Terror of the Tombs
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Six hours in the super spooky London Tombs - a good plan? My fascination with all things paranormal is about to be brought terrifyingly to life.
My friend Kelly and I had been invited to take part in an all expenses paid fright night, involving a preview screening of Paranormal Activity 2 and an evening of ghost hunting.
Earlier in the day we passed the exterior of the infamous London Tombs, and the billboards of zombies and chainsaw-wielding mad men had us slightly worried, not to mention that it is the "No. 1 scare attraction in the UK". At this point, I happened to look to my right to see a man in Victorian style attire with blood dripping from his eyes, just staring at us. It turned out that he was a promoter for the Tombs - so far so good on the scare front though!
Later into the evening we both staggered out of the auditorium, shaking violently from the 91 minutes of pure fear that we had sat through, to be told that there were minibuses waiting to take us to the Tombs for our ghost hunting. If we had complained about being tired earlier, Paranormal Activity 2 had definitely woken us up and wasn't going to let us sleep again for a good while. The only logical step was to continue on to the eerie and claustrophobic Tombs.
Prior to the night, we were told we needed to bring torches. Now, this would worry most people, and didn't really ease mine and Kelly's minds about the proceedings.
Now clutching our £2.99 torches we walked through the Tomb doors to await our fate, only to be greeted by some of the friendliest and totally non-spooky people from Haunted Happenings. From this point on, the night just kept getting better and better, and somehow I managed to stop being afraid of it all. We had a brief tour of the site, with anecdotes of the creepy goings-on there, followed by learning how to use dowsing rods, crystals, Ouija boards and EMF meters, and how to do table tipping and seances.
Due to my odd infatuation with all things paranormal, I was starting to get seriously over-excited and desperately wanting to get in there and meet some spirits. My prayers were answered pretty quickly.
Like in all horror films we were all split up into smaller groups, and lead off to different parts of the Tombs, I guess smaller groups are easy to pick off in the dark! Our first vigil took place in the Viking room with the medium calling out to spirits asking them to make their presence known.
.With the power shut off, the darkness felt like it was swallowing me, and I found every little noise or movement frightening. I could hear shuffling from the corner of the room, where it was the darkest, and this was very unnerving to a first-time ghost hunter like me.
The medium, called Jayne, then said that there was more activity in the room next door, so the group moved into the new room. Stood round a table in the dark holding hands, we participated in the first seance of the evening.
To me, the atmosphere in the room was not at all pleasant, and to be completely honest I was happy to get out of there after the seance was over! Half way through I developed a strange feeling that somebody was about to whisper something in my right ear, but there was nobody stood there. At this point the other medium, Mark announced that a gentleman had entered the room, and was right behind me!
Finally, we were allowed to move on, to meet Sam, with whom we held another seance, in the chapel room. The atmosphere in this part of the attraction was definitely less threatening, and I was quite happy to be there in the dark.
Sam began asking the spirit that had joined us to touch each member of the group, and all of a sudden my right hand got pins and needles in it, even though it was just by my side. Kelly was stood on my left, and she was so frightened she was shaking. Immediately after Sam asked the spirit to touch us, Kelly felt her knees buckle, as though she had been pushed by unseen hands. Around the circle, people's hands started lifting up into the air, apparently of their own accord - which even by my standards is very odd.
As a trust exercise, Sam asked if we would all sit slightly distanced from one another down a very active corridor in the Tombs. Naturally we all obliged, if a little apprehensively. This was to prove that if we felt something touch us, then it couldn't be anyone else doing it.
Unfortunately for the terrified Kelly, she was a favourite of the spirits in the corridor, and she remarked that something was touching her head, and that her hair moved by itself. As a couple of people were filming the night, some of the captured footage shows Kelly suddenly drifting out of focus, as though a mist was clouding her. Some of the group claimed to see the mist, but I didn't. However, the most horrific sound that I heard was in that corridor. It was all quiet except for Sam asking the spirit to scream, or make any kind of noise. After she had asked this a few times, I heard a loud, growling inhalation that I instantly assumed to be Kelly. When I asked her if she had breathed in she replied with a definite no, and that she didn't hear anything like that. To this day the thought of that sound chills me to the bone.
More' fun' in the Tombs involved table tipping in the 'meat room'. This room was not one that I wished to be in for very long either. Hanging from the ceiling were fake corpses of pigs and chickens, and random bits of meat. As far as frights are concerned, we were just starting the table tipping when we all heard a sudden bang from near the door. I jumped up from where I was sat and moved as far away from the noise as possible, only to discover that it was made by two of the Haunted Happenings team who entered the room shortly after!
This was a prime example of the heightened emotion that everyone was experiencing all night. The table tipping has to be one of the strangest experiences of my life. It was so weird that it became non-scary - a tough line to cross. I could clearly see that nobody's feet were touching the table, and all of us had our fingers lightly on the edges of the small fold up table. When people were asking questions the response was unbelievable. It tipped up onto one leg, and moved across the floor A LOT. Even when it wasn't tipping the table was vibrating like something was trying to move it. Part way through the vigil I glanced across to the other, unpopulated side of the room and noticed that one of the dead chickens was swinging violently. This wouldn't be frightening, except for the fact that every other piece of decoration was perfectly still.
The most terrifying part of the night had to have been the lone vigil that Kelly and I undertook in the Viking room. We both agreed to give it a go just to say we had done it, and so we were left alone after making sure we knew the exact location of the exit. This is quite an embarrassing confession, but we lasted no more and no less than five minutes.
With Kelly shaking beside me, I sat waiting patiently for something to happen. The shuffling from the dark corners of the room was getting louder and louder, and we were both pretty certain that something was watching us from the doorway to the next room. I only told Kelly this when we were safely out of the dark, but I saw a bright flash of light from the ceiling, that was definitely nowhere near any electricals. After surviving five minutes, we both got up, gripping each others hands tightly and made for the exit. Just as we were leaving the Viking room something shifted right by our feet, causing me to yell "RUN!" and me and Kelly to bolt for the door. As we were passing through the fire exit door, it slammed shut behind us, scaring us even more. I went to check how the door usually closes (like a professional investigator) and found that it closed slowly and quietly. Something didn't want the two of us in that room and had made sure we knew about it!
The Tombs proved to be one of the creepiest nights I have spent anywhere, and I honestly believe that there is more than just mannequins and models in those arches. Furthermore the ghost hunting was a fantastic experience, and is thoroughly enjoyable, no matter where your opinions stand. Sceptic, believer, or just don't care, the brilliant Haunted Happenings team aim to make the night the best it can be for you. To participate in something like that is a very personal experience and I would urge everyone to at least try it once. As for me, I could have carried on ghost hunting forever...
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