in the night. This evening the subject was psychic art and inspired writing. To increase people’s awareness, a pre-recorded version of one of Marlene’s meditations was played which encouraged them to relax and motivate their thoughts towards meeting someone from Spirit. This proved extremely moving for at least three of the guests, one of whom became aware of members of her family including her mother who later delivered an inspirational message through her daughter’s hand, much to her surprise! Suitably motivated, the guests were asked to draw the person across the table from them as practice (too much amusement!) and then to draw anyone who came into their minds. This resulted into at least one brilliant portrait by a gentleman, who without doubt, is a gifted psychic artist despite never trying this before. It was later noted that his drawing of a Clerical man with a soft cap was very like the portrait of Bishop Richard Fox hanging in the Great Hall.
After the exercise, Marlene gave a clairvoyant demonstration going to at least one person on each table and providing plenty of factual evidence that was accepted by the audience including the lady who was aware of her mother. It was particularly rewarding for us that several people, who had attended this investigation as sceptics, admitted that they had to re-evaluate their opinion after the investigation. It must be said that the guests were a really enjoyable group to work with and as we have discovered before, several have the ability to develop their own gifts in the future should they choose to do so.
Marlene’s lit walk around the castle preceded the equipment demonstration and gave the guests their first opportunity to provide their own impression of the surroundings. It was encouraging that so many were sensitive and felt as if they were being watched from the Keep. Unfortunately we were unable to actually enter the Norman Keep due to restoration work in that area.
Following a break for refreshments that had been provided by Paranormal Tours, the guests split up into five groups for the vigils, surveyed no doubt by many of the previous Bishops of Winchester who stare down from many of the paintings that hang from the walls around the building.
The Wolsey Suite seemed to provide the most activity, with a camp bed falling over for no apparent reason during one vigil. Plenty of people sensed things in various locations and Marlene went into trance on two occasions. A gentleman reminded us to respect the location by conducting ourselves in prayer in the Norman chapel and led us in a short prayer asking for us to be absolved of our sins. This proved especially interesting after we later realised that the page at which the Bible was open upon the Altar dealt with sin. The name of Charles Carter (or Charles / Carter) was given and Marlene felt that he was a Holy Man or man of the cloth who was dedicated to his master. She also felt he was in charge of a large bunch of keys, indicating he held a position of high responsibility within the castle.
In the Tudor Wing, the communicator was much more forthcoming and appeared to be active in much of the building. He stated that his name was Randolph and admitted to giving guests a fright from time to time and was able to give people a little push. He said that he had been watching and following us around the building and that he particularly enjoyed the children’s visits. This seemed to refer to school visits that no longer took place. Randolph would have like to have talked for longer, but recognised that he should not drain the energy of the link or “this one ‘ere” indicating that he understood and did not have trouble in controlling the medium. Apparently, he did not seem to go outside the confines of the castle to other groups and appeared content grounded where he lived and quite indignantly responded to the question “I live here now!” when asked. He started talking about a servant girl (?) by the name of Fanny O`Hannigan who he described as being a “loose piece” and obviously the centre of a household scandal at some point in time. When Marlene came back out of trance she described Randolph as being a “Gentleman’s gentleman”, so once again a person of some standing within the household. Very noticeable facial changes can be seen in the video sequence during this trance session.
Farnham Castle was a really enjoyable experience enhanced by a lovely group of guests and of course, the Paranormal Tours team. Everyone got on together and shared the experience. Investigations like this are always very tiring, but each and everyone stayed the distance, including several who were going straight from the castle to work first thing on the Monday morning. We took the easier option ourselves and went back to the Premier Travel Inn, breakfast and a couple of hours sleep before driving home.
Marlene’s 2006 dates with Paranormal Tours will be announced shortly. As always, the investigation report and future dates can be found at http://www.paranormaltours.com