WELL, I’ve just appeared in a haunted hotel. No not as an apparition. (Yeah yeah!) Just as this old boring pop singing mortal I’m afraid. The hotel in question is situated in the depths of the beautiful, but somewhat foreboding New Forest. It’s called The Foxlease.
Parts of this imposing edifice date back to the 16th century and it abounds with stories of unexplained noises and apparitions, which over the years have manifested both to its staff and residents alike.
Alright all right, I can hear the snorts of derision from here. No, this is not some establishment trying to sell rooms on the backs of paranormal spirits created by some dubious PR exercise.
On the contrary, because the main core of their business is centred on Guides, Scouts, and schools whose students take camping holidays and ‘outward bound’ courses in the summer – they are trying to keep the whole thing as quiet as possible.
As a Spiritualist and staunch believer in such things, I was more than a little interested to find out as much as I could about their numerous supernatural experiences.
Subsequently, on further investigation of the hotel, I found a number of the restricted areas, (purposely not used as guest accommodation!), were extremely spooky indeed.
In fact, while I was there, the landlord took a small party on a guided tour of these areas. Within a few minutes, one young lady rushed back into the lounge and, shaking noticeably, told me she was frightened to even walk down one of the corridors!
The staff and Landlord were actually extremely ‘matter of fact’ and quite nonchalant about the whole situation. An acceptance I had not actually experienced before, and did indeed lend a whole new authenticity to their ghostly claims and stories.
Apparently none of them lock their bedroom doors at night, they explained that this was a precaution enabling them to escape in a hurry should they feel the need!
All had heard the noise of footsteps and children talking and crying. The landlord told me that last summer he was having a drink with a friend in the garden, when the friend suddenly froze and went deathly white. When he asked him what the matter was, he said he’d just seen a woman walk out through the wall of the hotel!
Apparently, a few years ago, without naming the hotel, Channel Five’s TV paranormal ‘ghost busters’ spent a few nights filming there. They later reported that, in their opinion, there were eight ghostly ‘guests’ residing on the premises.
Sometime later the landlord invited the Royal Navy paranormal squad (yep they really do exist – mainly to investigate reports of ship haunting) to look in to their claims.
This team had no connection or links with the TV series but, lo and behold, after their overnight stay, they too reported they had detected eight spirits in the hotel! Whoooooo!
Well be that as it may, and having actually seen a (never forgotten) manifestation at the age of four, I am not a sceptic and my mind is always totally open to all things both spiritual and mortal. I have to confess however that despite their kind invitation, we declined their offer to stay the night!
Have a good week and try to take strength from the inspiring words of the great Rumi, who told us.
‘You are not a drop in the ocean; you are an ocean in the drop.’
Keep the faith.