Welcome to the next investigation installment blog!
For this blog I teamed up with James Pykett of Haunted Insight and we went off to investigate the magnificent Grace Dieu Priory in Leicestershire!
The priory itself was founded in around 1235 by a lady called Roesia de Verdon and was an Augustinian priory dedicated to the Holy Trinity and St Mary church.
Sadly all that stands in its place now are the ruins, but boy, are they atmospheric… and also reputed to be quite haunted!
This wasn’t my first investigation at the priory… in fact, it’s an old favourite of mine. I’ve been here many times before in the past, but for James, it was his first time ever visiting.
Not only are the priory ruins itself supposedly haunted but also the massive woodland that surrounds the area… and in my personal opinion, I’ve always believed the woodland to be more active for spiritual activity.
I’ve always found the priory itself to be quite peaceful.
Even at night. I’d never really experienced much activity there before and as stated above, the majority of activity previously came from the surrounding woodland.
On the night myself and James investigated, we’d arrived at the priory at around half past eight.
I say we ‘arrived’ at the priory…
We actually didn’t find the ruins until an hour into our investigation.
Anyone that knows me knows that I have the worst sense of direction…. EVER.
I’ve been to the ruins about eight times in the past and guess what?
I still got lost!
James was hoping I’d be his tour guide… oh how wrong he was!
When you arrive you have to park at the back of a pub which leads off towards the woodland trail. After a short walk you have three options on which way to go…
I remembered a bridge so we headed right and I was pretty convinced that this was the correct route…
But after twenty minutes of walking…
it became apparent that it definitely wasn’t the right way!
Even on our walk down into this unknown area of the woods we were hearing voices.
Human voices. To the point of where I was highly convinced that other people were around, maybe even other ghost hunters…
But we didn’t see anyone!
It was incredibly eerie to say the least.
We’d stumbled upon a certain area, it was a little more open and less shrouded by trees.
The atmosphere here didn’t feel the same as the other areas. I’d felt fine the entire time until we’d reached this opening and what’s even stranger is that in the center of this small opening was a massive rock, around the size of a boulder.
The weird thing was, someone had clearly placed tiny little rocks around this HUGE rock, in a sort of circle..
My first initial thought screamed witchcraft….
Who would do something like that? and why?
It was really odd!
As this area felt stranger to the others, myself and James decided to officially start our investigation right out there in the woods.
We’d found a semi stable log to sit down upon and James was running the Alice Box which generates words.
Supposedly spirits can manipulate this device to say certain words from the dictionary (kinda like the ovilus) we’ve personally had some great results with this in the past.
We were sat for a few minutes and it was eerily quiet as we called out.
We’d gotten familiar to our surroundings by now. Taking in the different sounds, able to debunk what may have been animals and natural audio.
But there was one really strange sound we couldn’t debunk.
It sounded like rope, The best way to describe it is a noise that is made when rope is tightened around wood and you’d hear that creak or swinging sound!
Me and James sat for a while just listening.
Could it have just been the wood creaking? We’d asked this question to ourselves. But the sound moved!
Not only this, but when we started talking about it sounding like rope…
It got closer to us. At one point it sounded right above us!
It was the most weirdest and creepiest experience ever.
James had a hunch about the spirit that could possibly be around us, we’d asked for a name and the Alice box responded right on cue…
So we greeted and asked more questions about him. Tried to get more answers, but nothing.
Jame’s changed his line of questioning…
Asking if Edward had taken his own life. Something that could possibly make sense from the strange rope sound we’d been hearing all around us.
The Alice box responded again…
Honestly. We were gobsmacked and I’m pretty sure we high fived? (not because the poor guy was hanged, but because the response was so intelligent!)
We continued our questions but nothing more really stood out after this, although we didn’t feel alone.
At one point it sounded as if something had been thrown towards us, like a rock of some sort and it fumbled across the ground and we’d also heard footsteps.
Not something we can definitely say was paranormal activity…But we couldn’t find an actual human or animal that was causing it.
The Priory Ruins.
Picking up our backpacks we decided to actually try and find the ruins now so we headed back the way we’d came and took the other path to the left.
It all started to look really familiar now and at last I knew we were on the right track once we came across the massive bridge!
The ruins were not far down the path now and James had stopped as he thought he saw a torch light in the distance.
Now remember, we’re in public woods and anyone could have been around so James was a little on guard.
That was when we heard distinct talking.
People. It had to be.
I remember saying to James “Don’t worry, it’ll just be other ghost hunters..”
We reached the gate and heard a woman laughing.
I said “it’s fine, it’s just people” so we walked down a little more… Expecting to find someone at the ruins.
The place was deserted! We checked it top to bottom and the only way someone was getting out was to walk right past us!
We were both a little freaked by this point being as we were pretty convinced it was actual real people!
BUT… on an upside it was clear we had the place to ourselves.
James had brought his camera along with him and he went around snapping the photos you have seen so far… As well as these amazing ones below!
Heading to the main part of the priory this was where we started our investigation once more.
We’d sat down and began to call out…
As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, I’ve always found the priory to be incredibly peaceful in the past.
But everything was about to change.
I was sat on one of the old windows ledges and myself and James were chatting and out of the corner of my eye… I saw a figure.
It absolutely took my breath if I’m honest. It was a black mass, hovering by what I could only assume would have been a doorway back in the day.
James jumped up… and again, we checked for people.
I’m not even exaggerating when I say that the actual doorway must be around 6 feet tall and this figure that I saw had towered over the top of it.
SO both feeling a little on edge now…
But we pushed on. This was great.
I’ve always found the spirit box seems to bring out activity… even if not used directly. Something about the white noise always seems to draw the energy in. This seemed like a good idea so we set it up.
But it was as quiet as a mouse.
It wasn’t even picking up on your usual blip of a radio station. It was deathly silent.
Not long after we’d turned the device on James had also saw what looked like a figure pass by a window. It moved really quickly and then disappeared.
He described it as much smaller than what I’d seen, almost childlike.
So again we checked for people.. no one. It seemed we were going back and forth chasing whatever this was around us.
We were walking around at this point…
The spirit box had been quiet but that soon changed when it spoke in a female voice… it sounded spoken in French, but we couldn’t make it out at all.
I turned off the box and then proceeded to argue with James about the priory not being French so it made no sense for it to do that…
LATER after some research.. I found out the priory actually WAS French… and so they would have spoken French there after all!
Hence the name, Grace Dieu…
(Duhhhh Vicky!) Hey… we all have our moments. Haaa!
James was right, I was wrong. Doesn’t happen very often but on this occasion I can’t argue and we still have no idea what had been said to this day.
Around this time we also noticed the wind started to pick up and the weather was getting pretty bad to be honest.
We’d continued to walk around the outside of the ruins and we were seeing all sorts of shadowy movement out of our peripheral vision and again, James was pretty sure he’d saw a small childlike figure run across the field.
Now standing by an opening in the ruins more towards the exit. We heard the most creepiest ‘witch like’ cackle come out of the spirit box. So much so… we both just stopped in our tracks and stared at each other like ‘what the actual f**k was that?!”
We’d even turned the spirit box off at one point and were hearing voices with our own ears!
And then… it went quiet again. By this point it had really started to hammer it down with rain. We took shelter in a nearby fireplace, this fireplace to be exact..
Notice all of the tiny stones? Yeah? I tried to sit on one of those and fell off into the mud. After ten minutes of James laughing… he finally helped me up. Proper gentlemen.
The weather just got worse. Rain, demonic wind. There was no way we could continue on with the investigation so sadly we had to call it a night. Now with our hoods up and equipment packed away we ventured back into the woods for our walk back to the car park.
But it wasn’t over.
Not only did we both distinctly hear something growl at us on the way back, we again heard a woman’s voice as well as footsteps following behind us.
The entire time it was a ‘don’t look back and just keep walking‘ situation!
The energy was dark in the priory that night, Like nothing I’d ever come across before. It can only make you wonder what’s been happening there recently and quite possibly what people may have been doing… hence that weird rock circle we’d come across!
We definitely want to go back and we WILL be at some point But this time, we will be armed with a night vision camera as moving forwards myself and James have decided to film a little more of our investigations to accompany our blogs!
That will be SUPER fun and I’m excited. Who knows what might happen? or what we might capture?
I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog…
But, Until next time..