The Royal Oak, York

An account of the NGI investigation at the Royal Oak - York

This is the first of my ‘blog’ investigation reports. These ‘blog reports’ are only meant to be a brief personal account of what I experienced during the course of the investigation. A more formal report containing all collected data and analysis of any phenomena experienced on investigations will appear in the ‘Investigation Reports’ section of the website before too long.

The Royal Oak Public House, York

1 July 2009

The Royal Oak

Having collected fellow NGI stalwarts Carol and Dell on the way, we arrived at York by 9.30pm in the blistering heat. We wasted no time in locating¬†The Royal Oak¬†public house for a well needed soft drink. Fellow NGI’er Bekki was already sat at the bar talking to the landlord. After acquainting ourselves with the 16th Century building we were soon joined by the final two NGI members Clare and Jay, three members of another team (Sharon, Steve and John), and Michele, a University Student doing a PHD into the paranormal.

You won’t find much with regard to hauntings at The Royal Oak if you look around. In fact it must be one of the only pubs in York not to have a documented history of ghosts. We had learned that the ‘ghost’ of a young girl had been seen in the bar area by some of the locals and that a number of other strange things had happened since the new landlord/landlady had move a mere 4 weeks ago. The landlady was sure she had seen two dark figures walk past the doorway to the bar while she was behind it, only to find there was nobody there, and a shoe had mysteriously appeared in the microwave in the pubs kitchen. Her husband did not believe in anything paranormal but he did apparently witness the ‘shoe incident’. One thing that he did mention was that three separate light bulbs on the pub had blown that day. Another blew while we were there bringing the total to four.

Before we started the investigation Claire had some questionnaires for people to fill in to do with a separate set of experiments she is conducting. I won’t go into what they are about here (’cause she’ll kill me), but watch out on the main site for more details in the near future. It was then my turn to hand out some questionnaires for people to fill in which will hopefully tie in nicely with Claire’s experiments. Much to the relief of everyone that was the end of the ‘tests’ and it was time to start the investigation.

We divided into two teams of five. One team would start of downstairs and cover the front and back bar areas plus a little side room, while the others would conduct a vigil in the first floor function room and kitchen area. I started off in the downstairs group with Jay, Claire, Carol and Michele. Settling myself in the back bar I busied myself drawing my floorplans and marking all my baseline checks on them which were taken at regular intervals throughout the night and showed nothing that seemed anomalous. Throughout the vigil I felt quite content and nothing unusual seemed to happen other than getting a slight headache which lasted only about 10mins (it was very hot though), at the same time Michelle started to suffer from pains in her left kidney (which she occasionally has).

As the vigil was drawing to a close I went to check on the others. Jay was outside having a fag (as usual) and had experienced nothing, while Claire was in the small side room where she showed me what she had been compelled to create on a couple of the tables. Drawn in salt was a pentagram and also a cross contained in a circle. She explained that on entering the room she had picked up on the impression of a man dressed in black wearing an old fashioned hat, and also these symbols being ‘daubed’ onto the walls of the building in a ‘black substance’. She had decided to recreate these symbols on the table partly as a ‘trigger’ to see if anything would happen and partly for the sheer hell of it. As it transpired the ‘salt symbols’ were unaffected throughout the investigation.


Both groups then switched locations and I trotted upstairs the the function room and settled myself in a chair. There was moonlight coming in through the windows that were causing a light patch on the wall opposite. I did see a big shadow go across this light patch as if a figure had walked past the window (but we were on the 1st floor). I later found out that a couple from the other group had seen the same thing when they had been there earlier. Our group sat in silence and then tried calling out to try and encourage some sort of activity but it seemed as it the ‘spirits’ (if there were any) were not willing to come out and play. Various images ranging from ‘pyramids with enochian writing round them’ to ‘brightly coloured snakes’ were offered by up by certain NGI members having just popped into their heads. At present we don’t know if any of it is relevant, but anything of interest that shows up will appear in the ‘official’ report of the night. The only thing that I found of interest was that three out of the five people present felt a tightening across their chest at the same time. Claire was the person to actually mention it first but I had been experiencing a ‘tightness’ just prior to her saying anything. Claire also seemed to be picking up on Carol’s emotions (frustration) and also on the moment at which Carol fell briefly asleep.¬† I found this quite interesting.

We all went back downstairs to chat with the other group. Sharon told be that she had the impression of a woman with the name of Charlotte, who she felt was knocked down by a coach and horses outside and brought into the pub and was laid out in the side room area where she died.

Jay and myself then went back upstairs to the function room to try a bit of glass divination. Although the glass did move ever so slightly and the table did seem to vibrate there was nothing even remotely conclusive that occurred. We relocated to the downstairs side room to try again. This time we were joined by Claire and Michelle in the hope that it would make a difference. The glass did start to move after a fair bit of coaxing, but I still feel that this was still down to our own subconscious movements as nothing really happened to indicate any real intelligence was at play. I’m pretty sure that this feeling was shared by all in the group.

We concluded the investigation at around 4.30am with the 3 members from the other team having left around 30 mins earlier. All in all it was a very quiet night and it is my opinion that nothing of a paranormal nature had occurred. There were a few interesting snippets of information to follow up, but thats about it. It’s always a disappointment when nothing happens (which it does all too often), but that’s the nature of paranormal investigation I suppose. Maybe next time will be the biggie.

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