First of all let me say, wow what a place!!! When you drive up to the furnace the first thing you see is the furnace pyramid itself which includes a little underground tunnel, the surrounding scenery is stunning and there is so much to look at we were a little blown away at first.
We had access to the furnace itself, the attached two cottages, by walking along the river, across a bridge, back up the other side of the river and over the bridge we were able to go into the furnace loft and had access to the roof where we could observe some more of the scenery. After a short walk we could access the kilns and then the woods where there were some very interesting sculptures which take an eerie turn in the dark.
Before that its worth a mention that we went to the Halfway house Pub, not only was the food amazing but we also got the following account from a team member.
Oddly enough the first spirit people that both Cheryl and I noticed were in the pub. One was an old man sitting in a corner. The other was a much younger man who was not only drunk but was a typical pub yob. He was very annoyed that I had noticed him and kept leaving his bar seat to come over and try to intimidate me.
The History of the Furnace:
Sir Francis Rawdon Hastings, the second Earl of Moira, built the furnace in 1804. It was built to produce iron which was used to make machine parts, tram tracks and cannonballs amongst other things.
It was built in 1806, at a cost of £30,000, beside the newly opened Ashby Canal which was to bring raw materials to the furnace and carry the finished iron to be sold in other parts of the country.
The furnace worked from 1806 -1807 and again in 1810 until 1811 when it was blown out. Despite plans to restart operations later in 1811, and even to build a second furnace to operate alongside the first, it appears that no further iron smelting took place. When restoration took place on the furnace in 1981 it still contained a working charge (the last lot of rocks ever poured in to the top).
Something went wrong during smelting that damaged the furnace beyond repair. It seems that the top of the furnace (rather than the bottom) became much too hot causing the chimney lining to melt and fall into the furnace.
After this, the furnace was shut down though the foundry attached to the furnace carried on working for another 40 years or so using iron made elsewhere.
Moira’s future lay with coal not iron. The furnace building survived because it was used as cottages, some of which were lived in until the 1970s.
We started by just generally getting a feel for the place, because of the time of year we decided to start a late investigation as it was light until about 10pm, it took quite some time to wander round the whole area but we were aided by the model map in the loft and it also gave us time to take pictures, there was plenty of places to explore including the kilns and wood were we were able to picture the working life back when the kilns were still working, we also explored the woods where some areas had been set up as an enchanted forest which of course we all enjoyed.
We spilt into to two groups, my group went up to the loft first, we started with just calling out and using the spirit box, unfortunately my speaker wasn’t working so we had to try and listen to the box, we were getting words through but it was very hard to hear, at this point Joy listen to her voice recorder and in between questions we could hear a low murmuring, we could also hear tapping and knocking noises from above and around us, as there is nothing above us these were unexplained and as it is a solid stone structure we could rule out birds on the roof. We continued for a while and heard footsteps and other noises that we could not explain.
We then moved to the second room and decided to try scrying with the large mirror in the childrens area, Stacey took the lead. It began with Me (Emma) sitting in the chair, my face changed quite quickly into that of an old man, I could feel a burning feeling in my throat and it felt like I was breathing in very hot air into my lungs, I was also feeling very tired and achy in my body as if I had been working or lifting all day. Other members of the team tried it and there were various other feelings they had, most felt like they were young men, some complained of their faces burning as if they were too close to the fire, one had a black eye and felt like they had been hit in the face, Stacey then tried it and she said she felt like a young man in his twenty’s, she could feel her face burning and was complaining of a pain in the back of her head, we tried to hold a conversation with the young man but at this point Stacey blanked out and stopped responding so we brought her out of the trance like state she was in.
The second team also tried scrying and at one point Matt was taking over by a very angry man, the team were able to talk to the man through matt and they established that he worked there and other information that was relevant to the furnace, again at this point Matt seemed to be taken over by the spirit and the rest of the team decided that it was time to stop and let him take a break.
We then took a break and continued to investigate the main building, we started at the top room and found that we felt various feelings and could hear knocking etc. but some of it we ruled out with the team being in the loft above us but some remained unexplained as the sounds were much different form footsteps, we then moved to the room next door but very little happened, we decided to move to the next building as we were going downstairs Liam heard on the closed toilet door which scared him so the intrepid explorers decided to investigate the toilet, in the corner was a strategically placed headless mannequin on a rocking chair, Joy then told us that she had seen the rocking chair move earlier in the evening and so we decided to check it out, we found out that the chair was lodged against the skirting bored and in fact couldn’t move at all so we couldn’t explain this, we spent some time in there and at one point 5 out of 6 of the investigators thought they could see the chair rocking, we thought it might be our imaginations but this continued for a few minutes then stopped, we decide at this point to take a break.
After the break we went as a team to investigate the Kilns, the kilns are a two minute walk away for the furnace and are still intact, there wasn’t much activity there but several people said they could see two angry people standing on the top of the kilns, we decided to go on top of the kilns and although we didn’t see anything up there we some of us felt a unwelcoming presence up there.
We then moved onto the woods, it was 2am by then and as you can imagine we had to remain focused so we didn’t spook ourselves, there were deer and other animals all around us so it was very hard to decipher one noise from another until we were used to it. We chose to start our vigil at the toadstool story circle, unintentionally this was probably a mistake, most people reading this know that circles can hold a power of their own and with the extra energy that the children would have generated earlier in the day we were in a fully charged situation, so with me leading we lit some candles, we began by calling out, immediately Carla became very distressed, she felt that we were being watched by many people, she tried to calm herself down while we continued, we heard some sticks breaking behind us, now we are aware that there are animals around us but we also heard footsteps at the same time that were very heavy and human like, Carla continued to be distressed but said she wanted to carry on, we again thought we heard the footsteps at this point Carla said she couldn’t take anymore and we decided to leave, we were then told by Matt that we were in fact surrounded by wandering spirits who all wanted to communicate at once and we would need to separate them, this is something we are going to try next time we are there.
We then split up again 4 of us went back to the loft with the stickman the rest of the team returned to the main building. Once we got to the loft we started to call out, almost immediately a figure formed, it looked like it was sitting or crouching and was using their hands to work on something, the figure would appear and disappear and needed encouragement to stay, on the other side of the loft we had two figures come up, one was actually sitting at the turning wheel and seemed to be mimicking the actions of turning the handle, the other figure also seemed to overlap the first and seemed to be doing the same job, we clearly had two figures there, maybe they shared the same job in the past.
Overall we had an excellent night at the furnace, there are areas we would like to revisit for me it is definitely the woods and the loft, we will be returning there next year, if you want to join us, keep an eye on the website.
Watching Carla in the mirror, turn from a youngish man into an old man with black swept back hair. She said she lived there but didn’t work there.
I took a photo of an odd light anomaly in one of the rooms upstairs, also hated the woods very uncomfortable and felt very vulnerable. Scrying got really good results had an old man come through and when I did it again later had a lady come through.
Matt did scrying and had a man come through that was extremely angry which made us all a bit nervous as he looked really mad. He also picked up on a lady in the upstairs room that didn’t want to interact with us and didn’t want us there and it was her we think who said go away on the evp.
For me the bits that stand out from the evening were these…. The woman who stood by the window but wasn’t happy to interact and the evp Cheryl caught with her saying go away. Next the scrying sessions. The kilns were interesting. We were being watched by at least 3 people from above but when i tried to approach them they blocked me. The forest was possibly approached badly by us. Its my fault for not saying anything. The problem is that open spaces are home to wandering spirits. By forming a circle and calling out we become a massive beacon that attracts everything that notices you. Its an amazing experience but can be overwhelming for some. Luckily I was taught how to hold the spirit people back so there was never any danger. I was very surprised at how quickly it happened. Since Gary retuned my reiki master level and showed me how to work as a medium i have noticed that spirit people see me much more and seek me out.