In September 2014 a visitor taking the tour at Loftus Hall, Thomas Beavis, captured an image on his camera that shocked the nation. The 21 year old English tourist said he made the chilling discovery while flicking through photos on his camera with his friends after visiting the hall and was shocked to discover a ghostly figure that looked like a young girl as well as the head of an older woman in a window.
“We were all feeling a little edgy from the tour but when I showed the photo to my friends we freaked,” he said.
“I zoomed in on all the windows to find this girl in the window. I had to take some time before I showed it to everyone just because I didn’t really understand what I was looking at.”
The image went viral, sweeping across multiple media platforms much to the surprise of Thomas and Loftus Hall staff.
Now in 2016, our 666th anniversary year, we decided to bring back the man behind the lens as our 666th paranormal lockdown guest. Thomas was delighted with the invitation and was flown over from London to return once again to Loftus Hall, perhaps this time to have an encounter with a spirit as opposed to capturing one on film. He arrived at the Hall with an eager grin and an aura of excitement.
“Although I wouldn’t say I’m a sceptic, I do like to find logical explanations for the unknown. I’m going in here with an open mind but I’m hoping I will be able to find one of these elusive explanations that every sceptic is looking for.” Thomas admitted before entering Loftus Hall.
The lockdown starts at 8.30pm and goes on to 3.30am so I decided to leave Thomas to his night letting him get the full experience and caught up with him the following day to reflect on the lockdown. The eager face was now more pensive, as though there were more questions than answers on his mind. I asked him if he managed to find the explanations he was looking for. “There are some things you just can’t explain such as the feelings you get or changes you experience.” he responded.
On speaking about a room on the 3rd floor Thomas stated: “Everyone in it experienced something, the way this room would darken when the group felt there was a presence walking around was creepy to say the least and when the paranormal investigator was talking to a presence and asking it questions, nobody could deny it was answering through flashes on the EMF reader, this was enough to warrant two hot cups of tea before the next room.”
After spending an hour in one room the small groups return to the reception/cafe for tea, coffee and biscuits before rotating on to the next room. This is an opportunity to discuss experiences that they may have had. Thomas got temporary relief in these moments and confided that; “It was always good to voice your concern/experience and know someone else saw it too… otherwise you’re just crazy.” The tea seemed to have kept him going as he admitted at one point he was ready to bolt like a horse, but was adamant to see the night through to the end.
I asked him what experience stood out to him the most. With a look of confusion and a nervous laugh he described a strange experience that took place in the card room. “A presence in the room made a woman in our group’s finger shake so much her ring fell off. Now, I was next to this woman and I’ve tried to make my finger shake like that but it’s impossible. You just can’t shake your ring finger without moving at least one other, It’s like something was just pulling on her finger and she couldn’t explain how it happened… nobody could!” He finished his tale and looked at me baffled, unfortunately, as is often the case with Loftus Hall, I had no answers for him.
Loftus Hall brings about supernatural, spiritual, psychological, and philosophical questions. It’s a constant mystery, a historical wonder with endless stories and new ones always being created. For people like Thomas, it leaves them wanting more, and for others it’s a place too full of the unknown to return. Thomas finished our interview by saying he’s eager to return, like so many others he’s created a connection with the house and possibly it with him.