I was given the opportunity to spend the night completely alone at the historic pub, which closed its doors to drinkers in 1965. Being on my own in the building overnight gave me the chance to conduct some experiments that wouldn’t usually be possible during a public ghost hunting event.
Before embarking on my night-long lock-in, I spoke to Barry Dodds, a well-known paranormal investigator who visited the Ancient Ram Inn while filming The ParaPod Movie, to get some advice. The comedian advised me to try to sleep in the building, specifically in the Bishop’s Room, to make myself more vulnerable and open to potential encounters with the supernatural. Barry said, “Try making yourself completely vulnerable, and you can’t be more vulnerable than when you sleep.”
But that got me thinking. Can’t you be more vulnerable than when you sleep? What about standing in an unfamiliar room with your trousers around your ankles? I’d say that’s a good way to make yourself vulnerable. So, that’s what I ended up doing just after midnight.
I decided to conduct this experiment in the Bishop’s Room, a part of the former inn where visitors have reported encounters with what the building’s former owner, John Humphries, described as a “sex demon”. Some claim that this demon is a male entity known as an incubus that preys on women, while others believe it to be a female counterpart called a succubus that seduces men. Caroline, John’s daughter, explained to me before my night in the inn that it seems to be one demon that changes sex depending on its prey. But could I tempt this demon to show itself by making myself an easy target?
The inn is rigged with night vision CCTV cameras to capture paranormal activity 24/7, so I needed to find a dead spot, a part of the room where there was no security camera coverage. I deemed a spot next to the bedroom door to be safe. Here I was hidden from the wall-mounted camera by the open door between us.
So, in total darkness, I unbuttoned my shirt and threw it on the bed. Then, being careful of my lapel microphone that was looped around my neck, I lifted off my t-shirt. Finally, after pulling my mic pack out of my pocket, I dropped my jeans to my ankles, leaving me standing in the Ancient Ram Inn completely naked. I called out to any spirits or sex demons that might be watching, “I’m vulnerable now. Are you going to do something to me?”
I continued to call out to the empty room, encouraging any entities to confront me. I did feel uneasy being naked in an unfamiliar environment, but I can’t say I was scared or felt threatened by the situation. I was exposed and vulnerable for a few minutes, before deciding that the ghosts of the Ram had probably had enough and got dressed again. The experiment ultimately yielded no unexplained activity.
But that wasn’t the end of it. According to Rosemary Ellen Guiley’s book ‘Demons & Demonology’, a succubus is a demon that takes the form of a beautiful woman in order to seduce a man. They visit men in their sleep – especially men who sleep alone – and cause erotic dreams, nightmares and nocturnal emissions. So the demon would have another chance to attack, as I would later be sleeping in this room too.
Although the bed was surprisingly comfortable, I can’t say I had the most restful night’s sleep in the Bishop’s Room. I didn’t have any erotic dreams or nightmares, and I’m pleased to report no nocturnal emissions whatsoever.
My strip tease wasn’t the only unusual experiment I conducted while I was at the inn. I also set up some DJ decks in the Witch’s Room and played some music for the ghosts of the inn. Having the entire building to myself for a whole night put me in a unique situation, meaning I could pretty much do what I wanted. I went back to basics and just sat in the dark and listened, set up trigger objects with static cameras, and then locked down the building and left for a period of time, trying various approaches and methods to communicate.