Globe IT expert KEVIN RICHARDS took up an invitation to join Portal To The Paranormal on Saturday, February 11, for an investigation into suspected supernatural activity at Fort Widley having accompanied the group for a similar ‘ghosthunting’ expedition at Guildford College last year. He had previously been to this particular haunt in Portsmouth before Covid struck…
WITH Fort Widley having a long history since its construction in 1861 and numerous different uses over the last 162 years, there have been many reports of paranormal activity in the Victorian stronghold’s tunnels and grounds.
Bearing that in mind, we set out at the weekend to determine the difference between fact and fiction and hopefully meet some of the long-standing guests.
West Tunnel of Fort Widley: Once our group had split into two separate teams two teams and gone through through the health and safety briefing before going into the tunnels, we headed down to the West Tunnel, which has a dark history of alleged witchcraft from Victorian times involving animal sacrifice.
As we left the subterranean passageway and entered the rooms at the end, the team leader decided to discuss what everybody might like to do (or maybe not do) using a ouija board to explore the myths surrounding them.
Sensors were set up inside one of the rooms and at the entrance to the tunnel. If anything or anybody came near them they would light up. So everybody in the group joined hands to hold a seance, which was the first one I had taken part in for four years as I would normally stand outside the circle.
When it got started, each participant introduced themselves and called out for any spirits to reveal some kind of a sign. After three people had made themselves known, one of the sensors started going off. It was in the form of a teddy bear with flashing lights.
People started seeing tall, dark shadows going around the room. Suddenly 0ne end of the room became extremely dark. Then the youngest lady in the group started complaining that she could feel someone playing, pulling her hair and shoving her as if they were trying to get inside the centre of the circle. The team leader took her out of the seance to sit down so that she could calm herself.
When they continued with the seance, two of the senior members present kept complaining that they could smell dog poo. Then, coming out of nowhere, I was surprised to see out of the corner of my eye what seemed to be a small, terrier-sized dog and wondered if I was imagining things.
After we finished the seance, two of the team leaders decided to do practise the ancient art of dowsing and spend some time with the resident sceptic, Cory, who was there for his birthday. He wasn’t convinced that two metal rods would reveal anything so was shown how they work. It involves asking questions where you are going to get a simple yes or no answer.
Once Cory got going, he found out there was a low ranking soldier who ‘knew’ him and believed he needed to sign up to the army and was going to stay with him all night.
North Tunnel of Fort Widley: After the break we took for the furthest part of the underground network, the North Tunnel. This is a part of the fort I have never felt relaxed about due to being uncomfortable down there. When we reached the end and emerged into a large room on two levels, everybody looked around to see if they could detect anything unusual about the atmosphere.
As all felt fine downstairs, we went upstairs and spread out into different areas to see if there was anywhere that left people feeling unsettled. Two of the girls went into a room where they said it felt as if pressure was being applied to their neck and chest.
So all the women in the group were asked to go into the room with the men remaining outside.
Suddenly, there was shouting as they complained of something grabbing their breasts and backsides – which is something I know has been reported for many years about the tunnels at Fort Widley.
If you would like to find out anymore about Portal To The Paranormal events.