Ghost hunters are investing an abandoned woodland site where paranormal activity is said to make people ‘want to kill’.
A haunted well in Langdon Hills country park, Essex, has stood derelict for almost 100 years, and for good reason.
Essex Ghost Hunters say it is one of the most haunted locations they have ever visited.
The well, which sits near to an old sanatorium, has not been used since 1924 and is said to be haunted by the ghosts of 20 children.
It was first sunk in the 1900s by businessman Edwin Cash, who attempted to source local water with high mineral content and potential health benefits.
He went on to bottle and sell the water to local chemists and stores, before his company went under just a few years later.
He died in 1931, but according to the group, his spirit remains at the site and haunts visitors who venture near.
Elliot Hawkins, a reporter from Essex Live met the hunters who seek answers by awakening the dead.
Arriving at a gated entrance one of the ghost hunters, Russell Old said he already sensed the presence of several spirits.
He said: “There is a gentleman in uniform, he’s law abiding. The men tend to pick up more on this gentleman and you hear him quite clearly shifting and moving.
“We’ll stand and watch out and a couple of times guests have asked who’s walking down the path. When we go inside there are two ladies, one on each side, with two completely different stories.
“Now that we’re talking, I know that one lady has joined us.”
Hunters like Russell have been coming Cash’s Well for almost 15 years, but say they still have the same experiences every time they return.
“My arms have gone goosebumpy,” Russell added. “We’ve all got an aura, which is scientifically proven. We’ve all got a two-inch energy bubble that surrounds us all the time.
“When spirits come close they will interact with that bubble, something has moved your aura and it’s wobbling. The two energies pull apart and that’s what causes the vibration.”
As the group got to Cash’s Well, Russell explained the spirits of 20 children, believed to have lived at the old sanatorium at the top of the hill, had already come into contact.
Russell said: “We get our guests to stand there and the children will come and hold their hands.
“We’ll get them to pull on the guests’ fingers, two for a boy or one for a girl, and they’ll get that physical sensation.”
The well is tucked away in the corner of the woods, surrounded by towering trees and covered in overgrowth. As Russell put it, you could walk straight past it.
Left to degrade and waste away, much of the stone has been stripped back, leaving the walls barren and bare.
It’s owner Mr Cash is the angriest of the spirits that dwell there, says Russell.
He told the group: “Mr Cash won’t like me down there tonight, he doesn’t like me and I don’t particularly like him,” Russell explained. “There’s no love lost between us.
“This is well number five. The sanatorium flooded and all the dirty water flowed down the hill and flooded his well. This is why Mr Cash doesn’t like me because of what I call his water.
“But he never stopped selling his water, he continued bottling it and selling it and he called it the best clear-out water in Essex because it gave everyone upset stomachs and made them feel sick.
“We’ve always tried to get our hands on a bottle but there’s only one that we know of. You can see where the bottling area used to be because you can see all the glass.”
After ten years of investigations at Cash’s Well, the group have plenty of stories to tell.
“We conduct our séances here,” Russell said. “We all stand up, hold hands and draw the energy in.
“We’ve had people’s noses going down that well after being pushed over, and we’ve had the whole group pushed out the door.
“We’ve had people who come here, do not believe us, and they’ve got their noses touching the floor. People stand there saying ‘why are my hands moving?’
“They’re trying to push it down but they can’t, then all the hands are in the air.
“On the other side through the bushes, it’s a bit sinister, you see a lot of light anomalies. A lot of it is psychological but you’ll get a lot of people who don’t want to stand with their backs to the window or by the door.”
“We’ve had so many people who just burst out in tears,” he added. “When people come on a paranormal investigation or a ghost hunt, they’re looking for a ghost. What they want is Casper to come up and shake them on the hand, but that doesn’t work.
“The séances are intense because you’re concentrating the energies.”
Others have become suddenly aggressive at the site, developing a murderous rage.
“We had a guy who was seven feet tall, stocky, broad, and he was the nicest guy you’d ever spoken to, but we took him up to the top of the hill and he got so aggressive.
“The others were telling me that he wasn’t right and he’d never spoken to anyone like that. He was cursing and throwing his arms around, so we had to turn him around.
“We had to talk to him to get him out and all of a sudden he came back to us. He said ‘I just wanted to kill everybody’.
You do worry, you could see his hands and he was really containing something.”
According to the group, the energy around Cash’s Well can change in blink of an eye.
“I can’t say we’ve had any sort of dull nights here,” Russell added. “With the paranormal, you’re never going to prove it. There’s always going to be an opposite side to the story.
“That’s not what we do it for, it’s a hobby.”
Henry Lock, who’s been with the group for two years, added: “We always say to our guests, you believe in what you want to believe in. We’re not here to change your mind.”
All of the Essex Ghost Hunters investigations and experiences for 2020 will be soon be available on their Facebook page .