Forde house

Newton Abbott - Devon


Report by Jayne


A grand building, nestled in the centre of Newton Abbot, Devon; Forde House is a Grade I listed Jacobean former manor house. It was built in c. 1610 and is noted for its fine 17th-century wood-carving and plasterwork.


As soon as you enter this beautiful building you can feel its history surrounding you. This is a large place to investigate and is too much for one team to complete in one night.  We shared this investigation with our good friends GPIGhosthunters and Jackie from Conrwall Fly by Nights, so we could share the cost of hire.  A grand location such as this, comes at a premium.  We had timed breaks and made sure each team was at the other side of the building as we investigated, so we could avoid noise contamination from each other.


We started in a small side room, a room clad in wood with some secret cupboards and a doorway through to another room, though this door was locked. Jackie, joined our team to work with us, at this point.  For some time we asked out in this room without much success until Jackie felt a small boy whooshing around the area.  Some conversation seemed to happen with the young child.  The experiences had in this room were personal and more sensory with no recorded evidence.


We then spent time, in the basement below the crew room. No one was in this room at the time of investigation.  The basement was a very oppressive area.  Naturally there are feelings of claustrophobia in such an enclosed space, but the energies were heavy here.  There seemed to be a few taps/noises made on request, though we could not fully say that this was paranormal.  There was a mixture of wood and stone in the basement,  so perhaps cooling, as the night temperature dropped, could have been the cause - although we must say that it was a warm room to be in.  


Les did try our new team made frame to hold a pendulum.  This is a rectangular frame assembled with a space in the centre to hold the pendulum and allow free swinging should any spirit want to communicate it this way.  It means that there are no human idiopathic movements to influence the swinging of the pendulum.  The frame was placed on a solid stone surface, where there were no draughts or influence from airflow.  We asked questions and this produced no results.


The next room for us to investigate was the Great Hall.  This was another room clad in original wood panelling from floor to ceiling.  Parts of the floor felt a little uneven.  There was seating built into the panelling, below the windows which the team used so there was a little movement as possible.  In the center of this room, Les placed the Pendulum Frame, checked for possible influential airflow.  All doors to the Hall were closed.  The temperature remained a steady 14 degrees.  After time spent asking out, there were no physical responses, either personal or audible.  The pendulum was seen to be swinging slightly.  Not a trick of the eye, in the dark.  We put the lights on and there was a swinging gate of approx 1cm.  To date, we cannot explain this and thoroughly checked for drafts, open windows and doors etc.


We moved on to the Ceremony room, where marriages, and registry matters take place.  This felt more of a male dominated area, in its time and was perhaps used for Council Meetings etc.  We did spend about an hour in this room.  There is an old desk sat in front of a large window and it struck interest within the team as we had collectively seen a black figure between the desk and an old large cabinet.  We asked out for some response for quite a while , but there seemed to be no direct responses.  We did experience personal feelings of being touched and some anger.


Meeting room, upstairs past the house chapel.  Interesting room.  One of the team had seen another dark figure here.  It seemed to be getting closer as we tried to ask for responses or to join us.  A camera was trained in the area that the figure was seen but nothing was captured.  There were several taps around the table and close to us.  None that we could explain.  We tried some glass divination in this room, again, without success.


We then moved into another meeting room, a large room with methodically placed tables and chairs suited for purpose.  This room was on the other side of a small corridor where we had seen the figure in the other meeting room.  This area did not produce any results.


The crew room is a large reception room and an attached kitchen for catering.  Double doors led out onto a beautiful lawn.  The fire place was large and period.  It created a talking point and lots of interest to the team.  Though this was the crew room we felt we wanted to try and connect to any potential spirit that may be around.  Both teams joined up to investigate this area together, before the night had to end.  Again, we laid a table for traditional glass divination.  It seemed that the glass had a lot of movement, maybe from the child energy experienced at the beginning of the investigation and he liked to play and make contact.  Other than this, it was a very quiet room in terms of any activity.


Unfortunately, this was all the time we had at this stunning location due to time restrictions and travelling distance home.  We did feel it was worth while journey and it is somewhere that we would like to investigate again.  This location would require a larger team to cover every room, and return visits to document possible activity on a more consistent basis.


As we left we were extremely happy with having the privilege of investigating such a beautiful and historic location.  Perhaps, one day we will make a return visit, with the needed larger team and be able to have in place, a more strategic plan of investigation within the allowed hire times.