Welcome to the next investigation installment blog!
For this blog myself and James of Haunted Insight traveled to Sheffield to investigate the incredibly eerie Wardsend Cemetery!
Wardsend cemetery spans a MASSIVE 5 acres and is reported to have over 20,000 graves on the site. The ground that it stands on was originally purchased by a man called John Livesey in 1857. He was the vicar of a nearby church.
The original purpose of the land was to be an overfill graveyard.
The first burial to take place on the grounds was that of two year old Ann Marie Marsden in 1857 and she is said to be the ‘guardian of the cemetery’
The Graveyard is also the only one in Britain with an active railway line passing through it.
As well as Ann who is buried on it’s grounds it’s also known for being the final resting place of George Lambert who was a highly decorated Irish soldier.
The site also holds many plots for the victims of the Great Sheffield Flood in 1864.
The cemetery was closed to legal burial in 1968 and since then Sheffield City Council have done little to maintain the cemetery and it has fallen into neglect.
The 1862 Riot
On the 3rd of June 1862 a riot broke out at the Cemetery as the Reverard John Livesey and his sexton Isaac Howard were accused of neglecting to bury corpses and instead selling them to the town’s medical school for anatomical dissection!
The rumors were later proven false but both Livesey and Howard were fined for reusing graves in order to save space although many still believed that they were guilty!
The two were originally accused by a man called Robert Dixon who’d moved into the sexton’s house.
He said he observed a ‘curious smell’ coming from the room above the stable and when he approached he found many coffins with corpses, the majority which seemed to age from ten to sixteen years old.
We will never know truthfully what went on at this time, but it certainly gives you something to be aware of when approaching the investigation!
Over the years the site has been a ‘breeding ground’ for those with darker intentions.
As the Graveyard is abandoned it has involuntarily opened it’s doors to many who wish to perform rituals on the site.
In fact, it’s no secret that these grounds have been used for that exact purpose in the past with the intent to summon something malicious.
The cemetery itself and the headstones are filled with different symbols and markings.
I even once came across a group of people who looked to be performing a ritual only a mere few years ago.
They were shrouded in black cloaks and standing around a fire they had created and were chanting at the top of the main path. As we’d approached they had all decided to run off leaving the reminisce of a ritual behind.
What they were planning to do, I have no idea.
Many stories have surfaced over the years of this type. In fact, due to so much of this being done, one of the more famous ‘ghost stories‘ is that of a dog like creature which prowls the area with piercing red eyes.
Apparently this has been spotted on several occasions by visitors.
Not only this but there have been many reports of young children walking the site late at night and also some vistors and investigarors have seen apparitions that seem to be holding some kind of old fasioned oil lamps! VERY spooky indeed!
Please watch the video to find out what happened!
You can see in the above photo one of the several markings on the headstones at Wardsend. I’d like to point out that not every headstone is marked, just a few along the main path!
We went into this investigation totally blind with only the stories and a brief history of what had been happening at the location.
Markings, rituals and witchcraft is not our area. So after the investigation I got into contact with the white witch & psychic medium Patti Negri who was able to give us some input in to what she believes these markings could be!
It feels like both a ‘marker and a protection sigil’ like the eight sided cross although the ones in the photos have been quickly done. These are used a lot in compass work and in ritual and can signify the protection sigil ‘Helm of awe’. They were clearly marking the graves for some reason and adding magick and protection to the mix.
I would like to say a massive thanks to Patti for her input on this as I really had no idea which way to turn with it….
Her input made a lot of sense!
During the investigation as you will see in the video above. Myself and James were unsure if these markings were possibly made for something much more darker. Though the evidence we captured and the responses we received now make more sense for the markings to actually be protection!
When the word ‘Crayon and Wash‘ came through on the Alice box, we now believe this may have been a darker entity trying to persuade us to clean the graves and take off the protection that had been put upon the headstones!
Which is why you will then hear a man’s voice intercept as a direct voice phenomenon through the camera’s audio and say ‘I don’t want you here‘ – Which could have been someone protecting their final resting place!
Also when we asked why the marking’s were on the graves, Alice responds again saying the word ‘War‘
Which again we now believe is a darker entity that may have been ‘summoned‘ to the area, telling us exactly what was going on.
Do I believe in Demons? It’s still a no from me!
But I do believe that bad spirits and energy can be brought into something during rituals.
It definitely feels like a battle between good and bad upon the entire path on the way up!
As stated above, it now makes sense that the spirits may be trying to keep the protection upon their graves, so with this new insight, we will be returning back to the site with a completely different approach.
I am still VERY intrigued to find out who this dark entity is that claims they were the ‘devil‘ so many occasions during our SONOX10 spirit box session.
As you will see above, we received A LOT of intelligent responses throughout the night.
Even reference to ‘The dogs are out‘ which makes sense and links to the ghost story of the dog like creature with red eyes! We knew about this story before the investigation, which is why you’ll see us react to it!
Not only this but also the story of the guardian of the cemetery. A very clear soft female voice comes through and asks ‘please leave‘ as if in a kind of polite warning.
I wanted James to do a brief write up of how he felt when we ventured up to the top of the graveyard.
I have honestly never seen him act this way before!
Here is what James had to say about the whole ordeal!
Walking around graveyards is a bit of a hobby of mine, but before Wardsend I’d only ever investigated one. I’ve heard many views on whether burial grounds can be haunted or not, and just like everything in the paranormal, I agree with some and not others. In my opinion, the only way you can find out is by getting out there and experiencing it for yourself, and what we experienced that night at Wardsend will live with me forever.
Like many of the locations myself and Vicky investigate, we start by having a general walk around to gather our bearings so to speak. It’s at this point that I try and get some photos of the location whilst we also talk about how we are going to conduct the investigation. This all went plain sailing on the night in question, Vicky had been there before, so I’d already been told what to expect.
As we explored the dark and overgrown headstone ridden woods, I felt a buzz, but it was mixed with a feeling of nervousness and restrain. We headed back to the main gate to start the investigation with the view to going to the upper tier of the cemetery to do some spirit box work. We’d had some recent success with a new program that we are using, and we were excited to see what evidence we could gain here.
It didn’t take long for us to work our way up to the railway bridge which acts as a gateway to the higher ground. After crossing, we sat on some steps that had been landscaped into the sloping banks. We put the Alice Box in front of us whilst we set up the spirit box. As we were arranging our equipment, I saw what I thought to be a large shadow type figure to the right of us. Now, it’s extremely dark, our only light came from the moon so I can’t rule out it being a trick of the light or even my imagination – which at this point was racing!
We proceeded to conduct our spirit box session, unlike others we have used in the past, this one cuts out the white noise and therefore we are able to pick up on responses with relative ease. As you will see from the Vlog, we started getting some fantastic responses, such as Vicky sneezing etc… I’m kidding! Yet also when watching the video, you will see the exact moment where, in all honesty, I absolutely s##t myself. You’ll notice that the camera is sent looking into the stars and the night sky of Sheffield, but this was no visual for editing purposes.
No, I had rocked almost onto my back as a defence mechanism, as we had someone, or something run straight at us! We were sat maybe 4/5 steps up from the bridge, the floor is like what you would expect at a local park, hard with loose gravel. If you’ve ever walked around your local park, you’ll know the sound of that gravel under foot as a jogger approaches you from behind. It’s unmistakable, and extremely unusual for it to happen right in front of you when there is no one there. That’s exactly what happened, it’s the only way to describe it, it blew us away, yet it’s also the point where my mood changed completely.
I remember standing up and scanning the area with my torch. Remember, when we are filming, we only have infrared, and anything other than the camera screen is in total darkness. I could have sworn someone had just ran at us, an actual person, and I was in no mood for playing games. Let me put you in my position, it’s just me and Vicky, we have a lot of equipment and cameras, adding up to I don’t want to guess how much, and someone had just ran at us in the dark…
I went into complete defence mode. I don’t recall much of what I was saying but looking back at the footage I’m almost a little bit embarrassed. I was ready to fight, it was as simple as that. I had to protect us both, and everything we had with us. It was a natural reaction, apparently Vicky was repeatedly shouting me to come back as I went looking for what or who it was, but I didn’t even hear her, I was completely zoned out. The most amazing thing about it all was that there was no one there.
Not a soul, it was so close to us that if it was a person, we’d have seen them. I immediately put my torch on, unless they had Harry Potter’s cape of invisibility then I can only assume that whatever it was wasn’t human. It was a truly unbelievable experience that involved fear, aggression, excitement and a little bit of laughter – only afterwards though! I’ll never forget it, and I’ll just apologise now for walking off and leaving Vicky in the dark!
I hope you have enjoyed the blog and the video.
In my mind we captured some great evidence which fell in line with the location and it was an incredibly draining night!
I knew at that moment towards the end that it was time to wrap it up, the entire feeling in the cemetery was not right and it definintly felt like we’d overstayed our welcome!
I can’t wait to return now that we have new information and maybe we will be able to shed some light on what is REALLY going on there!
The FULL gallerey of photos will be available soon and will be over on Haunted Insight
BUT.. Until next time,
Blog written and video edited by Vicky Grant.
Photographs of the location by James Pykett.