Saturday, 26 May 2012

Castle Keep and The Black Gate, Newcastle. 25th May 2012.

Would you believe a folding table could walk around a room or try its hardest to climb some stairs?
I will hold my hands up right now and admit that while I have heard talk of tables moving either by rocking back and to or spinning around on one leg before but never having seen it happen for myself I have always been a little sceptical of this type of thing even when they have been reported by my fellow team mates whom I trust not to fake such things.  Until now.  Last night I saw it happen for myself and I caught it on camera.

This is called table tipping, one of the Victorians’ favourite ways of communicating with the dead.  We used a folding ‘TV dinner’ table in the Garrison Room, the lowest level of the medieval Castle Keep where it is said prisoners were chained to the walls while awaiting trial.  Indeed the metal hoops that the chains passed through are still in the stone walls.   We set the table up so all four feet were on the same, level, floor flagstone then, while resting our finger tips on the edge of the table, requested if there was a spirit there who wished to communicate with us to move the table for us so we would know they were there.  The rocking became, rather gently at first, but rapidly built up from making the table creak to visibly moving then to rocking back and to onto two legs.  The table changed the direction of the rocking when requested to then it balanced on one leg.  As crazy as this may seem, the table even remained balanced so when asked to so I could photograph it!

The table then made the people on the table walk around it by spinning on one leg, then it took them for a walk around the room and back to its starting point.  In the Garrison Room there is a wide flight of wooden then stone steps that lead up to the condemned man’s cell.  Not really believing it could be possible we requested the spirit to ‘walk’ the table up the stairs, but the table ‘walked’ over to the stairs and managed to get onto the bottom step.  Perhaps if the stairs had been wider it would have managed to get higher, it certainly tried to.  No body picked the table up and at this point most of the people on the table only had one or two fingers resting on its top.

Later that night, or earlier the following morning, we tried table tipping in the chapel.  Again the table rocked from side to side, slamming its feet onto the stone floor so hard it could be heard by the people on the floor above.  Likewise, at a different point in the night, we could hear their table, a much heavier one, doing the same thing.  We learnt from the rocking, or the stopping dead for negative answers, that there was a Catholic spirit in the chapel who wasn’t too happy with us doing table tipping there. 

This is the first time I have ever witnessed table tipping to such an extent.   Previously I have felt the table vibrate as something knocked on its underside at Grace Dieu Priory, again with people I trust not to fake results, now I want to witness the phenomenon of the ‘walking’ table again.   Perhaps one day I will see all four table legs lift off the floor, it didn’t happen this time but who knows…

There was one other occurrence I wish to report from last night.  Again it concerns the chapel.  During the first session of the night I went into the chapel alone.  I was very nice, I asked permission to entre, after all it was not my place of worship, but from the moment I entered I was aware that my presence was not welcome, indeed when I walked into the section where there are some grave stones on display the very air seemed to change consistency to a thicker more resistance density.  I took a few photos, then feeling quite sick, left the chapel.  As is my habit I noted this in my notebook, one of my most used tools, and showed it to my fellow team leader without saying a word to anyone else.  On the following break I mentioned not being welcome in the chapel to the organiser, it is apparently a feeling he, and quite a few others, are familiar with.  This night the Team Leaders stayed in the same area while the teams of ’investigators’ moved between different locations, or floors of the Keep, and between different Team Leaders so they could experience how different Leaders conducted investigations.  While working with a different group of ‘investigators’ my fellow Team Leader took some of our new group into the chapel, I stayed in the Garrison Room with the rest of the group as we tried the Talking Board without success.  Upon their return to the garrison Room he showed a lady in that smaller group the notation I had made; in an aside he then informed me she had experienced exactly the same thing.  We do not announce things like this aloud to a group so no one can become affected by suggestion.
Castle Keep; it is an interesting place to hold an investigation and I am sure I will be going back.

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