My Ghost-Hunting Return To Woodchester Mansion

By Steve Higgins
April 10, 2024 1:00 AM ‐ Paranormal Investigation ReportsParanormal
Ghost Hunt At Woodchester Mansion
Heading out on a ghost hunting event at the weekend is pretty normal for me, but returning to Woodchester Mansion felt special. This mansion, nestled within the serene landscape of Woodchester Park near Nympsfield in Gloucestershire, is an important place in my paranormal journey because of an experience I had during my previous visit. That night, surrounded by the gothic revival architecture of this unfinished mansion, I believed I saw what many would call a "ghost."

The incomplete mansion has a strange and eerie stillness about it, with construction having been mysteriously abandoned midway. It's within this partially completed home that I experienced something that I can't explain. As our group was shown around the mansion's corridors on a guided tour, illuminated only by the faint glow of our guide's torch, I encountered the unexplainable. Without warning, a human-sized, grey mass appeared in a corridor in front of me. It was human in size but lacked any defining features, appearing instead as a tall, draped shape, floating above the floor. The apparition lingered for mere seconds before vanishing from sight.

The figure, devoid of discernible features such as limbs or a head, didn't align with the typical depiction of a ghost. Because of this, I wouldn't go as far as saying that I saw the spirit of a dead person, although I could have. It was definitely the closest I've been to seeing what could be called a ghost. It's possible that I was mistaken or that there was another explanation, but the encounter feels comparable to sightings that other people have reported. Rightly or wrongly, those people are often confident enough to call what they experienced a ghost, so I think it's reasonable to classify my experience the same way. Therefore, I do feel that I saw a ghost.

The journey back to Woodchester Mansion began with a welcome from the Most Haunted Experience (MHE) team at the gates of Woodchester Park. The drive down to the mansion, winding through dense woodland, built a sense of anticipation, culminating in the moment the mansion came into view. From the outside, Woodchester Mansion presents a facade of completeness, its grand design hiding the reality of its unfinished state.

Once inside, the MHE team led us to the drawing room, where we joined the other guests, around 25 of us in total. Despite being one of the mansion's only completed rooms, the drawing room, like the rest of the mansion, did little to combat the chill on this cold winter night.
Ghost Hunt At Woodchester Mansion

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Our ghost hunting adventure officially began as we descended into the cellar, with its characteristic vaulted ceilings. Piers and Sharon, two members of the team, introduced us to an arsenal of ghost-hunting equipment. Among the tools at our disposal were K-II meters, known for detecting electromagnetic fields, REM-Pods which react to changes in temperature and proximity, point-and-click infrared thermometers for identifying temperature changes, and dowsing rods, traditional tools for seeking out spiritual energy.

As we gathered around the edges of the cellar's largest room, illuminated only by the glow of our equipment. Some of us clutched the devices that had been handed out, while Piers and Sharon strategically placed others on the ground. After the compulsory "flashing balls" jokes were out of the way, we shifted to a more serious tone as we began introducing ourselves to any spirits that might be listening, inviting them to communicate.

Something else that made this particular event a little more interesting than normal was that I was joined by my friend Mat, and it was his first ever ghost hunt. Watching him get stuck in the experience reminded me of my own first time attending a public event. It was nice to see his enthusiasm and get a fresh opinion on the night.

It was a fairly slow start, just an unnerving report from one guest about feeling a sensation like spiders crawling up her legs. The quiet of our surroundings was soon disrupted by unusual sounds coming from the corridor running through the cellar. In response, we divided into two groups, with half of us venturing out to investigate the source. It wasn't long before a REM-Pod, set up in the middle of the corridor, was triggered without any obvious cause.

I'm always skeptical of ghost hunting devices, but I don't mind REM-Pods. Unlike other devices that are easily triggered by mundane disturbances, REM-Pods seem a little more robust and less prone to false positives. The fact that they can detect a living human based on their proximity feels like a good starting point for detecting a dead one, which is more than most paranormal gadgets can claim.

However, the fact that REM-Pods aren't falsely triggered often means a lot of the time they just sit there doing nothing, and unfortunately, that was the case on this particular night. After the one instance of flashing and beeping, the REM-Pod fell silent, so although interesting, it cannot be described as intelligent communication on this occasion.

After our vigil in the cellar, our ghost hunting group made our way to the chapel, a location that stands out for its architectural beauty and the story of what it could have been. This chapel, had it been completed, would have been the largest in any private home in the country.

In an effort to bridge the gap between our world and the unseen, we tried singing hymns and reciting the Lord's Prayer. Given the room we were in, this was a fitting shift from the technology-driven approach in the cellar. I have to admit, as someone who identifies as a massive sinful atheist, I felt a little bit uncomfortable, but I joined in all the same.

We spent around thirty minutes in the chapel. For most of this time, my attention was drawn to the corridor where, on my previous visit, I had encountered the inexplicable grey mass. Sadly, the figure remained elusive, and before long, it was time to head back to the base room for a break, where the MHE team had provided hot drinks and snacks. I chose a complimentary McVitie's Gold bar as a pick-me-up to help get me through the rest of the night.

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Ghost Hunt At Woodchester Mansion

The second half of our ghost hunting adventure began in the ornate stone bathroom situated on the mansion's first floor. Here, we tried to connect with the spirits of the mansion through the use of a Ouija board. Using a simple glass as our planchette, the board was very active. However, the movements of the glass lacked clear direction or purpose. It failed to deliver any meaningful messages, names, or dates.

While we were using the board, several guests reported hearing what sounded like muffled conversations echoing through the bathroom. These auditory phenomena were also reported by other guests and in other parts of the mansion throughout the night. Were we hearing echoes of the mansion's past, or were the sounds simply the result of the wind whistling around the building?

Our journey then led us to the second-floor corridor, where we used a laser grid to help us spot movement in the darkness. The final stop of our night was the kitchen, a space that never saw completion but has an interesting link to the mansion's past. The flagstone flooring is a relic from the house that previously occupied the land. According to the stone tape theory, which suggests that stones can absorb and replay events and emotions from the past, this room could potentially be a hotspot for residual hauntings.

The night's exploration, from flashing REM-Pods in the cellar to the Ouija board session in the ornate, made for a fun and interesting night that was made even better by the professionalism of the team and our fellow guests, who were very engaged and keen to get involved.

If you want to hunt for spooks at Woodchester Mansion for yourself, you can book your own ghost hunting experience at the location with Most Haunted Experience, which currently has various dates available throughout 2024. You can find out more at

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