St Botolphes, Skidbrooke Church, Lincolnshire.
My interest in Skidbrooke Church began when I came across it in a Polygram video in 1991 entitled, Ghost. In one segment Robin Furman leader of the Grimsby Ghostbusters (hate the name, love their methods) was asked by a group of students to look at Skidbrooke Church which stood abandoned but still consecrated in the middle of the Lincolnshire flatlands nestled behind a row of tall trees. They described how they had visited the church for fun but once the sun had gone down the atmosphere changed and became quite threatening. The group fled from the building after a rotating grey cloud materialised in the altar and chased them out across the graveyard and down to their car.
Furman and his team turned up at the church to find black magic symbols etched onto the walls and floors, some of which were constructed from red wax, decaying corpses of dead birds littering the grounds, and tombs which had been vandolised and opened. That night the Ghostbusters equipment picked up wild fluctuations in temperature in the porch and the female member of the group claimed she was touched by unseen hands. Later in the investigation a revolving cloud manifested in the altar which one of the group dispersed with a light gun the team call a tractron beam. Furmans final word on the case was that the church had become home to a kind of vampire. He even claims to have seen a vampire bat flying about in the rafters...
Amazing stuff? Well, it seemed to good to be true so in 1992 three friends and I began a series of vigils at the church to see if there was any truth to the tale. We got there to find that the tombstones were indeed disturbed, there were pentagrams on the floors and walls, and there were decaying birds corpses littering the footpath but were they caused by a vampire? We think it is far more likely they were caused naturally by the Kestrel which was nesting at the front of the church.
During are over night stays we experienced footsteps criss crossing the church, incredibly loud crashes, stone throwing, the grass and bushes in the graveyard moving in a weird way, a transparent figure stood in the altar, and on more than one occasion,doors slamming shut in front of are faces. A tape recorder which was running constantly on the font steps managed to pick up a series of footsteps followed by a deep sigh.
So impressed was I with what I had witnessed that I wrote up my findings in the SPR (Society for Psychical Research ) journal, resulting in two other groups visiting the church and carrying out investigations. An investigator from Leicester later wrote to me and told me how his equipment continually malfunctioned while in the church but was fine when he returned home, and two members of the Anglia Paranormal Research Group, said they heard loud bangs but they decided they were down to a plastic bottle falling from a window ledge !
Finally, Uri Gellers Encounters magazine (January 1997) interviewed all involved and managed to get the facts hopelessly wrong.
The nights I spent in the dark confines of St Botolphes Church are without doubt the most terrifying I have ever experienced.