Investigation Date: 19th February 2005

Investigators present: Drew Bartley, Darren Ritson, Fiona Vipond and Lee Stephenson


This is our second Investigation as “GHOST”, and what a venue. The Marsden Grotto is reputed to be one of the most haunted pubs in Britain. Over the years the grotto has been subject to all kinds of paranormal phenomena and Investigations. It has been the venue for numerous live radio broadcasts, and TV programmes in which a good friend of mine (South Shields Gazette Bizarre columnist and reporter, and paranormal Investigator) Mike Hallowell has been party to. Built into the cliff face and steeped with ghostly legends the grotto seemed too much of an opportunity to lose. Speaking to the manageress before our investigation I found out what exactly has been going on in recent days. This is what she told us.







So what would happen when the team ventured in to seek out these ghosts and ghouls? Would we come across any ghostly smugglers from years gone by? Or perhaps come face to face with Jack Bates? (Jack the Blaster, the man who blasted the caves to make his home all those years ago), or perhaps run into the spectre of the young boy who is said to haunt the bar area? We were all ready and geared to go. On the night in question we arrived at about 9.30pm and waited for the rest of the team to turn up, which at about 10.00pm they did. We sat in the bar for an Hour or so and waited for the bar to empty.  In the meanwhile The manageress (Sue) introduced us to a group of amateur film makers who wanted to make a documentary not so much about ghosts and the paranormal, but more about how the ghost hunter works and what methods we use to gather evidence of spooks and spectres. We decided this would be ok and we let then join in the Investigation. We carried out a quick baseline reading of the building in which the temperature was as it should be for this time of year, (Average 20 degrees), and an EMF sweep showed no anomalies prior to the Investigation.


Location One, The Restaurant.

When we arrived upstairs we set up two trigger objects, an overturned glass on the kitchen bench, and a key on the table near the footprint. I took some digital stills for quite a while with no results so I decided to call out to the spirits in the hope we could entice some paranormal activity and unfortunately it was to no avail. It was only at the end of this vigil it was noted the area where we were all situated, turned really unexplainably cold. Drew, Dale, Fiona and Lee also reported nothing from this location. It seemed to be very quiet indeed.


Location Two, Large cave bar.

The room temperature in the cave was 19.9 degrees and more or less stayed the same throughout. Again efforts were made to communicate with any spirits in there and although we persevered nothing out of the ordinary was documented. Drew placed a trigger object on the bar in the form of a crucifix and placed the motion sensors either side of the entrance to the cave. The trigger object was not touched or moved at any time during the course of the investigation and the motion sensors were not activated. However when Fiona was in this location she heard the sound of glasses being moved about and clinking. Upon investigating the cause, she could not find one as no one was in the area at the time and when everyone was asked, no one said they had moved any glasses.


The Cave Bar Séance.

After having a break we decided to conduct a séance in the large cave. We formed a circle and all held hands. Drew and myself sat out to monitor the progress in which there was none. I swapped seats with an investigator and then I lead the séance for a while and all seemed to be quiet until I felt a hard prod in my lower back on the left side. I thought it was Drew accidentally sticking his pen in my back as he walked past but he told me he was nowhere near me. I definitely felt something stick in my back as though I was being prodded or poked. What it was I do not know but it was the only strange incident of this séance.


The Restaurant Séance.

We then moved upstairs to try a séance in the restaurant area in the hope to achieve something from this very quiet investigation indeed. This séance proved to be quite interesting indeed as a number of odd happenings and phenomena were reported during these proceedings. It was Interesting to note that just like the last time at the Station Hotel “Lee” seemed to be the focus of all the activity. Temperature drops were reported and documented in-between Lee and the next sitter; and orbs were also photographed in-between Lee and the next sitter too. Lee was also cold and was actually shaking during the course of the séance. It seemed to start from his fingertips and eventually the cold spread through his body until he was absolutely freezing. This was really odd as he had on a big coat doubled with the fact everyone else was not that cold. It was documented that Lee’s temperature was 4 – 5 degrees colder than everyone else in the circle. A gush of wind or a good draught was then reported to whoosh up the room. Lee then said that his hands were so cold he couldn’t move his hands or fingers for about 15 – 20 minutes. Then tightness came over his back and shoulders and although he felt uncomfortable, he said he did not feel threatened by whatever was in the room with us. While all this was taking place myself and Drew used our EMF meters to sweep the area and it was around Lee where we both had the interesting readings. After a good while the séance and investigation came to a close.



After a very slow start to the investigation, things did eventually pick up and through the séance carried out upstairs we got a decent result, which made this visit worthwhile. Phenomena reported earlier on included, the sound of the glasses chinking and moving, someone or something prodding me in the back during the first séance, and one or two orbs caught on camera. It has been reported to me by the Licensee Sue, that since our departure last week, a ghost of a man was seen in the kitchens, things have been moving around when no body was present, and strange noises have been heard in areas where no one is. Had our séances started something in the cold early hours of the 19th February 2005? Who can tell, as by all accounts things like this are reported all the time in what could be the most haunted pub in the UK.

Report written By Darren W Ritson.

20.02.05 - 02.03.05.












               Fiona and Sue (with "orb") by their side


                       A  trigger object on the bar