We’re Laura and Mark, paranormal researchers with a lifelong interest in things that go bump in the night. Active field investigators and authors with media experience, here we hope to share our journey into the unknown with you. If you require any assistance with paranormal related matters, please do not hesitate to contact us, where we can discuss further and hopefully provide some help and guidance.
Sunday, 6 September 2015
The fallacy of relying upon third party data – The Bull Hotel, Long Melford, Suffolk.
In most of our accounts that we have published, we often
only hint at what we have recorded or found during our visit to a location.
This intention is deliberate as, from a paranormal
perspective, the information is no more, nor no less reliable than any other
paranormal account you may read and, more importantly, if we do discover
something that is different to what everyone else is reporting, we don’t want
to put it in the public domain in case it ‘influences’ anyone else who follows
us at a location.
We wouldn’t wish to put words in anyone else’s mouth would
One such case that springs immediately to mind was our
visits to The Bull Hotel, in the sleepy village of Long Melford, of Lovejoy
fame, where what we found was different to all the published accounts you can read.
What we found there was completely at odds to everything else that went before
In spite of this, we were able to validate our ‘discoveries’,
thanks to a respected local historian and his wide network of contacts and, a
close friend, via his own independent investigations at the location, that, for
us at least, turned the ‘known’ paranormal history on its head.
The Bull Hotel
The Bull has a long and interesting history for the
paranormal researcher, including a link to Borley Rectory.
Believed to have been built sometime in the mid 1400’s, this
was the hotel where Harry Price stayed whilst carrying out his investigations
at the Rectory, which itself used to stand a mile or two to the south west,
just over the border in neighbouring Essex.
The Bull Hotel, Long Melford
It is also well known for at least two alleged haunting –
a set of brawling brothers and, that of Richard Evered / Everard, murdered in
1648 and left to roam the rooms and corridors to this very day.
As an aside, I find it ironic that despite Price being
the foremost paranormal researcher of his day, he never (publically at least) acknowledged
any of these hauntings, despite staying at the hotel on many occasions.
We’ve made a couple of visits to the hotel over time, with
each occasion Laura appearing to tap into the history of the building.
Whilst I also recorded our sessions there, both audio and
visual, unfortunately, we have never been able to record any EVP (Electronic
Voice Phenomena) there.
Laura herself was unfamiliar with the history of the
building (paranormal or otherwise) or, indeed, the village of Long Melford
Whilst Laura came out with a variety of information
during our visits, for this purpose of this article, I’ll focus on the
information that I’ve taken to relate directly to the two incidents that I
mentioned earlier – the ‘fighting brothers’ and ‘Richard Evered / Everard’.
Depending on which account you read, these brothers were
fighting in the upper corridor of the hotel over the discovery of one of the brother’s
advances towards the other’s wife. Or something else entirely different.
They were fighting, very noisily and still are to this
very day, if the story is to be believed.
The upper corridor appearing to be the main focus of
activity in the hotel, we obviously based ourselves in this area.
During our time there, Laura advised of two separate
fights in the upper corridor.
The first fight was between two men, who were from rival
pubs in a dispute over ownership of the hotel.
The Cock and Bell is almost opposite The Bull on the other
side of the main road and it’s tempting to link one of the men to it, but we
have nothing to connect the two.
Laura felt that the hotel had changed name. It was
something about the name – a different name in fact. Little did we know at the
time as to how significant this last bit of information was to turn out for us.
Laura also placed the fight in a very different location to
where tradition dictated that it had taken place. This, again, was very
interesting as events transpired.
The second fight involved two brothers, although they
weren’t actually fighting, but a significant dispute at that. Laura also picked
up a surname relating to the brothers that I will not document here.
On a further visit, Laura was given the information that
one of the brothers did rape / attempted to rape the others wife.
This second fight ties in with the known paranormal
history of the location, although it doesn’t appear to fit the very audible
element that witnesses have described.
As I mentioned earlier, Laura was not aware of the history
of the hotel, so should not have been influenced by anything that had been
written about the location. What she picked up departed majorly from the ‘accepted’
account of the haunting, so to summarise:
actually appeared to be at least two fights recorded in the fabric of the
‘noisy /violent’ fight that was traditionally placed at one point in the
corridor was actually in a totally different location; and
‘noisy / violent’ fight was not between the two brothers but two totally
Post investigation, I undertook my usual research and thought
that the best place to start would be in relation to the change of name to The
Bull – this was exact information which would generate either a positive or
I could not recall ever reading that The Bull Hotel had a
previous name during my initial researches and, again, I could find no mention whatsoever
any change in name of the hotel no matter what source I referred to.
Indeed, where ever I looked, it was confirmed in stark black
and white, that the building had a short life as a private house, before
converting to its present use, for which it has continued trading continuously for
almost 400 years.
Things were not looking too good.
However, being a thorough sort of chap, I was given the
contact details of the local historian in Long Melford by a work colleague, who
I decided that I would take as the final authority on the matter and leave things
I subsequently made contact with the gentleman and, not
wanting to disclose how I had actually came about the information, I explained
that I had overheard a conversation that the hotel had actually traded under
another name prior to being named ‘The Bull’ and I was trying to establish if
this was true or otherwise.
The historian quickly advised that I had indeed contacted
the right person, as, if anyone would know, about this it would be him.
And......., he went on to advise, it has always traded
under its current guise, having converted from a private dwelling.
Sadly, there was no other name. Case closed.
Or so I thought.
A couple of days later, the historian contacted me out of
He said that I’d piqued his interest with what I had sought
to find out and wanted to know where I’d got the information from.
Suspicious, I simply repeated that I was keen on local
history and I’d just overheard a conversation where this had come up in
Clearly disappointed at hearing this, he nevertheless
went on to explain his reason for getting in touch.
Curious about my question, the very next day he’d
contacted his colleague at the Suffolk Records Office in nearby Bury St
Edmunds, who again came back with the information that we both already knew – The
Bull was the first and only trading name.
However, they too were also very interested in what I’d
said (it must have been a slow week at the records office), so they went off
and did some digging.
The next day the historian was contacted by a very
excited researcher, who said that they’d managed to locate a 17th
Century Will that described a “*** ****** of Sudbury, who briefly owned The
Bull, formally known as *** ******” - another trading name.
Stunned, I thanked the historian for his time and asked
him to pass on my appreciation to his colleague at the Suffolk Records Office.
I promised faithfully that I would direct the people I’d heard having the
conversation there way, if I ever encountered them again.......
The rear courtyard of The Bull
The murder of Richard
Evered / Everard
Accepted accounts state that Richard, a yeoman, was
stabbed to death in the entrance hall of The Bull in a dispute over politics or,
more precisely, defending the Royalist side in the English Civil War.
The date of his murder, 1648, fits the timeline of the
civil war, which was fought 1642 to 1651.
Ever since, the ghost of Richard is said to haunt the Hotel,
along with his murderer, Roger Greene (who went to the gallows), have both being
blamed for the footsteps and other ghostly happenings at the location ever
After picking up on the fights, the flow of information that
Laura appeared to be tapping into started to slow down. However, she was picking up on the odd
snippet, including a name.
It was indistinct but, she felt that it could have been
Everard or Everett.
At the time I made the note, I couldn’t recall the name
of the murder victim attached to the story, so I simply scribbled it down and
left things at that. With effort put into establishing the facts surrounding
the name change of the hotel, believe it or not, I’ve never mentioned the
significance of the name to Laura until a couple of minutes ago when I was writing
this account and referring back to my original notes.
I know, I know....
Laura also advised at the same point that someone was
killed ‘here’ with an axe.
However, she couldn’t be sure if this was in connection
with the Everard name, or a totally different event.
Most traditional accounts only refer to a ‘stabbing’ so,
with the new realisation regarding the hit with the name, this now gives me
further impetus to try and establish the exact murder weapon used upon poor
More is uncovered
As with most things, once you’ve made a visit to a location,
the next one beckons.... soon our attentions were turned elsewhere and the case
filed in pending, awaiting further attention.
A couple of years since our last visit had passed and I found
myself having a telephone conversation with our close friend and fellow
paranormal researcher Jason, on a totally different matter, when the topic of
The Bull Hotel came up.
He mentioned that he’d, unbeknown to us at that point,
had also investigated the location and had the opportunity interview some
former and current staff members, who had shared their experiences of the Hotel
One, in particular, had reported often hearing a loud
noise, like a violent fight, in the upstairs corridor, but whenever she got
near as she went to investigate, the noise immediately stopped and there was no
Interestingly, she put the ‘fight’ in the same location
as Laura, which was different to where it was traditionally assumed to be.
During our visits there, amongst other things, Laura had reported
seeing large black dogs in the upstairs rooms. Interestingly, these had also
been witnessed by the same person whilst working at the hotel and were assumed
to be the animals of a former owner of the hotel.
It has been reported that dogs appear fearful of being at
the hotel but, I am unable to find any references to the more paranormal type
being witnessed so far.
Laura picked up far more information whilst at The Bull
than I’ve documented here, with additional names and events that warrant further
However, as we plough through reports that others have
filed online generally, we felt it important to illustrate the fallacy of
relying upon the accepted history of a location when undertaking an investigation
– many just seem to regurgitate what has been written before by others.
It would have been very easy to just dismiss the information
that Laura picked up, on the basis that they were at odds with the ‘well
established’ facts of the paranormal history of this particular location, which
have been written in stone in the annals of history so to speak, for many
So, do not dismiss your own data – do so at your peril.
In spite of what you find contradicting what is ‘known’
about a location, it is important to pursue your research to the very end and
you may be pleasantly surprised with the results – I know that we were.
As always, we would be keen to learn of any other
experiences at the location, so don’t be shy, feel free to contact us and
discuss, privately if you would prefer.