Ghostfinder Annual Conference 2014
GAC 2014 - ST BRIAVELS CASTLE, GLOUCESTERSHIRE
The first ever GAC - Ghostfinder Annual Conference was a huge success. The team retreated for the weekend of January 24th to 26th at the spooktacular St Briavels Castle in Gloucestershire, England. The entire GPS team met to develop ideas, technquies, and new technology. Plus we investigated the 13th century moated Norman Castle turning up some interesting results.
History of St Briavels Castle
St Briavels Castle is a Norman castle that dates back to around 1110. St Briavels is widely regarded as the most haunted castle in the whole of England. Very few people who visit here, leave without witnessing some kind of unexplained activity. Its wide variety of haunted occurrences, and the frequency in which they occur, has led to the castle being a number 1 hotspot for ghost hunters nationwide.
St Briavels was originally built between 1075 and 1129, and was first used as an administrative office for the area of the Forest of Dean. King John used the castle as a hunting lodge in the early 13th century, later becoming the primary place where quarrels (used for crossbows) were manufactured. The castle then transferred hands many times among senior nobility throughout the 14th and 15th centuries, ultimately declining in both importance and appearance over the next century. The castle was then primarily used as a court and debtors’ prison, in the 18th and 19th centuries. However, following local riots, its use as a prison was ceased.
The castle was completely renovated during the 20th century. It was then taken over and used as a youth hostel from 1948, which it remains to this day.
Ghosts of St Briavels
There are so many alleged ghost sightings at this location, and many reports can be seen on the internet. Here is just a summary of the paranormal activity reported by others in several of the main areas at St Briavels. Click on the thumnail floor plan images for a deatailed view of the location.
In this area a gentleman staying at the castle reported the feeling of being pinned down on his bed, with him unable to move. A misty and sometimes dark shadow has been seen standing near the fireplace, and it’s also been seen near the doorway. A strange dragging sound is often heard, as well as the sound of a crying child.
This room contains what is known as ‘the scary bed’. Guests have been awoken by what seems like an angry spirit. It doesn’t appear to like people staying in this bed, as it violently tugs on the bed sheets. Some people have also reported being awoken by a woman screaming.
Poltergeist activity has been reported in this area, with furniture being moved considerable distances. Voices and footsteps are also heard, as well as people being grabbed by unseen hands. Another frequent report here is the sound of growling.
Dark figures are seen in this room also, often standing in the doorway, blocking people’s escape route! Strange flashes of light and red orbs are often seen. People have reported the sensation of being touched when no-one else is around, and beds have also been known to move, as well as people witnessing indentations on their beds as if someone is sitting down.