Winter at The Grapes Inn. Bishops Waltham 1941.
Funeral of George Ivamy, Landlord of The Grapes Inn, also Grandfather of my wife. My wife having been born in 1925 was 16 years old when she attended her grandfathers funeral with her parents in 1941.
The coffin being kept in the Grapes Inn on the ground floor. My wife and her parents were staying there overnight to attend the funeral the following day. They all had their own rooms.
After retiring to their beds my wife found that she could not settle down to sleep. After a while as she was laying there she happened to glance up at the bedroom door, which had been left open. Standing perfectly still in the doorway was her grandfather. This unnerved her so she kept quiet, got out of bed and edged her way round the walls of the room until she got to the doorway. Keeping close to the doorframe she edged her way passed him looking up at him as she did so. She then ran to her parents room where needless to say she slept in their bed for the rest of the night.
My latest experience happened three weeks ago. This is now twenty five months after losing my wife.
This was only a brief happening which left me flabbergasted to say the least. I woke up again in the early hours of the morning in my usual bed. I found myself looking into my wife’s face laying on the pillow.
She was smiling at me with a twinkle in her eyes that I can remember so well when she was alive and well. As I focussed on her face, so thrilled to see her, I stupidly started to say, “Oh! My” and her name and reaching out to cup her face in my left hand, which I know was the wrong thing to do. Being honest it was an automatic gesture which was hard to control. Sadly she was gone in an instant
Late summer 2011. Daylight.
This particular Sunday morning I was working on my computer at one end of the bungalow. Not a sound anywhere and there was nobody about outside.
Now you might smile at this one but I assure you it is true.
As I worked on my computer I heard my name called. Now as I am a bit of a comedian I thought to myself, “I did really hear my name and smiling to myself and skylarking about I called out to my wife saying, “ don’t worry I am on my way “, as I used to when she needed me as I was her full time carer. I walked into the bedroom, again smiling and said, “ no, you are not there “. I turned and looked at the bathroom door which was closed and said, “ no, your not in there as the door is closed”. I walked into the lounge and said, “no, not here”. Then I said Ahh! Your in the kitchen. ( Well, as you know she could not be in there either.). But the potatoes I had on for lunch were seconds from boiling dry!
This happening occurred three months after my wife’s passing.
The same bedroom, same bed. I had awakened in the early hours of the morning.
As I lay there looking at the chest of drawers with my right cheek on the pillow, a bright bolt of light flashed down from the ceiling. It consisted of many bright colours. It flashed down straight at the left hand of my face and stopped short of hitting me, it then started receding away but as it did so it started to change it’s brightness into a dark grey colour. As it moved away further, about a couple of feet it snapped off from the bright bolt of coloured light and turned horizontal, moving rapidly away in an upward direction. I shot up in bed and tried to grab it but it moved so fast that it was gone before I could reach it.
The first happening was a couple of weeks of my wife passing.
I awoke in the early hours of the morning, the room was slightly illuminated by a small light in the passage-way outside my bedroom, this was enough light to make me feel comfortable and also to recognise the items of furniture in the bedroom.
As I focussed on the chest of drawers on what was my wife’s side of the bed, I realised there was,” as I would describe it “, a “mass”, partly obscuring my view of the chest of drawers. I leaned forward to focus on it and it disappeared. This happened several times a week, at which times I can say that I kept perfectly still. I just lay there looking at it.
I can say that it only moved slightly and loosely resembled a body of a well built person sitting sideways on the side of the bed.
Unfortunately S.P.I. cannot validate these findings, not in any way are we saying they are untrue. We were instructed we could do an investigation but would be charged for our service. As we are a non-profit team we regretably had to decline. If at any time they reconsider we would gladly return. We thank Sally Little and her staff for their time. Sadly this was a great opportunity to update their records and to investigate such a wonderful place. We can agree this place does have activity just from the team being shown around, we would say Very active.
South Hill Park is a building steeped in history and as always happens with old buildings, many intriguing stories have been formed around the place as the years have gone by.
The old stories have inevitably been added to as many different members of staff, visitors and even paranormal investigators have explored South Hill Park and added to the tales attached to the place. This is a collection of the most mysterious and inexplicable of the tales.
In olden days… In its role as an Arts Centre South Hill Park welcomes many different visitors everyday.
However this wasn’t always the case and the house has had many different owners in its time. Sadly though the last time South Hill Park was ever privately owned, was also a time it saw depression and tragedy and this was at the hands of Major rickman.
The Major received South Hill Park when his auntie, lady Haversham, passed away, her husband having suffered a similar fate a few years previously. However the Major inherited not only a grand estate, but also crippling debts, of which he had no chance of paying off. Soon after receiving the estate, the pressure became too much and Major rickman took his own life. The grizzly death took place in the gunroom, and despite the area being destroyed by recent refurbishments, the area has been a hive of activity ever since. For example the corridor above is a place where footsteps are regularly heard, whether there’s someone up there or not. in addition, eyewitnesses have reported seeing the Major strolling along his veranda, looking out onto where his great lake used to be. However these sightings have dried up since the emergence of the atrium Bar as happy families and groups of friends now sit and take in the sunshine where he apparently once walked. Modern day encounters
The ghosts of South Hill Park have been discussed and speculated about for longer than anyone remembers. However that doesn’t mean they’re not active in modern day times. one person who can attest to this is auriole Wells who had a very strange experience when working as a Box office assistant, not so long ago. A member of the Box office staff will generally get to know everyone in the building quite well, but one night proved to be the exception. late one Sunday evening after running the end of day reports, she found herself alone at reception, as she climbed the main staircase to drop off the reports in the admin office (now the art room, Studio 2) she glanced to her right along the corridor leading to the Studio Theatre. This is when she did a double take as she saw a male figure dressed in a Victorian style top hat and tails, walking towards her quite nonchalantly. He was there as plain as day and yet by the time her head had swivelled for the second look he had vanished. This spooky meeting occurred just outside the Studio Theatre, which is arguably one of the most active parts of South Hill Park. Staff members have reported doors opening by themselves, even when restrained with stage weights and spooky apparitions of women have been seen within the Theatre’s depths. However the Studio Theatre is not the only place to experience strange goings on and as if not wanting to be out-done by its smaller counter-part, the Wilde Theatre is also a hot bed of unexplained activity.
The WIlde Theatre.
Haunting sounds, gushing winds, phantom footsteps, all have been reported in this relatively modern theatre. House Managers have reported the theatre doors, on all three levels, slamming shut from the inside simultaneously. and more than one mysterious noise has been heard backstage. one victim of explainable occurrences was Stage technician lydia James, who also found herself working late one night. She was passing by the cinema when she happened to look up the stairs to the landing that overlooks the grounds, it was there she very clearly saw a lady standing, looking back at her, at this point lydia did a double take as the lady was wearing a very striking 1940s red dress, with a black belt around the waist. This not being a typical outfit, of South Hill Park patrons anyone would have looked again but when lydia did so, the woman had already vanished. This was not the last sighting of the lady in red however as she has been seen since, although it is said she is most likely to appear Saturday nights, than any other time of the week.
It was again late at night when our next story took place. This tale involves two technicians working alone, preparing for an upcoming show. as they worked they slipped up and in the middle of their tireless toiling, accidentally left the stage microphone on. For those of us not in the theatre business, this is the microphone that is used to pipe sounds from the stage to the green room and to the actors awaiting their cues. However at this moment, when all should have been quiet, the technicians were heard footsteps on stage. Upon hearing the noises they rushed from the green room to the theatre, only to find themselves standing alone, looking into an empty auditorium.
The spooky stories in our leaflet would not have come about without the following people who are owed a great deal of thanks!
Lydia James, Auriole Wells, Simon Ticehurst and all members of SHP staff who showed an interest and shared a tale. Thanks to all of you!
The Ghosts of South Hill Park Written by Hannah Wise.
Designed by Jane Glennie
Again we would gladly offer our free service to update the unusual events that still occur within this building.
This was posted to me, I felt it needed outside views and comments from our readers.
On the Death of My Son – Part One
In Life Now and Hereafter, Aart Jurriaanse writes (all the writings of the author may be freely used and are not subject to any restrictions) –
On the Death of My Son was originally privately published in 1974 under the title Mike, with the author using Ronald Norman as pseudonym. It proved very popular and was subsequently reprinted by Turn stone Press for wider distribution in Great Britain under the title On the Death of My son. Jasper Swain however did not favor the new title, so when rights were transferred to various publishers in the USA, the name again changed to From My World to Yours.
Some twenty years ago Jasper Swain’s eldest son Mike tragically died in a motor accident on one of the national roads in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Mile who at the time was only eighteen, was accompanied by Heather, the eleven year old daughter of friends. They were killed instantaneously and apparently without suffering any pain.
Shortly after the funeral Jasper went to see Mrs Nina Merrington, who had offered him her services to act as spiritualistic medium in order to establish contact with Mike in the Spirit world.
After Nina passed into trance Jasper was startled to hear her speaking with Mike’s voice, addressing him as “Chud,” a name that only his dead son had ever used. When asked how the accident had happened, Mike said that he would place Nina in the driver’s seat, so that she could describe exactly how things had transpired (pp. 21 – 27).
She began by saying: “He has placed me in a small green Mini car. It has a peculiar gear lever, a short stubby gear lever, next to my left leg.” (The Mini had had its normal gear shift altered and a remote control gear shift had been mounted between the seats).
“It is a terribly hot day and I am driving along a very crowded road. There is a little girl beside me. Her name is Heather. She is chatting to me about her mum and dad, who are in the car ahead of us. I can see their car, approximately fifty yards away. It is grey in colour; it looks like a Rambler. It is noon and there is a mass of holiday traffic passing us in both directions.
“Now I see a black car coming towards us. As it approaches us, I see this other car coming behind it. I can see this other car clearly because it is in the middle of the road, trying to pass the black car.
Nina paused a moment and then said: “The sun is glaring on the windscreen of the black car and reflecting back into my eyes. I can see nothing but a bright silver radiance. It is blinding me.
“All of a sudden the radiance changes from silver to gold. I am being lifted up in the air, out through the top of the car. I grab little Heather’s hand. She too is being lifted up out of the car.
“We have been lifted thirty feet above the Mini. And in one horrifying second, I see the little Mini and this large car collide head-on. There is a noise like the snapping of steel banjo strings. The little Mini bounces right off the highway, right over on to the gravel verge. It is finally brought to a halt in a cloud of dust when it hits a giant anthill.
“The large car is turning turtle in mid air. Its nose flips over until it is back to front. Then it smashes down on to the road on its side. Now it skids four or five feet and finally it comes to a halt with an ear-splitting crash. A storm of metallic dust is now glinting all over the road. The wheels of this car are still spinning aimlessly.”
Nina stopped, obviously too agitated to continue.
What impressed her listeners was the fact that Mike had never seen the other vehicle until after the silver light had changed to gold.He and Heather had felt no sense of impact. They had suffered no pain. Just a gentle ascent into the air.
Nina recovered herself enough to continue: “Heather and I are still holding hands. We now descend beside the Mini. We see two crumpled bodies lying in it.
“We feel vaguely sorry that this thing should have happened to them. And we both fully understand that we are now, so far as mortals are concerned, dead.
“We are also both aware that a lot of people have begun to gather round us. They are dressed in glorious colours. We recognize familiar faces; the faces of friends who passed beyond the earth before us. We are still hand in hand; now, guided by the one who first lifted us into the air, the two of us sweep towards the skies. We drift about the two round hills known as the Breasts of Sheba.”
In heartfelt joy the three (Jasper, his wife Clarice and his second son Kevin) listened, transported by the fact that the passing had involved neither fear, shock nor suffering.
Mike now addressed himself to his brother. Some time after the smash, Kevin had noticed that dust was gathering on the bike and he had begun to clean it. In the process he noticed that the drive chain was dry. In too much of a hurry to find the grease gun, he rashly decided to take a chance with the oil can. He bungled it however and oil flowed out of the bottom of the casing and made a pool on the kitchen floor. Kevin had mopped up the oil with one of Mike’s dusters, which he promptly washed and ironed before returning it to its ceremonial drawer.
Mike now informed him that he had watched the proceedings like a hawk and warned his brother that if he ever made another mess like that, he would clip him over the ear!
This left Kevin devoid of further speech because this episode had occurred long after the funeral and no one knew about it save himself. Yet Mike had not only seen everything as it happened but he was giving him “a swift bounce” for good measure!
Mike next turned to his mother. “I am so glad you’ve begun to accept what has happened,” he told her. “Never allow yourself to mourn. When you do, it vitally depresses me in this world. Send us your love, send us your happiness; these we can use in the service of our Father.
“The other morning, just after sunrise, you left the bedroom and went down to the garden in your dressing gown and you picked a single, perfect white rose. I was with you then and I surrounded you with all my love. Mum, if you do get depressed again, go out into the garden and pick another flower. I shall be there with you again.”
Jasper and Kevin knew nothing of this, having been asleep when Clarice had gone down into the garden. But in the weeks that followed, whenever Clarice went alone to the garden, Jasper and Kevin would notice that no matter how somberly she would leave the house, she would come back later with her eyes sparkling and her face transformed.
Mike continued to his mother: “The only real bust-ups you and I got into were when you made me study half the night for those exams! I appreciate why you did it but if we’d only known what was going to happen, there’d have been no need for you to take such a bloomin’ great broomstick to me!”
Jasper, being the easy-going man he was, had always allowed Mike and Kevin to make their own rules at school but Clarice knew that Mike was not particularly dedicated to heavy-weight studying and she make it her business to keep his nose to the grindstone.
“Mike where are you now?” Jasper asked him.
The reply came instantly: “I am surrounded by the love and the peace of our Father, Chud.”
“But where are you? What world are you in? Can you tell me?”
“I’m in a world that looks pretty much the same as your world, Dad; only there are different laws up here.
“When I say laws, I don’t mean the laws that govern the behavior of the people here. I mean the laws that govern thought.
“Mike, tell me more about that world. How do you get there?” Where does it exist?”
“Dad, everyone comes here through the gates of death. You have to rearrange your values to appreciate its virtues, though! While you are still on earth, your thought, your intentions, everything you do, gives your soul a certain rate of vibration. For argument’s sake, let’s suppose your soul is vibrating in a fifty megacycle band. When you die and manifest here, you would go straight to the part of our world which vibrates at fifty megacycles. By the same token, if you’re a slow-thinking sort of bloke, who can only vibrate to fifteen megacycles, then you’ll become part of this world in the fifteen megacycle range. It’ll all depend on your rate of vibration, see?
“Therefore you yourself select the kind of scenery that will await you when you arrive here.
“The worlds above us are even richer in light and happiness. If I go up there (and I can) I find it too bright; the light hurts my eyes. And the vibrations are so refined that I can’t respond to them! So I reverse gear and return to this world – which suits me just fine!
“The planes below this one are denser, dimmer places. If I go down to them, it becomes murkier until it is so creepy that I scoot back here where I belong!”
On the Death of My Son – Part Two
Jasper continues his account on the death of his son, Mike –
“These worlds that you refer to Mike … ?
“Not so much worlds, Dad, as planes of existence. Though we have the sun and the skies and acres of beautiful flowers here, we don’t have rain, as you know it. Nor is there any blight to destroy the beauty of the trees. They look exactly the same as they do on earth. With one big difference, however. Here, they are all perfect. There are no high winds to warp and twist them. There are only gentle breezes. It is always coolish-warm, if you know what I mean.
“My greatest joy here is my sense of perfect freedom. We can go wherever we like, whenever we feel like it; this world is infinite.
“And though everyone you meet on this plane is at the same stage of development as yourself, he is still a rugged individualist in his own right; just as he was on your earth! Everyone has his own way of looking at things and his own way of speaking his mind! When you discuss anything here, you always learn something new because the bloke you’re talking to has such an original attitude. As I said, thought is all-powerful here. For example, if I want to own a brand new Jaguar, all I have to do is visualize the car in my mind and it is created right there before my eyes, out of the thought-energy of this world!
“But we would think twice before doing that because it means having to think in three dimensions! If I were to visualize the car as it looks in a magazine, that’s exactly what I’d get! I need to think in terms of the width of the car, the interior of the car, all the fittings and where each rightly belongs. But Dad, the minute you think of it correctly, there it is! The difficulty is to concentrate completely on the whole car, exactly as it exists.
“If we are far away from one another and we want to make contact, telepathy is the accepted thing here. I merely have to think of the fellow I want to speak to and bingo! he’s right there! We contact each other as easily as you use the telephone … except that we don’t need a phone!
“If someone wants to talk to you, you first hear him in your mind. If you want to go to him, you merely exert your will and in two ticks you’re right there! Takes a bit of getting used to but it beats TV by a mile! You see how perfect everything is?
“This world is the right one for me at this stage of my development but as my vibrations become more refined, I shall be able to visit the higher planes with ease. One day, I may even find that a higher plane suits me better than the one I’m in. We all progress this way. As we grow in spirit, we ascend to the next plane; the two processes work hand-in-glove.
“When you want to study the law and learn how it operates, you go to the Hall of Logic. There are many Halls of Knowledge and Wisdom here. You can go to any university you choose, though the lectures are all very informal; you can discuss the subject with the lecturer, face to face. You can stay all day if you like, except that that could be forever because we have no day and night here!
“We can travel from one end of this realm to the other as fast as lightning. Our bodies never get tired. Illness and sickness don’t exist here. This is a world of perfection.”
All this information took Jasper some considerable time to digest and his next question was: “Mike, if you are safe in the infinite domain of God; where is Hell?
This was met by a burst of hearty laughter.
“Gee, Dad,” answered Mike, “I’m afraid there’s no such place! My Father is a father of love and compassion. He can’t, He would never permit one of His souls to suffer and Hell would be a place of suffering. I guess it only exists where you are now! Lovingly preserved in aspic by the sanctimonious.
“There is a more realistic law, in both our worlds, that has just as many teeth! Don’t try to identify white until you have learned to identify black – and vice verso – because only then will you know what black and white are! That is why you mortals were put on earth in the first place, Dad; to learn by trial and error. But because you will go by the letter of the law instead of the spirit of the law, you keep coming unstuck! Yet how often have you seen that same law in action, Dad, and sworn by its infallibility?
“When you and I used to talk together, you used to call it the law of the boomerang. But it isn’t triggered by material cause and effect, it is triggered by the intent in your heart!
“For example, suppose you are driving a car too fast and a little child suddenly rushes out into the road and you knock her down; by earth law you would be frogmarched off to the nearest jail. But according to divine law, genuine remorse for having hurt the child can wipe the slate clean. If you didn’t cold-bloodily set out to hurt her, what can you be punished for?
“Mind you I shouldn’t use the word ‘punish;’ the proper term is ‘just desserts.’ Who should understand that better than you? You taught me that ‘as we sow, so shall we reap!’ And from where I sit now, I can see that law operating twenty-four hours a day in your ‘best of all worlds!’ The only thing that puzzles me is why human beings still persist in denying its existence!
“There are no law courts here, by the way Dad, because everyone of our laws operates within our hearts. Until we accept the fact that all negative thinking must always end in tears, we continue to create our own suffering. You’d be surprised how quickly I learned that the condition of my heart reflects the world around me! Now I would be willing to bet both our shirts Dad, that the really real world, the truly true life, is here where I am. Your mortal world is more in the nature of a kindergarten where you and the other nut visit affliction on each other as a salutary lesson not to do it in the wiser worlds-to-come!
“The basic trouble is that most of you mortals will insist on existing rather than living. You trip over your frustrations until you can barely stumble from pillar to post. Why else do you think the eastern races use the lotus as a symbol of spiritual beauty? The lotus grows in the slime of stagnant swamps but out of the muck rises the pure white blossom. Man eventually learns to distinguish beauty and truth from the misery and evil that surround him. And only from the acceptance of beauty and truth comes the wondrous return to the bosom of the Great One.”
This is just extracts of the book.
In his book, “Children Who Have Lived Before: Reincarnation Today,”German therapist Trutz Hardo tells this boy’s story, along with other stories of children who seem to remember their past lives with verified accuracy. The boy’s story was witnessed by Dr. Eli Lasch, who is best known for developing the medical system in Gaza as part of an Israeli government operation in the 1960s. Dr. Lasch, who died in 2009, had recounted these astounding events to Hardo. The boy was of the Druze ethnic group, and in his culture the existence of reincarnation is accepted as fact. But even in a culture were reincarnation was accepted, his story nonetheless had the power to surprise his community. This is because his story contained piece of information which he had no possible way of knowing which were later verified to be true. This boy was born with a long, red birthmark on his head. This is precisely what you would expect to find on someone if they had suffered a fatal wound there in their previous life. The Druze do believe that birthmarks are related to past-life traumas, and so does the boy apparently. When he was old enough to talk, he told his family he had been killed by a blow to the head with an axe. It is customary for elders to take a child at the age of 3 to the home of his previous life if he remembers it. Quite a culture difference from the Western world. After arriving to the village, the boy was able to remember all of the details of the village and the name of the person he was in a previous life. A village local said the man the boy claimed to be the reincarnation of had gone missing four years earlier. His friends and family thought he may have strayed into hostile territory nearby as sometimes happens. Here is where it gets cool. The boy also remembered the full name of his killer, and confronted the man who had killed him in his past life! The murderers face turned white, although he did not yet admit to the crime. The boy then said he could take the elders to where the body was buried. In that very spot, they found a man’s skeleton with a wound to the head that corresponded to the boy’s birthmark. Nearby, they also found the axe that was used as the murder weapon. The murderer then proceeded to admit to the crime after being faced with this evidence. Dr. Lasch, the only non-Druze, was present through this whole process and testifies to this story.