2018 Kicks off with a bang
So here we are again the year is going so fast; and what a 2018 it has been for us so far and we are only 6 weeks in.
Firstly January what a busy month; it saw us continue 2 of our confidential investigations both equally interesting and we are now reviewing and collating all our findings. Thankfully we have enough experienced investigators as one night both investigations were at the same time; so 1 team headed West and the other East.
Having years of experience, coupled with Ghostology and ASSAP the team really are outstanding and evolving and growing constantly.
At the end of January, we held our Annual General Meeting at the mysterious Insole Court and what a building it is. Insole Court is based in Llandaff built in 1856, by James Harvey Insole, who were mine owners, coal shippers, dock and railway men. The families’ fortune dwindled in the early 1900s and the gardens were sold off for housing and the house bought for an orbital road, which is now Western Avenue. After the house fell into disrepair a group was formed and after nearly 20 years the building was transferred as a community asset transfer to the group; who have worked painstakingly to restore the Court. If you haven’t been it really is worth popping along to see the work that has been carried out; the house isn’t fully restored as they have years ahead of them.
During our AGM, our Chair Sarah spoke passionately about 2017 and her continued desire and plans for Cymru Paranormal. The members present all equally passionate about this small unknown group, who seems to be going from strength to strength. Without everyone’s input and commitment we wouldn’t be the success we are now and we all look forward to the year ahead of us.
Joining us at our AGM was journalist and renowned author Mark Rees, author of ‘GhostsOfWales’ Mark delighted the members with a talk on Victorian Ghost Hunting; and gave real accounts of ghost hunting and hunters in the Victorian era; what is so nice to hear is that the same ethos applies today; be ethical, question and be honest.
During the AGM we were also treated to a fine delicacy of special Cymru Paranormal Cup Cakes, made by our ever talented Chair (we have to say that) they really were as delicious as they looked (honest)
It was pleasing to hear positive reports from our Treasurer Audrey and Secretary Leanne; and wonderful to hear from our many members; after the formalities were out of the way; we relaxed in the main house and in true ‘Ghost Hunter’ style headed for the tea rooms.
Watch this space for more news shortly from the Team that is Cymru Paranormal Investigations and Research.
Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to us
As I sit and ponder what to write in this yearly roundup I realise just how much we’ve achieved in just a year.
This post won’t be as detailed as it would normally be as we have our AGM (Annual General Meeting) in 4 weeks; so we’ll bore everyone with more details following that.
So how far have we really come in 12 months?
Well from making the decision to branch out and form a new group; leaving one that has been around for many years; people may of felt it was foolish.
Starting from scratch, but what better way to do it? So it was me Sarah, and a few close trusted friends/colleagues and off we went.
Having a clear vision of the group we wanted was easy, what took the longest was figuring out our group name; after purchasing a few domains Cymru Paranormal seemed to have a nice ring to it.
Even if people couldn’t pronounce the name they would know we were Welsh.
Very quickly friends wanted to join us, many with some outstanding talents that could really help strengthen and develop our group.
We weren’t officially started and we already had one confidential investigation to carry out; how wonderful that they believed in us to entrust us to carry out an investigation; we carried out a number and are due to return a year on to continue investigating.
Over the year we’ve been incredibly fortunate to have 3 buildings to investigate on a long term basis. Each one very different and covering different times of the year.
During the year we held the Ghostology course with Steve Parsons, which was a great hit; for many this was a different way of investigating and more inline with how we investigate.
We’ve also held a number of member investigations, these we pay to hire a location. Our group embraces diversity and during these we have clear divides so that everyone’s belief system can be utlilised and no-one feels they aren’t valued.
We’ve found this has worked incredibly well and has benefited many members in finding the correct path for themselves as well as allowing us to analyse full all findings.
We were also invited to share a location with BSPRI based over in Bristol; managed by Mark Davey and a trusted team; it was very good sharing and we are returning the favour in 2018.
BSPRI are aligned to our way of investigating and are an established group who I believe are entering into their 16th year.
From the very beginning we wished to become affiliated with ASSAP and were granted this a few months back. With 4 investigators having already carried out their training another 4 attended their first training session earlier in the year.
Our membership base grew very quickly and as we want to remain a small group we closed membership around 6 months ago. We have received requests to join since and the committee will consider applications in February.
So as we close our first year, we have purchased a number of pieces of equipment none of your expected pieces of kit, but some good camera’s and pens.
We have ongoing investigations and research, an outstanding group of members and a bit of money for a rainy day.
So all in all it’s been an incredible year and we look forward to our continual growth/development in 2018.
Time has gone so fast this year and what a year its been. Every month has been non stop and why should October be any different?
On Friday 13th October, Cymru Paranormal travelled to the fantastic location that is Newton House. Newton is known as one of the most haunted locations in the UK so where better to spend the night! We had a very enjoyable weekend investigating the whole house. We were also joined by our special guest, Mark Rees author of Ghosts of Wales
We are about to finalise our findings. The question is who is brave enough to go back?
On the 28th we joined Mark Rees in Swansea for his 2nd book launch of ‘Ghosts of Wales’. We listened to some fantastic stories from his book retold by Mark and guest storytellers. It got us all in the Halloween spirit! We were also given some time on stage to talk about our group and how we approach investigations. Sarah and Leanne shared an unexplained personal experience that they had on the same investigation a while ago.
We have been working on some great upcoming locations and hope to secure some dates soon.
We’ve been approached to carry out a private investigation however; following further discussions we felt the location wasn’t suitable for a number of reasons to carry one out.
Our 2 key long term locations, we are looking at finalising a selection of dates for both locations to take us through the next 6 months. So a busy 10 months and a busy 6 months are to follow.
Special thanks to all the team at Cymru Paranormal without you all we wouldn’t achieve what we have to date.
Last saturday a few of us headed down to Swansea to talk at the book launch of ‘Ghosts of Wales’ by Mark Rees.
The location was The Grand Hotel, Swansea.
It was a superb afternoon and we were treated to a ghost story by Owen Statton and a dance by the Blue Stocking Lounge
Mark also presented Cymru Paranormal with a signed copy of his book as a thank you.
After the event we were asked many questions by interested people.
Special thanks to all those that came who represented us so well. Martin, Dave, Audrey, Fiona, Greg, Rachel and of course myself (Sarah)
We look forward to the next opportunity we have to talk about Cymru Paranormal.
Marks book will be released on 12th October 2017 please see our books page to purchase a copy.
We have had a lovely summer catching up with family and friends. We have still been working hard in the background on lots of exciting paranormal things that are coming up. We all hope you have had a great summer and are ready for the spooky season which is almost upon us.
How has it become the end of July?
This year has absolutely flown by for us, it only seems like a week ago, we were forming the group and since then we have been swept off our feet.
So what has been happening for us since our last blog?
Well actually a lot, some of which we can’t share at the moment (I know boring, boring, boring)
The we ‘can’t share’ is fantastic for our future, and will assist us in continuing to be a successful group with first class investigators.
In June, Cymru Paranormal were invited on to Ghost Chronicles International, a radio show across the water, hosted by Ron Kolek and Steve Parsons, both are well known in the field.
The show lasted an hour and boy, oh boy, did they make Sarah work. We listened to the show live and have listened since, and must say Sarah faced some tough questioning from both hosts and handled it well. We think she deserved a good stiff drink after it, not sure if she took to the bottle but she certainly deserved one.
The show is aired live at 8pm (UK time) and is definetly worth tuning into, they always put the shows up on the podcast link, if you can’t tune in to download and listen to another time. I often download and listen to the show in the car. Follow the link below and you will find a number of podcasts that are very interesting including ours.
Due to our success we have closed our books to membership for the moment. The support we have received has been outstanding; and for the right investigator we would look at opening up membership, however with a base of 31, it is important that we retain small professional approach. We don’t want to be about the numbers, but focus on quality and ensuring our standards are maintained.
In June, Four of our investigators attended the ASSAP training weekend, they will each have another course to attend later this year or early next, this is great news for Cymru Paranormal as we will have 8 fully trained investigators.
We have been fortunate to visit a couple of premises reference carrying out investigations; one of which was unsuitable for us and therefore withdrew. We do have one, where we are considering carrying our investigations and we will keep you posted.
The end of July however, saw us return to the delightful Bedwas Workmens Hall, this really is a great building with much history.
The building has many reports of activity, due to the size we are breaking the investigation down into chunks and focusing on a couple of areas first.
We are so fortunate to be granted access to this building to carry out a long term study/investigation. Thanks must go to the trustees who do an outstanding job managing the hall.
August and Holidays
We decided when we were forming, that August would be a quiet month for us due to holidays, therefore during the month of August we will spend some time catching our breath, and spending time with family. We do however have planned a wonderful day where we are all getting together for a BBQ in a wonderful Country Park. I’m sure the talk will digress to the all things paranormal and hopefully they won’t want to do a Blair Witch experiment in the woods.
We also have a couple of reports to compile, so it won’t all be sunshine and beaches; which is just as well as the weather forecast isn’t looking great.
To you all, please have a wonderful Summer, enjoy, relax and most of all have fun, that is what life is all about.
ASSAP Training Weekend
On the 24th June, Four members of Cymru Paranormal ventured to Wooton Bassett for the ASSAP training weekend. Over the two days the ASSAP speakers kept the group enthralled, with discussions and training on techniques in handling various cases and how to plan and conduct investigations.
The Saturday evening was spent relaxing and having a good chat about everything paranormal over a few drinks in the bar.
Overall we had a fantastic weekend learning new techniques and improving on existing skills. We would highly recommend the training day and look forward to attending the next ASSAP conference Seriously Strange on 9th and 10th September in Bath. For more info click here.
May Round Up
May was a busy month for Cymru Paranormal with ASSAP Seriously Monstrous and our long anticipated Ghostology Study Weekend.
Ghostology by Steve Parsons
Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th May 2017
Bedwas Workingmans Hall
Steve Parsons will be a familiar name to many in the Paranormal world, not least because his books are at the top of our recommended books page. He is one of the founders of Para.Science, one of the most respected psychical research and investigation groups in the UK, and has been described by the Wall Street Journal as ‘The Gold Standard of Ghost Hunting’. To give a full run down of his experience, achievements and influence on the study of the Paranormal would take more time and space than I have in this blog so for those unfamiliar with his work, please take a look at his webpage.
It started at 11am on the Saturday and covered a number of topics including – What exactly is a ghost? Ethics and Interview Techniques, The History of Ghost Hunting, lessons from earlier ghost hunters and evidence. After a trip to local pub for food, we returned for our evening investigation.
Given the size of Bedwas Workingmans Hall it was decided that the two teams would investigate the education section downstairs and the other team would investigate the upstairs theatre and backstage area.
Sunday kicked off with a discussion of the previous evening. We then moved on to cover EVP, Sound, Photography, Video and other Equipment.
Due to the depth covered on these topics I’m not going to go into a great amount of detail, everything is covered in Steve’s book Ghostology.
It is incredibly difficult to do justice to how informative, interesting and thought provoking Ghostology was. If you were unable to make the study weekend this time I highly recommend attending it in the future if you get the opportunity. In the meantime it’s well worth picking up a copy of Ghostology and Paracoustics, see the books page for links, and giving them a good read.
ASSAP Seriously Monstrous
Cryptozoology Conference Sunday 21st May
A number of us headed over to Bristol for the day, to attend the cryptozoology conference being hosted by ASSAP.
A number of outstanding guest speakers were due to appear for the day, unfortunately on arrival a number were unable to attend, however, Norie did a great job of quickly filling those spots so all was not lost.
Now, in true IT failure style, the original blog that was written was deleted and recycled after being emailed, big failure as the attachment was not attached. So you have a very short version of the day as the notes were shredded at the same time, and as many people know writing for the second time isn’t wonderful, so apologies for that.
The day however was interesting for those that couldn’t make it, with talks from Richard Freeman, Richard is well versed in all things crypto, and also worked as a zoologist.
Richard took to the floor twice, first talking about his great expedition where he had to leave the mountain half way on the expedition and also lost his camera, which sadly contained lots of his images captured over the years.
Richard then treated us to a talk on Dragons, now being a Welsh Group with a Dragon for our logo we were interested in this talk. The history of dragons goes way back to 829AD, Richard gave an excellent talk with pictures of dragons from across the world.
Jackie Tonks gave a fascinating talk on her travels to North West America tracking Bigfoot or Sasquatch as many call it. Jackie is well known in the crypto world and is due to be going on an expedition with Richard. Jackie sadly couldn’t provide us with evidence of her encounter with Bigfoot and although a credible witness, we would of loved to have seen it.
Hopefully, Jackie will be able to capture Bigfoot for everyone, as she has seen two whilst trekking for months on end.
Ian Simmons gave us a great talk on Evidence, proof and anomalous phenomena, many know Ian from Fortean Times and without doubt this was the best talk of the day (maybe as it was about evidence and how important it is and the way in which you obtain it)
In addition we had a talk on Giant monsters from Doctor Who from Nick Walters, it was clearly apparent he knew every monster that Doctor Who has created over the years, good and bad.
The day sadly came to an end, and it was time to head back over the bridge, to the land of the dragons.
Thanks to Norie from ASSAP and Sherilley from B.S.R.P.I for hosting the day and managing check in and the speakers so well.
We will see you at Seriously Strange in September. If anyone wishes to book the conference is over two days, you can attend for 1 or 2 days, follow the link here.
Kevs talk can be seen here
Full steam ahead….
Well what can I say? It has been a whirlwind year so far. Our feet have hardly touched the floor.
February, saw us conclude a confidential investigation, having carried out many investigations previously, what was different about this one? Well for starters we had exclusive access and the location was very secluded. We can’t share our findings with you as they now belong to the location.
The investigations were certainly interesting and we would like to thank the investigators who took part, as they were long nights but I think they all agree it was worth every minute.
February also saw our first outdoor investigation; this was an opportunity for our members to join us who are just starting out investigating, to learn hands on what happens. Unfortunately in great British style, the weather was wet, well wet is an understatement, storm Doris turned up and we had to call the investigation off at the last minute. Thankfully everyone still made it to the meal (in the nice dry pub) and it was a great opportunity for everyone to catch up and meet. So the night wasn’t a complete wash out.
I think it’s fair to say, we have an amazing team of members, who are constantly going over and above for the group, and the commitment shown is like a breath of fresh air, it is so nice to stand back and see relationships form from meeting through us.
Our ‘Ghostology’ study weekend with Steve Parsons is starting to fill up which is great news. It’s going to be a beneficial weekend which includes the opportunity to investigate with the great Steve Parsons as well, as many know, Steve has over 30 years experience and a wealth of knowledge to share. If you haven’t already booked your place, we would suggest you do so soon.
So in a nutshell Cymru Paranormal has had an exceptional start to 2017 with January being busy and February being equally so.
So what does March hold for us?
Llanthony Secunda Manor – 20th to 22nd January 2017
At the very first meeting of what would become Cymru Paranormal the question of where to hold member’s events was raised. One of the first venues mentioned was Llanthony Secunda Manor in Caldicot. Sarah, our Chair and Founder, had already created a list of some possible venues and their availability. Luckily Llanthony Secunda was amongst these and it was available one weekend in January 2017 or a number of weekends in late 2017. However, we had a few other great venues available for late 2017. At which point some bright spark, probably me, said “Could we do it in January? We have almost enough people in this room to make it work.” Sarah immediately sprang into action and contacted the owner. By the end of that meeting we had already decided on our venue for a first event and an outline plan of the action for the weekend.
As this was to be the inaugural event for Cymru Paranormal, and the first time many of our members would meet, it was decided that Friday night would be a more relaxed evening, where members, can carry out any investigations they wished and get to know each other and the house, with the investigation/event taking place on Saturday Night. Saturday day would be an opportunity for members to further explore the manor or the many other places of interest in the local area.
So it was on a rather pleasant Friday in January a number of Cymru Paranormal members set off from our various homes in South Wales to prepare the manor ready to welcome members to our first event.
Secretary Rachel and Technician Dave were kind enough to give me a lift. As we arrived at the manor, I was able to finally disentangled myself from the welcome balloons in the back of Rachel’s car. A lovely touch by Rachel who donated them to welcome the members to the Manor.
On entering the house I found Sarah already hard at work preparing Chicken Curry, and within a couple of hours we had a roaring fire going in the open fire place in the first floor dining room, Sarah’s Chicken curry and Treasurer Audrey’s vegetarian curry bubbling away on the stove and the Manor decorated ready for the rest of the members.
Once the majority of members had arrived we sat down to a fabulous meal. I have to say the dining room of Llanthony Secunda Manor is probably one of the most interesting places I have ever eaten a meal. When you book a lot of venues for a paranormal event or investigation you get a list of dos and don’ts, some of the more common ones are things like no Ouija boards in certain rooms or the entire venue. With Llanthony one of the rules is do not move the dining room table or benches, this is because they were made for the floor. Walking up the stairs from the kitchen you can clearly see the reason for this; the legs of both are cut to fit the very uneven floor. I doubt there are many places where you would find yourself sitting on a perfectly level bench that has the leg on one end about five inches longer than the one on the other.
After we all polished off our curries, poppadoms and naan bread it was time for cake, in this case one bearing the logo of Cymru Paranormal a lovely touch and donated by our Chair Sarah.
Sarah, Rachel and Audrey gathered together and went live on Facebook, filmed by our Website and Social Media expert Leanne. Unfortunately the Wifi decided to drop out part way so Sarah’s full toast and the actual cake cutting didn’t make it to Facebook. I can’t remember Sarah’s exact words but she welcomed everyone to Cymru Paranormal’s first event only 20 days into our history and with 25 members already. She then proposed a toast to a bright future for the group. After finishing our glasses of bubbly, also kindly donated by our Chair Sarah, we moved to the ground floor sitting room to chat and shoot Ghosts. We even captured our first Ghost on film for our Facebook page. The last four members, including myself, finally finished discussing our paranormal experiences and went to bed at 3am.
Saturday morning Sarah and Rachel very kindly cooked breakfast for everyone, on offer were bacon and egg rolls, toast with butter, jam or marmalade and plenty of tea.
After breakfast most members went out to explore the local area while Sarah, Rachel and Dave started setting up equipment for the night. I went to Tintern with a couple of members for afternoon tea in the White Monk. This seems to be a bit of a tradition for me as I have been there numerous times returning from nearby St Briavels or other local venues. As the weather was a little cold we decided not to walk up the hill to check out the derelict St Mary’s Church or to visit Tintern Abbey itself both of which are reputed to be haunted and even if they are not they are still worth a visit on warmer days for the stunning views.
Once all members had returned and we had been joined by a few people who couldn’t make Friday night, Saturday evening started with another meal in the first floor dining room. This time we didn’t light the fire to hopefully reduce the extraneous smell of wood burning and also passed up the alcohol, if anyone was going to report any activity we didn’t want it to be down to the prosecco.
After dinner we split into two teams. The first team led by Sarah comprised of Rachel, Dave, 2 members, 2 guests and myself. The second team led by Leanne comprised of Audrey and 6 members. Rather than providing a strict timetable of rooms and activities the house was simply divided into two areas. Members were allowed to decide which specific rooms they wanted to visit and what they wanted to do in each room. Personally I’m a big fan of this approach and think it works well with a few simple ground rules as implemented by Cymru Paranormal.
The group I was with started off all together in the living room before a few people moved into the kitchen. Rather than sitting in pitch blackness as many groups do we opted to leave one of the lights in the kitchen dimly on. In the kitchen, which was also used as part of the break area, we had left a number of pendulums, dowsing rods and a planchette for people to use if they wished or to take with them to other areas. Over the course of the night we explored the majority of the manor and undertook a number of experiments in different areas including a joint vigil in the dining room with both groups.
Overall, I enjoyed the tone of the event itself. I think with events it’s often difficult to strike a balance between spiritual techniques which many people like and more scientific methods. Leaving the choice of activities open to members is an easy solution to this problem. The group I was with didn’t participate in the spiritual stuff, preferring more to sit quietly and observe the venue. However, this was difficult in a number of rooms as we just couldn’t stop laughing. It’s probably worth mentioning at this point that Cymru Paranormal’s events are not run in the same way as their investigations where they are purely approached in a balanced and scientific way.
During one of the breaks we held a raffle with prizes including Chocolates, Candles and books donated by members and £15 towards a future event donated by Cymru Paranormal. 52 tickets were sold. After adding a very kind donation of £5 from a member who was unable to attend the event this gives an extra £57 towards the groups aims. As this seemed popular with members we will continue to run a raffle at future events.
After the event finished at approx. 4am members were free to continue investigating if they wished. However, most people decided to turn in for the night.
Sunday morning Sarah and Rachel again cooked breakfast for our hungry members and guests before they went on their way back home. After a final check round the final members left the manor at about 11am.
Overall a great weekend was had by all and hopefully a few new friendships created.
On behalf of all the members and guests who attended I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the work they put in to the event. A special mention needs to go to the following
Our Chair Sarah for organising the event, leading one of the teams, cooking two fabulous evening meals and breakfasts and purchasing a donating, champagne and a cake.
Our Secretary Rachel for a helping to cook the evening meal on Saturday and breakfast both days also donating and purchasing the other lovely personal touch of the welcome balloons and sign.
Our Treasurer Audrey for the fabulous vegetable curry on Friday night.
Our Website and Social Media Manager Leanne for leading one of the groups on Saturday and for being official photographer all weekend.
Our Technician Dave for all his work in researching, organising and supervising the set-up of the equipment.
The members who donated Crystal Pendulums, Dowsing Rods, planchette.
I didn’t want to mention names without permission but you know who you are.
While this blog post is written as Cymru Paranormal’s Official Blogger, all views expressed are my own and should not be taken as the Official View of Cymru Paranormal as a group, unless specifically stated.
All photos included in this post were taken by Leanne who has kindly granted us permission to use them for Cymru Paranormal purposes and should not be reproduced elsewhere without express permission.
1. As our Committee is named on this website I have/will included their first names and, when they are first mentioned, their position in blog posts. I have not included the names of any other members as I do not wish to do so without their consent. For this reason where I have written member it means a member other than a named committee member. However, where I say Members the majority of times this includes Committee Members and investigators because, when you get right down to it, we are all members. Where I have used Guest it refers to a non-member of Cymru Paranormal, these are normally people known to the group but who are not members. For example we are friendly with a number of other groups across the UK and may invite their members to our events.
2. I’m not going to let the cat of the bag yet but Cymru Paranormal do have some really great venues planned for the future so keep your eyes peeled, if you wish to become a member please also check out the member page.
3. Don’t worry we’re not delusional the ghosts in question were provided by Megableu’s Ghost Hunt Game to purchase follow the link Ghost Game
4. To hire the Manor house please see link below.