In this episode we investigate paranormal activity in Heidelberg, Germany. Dating back two thousand years and one of the oldest cities in Europe, Heidelberg has long been a hot spot of paranormal activity.
Heidelburg - a view from the castle our location is the peak of the hill opposite
We began our investigation in an ancient monastery, built on a site that stretches back to Roman times and earlier. Some local experts believe the monastery is on a leyline - an invisible spiritual connection between man made structures which makes it more prone to ghostly occurrences.
Ley Lines are apparent alignments of places of significance in the geography of an area, often including man-made structures. They are in the older sense, ancient, straight trackways more commonly associated with the British landscape, or in the newer sense, spiritual and mystical alignments of land forms.
The phrase was coined in 1921 by the amateur archaeologist Alfred Watkins, referring to supposed alignments of numerous places of geographical and historical interest, such as ancient monuments and megaliths, natural ridge-tops and water-fords. In his books Early British Trackways and The Old Straight Track, he sought to identify ancient trackways in the British landscape. Watkins later developed theories that these alignments were created for ease of overland trekking by line-of-sight navigation during neolithic times, and had persisted in the landscape over millennia.
In his book The View Over Atlantis (1969), the writer John Michell revived the term "ley lines", associating it with spiritual and mystical theories about alignments of land forms, drawing on the Chinese concept of feng shui. He believed that a mystical network of ley lines existed across Britain.
Since the publication of Michell's book, the spiritualised version of the concept has been adopted by other authors and applied to landscapes in many places around the world. Both versions of the theory have been criticised on the grounds that a random distribution of a sufficient number of points on a plane will inevitably create alignments of random points purely by chance.
Our opening segment was filmed at Heidelburg Castle and this is home to the largest wine vat in the world. Built from the trunks of 130 oak trees, the Heidelberg Tun is an enormous wine barrel, capable of holding 219,000 litres of wine. But disappointingly for wine-lovers, this wine barrel has not been used to store wine since the late 18th century. Ten years after the barrel was built, it began to decay and spring leaks. The last extensive repair was in 1767 and after that it was decided to retire the barrel and keep it as a show piece for visitors to the castle.
We started the investigation at the the monastery of St. Michael which was founded here in 1023, attributed to Abbot Regimbald. Here Ian made psychic contact with the spirit of a dead monk, who led us to a place called locally as The Heathen Hole. Its purpose has never been proven but some believe the mysterious 50 meter deep hole is where souls of the dead are still trapped.
View down the Heathen Hole
The trip up the hill for our night time investigation was interesting to say the least. After an enjoyable meal in the city below we climbed into Steves van who was driving us to the location. It had already started snowing by the time we had finished our meal and half way up the hill the road had become snow covered. Near the top the traction was perilous and Steve fearing for our safety as much as his own decided that we should get out and walk while he braved the summit alone. Thankfully we all made it in one piece and started our search at the Heathen hole.
The activity was quite intense with what sounded like women and children screaming through our walkie talkies almost in answer to our questions. The logical explanation was that we were picking up children playing on the same frequency as our own radios however this was quite a remote location and we know that the range of our equipment is limited and still have no definite answer for what caused the phenomena.
After returning to the monastary Ian decided that the only way to put the spirits to rest is by drawing them out through a dramatic ritual involving myself back at the heathen hole. The suggestion was that I was to lie face down while Ian offered me up as a sacrifice. I have been asked countless times was I scared? The answer is yes not so much of the sacrificial part but more so of the integrity of the steel structure that I was led on. If it had given way then the sacrifice would have been complete. Thankfully I lived to carry on with more episodes of Ghost Chasers.
Here is the Heathen Hole segment for you to enjoy again.
The following evening was an investigation I will never forget, not because of the activity so much, but it was here on March 2nd 2016 I celebrated my birthday, at the magnificent Frankenstein Castle, near the town of Darmstadt.
It’s the site where a bizarre series of 18th century medical experiments to bring the dead back to life inspired the young Mary Shelley to write her famous novel.
Aside from Mary Shelleys Frankenstein Novel there is another famous myth linked to this castle. It is said that long ago a dangerous dragon lived in the garden near the well at the castle of Burg Frankenstein. The peasants of a neighboring village (Nieder-Beerbach) lived in fear of the mighty dragon. It is said the dragon would creep in at night and eat the villagers and their children in their sleep. One day a knight by the name of Lord George rode into town. The townsfolk were desperate, seeing a brave knight gave them hope, and they poured out their troubles and sorrows as he promised to help them. The next day he put on his armor and rode up to the castle, into the garden and straight to the well where the dragon was taking a rest in the sun. Lord George got off his horse and attacked the dragon. The dragon fought for his life, puffed and spewed out fire and steam. Hours passed as the two continued to battle. Finally, just as the knight was about to drop from exhaustion, and just as the dragon was going to drop from exhaustion, the knight plunged his sword into the underbelly of the beast and was victorious. But as the dragon struggled in agony, it coiled its tail with the poisonous spine around the knight's belly and stung. Lord George and the dragon both fell. The villagers were so happy and relived that the dragon was finally slain they wanted to give the knight a proper, honorable burial. They brought him to the Church of Nieder Beerbach, in the valley on the east side of the castle, and gave him a marvelous tomb. To this day, you can still visit and pay your respects to Lord George, the Knight who slayed the Dragon in the 1200s.
Ian and Paul discussing the myths of the castle.
This was quite a building to investigate although did prove quite frustrating for myself and Paul as the sound anomalies were difficult to pinpoint because of the acoustic nature of the castle.
What was also confusing was the level of Electro magnetic field (EMF) in certain areas of this location. It is highly unusual to get a zero reading yet this is what we were reading here. The only assumption we made was that there could have been metalic properties within some of the stonework that were affecting our readings. However we have never experienced this before at any other location.
After one of the vigils within the chapel area Kay did complain of feeling unwell he did appear to get back to his normal self when accompanied by Paul went outside for some air. This is quite common phenomena in many locations of reported paranormal phenomena, although could have more of a psychological bearing than anything out of the ordinary.
The most remarkable phenomena was how the wind picked up as Ian was linked in to the the spirit of a lady whom he felt had been part of experimentation. As he was trying to lay her troubled soul to rest the wind mysteriously died to an unnerving calm. Was this paranormal phenomena or just a coincidence. I will leave that for you to make your own mind up but for us Frankensteins Castle had been a fantastic place to tick off our bucket list and we hope to return someday to continue our investigation.
For more Insights into the making of Ghost Chasers please visit Paul Hobdays Blog on his website.
Ghost Chasers airs on Sky Channel 564 or at Insight.tv