Haunted Bri­tain: That sink­ing feel­ing

Each month, co­me­dian Barry Dodds and his side­kick Re­becca Kirk spend a night in a dif­fer­ent haunted lo­ca­tion. Para­nor­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tion

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Kirk’s Para­nor­mal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Re­port:

10pm: ‘Ap­par­ently these are the in­spi­ra­tion of Alice fall­ing down the rab­bit hole in Alice in Won­der­land,’ Dodds tells me as we cross the field in which the Ket­tles sit. ‘Lewis Car­roll lived in the vil­lage as a child and took a lot of in­spi­ra­tion from the sur­round­ing area.’

‘It doesn’t sur­prise me,’ I say as we ap­proach Dou­ble Ket­tle and peer into it. ‘This thing looks deep.’ 10.15pm: Thick clouds have brought the night in fast. A breeze whisks the reeds and Dodds sees a smoke-like light dart­ing across them.

‘Was that your head torch?’ Dodds asks.

‘I wasn’t even look­ing that way,’ I re­spond. Per­haps it’s time to set the equip­ment go­ing.

Ghostly voice

10.35pm: Ten min­utes into switch­ing on the spirit box, we pick up an elec­tronic zap and then a man’s voice say­ing what sounds like, ‘Got to reach for the…’ be­fore fall­ing silent again. There’s a he­li­copter in the dis­tance though, was that what we were pick­ing up?

10.50pm: Dodds ask for a sign that we’re not alone. We hear the sound of a stone be­ing thrown over the other side of the Ket­tle - but we’re the only two liv­ing peo­ple in this field.

‘Let’s move over to where the sound came from,’ Dodds sug­gests to me.

Foot­steps

11.05pm: As we’re care­fully walk­ing around Dou­ble Ket­tle, we hear deep thump­ing, like heavy foot­steps, pac­ing round the perime­ter just ahead.

‘I feel un­set­tled over this side,’ I mut­ter.

But to my sur­prise, Dodds feels fine, putting the noises

down to na­ture.

11.35pm: Af­ter sit­ting in si­lence for some time, Dodds sud­denly stands up, alert.

‘I- nah…’ He shakes his head to him­self, look­ing wor­ried

‘What?’ I in­sist, still feel­ing rather on edge.

‘I thought I just saw a black shadow mov­ing through the reeds,’ Dodds says.

He turns around and im­me­di­ately sees a bob­bing light in the row of trees be­hind us.

‘What’s that?’ he yelps, head­ing to­wards them to in­ves­ti­gate. ‘Wait for me!’ I cry.

11.40pm: ‘It looked like a dimmed lamp,’ Dodds says as we look into the heavy fo­liage, cer­tain a dog walker will pop out at any mo­ment. No­body does, though. We’re all alone out here.

Hellish pun­ish­ment

Mid­night: We move over to the fresh wa­ter Croft Ket­tle, which is said to have sucked in a farmer, along with his horses and cart, back in the Mid­dles Ages, as pun­ish­ment for tend­ing to his hay on St. Barn­abas’ Day. He’s one of the damned, scream­ing souls in the ponds. 12.20am: I read aloud a folk­lore ditty from the in­ci­dent: ‘Barn­aby yea! Barn­aby nay! A cart­load of hay, whether God will or nay!’ As I’m speak­ing, the wind picks up, ruf­fling the reeds and our hair. Some­thing growls. 1am: All is calm again. The dark­ness is thick and it feels dan­ger­ous just to be stand­ing on the edge of this fa­bled sink­hole.

Ghastly gur­gle

1.10am: ‘Even when all is silent, this place gives me the creeps,’ I shud­der. ‘Strange lights and sounds aside, I still feel noth­ing,’ Dodds shrugs, be­fore con­sid­er­ing, ‘Hey, it only af­fects wrong ‘uns though, doesn’t it?’ ‘There was that time I told my lit­tle brother he’d get a wish if he did a poo in the pad­dling pool, when he was five,’ I ad­mit. ‘Boy, did he get into troub…’ The Ket­tle sud­denly gur­gles and rip­ples, stop­ping me mid-sen­tence. I take a swift step back from the edge.

‘They’re com­ing for you!’ Dodds teases me.

Sud­denly, I’m de­ter­mined to get as far away from Hell Ket­tles as pos­si­ble. I spend the jour­ney home qui­etly re-think­ing my ac­tions as an eight-year old!

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