Paranormal Tours investigation at Saffron Walden
Marlene’s latest escapade into paranormal research and haunting has led us to north Essex with Paranormal Tours. The location was a Youth Hostel Association Premises at The Maltings, Myddylton Place.
Despite being the oldest grade 1 inhabited building in Saffron Walden, a 600-year-old former maltings with oak beams, uneven floors and a walled garden, online research has thrown up precious little historical information to use in the preparation of this report.
However, we can tell you that Saffron Walden will not disappoint as part of a weekend visit. It is an ancient town with a rich heritage of old buildings set in rolling countryside. The name Saffron Walden is derived from two sources; The Saffron Crocus was introduced into this country, from Greece and Turkey, by returning Crusaders, as well as being used medicinally and as a dye, it also served as a condiment and perfume. Walden means "valley of Britons". In the Middle Ages, Saffron Walden was busy and prosperous its wealth was in the wool trade which continued into the 15th century, saffron was uppermost during the 16th and 17th centuries and was followed, through the 18th and 19th centuries, by the production of malt. Tradition has it that the Old Sun Inn, which is a short distance away, was where Oliver Cromwell and General Fairfax quartered when passing through the area during the Civil War. So it is highly likely that a large building such as the Maltings would have been used as well. Saffron Walden also has an ancient turf maze. To find out a little more about the general history of the area go to:
As a matter of course, Marlene now provides Paranormal Tours with information that she has linked into the site before our arrival. On this occasion a substantial list of impressions was produced and included the following points made on the 6th of August:
Black and White. Tudor Style building. Part of roof dips. Lady seen here. “Elizabeth” Henry also links here. Royal link. Beer/hops/sacks. Privy Council? Flowers – Mainly yellow and white like crocuses. Black Labrador. Hound or hounds linked with this place. Lady walking on the stairs. De Lacy. “R” Mans Christian name. Big wall surrounding something. Agatha Christie? Something walled-in. (Later Marlene works out the link between crocuses and this to make Saffron Walden!) Rupert and / or Richard. Framed wall hanging with names on – family tree / list of names of people of substance. Lots of to-ing and fro-ing on the stairs. Priests hole – cries heard. Father John was betrayed / betrayer (can’t hear clear enough) Cromwell. Further information was provided later and Marlene correctly identified the building during a stroll around the town on Saturday morning together with the name as being “The Malt something”? It should be noted that this name does not appear on the building or in references.
Twenty six intrepid investigators gathered at 7pm along with the Paranormal Tours team in the refectory of this magnificent old building. Steve, our leader for the vigil welcomed the guests and introduced Marlene as the medium for this investigation. Marlene then led the investigators in a workshop to help increase their awareness for the night ahead. On this occasion, the subject was remote viewing. A clairvoyance demonstration followed which lasted almost an hour with at least ten people receiving messages from Marlene, some of which were quite emotional. Before the break for refreshments, people showed their appreciation with a loud round of applause. A lit tour of the building followed with Marlene inviting the participants to give their impressions of each room and encouraging them to dig a little deeper into their feelings. This proved enlightening, with Marlene confirming many of the findings.
Bedside table moves!
After the equipment briefing, the investigators where split into four groups and dispatched to the various rooms in turn during the night. Surprisingly, children featured in a number of the vigils, particularly in the cellar and lounge. The sack hoist room delivered the most activity and during Marlene’s team vigil a bed side table appears to have moved. The table in question is a post war utility design and consists of a lower cupboard, upper open storage space and top. At the beginning of the vigil one of the team members videoed the room showing the table in place beside the bed, when the light was turned back on at the end of the vigil, it was found to be at the end of the bed! As is common, it was not actually seen to move, but scraping noises were heard in the darkness during the vigil.
Several teams tried working with the glass in the lounge and were rewarded with plenty of activity. It has to be said that most of the information gathered in simple yes / no movements was somewhat confusing and contradictory at times, but was indicative of children. One of the writers group was particularly singled out for attention by a communicator and she was very aware of the presence of a young girl. This was also picked up by another group in the cellar. The planchette was used and proved to be a surprise to everyone including the lady who was suspicious of others pushing the instrument until it moved with only her finger upon it!
The whole party assembled for a group vigil in the sack hoist room as this proved the most active area of the night. Investigators spread themselves around the room and before long Marlene lapsed into trance. Three communicators followed, the first was rather confused and ask us who we were and why we were there? He gave his name as Joseph and it would appear that he hit his head when falling down the stairs after which everybody appeared strange to him and that people said that he was strange. Could this be the man that it was felt had died in the lounge? Joseph faded away to be replaced by a communicator that could have been a “drop in” rather than being connected to the building. The third was not given much time as he appeared quite aggressive and was excluded by Marlene’s spirit team who protected her from his influence.
This was probably our best investigation to date and the one with most apparent activity. Unfortunately we were unable to validate historical information as we would have liked, which disappointed a few people. The YHA manager had only been on site for six months, which no one knew before the investigation and any other information was back at Paranormal Tours HQ. It must be restated that very little of the history of this building appears to be available on line, written record must be available, but would require considerable local research, both time consuming and expensive. If any of our readers can provide any further information specific to this fine building, we would be very pleased to receive it.
Our thanks go to the YHA crew for providing the cold buffet that kept us sustained for the night and allowing us to investigate such a fascinating and historic building. www.yha.org.uk
Best proverbial out take of the evening must go to Jamie,(PT) who upon hearing of activity in the ladies toilet, innocently suggested that we should set up a motion detector there!
The full tour programme and investigation results can be found at http://www.paranormaltours.com or by telephoning: 0871-2884026
Media Link. To see video of this event go to http://www.webhauntings.com and select episode 4 'The Maltings'