The Dorsetarian online journal
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Ghosts and Hauntings
Ghosts and Things that go Bump in the Night
by David Kingston.
The word Ghost is described in the Oxford dictionary as, "a person's spirit appearing after his or her death." But then what about the reports of horses galloping down the lanes on a dark night and other such apparitions? Why do certain countries, houses and places appear to have more than there fair share of Ghosts?
Great Britain has more ghost sightings reported than any other country, or is it that we tend to accept paranormal happenings?
We need to look deeper at what truly constitutes a ghost. Every living thing on this planet is pure energy. At the time of death energy does not suddenly die or disappear therefore where does it go?
We need to look purely at the scientific facts. All living things resonate a frequency. If you stop reading this article and leave the chair you have been sitting in, an impression of you remains there for a period of time, both a thermal and an energy field. Does the frequency that we resonate disappear at the time of death? or does it go to another dimension?
There are a great deal of "ghostly" sightings on energy lines (ley-lines) in England. Are ghosts drawn to these invisible but measurable lines? Ghostly appearances quite often occur when a person departs this life suddenly, i.e. a car accident fatality, a brutal murder and quite often are seen at or near the place they died. Other ghosts seem to be drawn to places on the earthly plane where they experienced very happy times and seem loath to join the spirit world.
Public houses seem to have more than their fair share of ghosts or should it be spirits.? Sorry for the pun. The Crown Hotel, in Blandford, Dorset, Three Tuns Inn, Steyning, Sussex, George Hotel, Rye, Sussex and The Kings Head, Rochester, Kent to name just a few of the hundreds in England. Some of the cases I have investigated in public houses have proven to be unjustified and I firmly believe that they were started by innocent imagination or for monetary gain.
Whilst I was stationed at RAF Hedley Court in the early 1960's, (a converted Cromwellian Manor House, near Leatherhead), which was used as a medical rehabilitation unit for mainly RAF pilots several interesting incidents occurred. There was a particular four-inch thick oak door that could not be locked for a period of time. The night duty officer would lock this door whilst on his rounds only to find that within ten minutes all the very old-fashioned wrought iron bolts and the lock would return to the position they were in before he had commenced his nightly vigil of securing the building. This, despite numerous watches for pranks, carried on for some three months. Whilst stationed there a pilot officer.
Started to scream out at eleven thirty one evening. By the time several officers and myself had arrived in his room the eight feet tall mahogany ornately carved wardrobe was lent against the bottom of his bed at a forty degree angle from the wall.
The wardrobe had not fallen on its own, the indent from the weight of the wardrobe was still in the carpet, there was not even the slightest damage mark on the wardrobe from where it had landed to the base of the oak bed. The officer patient that was in the bed was on no medication and was due to be discharged back to his wing the following day. It took six of us able-bodied men to return the wardrobe back to its upright position. The officer stated he was reading in bed when suddenly there was a drop in temperature in the room, he put down his book and was amazed to see the wardrobe being gently lowered towards his bed as if by unseen hands. There were many more reports of "paranormal activity" reported whilst I was at Headley Court.
Before moving to Dorset in 1981 I investigated numerous cases from my home county in Sussex. I have witnessed "sightings" for which there were no logical or scientific answers. Ghostly figures that had the ability to float through walls, to rattle and distort solid steel doors, to cause a sudden dramatic drop in temperature before returning to normal in a matter of seconds, footsteps echoing in corridors and on floors in broad daylight and no person visible. Unusual scents, perfume, tobacco smoke and putrid smells. These days investigation of "hauntings" has taken on more of a scientific approach. The use of thermal imaging, electronic thermometers and infrared photography and digital sound recording machines to mention only a few of the twentieth century pieces of technology.
In Dorchester before the Antler Hotel, Cornhill, was demolished and the present shops erected a figure was often seen or a presence felt near to the fireplace. I often felt this presence but did not see any figure. After research I discovered that, in the past, Lawrence of Arabia was a regular visitor to this public house after driving into Dorchester on his motorcycle from Clouds Hill, Bovington to meet up with his acquaintances. I have visited the shop that is now on the site and the presence can still be felt at times. There are also "sightings" of Lawrence at Clouds Hill where he was killed in a motorcycle accident (see Folklore Gazetter 'The Ghost of Lawrence of Arabia').
Dorset has numerous haunted areas, houses and buildings. Bettiscombe House, between Lyme Regis and Broadwindsor is famous for the "Screaming Skull" which has featured in many books and television documentaries (see Folklore Gazetter 'The Screaming Skull of Bettiscombe Manor').
Sherborne Castle. Sir Walter Raleigh lived for many years at the castle. His ghost is alleged to walk around the castle grounds and then to disappear in the harbour by the tree known locally as Raleigh's Oak.
David Kingston was born in Worthing, West Sussex, United Kingdom in July 1938. Whilst attending a private boarding school near Horsham, Sussex, he experienced his first "esoteric, spiritual event". After completing his education he studied radio theory and practical at Brighton College. After gaining his qualification he joined the Royal Air Force in 1957.
David has investigated and witnessed the UFO phenomena as part of his position in the Royal Air Force and investigated numerous sightings by pilots and other Air Force staff. During his period of service he was posted as liaison personnel with the United States Air Force, Strategic Air Command Division, and a great deal of his research papers ended up in the famous "Project Blue Book."
In 1972 he took up a position with the Inner London Education Authority until 1981 when he was transferred to the Dorset Education Department. David retired in 1997 to continue his own private investigation into UFOs and the Crop Circle phenomena, searching for a correlation between the two enigmas. Being a prominent figure in Dorset within his field, David also provided lectures, workshops, and was the founder of the successful Dorchester Unexplained Conference that was held every spring and which we attended on numerous occasions in the past, and have always found enjoyable. David and his wife Virginia organised the weekend conference in the county town, which attracted some of the best known international and national lecturers on topics such as UFOs, Crop Circle Formations and other topics in The Unexplained category.
He died in 2009 from terminal cancer
Copyright David Kingston 1998Article updated Saturday 27th March 2010