This page is for 'Ghost-hunters'

Everyone says Castle Rising is haunted, but Ive tried to prove it.
I use two cameras; Ricoh Caplio R1 and Canon PowerShot S5IS. Both cameras record anomalous phenomena.

I snapped these apparitions as part of a sequence on January 8th 2009.
What do you see?


If truth be known, I have witnessed many ‘paranormal’ instances throughout my life but it is only since I became Head Custodian of Castle Rising Castle in Norfolk that things really started to happen. I first experienced an apparition of a medieval gentleman standing in the chapel in October 2002 but nothing until my camera started to detect anomalous images around 2005. I even bought a new Canon PowerShot S5 IS and continued to capture ‘jellyfish’ orbs.

Having worked with NGRIT-UK for several years I have developed certain skills in encouraging paranormal activity. These skills have proved to be highly productive during my collaborations with former associate.

I am often asked what sort of experiences can be expected during formal vigils, the answer to that depends crucially upon the group acting with a collective open mind.
First, we need to dismiss natural effects such as wildlife and weather conditions. Second are experiences simply the result of natural/physical occurrences and third are the experiences purely psychological resulting from verbal suggestion.

Paranormal activity can be detected in various ways;

Light anomalies (naked eye and camera)
Sounds including speech, sighs, footsteps and whistles
Abnormal temperature fluctuations
Abnormal EMF fluctuations
Dizziness or the sensation of being pushed or touched by an invisible hand
Sudden mood-swings, impressed words and even random tunes and images
Hiccups, muscle spasms and cramps

Sceptics will attribute most of these emotional effects to the power of suggestion but technical equipment cannot lie – EMF meters should not respond to questions!

I maintain a strict regime of mutual respect for any visiting entities during vigils and that all guests are personally protected during any investigations.


Extract from;

Fortune, D., 1930. Psychic Self-Defence – a study in occult pathology and criminality.
The Antiquarian Press, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.
(Seventeenth impression 1977


If there is sufficient occult force at work to produce physical phenomena, it is very advisable to take precautions to prevent materialisations taking place. The physical phenomena are of several types. They may take the form of noises, usually creakings, thuds, or more rarely bell-like notes or wailing sounds.
If actual words are heard, auditory hallucinations should be suspected, for in the the absence of a medium, spirit messages are given to the inner ear, not the auditory nerve. Lights may also be seen, usually taking the form of dim balls of luminous mist drifting like soap-bubbles. They may of any size from mere points of light to considerable dimensions, some six feet in diameter.
In these spheres of dim luminosity psychics can generally see forms, sometimes human, sometimes from the animal kingdom. Whitish-grey clouds can also be seen, rising pillar-wise from the floor like smoke. These are usually fixed to one place and do not move about the room as do the spheres of light, such movement as occurs being within them selves, like the eddyings of smoke caught under a tumbler. More rarely a distinctive odour may be noticed, and still more rarely there may be precipitations of powdery substances or slime. Light objects also may be over-turned and thrown about a room.

Page 177

with Norman Fahy.

'The chance to spend a night in the grounds and buildings of Castle Rising with a group of paranormal investigators was too good to miss. I went with an open mind, sceptical but prepared to engage. I drove through the Fens at sunset, and returned at sunrise feeling as though I'd had a life-changing experience. It was a particularly beautiful night: full moon, full stars, and mercifully mild. The occasional owl hooted, the air was still, and there were long periods of silence as we waited.

I still haven't told anybody exactly what I saw, smelled, and felt, and I don't want to reduce it by putting it into words, so I won't. I can only say that by the time dawn began to break I knew for sure that there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in our philosophy, as the Bard puts it. No question. For me personally, this was not frightening, although some fairly scary things happened that convinced me of the existence of evil as well as of good. Over all, it was an affirmative experience. I felt enormous respect, and would never mess around with the paranormal. I felt enormously privileged to witness what I witnessed.

It has been a lot to take in: the boundaries of one's known world are breached, one's safe little model of the world as we like to imagine can no longer be defined in the same way. But I welcome this: it validates my conviction that we see through a glass darkly, that we know only in part'.

Rosamond Richardson
16th September 2008

‘On the brink of mystery, the spirit of man is seized with giddiness.
Mystery is the abyss which ceaselessly attracts our unquiet curiosity by the terror of its depth.’

Lévi. E., 1861. The key of mysteries.

Spectral stocktake
More used to conducting research into heritage at risk, English
Heritage has recently undertaken a survey of hauntings and
unexplained events at its properties. The stock-take reveals
that anti-social monks are in the habit of pushing or nudging
visitors at Castle Rising, Battle Abbey, Portland Castle and
Scarborough Castle. Norman Fahy, Head Custodian at Castle
Rising, says ‘We get reports of visitors being prodded and
poked at least once a week’.
Christine Pascall, Visitor Operations Manager at Dover Castle
confirms that they too receive a report of something untoward,
like a figure, about once a month while at Portchester Castle a
member of staff saw a rider-less horse emerge from the walls, race
across the courtyard and disappear again.
Bolsover Castle heads the 'most haunted' list; security staff
have even resigned after hearing unexplained noises, seeing lights
move in empty parts of the property and once seeing a
woman disappear though a wall. Most of the spectral goings
on seem to relate to historical figures or events, but the ghost of
Eltham Palace, in south east London, is a more recent phenom-
enon: a former member of staff who died a week after retiring
now appears from time to time to give guided tours.

Current Archaeology 234 (Vol XX, No. 6) September 2009.
Chris Catlin’s Diary p10

Do ghosts like potato snacks?

During a recent public ‘paranormal’ investigation of Castle Rising Castle a most extraordinary thing happened.

My group witnessed audible phenomena which suggested a banquet in the Great Hall and aromas which switched from rose to apples, wood smoke, manure and back again to rose. When both groups returned to the reception room for refreshments around 11 pm, we exchanged notes and the banquet/party noise was confirmed.

While our guests supped hot coffee, ate biscuits and compared their photographs. I wandered silently around the group snacking on potato rings from its little bag. We had four EMF meters lying on the séance table in the centre of the room when suddenly all four meters sprang into life, registering a high reading. I frivolously asked “do you want one?” and a single red flash confirmed the entity did! I placed a single ring on one of the meters and it responded with a single flash.

Michelle Lawes stood nearby and said; “You probably think I’m mad but I’ve heard a voice saying - they want one”. I took the matter further and offered drink and the response was affirmative.

This experience was both profound and highly amusing. To think that great philosophical question regarding afterlife survival was answered in such a mundane way.

The next time you open a packet of Hula Hoops. Be polite and just offer one – you never know?

Michelle Lawes took one of the difining photos that night. This was taken from the old church site looking towards the castle. A fabulous burst of enery emerging from the grass.

2010 Soltice Special at Castle Rising.

My best photo taken in the dungeon -

Next, is Janet’s ‘pipe light’ entering the White Room.
I’ve never caught anything like this photographically. What seems to be happening is a ball of light entering from right, negotiating the doorway and then rising towards the roof of the castle; this is within 1000th of a second.
I’ve captured/archived many sequences of orbs entering the chamber and rising from within the chamber.
The story continues to unfold.