Investigation 28th January 2005 Lowes Cottage Ashbourne
Derbyshire full investigation. Investigation team Mick,
Mike, Brenda, Gaz, Richard and Steve.
Thank you to Tim Chilton for letting us investigate his
home Lowes Cottage. We Started the investigation at 10pm
after Tim showed us around and told us some history of the
building. We split into two teams, team one being Mick,
Brenda and Richard. Team two being Mikey, Gaz and Steve.
Team ones report
Office: Brenda, Mick and Richard. Brenda felt like having
head crushed and having an in turned foot possibly a boy.
Emf acting very strange readings going of the scale stopping
then going off again. Would not expect there to be excessive
wiring in the room to cause these readings due to the age
of the building. Brenda and Richard found this room very
oppressive. Orbs witnessed in the room through the video
camera. Person was picked up on in the office who possibly
had head injury. Denis is possibly the name of the boy in
the room aged around 13 and was an apprentice. Richard thought
he could see a persons head to the left of the door. Lady
with grey hair like a French pleat style possibly about
60 years of age wearing high collared dress with a embolism
condition possible to the head. Persons were witnessed as
moving around the area of the door, nothing was witnessed
on video. Brenda thinks the woman in the room might have
been a laundry woman possible Victorian. All through the
investigation in Tim’s office Brenda and Richard both
witnessed movement around the doorway. The Emf meter would
start up on its own with no one touching it. Brenda also
picked up on Spirit animals in the room as well. 3 children
1 is 3or 4 , the others are wearing pinifold dresses possibly
dressed in there Sunday best. Also the temperature kept
fluctuating during this vigil. Also Brenda’s temperature
would keep fluctuating, the Emf seemed to get more active
the more we moved around. Around 11pm we moved to the main
bedroom this is where people have been report to had been
held down on he bed. This bedroom was a lot colder than
the previous office we had just been in. Brenda felt as
though something was trying to push her while she was sat
on the bed. Brenda was pushed back down on the bed and felt
has though they were pushing down on her face and neck area.
Again in this room we had erratic readings from the Emf
meter. I tried laying on the bed and found nothing out of
the ordinary. Both Richard and Brenda thought as though
they was a wider person lied where I was, making me look
like a much bigger person.
Down stairs basement, midnight: We had a motion detector
set up on the computer which would pick up motion and record
a short film nothing was captured on the laptop. The basement
was the coldest part of the building so far. At one time
there is believed to have been another cellar behind the
stone stairs. Brenda thought at some time there might have
been a passage from the basement. Richard witnessed movement
at the bottom of the stones stairs. Orbs were captured on
video from the basement footage. Brenda picked up on a old
woman stood near the fire place having an argument with
a man, also a boy wearing like knickers bocker type trousers.
The man is very angry and pacing up and down, a younger
boy is there in creamy coloured shirt and brown trousers,
seams to belong around 1700. Where as the people arguing
seem to belong to a period of 1900. The young boy possibly
died of a bronchial condition. Brenda also picked up on
a young girl possibly in her teens around 19. Brenda and
Richard seemed to pick up lots of activity around the fire
surround. Brenda believes the man down stairs is the same
man who was up in the bedroom. While in the basement Brenda
went into trance and picked up on a very old entity dating
beyond the age of the house thought to be very old and evil.
This person was cold with staring eyes had no decency and
regard for anyone except him self, believed to have been
hanged locally. While sat down in the basement we heard
noise from the floor above no one was up there as the other
team was in the bedroom. Richard described the man has a
large stocky build man believed to be the same man from
After the investigation in the basement we all did an investigation
in the living room nothing out of the ordinary was witnessed
in this room. The last half hour Mick spent alone in the
main bedroom, But apart from the EMF acting strangely Nothing
else was witnessed or felt.
We found nothing bad about this house but it was a very
strange atmosphere and made our equipment act very strangely.
Just a quick report from Team 2(Mike,Gaz + Steve). from
Lowes cottage on
We arrived at Lowes cottage at around 9-30pm on Friday
28th January.We were greeted by the owner and shown around
the property. The team then split into two groups of three,
our group being myself (Mike), Gaz and Steve.
Our team started in the lower part of the house, this area
consisted of the small room just through the entrance which
had an old range to the right of the entrance and a utility
area to the left with a sink and fridge/freezer. The whole
house had a very welcoming and comfortable feel to it, which
was noticed by the whole team upon arrival and continued
to feel that way until departure. During our investigation
of the downstairs area I was aware of a presence in the
area behind the fridge which seemed to then travel away
through the wall...I felt that this had not always been
a wall but at some point this had been a doorway..(this
fact confirmed at the end of the night). It was not possible
to take E.M.F readings of this area because of the fridge
and surrounding wiring which would have influenced the reading.
We settled down to do a vigil in entrance/ cellar area after
a while both Gaz and I saw many small colourful lights around
the size of pinheads darting around the counter to the left
and on the underside of the fridge and also moving up and
around the fridge. There was a particular spot just inside
of the front door where the E.M.F. meter was fluctuating
from the very lowest setting and all way up to the highest
scale. This happened several times throughout the evening
and all the E.M.F. meters were behaving in the same way.
Throughout the night a motion sensor and laptop with video
capture had been set directed towards the old range cooking
area. At many points during the night the sensor was set
off even though there were no team members in that particular
I also felt that the main front door had not always been
in the position it is now in but had actually been further
towards the centre of the wall, there seemed to be a lot
of energy passing through that location.
Whilst investigating the range area, we tried a small mediumship
exercise, during this exercise Gaz picked up on a smallish
women perhaps just over 5ft she was wearing a pinafore style
dress and seemed to be preparing something in a large pot(
I had also picked up on a woman in similar dress it was
hard to tell if she had her hair in a bun or whether she was
wearing some sort of head covering, maybe a bonnet, this
felt to be from a later era possibly fifties/sixties. The
woman appeared to be talking to a gentleman in the area
where I believed the front door to have originally been).
Also during the exercise Steve had picked up on a gentleman
quite tall and very upright/proud in stature he was wearing
a dark suit buttoned up and had a very high collared shirt and a neck tie, he also picked
up on a woman doing washing. I picked up on the woman mentioned
earlier and also two small children playing and running
about in a washing area. I believed this area to be outside
the window and going round to the side of the house. During
the evening photos and video footage were taken which will
be checked and any results will be included in the report.
I would like to add that in the upstairs main bedroom there
was a presence of a cat on the bed and also whilst on the
bed Gaz felt a heavy weight pressing down on his legs.
Brief History of the Cottage:
[Source: The Mirror / London / by Bill Daniels + Adrian
Shaw - January 16 1999]
Living With A Ghost
A weeping wife told a judge yesterday that she and her husband
refused to pay money owing on their cottage after discovering
it was haunted by evil spirits. Mother-of-three Josie Smith,
36, said she felt she had been raped and strangled by ghosts
in the centuries-old house. She sobbed: "On one night
I felt the quilt being lifted up and my nightdress moving
up over my legs. It only stopped when I shouted: 'No!' Mrs
Smith and husband Andrew, 35, are being sued for £3,500
owing on the £44,000 price of the stone-built house
they bought in 1993.
The couple are counterclaiming against the previous owners,
sisters Sandra Podmore and Susan Melbourne. The Smiths claim
the sisters knew the house was haunted before selling it.
Judge Peter Stretton must decide whether there really is
such a thing as a ghost - and if he finds for the Smiths
it will be the first official recognition of the paranormal
since the Middle Ages.
Mrs Smith told Derby County Court that the terrifying events
began six weeks after they bought Lowes Cottage in Hollow
Lane at Upper Mayfield, Staffs. She had to give up her job
as a theatre nurse because of stress. She spoke of
- FOUR ghostly assaults which left her in fear of her life;
- FOUL smells, weird noises and hurtling objects;
- FAILED attempts to exorcise the violent spirits.
Mrs Smith said that at one point they took the children
- Lindsey, 12, Stephen, five, and 12-month-old Daniel -
to stay with relatives to escape the nightmare.
She said of one chilling invasion: "I woke up in the
middle of the night, and something was touching me beneath
my nightdress. I felt very cold, very dirty, as if I had
been raped. Twice I felt as if I was being strangled, and
I woke up choking and shaking. Both times we had to leave
the house. It was gripping me round the throat and throttling
me. My whole body was shaking. I thought I was going to
"I went to my mother's, determined never to go back.
But then I spoke to a medium on the phone. She said a girl
had been murdered in the house and the ghost was just showing
me how she had died. That gave us the strength to go back
and that's when neighbours began telling us that the previous
occupants had experienced the same thing."
The house is said to have a dark history, with local folklore
of a dairymaid who died imprisoned in the cellar and a boy
who hanged himself from the rafters. Mrs Smith claimed she
saw visions of a woman naked, bound and gagged to a bed
and of a 19th-century figure in flowing dress gliding across
the room. She told of waking to the first night of terror.
"I felt a heavy weight pressing down on me and it took
every ounce of strength in me just to lift my little finger,"
she said. "Then suddenly it just flew across my face.
There was a strong, pungent smell around the house and we
could find no explanation for it. We thought perhaps it
was damp because the house hadn't been lived in for so long.
"A friend of mine who is a member of the Spiritualist
Church advised us to place a wooden cross in a bowl of salted
water in the bedroom and say a prayer to get rid of the
ghost. But when we did this the atmosphere turned very thick
and the smell was so vile that I wanted to vomit. I rang
my friend and she said we had upset it."
Mrs Smith said the Reverend Peter Mockford, vicar of Blurton,
Stoke-on-Trent, blessed the house four times in a bid to
drive out the restless spirits. "The first time he
blessed it it was quiet for a night but then the paranormal
phenomena returned even stronger," she said. Electrical
equipment failed, the immersion heater blew up and my daughter's
tape player couldn't be turned off unless we unplugged it.
On the third occasion the reverend tried to dispel the spirits
we played tapes of religious music and prayers. As soon
as we did, the floorboard upstairs started creaking. When
we closed our eyes there was a rushing at the sides of our
heads. It felt like smoke was spiralling up our noses and
we had pins and needles until the next day."
The family went to a surveyor and were told the paranormal
activity had knocked £20,000 off the value of the
house. They withheld the last payment of their instalments
from the vendors on the grounds of "misrepresentational
fraud". The cottage was left to the two sisters by
their father. They told the hearing they never saw a ghost
in a total of more than 40 years of living there.
Mrs Melbourne, 40, who still lives in Upper Mayfield, said:
"I have never experienced a ghost and never come across
a haunted house - and definitely not in Mayfield. If I was
told there was such a house in the village I wouldn't believe
it, as I don't believe in ghosts."
Mrs Podmore, 38, from nearby Waterhouses, Staffs, said she
was born in Lowes Cottage and lived there until the age
of 25. She told the court: "I never had any strange
experiences, and even after I moved out I would take my
two children to visit their grandad."
Both women were questioned by joiner Mr Smith, who is representing
himself and his wife at the hearing. Later the sisters'
barrister, Thomas Dillon, suggested Mrs Smith's story had
been made up out of "horror films and novels".
Mr Dillon spoke of several similarities to sections of the
book The Amityville Horror.
He said: "You refer to being able to look through floorboards
from upstairs, seeing the face of a pig, a force so strong
you could lean against it, and hearing upstairs beds moving
back and forth. Isn't it amazing how all these things which
you say happened to you can be found in just a few pages
of this novel?" Mrs Smith said she had read the book,
but insisted she was telling the truth.
She said: "Myself and my husband also watched the film
The Haunting recently. Many things what happened there also
happened to us. The Haunting was a true story and so is
Mr Dillon said the couple had "made a habit" of
running away from their financial problems and had five
county court judgments against them. Mrs Smith said they
had arisen from her husband being declared bankrupt after
a failed business partnership.
The Rev Peter Mockford said he first visited the cottage
in October 1995. He added: "I myself experienced the
smell and the wet walls. In my view, in Lowes Cottage there
is paranormal activity which cannot be explained."
Video Film Sheds Light
A pair of amateur ghostbusters revealed alleged video evidence
of paranormal activity at the Smiths' cottage. Tony Dawson
and Clive Topcliffe spent a night collating their own X-Files.
Tony, 30, of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, said at the time: "We
set up the camera in a downstairs room and went to sleep.
In the early hours, we heard banging coming from the room
so we went to investigate. We had left a candle burning
on the stairs in front of the camera and suddenly it flew
into the air like a rocket."
They studied the recording with the Smiths and confirmed
they had got the candle on film.
Josie Smith said: "On the video you can also hear a
latch-door closing. We've got a modern door now, but when
we moved in there was an original latch-door from years
Glow in the Night Spooks Our Man
By Bill Daniels
A cold green light flickered over me as I lay stiff with
fear in the gloom of the Smiths' dining room. In a foolhardy
moment I'd agreed to spend the night in the house they say
is haunted. I'd had no worries about the assignment. I didn't
believe in ghosts. But now I wished I was asleep - anywhere
else but there. All the chilling stories Andy had told me
about things going bump in the night, walls running with
water and doors mysteriously opening and closing came flooding
Cautiously I crept towards the mysterious glow. I peered
nervously into the kitchen - and was confronted by my "ghost".
A green light was flickering on and off, filling the room
with its glow. But it was just a timer on the stove which
hadn't been set properly. Despite the lurid tales I'd heard,
that was the only terror I faced. Stairs creaked, windows
rattled and radiators banged - but spooks stayed away.
Thank you for letting us investigate your home Tim