It was lovely to see Clare again for her first investigation after giving birth (congratulations again!). This was also Amber’s first full investigation with us.

As before – I was expecting to pick up on something due to the stone construction of the tower. When we arrived we were greeted by Peter, and introduced to Ted, and his sister-in-law Karen. Ted would be accompanying us for the night. We began to unpack the equipment, and I was beginning to pick up on (once again) the sheer number of people who passed through the tower both recently and during its long history. As I was ‘tuning into’ the tower I had an interesting discussion with Ted about the paranormal, and it was very apparent he had a great love for the tower. He also informed me that Karen had her own abilities too, so it was nice to compare notes – as it were – with her about how we each perceived things.

Once we were set up, Ted took us for a brief tour of the now accessible Women’s Tower. I say brief as it consists of two floors. When we climbed the stairs to the first floor – I immediately picked up on the name Agatha/Aggie. I was extremely pleased to pick up on something so early! And I guessed we’d be in for an eventful night. I wasn’t to be disappointed.

We decided to start the investigation in the Women’s Tower. As I had picked up on the name Agatha/Aggie on the first floor we started there. The Women’s Tower did seem unusually hot up here – and Ted wasn’t entirely convinced it was because we had just a sunny, warm day (for once). After a while it became apparent the name was definitely Agatha, and not Aggie. Tammy began asking questions to Agatha, and as she did she made it clear to me that it was Aunt Agatha she was known by. When asked about a second name all I got was something that sounded like a cross between ‘-Tilly’ and ‘-Tiggy’. I could not make it out clearly. Though I was sure it was only part of the name. I was missing the beginning and/or end of the word. I was unable to lock onto it. It was frustrating, and I know now that this was an early sign that things weren’t quite right. As Tammy, Amber and Claire kept asking questions, everyone in the room heard a tapping sound. Everyone that is – except me. They all described hearing the same sound – yet I heard nothing. Another sign that something more odd than usual was happening. One clear phrase was presented to me, and that was ‘The floor won’t hold’. When pressed for details, nothing was forthcoming. Ted had explained to us before this that the tower was slowly sliding down the cliff, and required substantial and extremely costly works to save the tower from its inevitable collapse. Whether this was Agatha’s point, I have no idea. Other than Amber feeling something touching/brushing against her back, nothing else seemed to be happening. I have to admit to being more perplexed about why I had not heard the same noises everyone else had?

We moved down to the ground floor, as the girls felt this was where things would start happening. It was immediately apparent of the difference in temperature down here – much cooler. After a few seconds, I began to felt very unwelcome. As I was about to say something ‘The Men GO!’came into my head. I explained this to everyone and we decided that myself, Johan and Ted should leave the girls in the Women’s Tower whilst we waited outside. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with doing this, but we would only be outside – and it was apparent that Agatha (if indeed, it was Agatha) wanted us out. So out we went. We waited in the former exercise yard whilst we talked about what had happened, and Ypres Tower itself. As we talked, I was becoming increasingly uneasy. But I did not want to say anything about this, as the girls were alone in the Women’s Tower. I should point out – this feeling of unease was not so much the girls being on their own in there, but more a general feeling of unease about the whole site. We were being watched, definitely being watched. After a few minutes – the girls emerged from the Women’s Tower quite excited and exclaiming that they had clearly heard the sound of footsteps on the floor above them! So Agatha would perform for them, but not us – and why didn’t I hear the tapping sounds everyone else had heard? There is only one way into out of the Women’s Tower – and that is via the extremely heavy door on the ground floor. So if the girls heard footsteps – no one else could possibly have caused them. Unless they could scale a tower and walk through walls, of course.

We wondered through the yard and back to the main Tower. The girls still quite excited about what they had heard, whilst I was more stuck on why I hadn’t heard the first tapping sound, and the feeling of unease I had in the yard. Also – something else had happened, but I could not put my finger on what. Yet.

As we entered the main Tower, I picked up on the same hanged man in the former cell to the right of the main entrance. And the same smell and taste of the blood spilt there. We did spend quite some time in the main Tower, but I really wasn’t picking up on anything – which was extremely frustrating. Although, the main Tower felt entirely different to the yard – much more welcoming. Something that everyone felt. The main Tower never felt threatening. Tammy decided to pop back into the Women’s Tower – and this is where things really started to get interesting.

Tammy never actually made it back into the Women’s Tower. She describes approaching the heavy door – which was ajar – but not actually opening it. As she reached the door, she heard something that seemed to be darting around her in the bushed in the yard. Something moving extremely fast! Impossibly fast to be an animal of whatever sort. She darted back to the main Tower and described what happened. We followed her out to the Women’s Tower to investigate. As I approached the door and entered the tower Tammy pointed out that the door was now wide open. When she had been there just a couple of minutes before, the door was ajar, not wide open. As I explained before, this door is heavy. It takes a fair bit of force to open or close it, and the door does not swing freely on its hinges. It stays in whatever position it was left in. I could not see or pick up on anything in the Women’s Tower, and whereas it was possible that someone could have snuck in during the short time it took Tammy to leave the spot and for us to return – there is simply no way we would not have heard them on the gravelly ground. And besides – we were locked into the site. The main gate was securely padlocked. For someone to scale the fence, even if we hadn’t heard them they would have to have passed the open and lamppost-lit entrance to the main Tower. We decided ultimately to spend some time in the yard.

On the pre-investigation visit here, I had picked up on a brutal rape that had occurred in front of the external cells. I was getting glimpses of the same horrific event, but only in waves. This was strange – scenes and images like these either appear suddenly and disappear just as quickly, or they gradually emerge and then slowly fade away. At least to me. It was as though I was being shown glimpse of it, then something slamming the lens cover shut. As this was happening, I knew we were being watched. I’ll focus on the awful crime for now. The yard was covered in snow and the Women’s Tower had not been built yet. So this had happened quite some time ago. The walls surrounding the yard were not as high as they are today, and did not have spikes in them. The external cells were also not present. The poor woman had been chased around the yard whilst people jeered and laughed at her as she slid in the snow. She was pregnant. Not only that, she already had children and they witnessed the whole horrific event. This sickening, shocking display of human misery and depravity was a bit much to take in, but was obviously nothing compared to what the poor woman had gone through. At no point could I see her and anyone’s face involved with the despicable act. Something was only showing me so much, and it was on their terms.

Whilst we were in the yard – we all felt extremely uneasy. The total opposite of the atmosphere in the main Tower. Both Tammy and Amber picked up on cold spots which kept seemingly randomly appearing. And if anyone of us stood in these spots, we could feel the drop in temperature – despite this, the thermometers were not recording these drops. Something was in the yard with us. And it wasn’t friendly. And it seemed to be toying with us. We could all feel it – it flitted about us but never let us focus on it. Whilst this was happening, something was happening to me that I could still not pinpoint. Then I saw it – a pitch black humanoid figure stood directly in front of the external cells. It took me a while to focus on it, and to come to terms with what I was seeing. As I approached it, it began to rise rapidly through the trellis frame that is located in front of external cells (at the rear of the Tower). I ran towards it and as I did, it shot up and hovered in the air. I stopped beneath it extended what I took to be an arm towards me, I reached up to grab it and it vanished. As I tried to explain to the others what I was seeing, I was unable to speak properly and found it hard to breath. It was this point that something finally snapped into place in my mind – all through the night, whilst in the yard, I had been blacking out for a second or two at a time. I’d suddenly find myself in another part of the yard, a few steps away from where I had been. This realisation was obviously worrying to me, I told the others to keep an eye on me, just in case. But I was more concerned than I had let on. This black figure, this thing – had been watching us all night. It would appear above us, tease us, swoop around the yard and seemingly vanish. But it was always there. We all felt it. I was, and am, convinced that this thing was an amalgamation of all the unpleasant events that had happened here. An apparition of all the negativity that had occurred. Whatever it was – it definitely saw itself as being above us, we were like ants to it. A minor annoyance. That said – I wasn’t afraid of it. I just found it deeply unpleasant – as did everybody else. It’s presence was undeniable. We took this opportunity to return to the main Tower for a short breather.

I need to mention that it was under the trellis that I heard the voices of what I think were two children talking softly to each other. I could not make out what they said, but they were there. These may have something to do with what was about to happen in the top external cells.

Amber was continually drawn to the external cells that are built onto the back of the main Tower, and can only be accessed via the yard. These 4 cells (two up, two below), are now being used as storage, with the top two as a make shift office. In view of what we had experienced in the yard, we were all quite keen to explore these cells. The black figure seemed interested in them as well, so this was as good a reason as any (or not!) to check them out. Ted opened the bottom two former cells, and in we went. Both cells were quite cramped, full as they are with various artefacts, and odds and ends. The atmosphere in both was less than pleasant, and this wasn’t just because of the cramped conditions. We were still being watched, and form the yard. Ted was only too aware of this, and felt quite uneasy as he stood outside the cells. So much so he had to come in, feeling more secure in the small cells than he did outside in the yard. To be honest – as did we all. Not much to report else to report from the bottom cells, it was the top two cells were something happened.

The top two cells consist of a small office space on the left, with a curtain covering the doorway that leads into the cell on the right (now packed with shelves fall of paperwork and other items). As soon as I walked into these cells, I felt a wave of what I can only describe as total despair and hopelessness sweep over me. It is one of the most unpleasant feelings I have ever felt. Amber was with me, and it was obvious she felt the same. I would have hugged her, but if I had I think we both would have broken down. This was intense. I really can’t stress that enough. I was drawn to what lay behind the curtain and swept it back. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I spotted something in the corner to my right. It was just a black bin bag. But as I turned to the left, I had to do a double take as there was another black shape, huddled to the left of the bag. It was a small child, huddled in the foetal position and shaking like a leaf. The catalyst for how we felt was obvious to me now. Amber was knelt down in front of me as I held the curtain back, and she was right in front of the terrified child. I did my best to explain what I was seeing in the dark. The child was definitely male, dressed in basically rags, light short unkempt hair and utterly terrified. His eyes seemed fixed on mine. I tried to think of something – anything – to say to the poor boy. The only thing I picked up form him was that his fear was of the black figure, and not of us. Amber had to get out; it was getting too much for her. And I didn’t blame her. As she stood up, the small boy reached out towards me and his hand actually extended through Amber’s midriff and out the other side, his hand outstretched. As Amber moved into the office cell, I knelt down and talk hold of his hand. But instead of the usual influx of images, sounds and smells – all I experienced was the icy cold, and I do mean icy cold, grip of this poor child. It was heart breaking. Then the child simply dissolved into the darkness. I stood up and turned to Amber to let her know what had happened. She was holding her stomach, complaining it felt cold – at the exact spot the boy’s hand had extended through her! My hand was still cold too. We both had to get out the cells, even the yard felt better than in there. And it was a relief to get out. It really was. Even though that damned black figure was still watching us. Amber felt guilty about leaving, and not realising the boy had reached out to her. As did I, but there was nothing we could have done.

I am absolutely certain that the poor boy was terrified of the black figure. But I was still a bit confused about why I hadn’t picked up on anything from the boy – and indeed, the whole Tower. It slowly dawned me on me that I was being blocked. That black figure was somehow behind it. It was only allowing me to see what it wanted me to. I could, and can still, see no other way of explaining it. It may even explain the icy coldness of the boy – some kind of barrier? The night was drawing to an end for us. We were all quite exhausted.

The black figure had been toying with us all night. Right from the very start. It watched us, surrounded us but never let us get to know it. It would back away in an almost cowardly act, whilst at the same time letting us know who was in charge. I described it on the night as like a cat toying with its prey before killing it. We all picked up on it – not just me. Which was something. I am convinced now – as I stated on the night – that the black figure was not the spirit of one person, but the result of all the unpleasantness, outrage, corruption and terror that had been experienced at the tower over its long existence. Through whatever mechanism, all this negativity had manifested into some black, void like figure. It also seemed responsible for my mini blackouts. I worry it was trying to control me to some extent. Yet, it didn’t generate fear in me, so much as frustration and unease. I haven’t experienced anything else quite like it before. The more I think about it, I am sure it had more of an influence on me than I realised. My memory of the night is hazy, but is getting clearer as time passes.

Ted explained to me that other people had experienced something unpleasant within the tower, one even claimed to have seen a Knight with raised sword coming at him. Girls had experienced draining sensations and many had felt those cold spots. And yet the main Tower itself felt relatively pleasant. The unpleasantness seemed to be in the external cells, the yard and the Women’s Tower.

As we were packing up, I collected the camera we had located in the front of the two top cells. As I did, the heartbreaking voice of the boy told me ‘don’t go’. I almost cried. I did manage to impart some hopefully useful information to the boy. I won’t go into details, but it’s all I could have done.

All in all, a productive night. It’s a shame I couldn’t pick up much about the Tower itself, although I’m sure this is because of the black figure. It was a very draining night, and it took its toll on us all.

My thanks to Ted for giving up his spare time for the night – he was a real pleasure to have around. And his love for the tower was evident throughout the night. I know he was itching to tell me stuff, but was under strict instructions not to! My thanks also to Peter, and everyone else involved in allowing us to investigate.
There is definitely something at Ypres Tower. Should you find yourself in Rye, do go visit it. If – like me – you just find castles and towers cool, it’s worth checking out. There is a wealth of information there and the view from the balcony overlooking the marshes is delightful – and you may spot something you really didn’t expect to see! I am very glad I went, and I don’t think any of us will see the yard in the same light again.