More puzzles

Hello there, Stephen here: as you may have seen, we’re adding another one of Ranulph Williams’ stories to the site today, and I’ve been thinking more about the strange messages we’ve been getting on the site: its something I’m worried we’re going to forget about in the confusion of the next week or so.

The more I think about it, the more interesting the strange messages become – I’m convinced now that they have something to do with the longer introduction to ‘Haunted Houses’ that my correspondent suggested appeared in the first edition of the collection.

Certainly it seems likely that the haunted house that Williams talks about in the shorter introduction that we have here on the site must surely be the Mazehouse itself. And if that’s true, the longer version may well have had more information about what happened to Williams here.

Although the text that’s appearing on the site is hopelessly jumbled, I can pick out, at least, the references to Flower Queans and Corn Dollies, that point us to the local traditions I’ve written about on the site already, and parts sound like references to the myth of the Woman of Flowers, that Ranulph Williams wrote about in his book ‘The Labyrinthine King’. Anything more defeinite if harder to figure out – beyond the fact that its not very cheerful, what with all that talk of murder and death.

The biggest puzzle of all, of course, is how the text is getting posted to the website at all. We’re all pretty sure now that no one in the house is sending the messages, and Gary is pretty sure that no one outside could be, either – so could this be something paranormal, could this be an online haunting? It’s not inconceivable, after all, if paranormal phenomena do have an influence on electro-magnetic fields, as we suspect (and as we’re hoping to discover with our monitor system) they why shouldn’t they be able to affect computers? It would certainly be a first, as far as I know, and an amazing discovery for our investigation.

Of course, if this is so, then we still have to ask, who is sending this text, and why? We have been talking about Ranulph Williams and his experiences here, in the house, is this some echo of those experiences? Or does it have some other meaning?

But that, of course, is what we’re here to do, isn’t? To investigate.

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New message

Hello there, Stephen here, just pointing out that we had another message added to the site last night, added under my name, but, again, not by me, although, as before, I had left my computer over night switched on and logged into the website in my name.

In fact, this time, both Gary and Jo are reasonably convinced that there wasn’t any outside influence on the computer or the site, so quite where it might have come from has become a little more mysterious.

Once again the text seems to have been taken from Ranulph Williams’ introduction, although again there is text I don’t recognise, and I find myself wondering about that original draft of the introduction that I was talking about yesterday and whether some of the text might come from that.

Now that I am, at least, pretty convinced that the messages aren’t coming from anywhere else, I am going to start trying to analyse them in detail to see what I can discover. It could well be that the most interesting events of this whole investigation have been happening right here on the website, right in front of us all this time.

yet growing all around us, and they may, perhaps, I had mine.

A soldier went mad in that house his own life to save his love, his execution by one landscape in particular, on place. I am thinking of a strong that it can conjure its own unspringing, make the living their contests at harvest festival, competing for the honour of keeping of nature itself, rendering it barren contracts, of genealogies and plumbing, but it also we demand it of them, by its own recurrent doom, when real monsters and ‘lovelier than nature by on the tree, the sacrificial in it? Is there an attic the attic. But the secret I have written down elsewhere. A fabulous King, despairing of house at a time the world itself was convulsed stalked Europe is in love with her in love with the maid, but and a woman died as a two histories. It has clockwork of myth that drives out history, our but the ghosts remain, universal, of that power that inspired them, a little of its several, endless tragedies, day after that house claimed. For a long universal stories that accompany us down the generations: seen and done worse things, dying tanist. And yet: the squire, killed his Doctor in a jealous rage. The races, universal, eternal, geographical. Their stories are ourselves in them, or find ourselves there? Are we haunted, not by little of that suspicion that rather, its legible history of deeds and And the tragic clergyman with am thinking, in fact, of a house. This house, as they Earl? Do these spectres walk their well worn paths because or do these days the subject of fevered competition among the ladies of the Sir Francis Day, murdered his half-sister, bride of monstrous we following in their footsteps? These and Guinever, of Mark and for a spell, haunt you. telling goes. The rest you guess, I wall in the outbuildings, a priest’s hole in secret history wizard. The King, discovering their treachery has her destroyed, ridding his stories in this book are not, thank the gods, as woman, made all of flowers of the meadows and hedgerows far’, make her bloom again. Spring is eaten English ghost is a commonplace affair. Where do a piece made of jealousy and love and death. A story as sold his sister in marriage to the devil. with his weak, beating of that coiled story. A piece for three, as had happened. I do not now. Not so much.

Wartime history

Hello there, Stephen here. I just wanted to say thankyou to the reader who got in touch with some details about Ranulph Williams and his history with the Mazehouse, which has allowed us to add a new article to the site about the history of the house during the War.

One mystery remains, which is what exactly happened in the house that affected Williams so much. My correspondent says he has heard that the first edition of ‘Haunted Houses’ had a foreword that included much more information about the Mazehouse but which was cut down to the one we have on the site for later editions.

I’d love to heard from anyone who could lay their hands on a copy. In the meantime I’m going to see what else I can find out.

A Long Week

Hello there, Stephen here, at the end of a long and strange week. It’s been very different having someone in the house with me all this week, strange but oddly not nearly as disconcerting as I thought it would be.

Of course, Gary would say that the shock to my system has been having to do work but I was expecting to find the change in the house quite difficult after spending so much time here on my own. But instead its been something of a relief and its certainly been great having my friend Jo here with me to work with.

It has been a trying week, though, having to try and get all our electronic systems up and running ready for next week, and I think that’s the change that I’m dreading most – when the TV cameras arrive and I’m rather afraid we may start turning into a circus rather than a serious investigation.

While all the work we’re doing this week is, I think, extremely worthwhile – and I’m really looking forward to be able to include all of you in our EMF survey of the house – I’m afraid that once the TV broadcasts start we’re going to start getting a lot more focussed on providing ‘good television’ whatever that is, rather than what we should be doing.

But then I suppose it’ll be my job, with Jo’s and I hope, your help, to make sure we concentrate on the important matters.

And, of course, as tempting as it might be to spend the next fortnight with just the two of us in the house, monitoring and investigation, I have to admit that none of this project would have been possible without the TV show and it may just be that the more people we have the in house, the more eyes and attention we have on the project, the more we may see.

After all, what is a haunted house without people to be haunted?

Anyway, I suspect that I’m just off-kilter because I haven’t been sleeping very well, since I stopped sleeping in the attic and moved back into the main rooms of the house (we’re going to try and restrict our living quarters to the newer areas of the house, to leave the older parts untouched as much as possible).

Certainly I’ve got more material for my dream diary – oddly, looking back, my recent dreams are very similar to those I had when I first arrived in the house, dreams of running around the house trying to find people, particularly Jo, although now they’re much more like nightmares rather than normal dreams. An indication, I can only assume, of some nervousness at how the next week is going to pan out.

Well, whatever happens, I hope you’ll be tuning in.

New arrivals

Hello there, Stephen here, with news of two new arrivals. Since I’ve just made Jo say hello to the website in her first blog, you’ll know that she has now joined me in the house. But I just wanted to draw your attention to the blog post that was made in the small hours of this morning: more of our mysterious text.

Again some of it looks very much like a selection from Ranulph Williams’ introduction to his book of short stories, but some of it doesn’t. Obviously, since my encounter with Harry Rose in the house, I’m a little suspicious of it being someone tampering with the equipment, while Gary is still convinced that someone has ‘hacked in’ as he calls it, and is interefering with the blog from somewhere else on the internet.

But I still think its a mystery worth investigating, so I’ve asked both Gary and Jo to work together to come up with some way of determining where the messages are coming from. So hopefully I’ll be able to let you know more soon.

seasons, some of them: the Spring who dies, to on place. I am thinking of a house.

This house, is pursued to the soldier went mad in to account for their tradition, a are haunted by myth, an untouchable history, buried in the we demand it of variation on the traditional Corn Dolly. The Quean but it was the horror of so much. Every generation, the to be born again, country is ancient too, and it is the country, all know, that come and go: the the races, but accompany us down the generations: do we a linen chest in England eternal, geographical. They have a tradition, in execution by the vengeful King, watering her with the story I have written down elsewhere. A fabulous King, despairing is haunted, not the people. The people come too, inevitably, despairing of woman-kind, a paths because them, or do rage. The soldier destroy the woman Launcelot and Guinever, of Mark and Tristram wordless fears, of gooseflesh, of suspicion. Of haunting. The conventional history was god on the tree, the contests at harvest festival, competing for the honour earth yet growing all around us, for instance, had its doom: heartbreak and unhappy marriages. you. the maid, but the maid is in love with her nature itself, rendering it barren and fruitless in his Doctor in a jealous spelling is, one assumes, the work is eaten up by winter, has its unwritten history of wakeful woman died saw it happen. That plumbing, but it also wakeful a monastery wall in the outbuildings, phantom parade of jilted lovers and remorseful murderers? Is this singular duty is called the Quean’. Their stories are wound well worn we following in their footsteps? These universal stories monsters stalked Europe and the whole was their inevitable tragedy. And then there were the story. The that drove him mad and made him a murderer.

Local folklore

Hello there, Stephen here, with just a quick update. As you have probably seen, I managed to have a chat with the Vicar, the Reverend Morgan, who was very kindly able to fill me in on some of the local traditions concerning the Flower Queans and some of the folklore behind them.

Like a lot of English traditions, these have their roots in Victorian folklore research and recreation but undoubtedly contain traces of something considerably more ancient and more traditional. It’s particularly interesting to see that Ranulph Williams became so interested in the story – I must confess that I’ve never read his book, The Labyrinthine King – in fact I think its currently out of print, but it certainly sounds interesting.

Meanwhile, I’m considerably excited by the arrival in the house of my friend and colleague Jo Cargill, who is arriving to start work on the more technical aspects of our investigation. It’s going to be great to have Jo here, in fact, its going to great just to have someone else here, even if it does mean that I’m going to have to give up sleeping in the attic room I’ve been staying in the last few nights – oddly, I’ve slept incredibly well there, although that does mean I haven’t had anything to write in my dream diary recently.

The Mazehouse Ghost

Hello there, Stephen here, with news that I have met the Mazehouse ghost and can report that he is an unquiet spirit and all too much alive and well.

His name is, apparently, Harry Rose and he is a local odd job man who has apparently appointed himself a kind of watchman over the house. It’s been him that’s been reponsible for all the strange events over the last few days: the locked door, the odd sounds around the house, the missing coffee.

Although, to be fair, the coffee wasn’t that much of a mystery as I actually caught him taking it this morning.

I was, obviously, pretty alarmed at finding this strange man in the kitchen when I walked in there first thing in the morning and things very quickly got pretty heated.

I, quite reasonably, I think, insisted he leave, while he insisted that I was the one with no right to be in the house, all the while quite calmly helping himself to my Kenko.

In the end the only thing I could do was call the owners, who, fortunately, were available and who, even more fortunately, knew Harry of old and were able to tall to him and persuade that I was who I said I was and that he had to leave me alone.

Which he did, eventually, with very bad grace, muttering all kinds of things, including some very interesting things about the house and what might happen to people living in it which, sadly, I was in no mood at the time to question him about.

One thing I did learn is that he was the one responsible for the dried flowers in the outbuildings and that he called his arrangements ‘flower queens’, exactly the same words as were used in our mysterious website text.

The owners of he house have pointed me to the vicar as a good source of information about the traditions of the area and I am going to seek him put and see what I can find out about these interesting discoveries.

So, while more than a little stressful and disturbing, today might not have been totally wasted after all.

Strange events

Hello, Stephen here, with what I think may be my first truly paranormal experience in the house. I was working upstairs in the house this afternoon – exploring some of the rooms at the rear – when I could have sworn I heard footsteps in the hall downstairs. I immediately went to the head of the back stairs to start down to investigate and the immediate sense that was a presence in the hallway downstairs – there was a definite impression of movement – a shadow, I think, or some movement – but by the time I got downstairs the hallway was empty and the house quiet. I have often, over the last few days, had the impression that I was not alone in the house but had put this down to having been on my own for the past week, but perhaps I am not as alone as I thought. It’s certainly an intriguing event.