The Old Nick Theatre, Gainsborough, 18th February 2017
An eerie yet satisfying night we had in store for us indeed as we approached our destination which was nestled within a shield of other aged buildings, illuminated by the yellow haze of the street lamps, sitting on a gloomy, silent street. Upon entering the venue, we were in awe of the cells which remain the same as they were when the building once functioned as a prison. The swampy green paint flaking off the crumbling walls next to hundreds of carvings made by those imprisoned long ago. Making our way through the cells, we follow on up the staircase at the front of the building and into a theatre that is still in use to this day. The theatre was once a courtroom which was around in conjunction with the prison. Quite a few of us team members felt uneasy as we picked up on quite a menacing presence drifting around the room. With a few other rooms to add to our list of hotspots at The Old Nick Theatre which include the Officer’s quarter and rooms which could have been used to hold prisoners right before their trials, it was safe to say we had an eventful evening in store for us.
Here are some accounts and happenings from the team members themselves…
Lisa – “Cheryl and Emily heard whispering whilst we were undergoing a vigil in the Officer’s quarters. I also felt sick and developed a headache. A guest with us on the evening, Vicky, also felt strange. I felt I had to leave the room and as soon as I did, I felt fine again.”
Cheryl – “Something physically touched me, shortly after something touched Jack and then something oddly affected Vicky.”
Jack – “My hair was being played with as if someone was twirling it around their finger and then the chain around my neck was yanked backwards, not in a menacing way really, but enough to know it wasn’t just me moving and my chain settling. Just after this, the glass on the table, which had been idle for around ten minutes suddenly darted towards our guest, Vicky, and Vicky said she felt something try and get into her. I believe her because I for one experienced her lips moving as if to say something but she was trying to say something completely different. Her jaw dropped open and her mouth was moving all over the place. She couldn’t speak, she had to dart out of the room because she didn’t like what was happening to her which in fairness, even watching these events unfold before my very eyes was quite scary.”
These events unfolded before us in the Officers quarter towards the back of the building. Although there is no concrete evidence, to experience it first hand was an honour and extremely strange. We may have some evidence on an EVP recorder as we often roll them as much as we can, so time will tell as to whether we have caught those whispers or not.
Di – “We were locked in the cells, we laid a k2meter on the floor which only goes off when it picks up on electromagnetic spikes. Which is linked to spirit presence. We were asking questions like, were you an inmate, if you were, light up the lights on the device on the floor. If an answer to a question was not relevant it didn’t light up. We found out the man in the cells was married to Sarah Jane. There was a head stone for a Sarah Jane in the headquarters of the police station. We asked if she died, flash the lights for yes. The k2 meter lights were going mad. We then asked if she was shot, we got no response. Was she stabbed? no response. Did she die of natural causes? No response. Was she poisoned? The lights went mad.
We then asked did she find anyone else? The lights flashed again. We asked if he had found another lady? Nothing. We then asked maybe a man? k2 meter didn’t stop flashing for a long time. We then asked is there any of the men in here you like, it flashed. So we asked if he liked any of the male team members, calling out the male team members names individually. When we asked if he liked our camera man Alex, again the k2 did not stop. So obviously, we had to ask if he would like us to leave Alex in his cell, the k2 went mad. However, fortunately for Alex, the time had flown by and we had to leave.
Emma – “We were in one of the male’s cells, it was cold and very dark and we all felt suddenly very silly and giggly. At this point, the lights were going off on the k2, we started asking questions and received intelligent responses. we asked if it was a male or female, did they work here, that type of thing. We established it was a male who worked at the police station and that he was the cook, at this point for no reason we were all laughing. We asked the man if he worked here and he replied yes and we then went through various job roles, in the end we established he was a cook. He also seemed to take a fancy to one of the male team members. We asked him if he was married and ran though some names that we had been given, he settled on Mary Jane, which was the name on a gravestone in one of the back rooms. However, when questioned he said he preferred the men and continued to interact with Alex, our camera man. We were all still laughing and it did seem that the whole atmosphere was very light, we then asked if he had caused any deaths using the k2 to determine his answers, he said yes, we then ran through many ways that he could have killed someone and it ended with poisoning and that he had killed females, at this point the session came to an end and we all calmed down.”
These are interesting happenings and accounts of one vigil. It is a fact that the female inmates once upon a time were killed via poison. Given that the K2 meter was lighting up to respond intelligently to relevant questions, you wonder if it was just pot luck or a coincidence. However, given that there were a range of options given for the device to light up to, to pick the ones most relevant and backing up proof, it is quite a mystery. Unfortunately, CGH have not yet found any record that indicates that Sarah Jane was married to a cook there in the past.
Craig – “We decided to split into 2 groups. My group decided to try the rear dressing room near the theatre/court room. As we were all in the room, we were using a spirit box and k2 meters to see if we could collaborate any evidence. It was quiet and we didn’t get much of a response, but it was very cold. At one point, it sounded like someone walked up the stairs beside the room we were in, so I got up and went out asking if anyone was there. I could not see anyone. I then decided to sit next to the door just in case I heard it again. We were asking out questions and I was asking if it could open the door or twist the handle of the door. There was no response. The room warmed up a bit and the team and public were in the room asking out questions. Then out of nowhere, there was a thud followed by scraping. Which sounded like it come from the theatre. Myself and Jack went out to investigate the sound. We couldn’t see anything that had been moved or could have made the loud noise. We walked around the top of the building to see if it could have been the other team but they were down in the basement in the cells. We radioed and asked if they made a loud banging noise and they responded with no. Me and Jack looked around further and noticed a few children playing outside with a football which they were kicking against a wall. But even this sound was not loud enough and didn’t make the same sound as what we heard. The noise sounded like it resonated from the room next to us in the main building but we were unable to find an explanation for it.”
Interesting to experience once put in that situation, with sounds going on and being unable to pinpoint what it is or where its coming from. Sadly, we are unable to provide concrete evidence of this paranormal activity described here because the event unfolded out of view of our locked off cameras and therefore we were unable to prove exactly where everyone was for those who were not present there on the investigation.
All in all, The Old Nick Theatre was an incredible venue to investigate and we all feel privileged to have been able to be part of the investigation. The cells were exactly as we imagined they would be and look near enough perfectly the same as they would have done back when the building functioned as a court and jail. Each of the two groups experienced some heavy bouts of paranormal and weird happenings. We now have to look back and review the footage and data we recorded there and find out if something untoward pops up to complete our claims and personal experiences.