Stalked by a shapeshifter who hates me!
He was staring at me from the shadows
Walking round Wymering Manor in Portsmouth, my feet clattering on the wooden floorboards, I grew more and more uneasy. I felt like I’d visited the place before – but I had the strangest feeling that the house didn’t want me there. ‘Don’t be silly,’ I scolded myself. ‘It’s just your imagination playing tricks on you.’ It was 2016, and I was on a tour of the Grade Ii-listed building. Unused since 2006, it had fallen into disrepair. Although a housing association had bought it and was in the process of restoring it to its former glory, it had a shabby, melancholic air.
Most of the current building was constructed in the 16th century, but parts of it are much older, dating back to Roman and Mediaeval times. It’s a piece of living history, with its ancient oak front door and its secret priest holes, relics of a time when Catholics had to worship in secret.
Oh, and it’s very, very haunted. Some paranormal investigators believe that there are as many as 20 different ghosts there, including a nun with blood dripping from her hands, a child who died of the plague in an attic, and the unfortunate Sir Roderick of Porchester, murdered by his lover’s husband outside the manor in the Middle Ages.
Maybe that’s why I felt like someone was watching me now. It was making my skin crawl. As the tour guide led us into a room with wood panelled walls in the Tudor style, I felt my stomach drop.
I tried to focus on what the guide was saying, but I had the strangest feeling that someone was standing right behind me. A man – and he was breathing down my neck. I swung round, knowing that there wasn’t anybody there. The energy in the room felt charged, and not in a positive way.
‘You’ve been watching too much Most Haunted,’ I muttered to myself.
But I couldn’t shake the feeling that this invisible man was following me. It wasn’t until I stepped out of the gates that I finally felt him melt away.
It had been a creepy experience – but it had roused my curiosity. I felt compelled to return to the manor, but it’s not open to the general public.
Earlier this year, the opportunity presented itself. I was invited by Tim Brown from the Paranormal Intelligence Gathering Service (P.I.G.S) to come along to spend the evening at the manor and help hunt for evidence of its many reputed ghosts. I jumped at the chance.
When I arrived, the team were setting up their cameras and equipment.
Tim showed me round, then introduced me to Michelle and Ben, who’d be heading up my team. I was immediately drawn to them – their enthusiasm was electric.
‘I had a weird experience here a few years ago,’ I confided in Michelle.
I told her about the angry male presence following me around.
‘Don’t worry, you’ll be protected here,’ she reassured me. ‘There’s safety in numbers.’
We began our investigation on the first floor with a seance led by medium Mark. We were standing round a large table.
‘Is there anybody there?’ Mark asked softly. Several members of our party gasped in shock as the table twitched, apparently moving
A strong smell of sweets filled the room
of its own accord.
‘A male presence has come through,’ Mark revealed. ‘He feels very angry.’
I couldn’t help but glance over at Michelle. Was this
my angry male presence?
‘I’m getting the name John. Is that your name?’ Mark asked the male spirit.
‘What’s that smell?’ someone asked suddenly.
It was mint – the room was filled with the scent of it. At once, the mood shifted dramatically. The angry male presence was replaced by that of a scared woman. Was it the male spirit who’d terrified her?
We headed off to a different part of the house to connect with the energy there – and I found myself in the Panelled Room where I’d first encountered the angry male presence.
As we sat at the table and attempted to make contact, my stomach flipped with anxiety.
But the room felt completely different this time. There was a mournful, sober vibe.
‘I can smell sweets or candy floss,’ Mark said.
‘Marshmallows,’ I spoke out, ‘It smells like the powder you get on marshmallows’.
The scent lingered until we moved on. The evening ended with a vigil in the hallway. Sitting at the grand table, I looked over to the piano, and saw a strange figure standing there.
He had grey, Stuart-era hair – a wig, most probably - and a waxy, grey palour to his wizened face. He was scowling right at me.
‘Who’s that?’ I asked, nudging one of my team members and pointing out the scowling man.
‘It’s just one of the team,’ they shrugged. ‘I don’t know his name.’
I was still looking at the scowling man. But as I stared at him, his features shifted. It wasn’t an old man in Stuart dress standing there any more. It was a young guy with a shaved head. My mouth fell open in shock. What had just happened? Were my eyes playing tricks on me…or had I encountered a shapeshifter?
My mind was still spinning as I left the building. As I looked back up at the house, I felt that the invisible eyes were still watching me – but, oddly, this time, I felt a sense of approval. It was as if I’d passed some kind of test…
Wymering Manor still feels linked to me. I feel like I’ve got unfinished business with the place. The Panelled Room is the building’s paranormal hotspot, situated right below the attic where the nun with bloody hands has been sighted, staring down the stairs.
I have a feeling something really dreadful happened in that room. And who knows, maybe I’m the person who’s destined to find out what it was…
To book a tour with the Paranormal Intelligence Gathering Service, which hosted Danielle’s visit, check out the-pigs.co.uk.
Danielle Jones, 32, from Portsmouth
Psychic link: Wymering Manor
Imposing: Manor facade