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  • Writer's pictureAnn

Wotton Afternoon!

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

I am not all that struck on my latest satnav woman. She says things either way too early so late that you’ve forgotten where you're supposed to be going by the time your turning pops up, or tells you just on the cusp of the information being a smidge too late. After several joyfully exciting unplanned manoeuvres (one across two lanes of the M4 at speed, somehow criss-crossing perfectly with a BMW doing the same thing coming from the other side like some Red Arrows show piece) that involved a bit of swearing, we somehow made our destination. It wasn’t all bad. We did get to see a squirrel and some grass somewhere just outside of Bristol that we weren’t expecting.

On Thursday November the 10th I had ventured forth. Head banging from a triple whammy of aura-filled migraines the day before, I probably shouldn't have been going anywhere, but this was something I'd planned to do (again) for a while, it was booked, and my ghosting pal, or Ghost Bud/GB Chris was coming too.

I found Chris lurking outside the prison workshops and pulled in. I'll just add that this is where we'd agree to meet. Not that I just came across him at random. He had a chunky bag and Ouija table with him, as many are wont to do. The weird thing is, seeing someone with a Ouija board-stroke-table isn't actually weird any more for people like myself and Chris, or indeed any similarly minded folks. In fact I imagine that if you are, you're probably sagely nodding your head right now.

Thus off we went, satnav sort of homing in haphazardly on Wotton-Under-Edge's most famous ruinous building, The Ancient Ram Inn.

I have visited The Ram several times before and always with a larger group. That said, 'larger' means three or four people, this time it was just Chris and I. To be honest, I don't think that The Ram could dutifully handle many more than four, being a location of such age and creakiness. It may be absolutely fine for groups wishing to do the more traditional Group Thing, but as you'll know if you've read any of my other blogs and such, I tend to strike off in a more antisocial way.

For EVP work absolute silence is key, and I was hopeful that with just one ghosting buddy, that recording would be easier. That said, Chris and I do our own thing even if on site at the same time, so even though we would be together, we’d probably not meet unless in passing until the end of the session.

Previous captures here in Wotton-Under-Edge had been intense and plentiful, so I had high hopes. My hourly average at the prison had been resting round about 38ph, and at a stately home nearby last weekend, a not too shabby 48ph! My previous Ram experiences yielded a joint average of 17.2ph, and so even though the rate of treasures rushing through the headphones was considerably down on other locations, what had been caught, was always astonishing. It’s not always about quantity.

In the old days of booking a few hours at The Ram, we'd have been given an access code and been allowed in without another person having to be on site, but because people don't know how to behave (remember why I left the prison??) someone is now always situated in the little kitchen, which has now become the official office.

We were met by our friendly and somehow familiar hostess, Zanna. Introductions were made, and Chris and I were left to our own devices. Zanna remained holed-up in the office throughout our three hour exploration, and the area is sound-proof and well tucked away. The poor woman didn’t so much as disturb us to use the one toilet, so for all intents and purposes, we had the place to ourselves.

Having been shown to the world and indeed ghostly admirers from across the pond on Ghost Adventures, The Ram has gained something of ramped up notoriety of late. Since the sad passing of owner and absolute gentlemanly legend John Humphries, his daughter Caroline has kept the old place going, earning its keep by playing host to a number of commercial ghost hunting groups. Also, and this is where my gratitude comes in, they allow single people or smaller, non-commercial groups to hire by the hour during the week. This is a fantastic opportunity for someone antisocial such as myself to gain access to one of the most famous ‘haunted locations’ not just in the UK, but in the world. And, not at great cost either. At the time of writing, it costs £10 per person per hour for mid-week hire.

On this particular day I had hired the site for three hours for Chris and I, a grand total of £60 which given the prowess of the place, I’d say is a good deal.

Chris headed on upstairs to the Bishop’s room, supposedly THE most active room in the joint. I remained downstairs and went first to the barn.

The first time I had hired was in April 2019, and all barring John’s quarters in the hay loft were accessible. The last occasion had in June 2019 (oh how long ago that seems!) and the barn was off limits due to flooding. This time however, it was mightily spruced up, and decorated with bunting along its old wooden beams. What I hadn’t noticed before, was the grand fireplace at the far end. Quite how I missed this I don’t know, but it gave a great sense of purpose to the old place, a focal point if you will. I headed over to it, and for this website, snapped a few selfies. I am not usually a fan of the selfie, I do try to take the odd one here and there when on location, if only to say ‘I WAS HERE!’ and to stick on this website. I didn’t look at the results until later.

I recorded in the barn, then meandered back to the Kitchen and grave area. For anyone who is uninitiated in the darkness of the Ram, the hole in the floor in near the Kitchen, was found to contain the bones of a woman and child, plus what is believed to be anything from one, to ‘several’ sacrificial daggers. The story changes depending on who’s telling the story however, and I should like to talk directly with Caroline before saying that anything is or is not true. There were definitely human bones exhumed from this hole in the flagstones though. One blog online says that ghost hunters stole the daggers (unlikely), when all other sources say that they are held with the archives. Who knows. This is where the meshy lines between truth and myth begin to blur.

Chris and I spent the rest of our time crossing briefly on the landing, stairs, and finally meeting for twenty minutes in the Witch’s Room to try a little Ouija on his new home made board/table, complete with glow in the dark lettering. Sadly nobody came forward, and we thus repaired to other sections of the house to get on with our own ‘things’. So, all in all, we each covered the following: Lounge area. Grave area. Kitchen. Barn. Stairs up. Landing. Witch’s Room, Den. Upper Landing. Attic. Bishop’s Room. Hayloft Landing (outside the loo).

Activity for Chris was slow to start, then revved up, only to peter out again not long after. Retrospectively my activity was much the same. Whereas at Shepton my captures would come either immediately after beginning recording or not long after, my first capture came a whopping hour and twenty into our three hour session!

In total I garnered twelve EVPs, a few nice ones too actually. These included a man growling in a heavy breathing sort of manner (attic stairs as I walked off to the loo), a full sentence by what I take to be a pubescent young man (Bishop's fireplace as I was poking my torch up the chimney) and a sly sounding gent saying “Get you… HA!” or similar, also on the attic stairs when I was coming back from the loo. There are a few others of note, a little female whimper, a few indistinct utterings, but nothing stand-out like I had last time. No “Chris Talbot” this day!

We left feeling that we’d had most definitely experienced something, and been in the presence of the ancients. I was looking forward to delving into my audio, migraine allowing. The headache was now one of those sick ones where you feel like your skull is not only in a vice, but that you’re on a rollercoaster with no end in sight, wanting to puke at all the fast moving psychodelic firework displays playing in the back of your mind. Travel sickness, eat your heart out.

When I got home I felt atrocious, so much so that I couldn’t face the laptop. I briefly scrolled through the photos from the afternoon’s activities, and stopped suddenly at the selfies in the barn. In one, but in no others, were small regularly shaped glinting pieces of… ? They were ‘in’ my hair and one was over my neck slightly. There had been nothing physically in my hair, of that you can be sure, because I’d visited the facilities pre-selfie, and brushed out my usually tangled mop. It wasn’t dandruff either, before you ask. It was not reflected lights despite the hanging electrical lights you see in the mirror, nor refraction or lens glare. I simply have no idea what it was.

I’ll leave you with a few recordings from The Ram from that afternoon. They may not be the most gob-smacking, but they are real. This place, this archaic and seemingly genteel old place, has teeth. I’ve said this about the prison, but The Ram has a sinister undertone that makes me for one, feel a trifle uneasy. It’s of a deep dark, and what’s there DOES have the power to reach out.

Since returning last Thursday (a week ago today as I write) I’ve been inexplicably affected by yet more migraines (7 in six days), nasty stomach pains, and now toothache. I’ve not felt well enough to do anything but sleep, and as such this is the first night I’ve got writing again.

So, take away what you will from Mr Bagans’s affluent and somewhat icky Hollywood-esque presentation of The Ancient Ram Inn in Ghost Adventures UK, the lacklustre offering from Most Haunted, and the somewhat bubble gum version 'on sale' in the Michaela Strachan program.

I have loved Michaela ever since I was tiny and watched Owl TV with her and Chris Packham, but some of the background research done on this series (Great British Ghosts) was just shoddy. Why let facts get in the way of 'a spooky story'? For many reasons.

So although many sources go overboard to make the Ram live up-to its fearsome reputation on TV and on YouTube, I’m telling that for sure, this place is most certainly imbued with a black and heavily cloying essence, presence, and lurking intelligent agent of age. It is the real deal. Take one lingering look at the mummified corpse of the cat found bricked up within the walls to know that ‘stuff has gone down here’, never mind the children’s bones under the bar floor. Take it from me. Have a listen to my other Ram recordings on the Video Vault page, and cast an ear over these captures. Or, better still, have a go yourself!

Oh and before I forget, please listen only when wearing headphones. Thanks!

All you need to do to in my opinion to access it, this power, is to grab a voice recorder and get in there.

Sweet dreams all!

Good luck my friends.

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