My first impressions of The Woodcocks were not that of a typical, spooky, haunted place. Usually you can sort of figure out what places are haunted and which are not by just the look and feel alone. But at The Woodcocks, at first glance it wouldn’t even cross your mind if you didn’t know the history of the area. I felt pretty relaxed and thought to myself that this is going to be a quiet night and not to expect much activity. But hell, was I wrong!
The start of the night in the cellar of The Woodcocks, we ended up contacting four gentlemen spirits who used to live in the cottages. With help from Deena we were able to put names to these gentlemen. They were known as Charles, Richard, George, and Henry. Oddly they all spoke through Charles and the other three torments found it really funny to play around with Sheena’s divining rods! We found out that Richard was the son of Charles which explains why they were enjoying themselves messing with the rods when asked to point to where they were stood. We also got information via the rods that these men were fishermen/lockkeepers of the nearby canal. The four men seemed more than happy to carry on talking to us, well through Charles anyway. The other three was too busy ‘having a laugh’. Earlier that night it was brought to our attention that these four men had tragically died due to drowning but we weren't sure if it was at sea with them been fishermen or on the canal during some accident. This was all cleared up soon as one of our customers pointed out that it’s the ‘flatlands’ so this area could have been flooded. As soon as the word ‘flood’ was spoken, the rods instantly showed us the sign for yes! Another one of our customers that was also using her own divining rods she confirmed that these men did in-fact die in a flood and she also gave a very precise date of the event: Spring floods, March 1906/1806. This information has yet to be confirmed but it was so interesting! It was like unravelling a part of history and playing it back!
Far left of The Woodcocks
In the far left of the restaurant near the conservatory we started doing a bit of glass divination. After building up the energy we soon started getting activity. At first we couldn’t figure out who we were talking to because the spirits didn’t use the Ouija Board maybe because they didn’t like it or plainly because there was no sure thing back in those days, so we asked Deena for her help again. It wasn’t long until we got the names of who we were talking to, Elizabeth and Emily. These two particular spirits really enjoyed the company of the males especially Elizabeth as she kept moving the glass back and forth to one of our customers, Jonathan. By the way he responded he wasn’t expecting that at all. She kept talking to Kyle on the rods and promised him that she’ll move the glass again soon. One of the male members of the group started asking Elizabeth some questions and boy, she responded! Like I pointed out earlier she really seemed to like the males and responded better for them. She wasn’t shy of responding after that, well if the right respect and manners was shown to her. She was answering all of our questions with no problems, in between moving the glass to Jonathan and back. We found out that Elizabeth used to live in one of the cottages and used to work on the boats on the canal. We also managed to ask the brave question of her age, which she kindly responded with 32. There was a faint smell of gingerbread that provoked the question “were you married to or were you a baker?” The information we got back was that she was married to the baker of the area in the 19th century and that she used to love to bake there. Later in the night Jonathan asked Elizabeth if he reminded her of her husband, the answer was yes and also led us to some answers that today people would still class as horrible! She told us that she had two children, a little boy called Thomas and a little girl, named Emily. What followed was just terrible! Elizabeth informed us that sadly herself and Emily both died giving birth. At this point we could see we were upsetting Elizabeth because the glass was going crazy. Elizabeth made it clear that she didn’t want a certain female member of the group to be sat around the table because she reminded Elizabeth of her husband’s ‘lady friend’ who he was having an affair with. It was later found out that she died giving birth while her husband was off with the other woman. She was really upset so we closed down the table, said our goodbyes and thanked her for being so fantastic. Later on in the night Deena sent the 3 spirits into the light.
Towards the end of the night we ventured into the kitchen area. After a quick tour we were told what was usually experienced by the staff. We knew there was a spirit in there because Sheena got someone through on the divining rods, but was more active on the Ouija Board. After a struggle getting his name through correct, we discovered that he was called Bial and he was in-fact Chinese! If that wasn’t odd enough we also found out he was married at the age of 18 and sadly passed away aged only 19. His wife who wasn’t allowed to talk to us, maybe because of cultural reasons back in his day but he happily told us that she was 5 to 6 years older than him. Before Deena sent him into the light we also uncovered that he came to this country when he was just a little baby.
The Woodcocks looks like a place of enjoyment, a place where you’d go to have a nice sit down meal, a place where you’d go to relax, but its history seems to be that of tragedy! The Woodcocks goes without saying it has its fair share of spirits, those that like to play and those that seem happy to talk about their lives. I would recommend The Woodcocks to any paranormal investigation team. But just remember your manners!
Written by Ryan Allport for DIparanormal.
Ryan M Allport - Multimedia Manager