This was my first visit here, as I couldn’t make the pre-investigation. We were also being filmed again. I was really looking forward to it – knowing there’d be a lot of stonework (which always seems good for capturing events, read up about the ‘stone tape theory’), coupled with the no doubt eventful history of the place plus the fact we had the documentary guys with us – my hopes were high. As it turned out, I think I really under-performed on this one! Although the site itself was fantastic.
When we arrived, we were introduced to the volunteer team at the Fort (which included Gary), and said our hellos. As this was my first visit, I had a quick wonder about the Fort, to try and tune into it. I did pick up on the fact that Fort had definitely changed a lot over the years. It is a lot smaller now than it had been – although this is obvious to see with the foundations of demolished buildings still clearly visible and one of the towers being taken apart. Also the fresh colour of relatively laid brickwork is a good indication of change! The main thing I picked up was the fact that something had happened in the past that drastically changed the Fort – an almost overnight change – and involved the Fort becoming much more heavily fortified. As for what this event was, I never did find out. But its impact definitely still clings to the Fort. I also picked up on the fact that somebody had been shot – but not killed – in the far right caponier (a covered bastion). The bullet had grazed their arm and then struck the wall. Of course, somebody being shot at in a fort is hardly surprising. Studying the brickwork for signs a bullet strike, it became apparent to me that some of the bricks are not placed in the same position as they once was. The walls had been re-built at some point, re-using some of the same bricks. In the same caponier, I tuned into a fairly recent event (within the last five years) where an unfortunate person had been cornered and beaten – hurt but fortunately not killed. This was all I got at this stage.
I did have one task to perform before the main investigation really started – to see what I could pick up from an old sheaved sword that had been found locally. I was excited about this! Sadly, when Gary handed it to me – I really didn’t pick up on much. I did pick up on the fact no blood had been spilt on the blade. Also, the hilt and the blade didn’t seem to match up. I’m sure the blade had been replaced at some point. The sword had never been used in battle in its present state. Perhaps more of a ceremonial tool. There was definitely more to the sword, I just couldn’t read it – even with prompting from Gary! I was disappointed with myself over this, but what could I do? Besides, it was cold - so time for a hot cuppa before staring the investigation in earnest.
After everything had been set up, we began to wander around. Asking questions etc. We returned to the right hand caponier, and it was upon exiting this that I finally saw something. As we were walking away, I turned to look behind and saw the dark image of a man in uniform – with a flat cap – watching us, before fading away. It was too dark to discern his features, but definitely male. I did not pick up on any malevolence directed at us, we were just being watched.
It was in a recently opened room that I picked up on my next ‘discovery’. This room is set off left to the caponier we had just left. And being only recently opened was very dusty. Exciting too though! Had been a god few years since anyone had last stepped in there. There was definitely a body (just a skeleton left now) either in the wall of this room (to the right of the main part as you entered), or under the floor. It took a while, but three names came to me - Markus John Frank. At first I thought these were three different people, but that didn’t feel right. This was the name of one person, and presumably the body in the wall or floor. The spirit of the deceased did not reside here, just the bones.
I was quite stirred up by now, but I still wasn’t getting everything I felt I should have been getting. Very frustrating! We made our way to the middle caponier. And it was here that the uniformed man appeared again. This time I got a bit more from him – he was an Admiral. I did not get a name. He was intentionally not giving that to me. He also did not like being called ‘Admiral’, or ‘sir’ or anything that reflects his previous authority. Yet he still appeared in uniform? Odd. He usually appeared at the end of this caponier. And he remained to watch over the Fort. He was wary of the group and I, and wasn’t forthcoming. But he was quite happy with Gary and the volunteer team. After standing in there for a while, I soon became aware of three other figures at the opposite end of the main part of this caponier. They only appeared as three hazy figures, definitely spirits though. And not fully aware they had died. The Admiral took it upon himself to take lead of these three figures, and guide them. All I could pick up form them was that they were all male, all had died in different time periods and one of them was French. Again, quite frustrating. Finally, there was another spirit present. This time female, and this time a name – Miriam. Miriam did not understand at all that she was dead, and I would soon learn more about her.
As Miriam did not understand her condition, the Admiral could not block her from me (as I’m sure he was dong for the three figures). It soon became aware to me that she killed herself by throwing herself from a tower at the Fort. We left the caponier and walked around the top of the Fort to see if we could find anything. All I got was that she had tragically killed herself over a lost lover. Very sad. I could not pick up on exactly where she had done this, but she spent a lot time wandering along the Fort walls, looking out to sea for lost lover. Very tragic and also painfully traditional in the ghost story sense.
After more wandering around and me coming up blank, we went back to the newly opened room. Gary had told us that he felt something was following him around at the Fort, and had asked me if I believed spirits could attach themselves to people – which I told him that yes, they could. It soon became apparent that it was Miriam. The longer we stayed in the room, the more I could pick up from her. There was some debate about whether or not she was influencing a meter Gary was holding – Johan firmly believed she was not and it was simply picking up on Mobile phone signals. However, it did seem to light up when she was near. Regardless, Miriam did keep appearing albeit briefly and usually standing behind Gary. She was young, only about 17. Dressed in a long white dress with a belt or sash around her waist. She was also wearing a flat hat which for the life of me I cannot recall or discover what it’s actually called. Miriam’s surname was LaCost – I think. This was the only other name I could get from her regarding herself. She had killed herself after her lover – Warwick (the final name I’d get here) – had been lost at sea. For a reason I could not pinpoint, she was drawn to Gary. Whether there is a family link or he reminded her of Warwick, I have no idea. Incidentally, the meter did peak when Warwick’s name was spoken. I must stress that Miriam kept appearing only fleetingly. She did appear once and brushed my hand and face, making my hand icy cold and a little painful. But not deliberate on her part. Try as I might, I could not get anything else form her. It is worth noting that Gary – and others – was complaining of aching backs during the investigation. Possibly linked to Miriam – had she broke her back in her fall? Was she inadvertently projecting this onto others? Pure speculation on my part.
Towards the end of the investigation, I did pick on something trying to appear. It did not want us there, but it did not manage to appear, and soon faded away. Again – frustration! It was getting quite late – and very cold – so we wrapped up the investigation for the night. I did try to read the sword again, but no luck.
Apart from the thing that tried to appear but couldn’t, I picked up on nothing unpleasant at the Fort. Poor Miriam’s condition is tragic, but it’s only a matter of time until she moves on, and I know she will – perhaps to Gary’s relief! The Admiral is looking over the place and keeping things in check. I’m just so frustrated and annoyed with myself that I could not pick up anything else. Who are the other three figures? What happened at the Fort to trigger possibly its most significant change? And what is the history behind that damned sword? Aargh!
Gary and the team who run the Fort are fantastic, and I thank for their time and hospitality. Thanks too to the documentary guys – you really got involved and helped, didn’t feel like we were being filmed at all
I enjoyed the night, but I am disappointed with myself. Still, just goes to show that you can’t when them all. But did it really have to be the one we got filmed on?
A return trip is definitely a MUST!