Files of a Modern Day Ghost-Hunter:Case File: 009
The Blackentrack Woods are well known to the people of South-East Cornwall,
forming part of a much larger ancient woodland. The area boasts legends
both enchanting and terrifying; from tales of white witches seeking ingredients
for charms, to malicious wood sprites and murderous moss men (literally,
men made of mud, twig and moss). I am always more than happy to stroll
through the woodlands of Cornwall, but Blackentrack's reputation was formidable,
to say the least. Lorraine (a self proclaimed 'medium') had wanted to
visit the woods, after dark, for many, many years, so who was I to refuse,
and admit my own fears of that dense, dark and ancient forest...
With no cables, pylons or phone masts in the vicinity (there's
nothing out there, except nature itself!), this would be a perfect opportunity
to use our EMF meters. These meters detect and measure the amount of electro-magnetic
energy in the atmosphere around us. Walking past even small sub-urban
streets, with a standard EMF can help pinpoint massive concentrations
of this invisible energy, which some believe can cause health issues;
fatigue, headaches, or even hallucinations. There should be very low EMF
readings in somewhere like the Blackentrack Woods, so we would be looking
out for any high readings, which come and go, or even move!
Separation. George remained nearest to the lane. There is a stone
monument, 250 yards from the roadside, to be found at the end of a reasonably
well trodden pathway. The monument consists of three large, granite stones,
believed to have been erected for spiritual reasons back in the Bronze
Age (4 thousand years ago!). It's an eerie landmark, which seems to echo
with the actions of the past. Perhaps George chose the best spot!
I felt there was something else, watching our progress up the hill, into
the denser corners of the Blackentrack Woods...
I begin to suspect there is someone in the woods, with us. There
are just too many noises, and movements, glimpsed out the corner of the
eye. I called out, several times, for someone to show themselves, or make
themselves known; but apart from a worried response from Lorraine, no-one
answered my call. I continued on my walk, to the top of the hill.
I finally reached the top of the hill, to find that the woods
end, abruptly. There is open farmland beyond the wooded edge, affording
the most breath taking views across the Cornish Landscape. Distant lights,
in farm houses and wayside Inns, twinkled in the Hallo'ween gloom, tempting
me with the promise of warmth, a beer and a comfy armchair, and an escape
from the disturbing atmosphere of the Blackentrack Woods. I stood there,
for a while, wondering how many thousands would have stood on that hill,
taking in the view ahead of me. Perhaps the Bronze Age monument was a
marker? A milestone? Or ancient version of the 'Good Viewpoint' signs
that dot our landscape.
or near about's: We had all been hearing snaps, cracks and scuffling
noises since beginning the Seance, but by 23:00 a new sensation had presented
itself. We began to see faces, forms and people among the trees. At several
moments, we would often see the same figure. It was truly unnerving. The
forms were often still, just within vision, whereas other forms seemed
to glide from one tree trunk to the other; as if playing 'hide and seek'.
Were these forms the wood sprites I had read about, or the Moss Men, or
simply a case of Pareidolia?
Lorraine begins to tell us the history of the Beech Tree. She believes
many have come to the clearing, to sit and ponder beneath it's branches.
We are only the latest in a long line of characters to come to that spot,
and marvel at the atmosphere. Others, she said, had come to the tree for
more melancholy reasons; to mourn lost loves, face uncertain futures and
even, I'm sorry to say, commit suicide. One character, in particular,
seemed to come through stronger than the others. A gentleman, who Lorraine
refers to as something like T'wood Edwards, came to the tree to hang himself.
was recounting the words of the dead...
Midnight on Hallo'ween: By midnight, the atmosphere in the clearing
had become charged, almost electric. Both George and I believed we were
in the presence of ghosts, or spirits of the wood. It was an amazing experience.
Turning our attentions to the Beech Tree itself revealed the tree seemed
to have changed; to morph into shapes, even faces! Rather than terror,
I felt nothing but wonder for what I was seeing. Large round, bulbous
shapes seemed to be pushing themselves out, from within the tree.
A super, spooky night of Hallo'ween fun was had by all. But,
did we encounter anything paranormal? The EMF's midnight reactions, and
the thrown stones, would certainly suggest there was something supernatural
occurring in the woods. My EMF Meter is normally very reliable, and had
never reacted in such a way at Level 1. The mad screeching reactions,
and a reading of 8mg, is a first for This Haunted Land. As a research
trip, both into the supernatural and as research for The Lost Crown, that
EMF event would prove highly influential on my mind and writing.
EVP: electronic voice phenomena, when unexplainable voices appear on otherwise blank tapes. Many EVP's contain words, even sentences, which can be suggestive of ghosts attempting to communicate from 'the otherside'.
I knew, when coming up with ideas for The Lost Crown: a ghost-hunting
adventure, that a dark, ancient woodland would feature as one of the games
most eerie locations. I created the fictional Carrion Woods based purely
on The Blackentrack Woods in Cornwall. The woods are dense, dark and full
of suggestive shapes, sounds and stories.