Storyteller: Investigating spooky tales in Kingsteignton

Torbay Weekly

We recently had a new front door fitted and Sarah, my partner, got one of her friends to do the job for us.

It was the first time I’d met the chap, so while he worked, we chatted.

I told him about my new business venture, Moors Tours, and my interest in spooky tales.

We ended up swapping stories, I told him about the dog I saw in its owner’s house after being dead for 10 days, while he replied with his story about the house he used to live in in Kingsteignton, and he kindly agreed to let me share it with you...

Some years ago, he moved into a new house in Kingsteignton with his wife. He was aware of the history of the property, that the previous owner had also owned the surrounding land and had sold it to developers who built bungalows on it to form a cul-de-sac.

His wife had passed away while living there, and the owner himself had actually died at home.

This hadn’t bothered our friend, he proceeded to settle in and undertook a few alterations here and there as time went on.

Initially all was well, but after a few months, banging noises started that seemed to emanate from the kitchen. In fact, it was the cupboard doors.

No one else was in the house but someone was opening the cupboards and closing them rather loudly!

This went on for the best part of a year, nothing else happened, just the banging doors, never seen just heard.

Then it stopped. It was as if someone wanted to let the new occupants know they weren’t alone, then, once they had accepted them, they ceased the activity.

Our friend stayed there for many years after that, making his alterations, even putting in new kitchen cupboards but nothing else odd happened.

Until they decided to move...

During the packing up and moving out process, the banging started again, almost as though the previous owner didn’t want them to leave!

They moved out and soon settled again, thinking no more about their odd experience, as it certainly hadn’t followed them.

Then one day the new owner of the bungalow called round to see our friend, with some post she had received for him, and, while they chatted, it transpired that things weren’t well in her new home.

During his time there, our friend had turned a garage into another bedroom, putting it on a different level to the rest of the house.

The new owner had two teenage boys, one of whom had taken this bedroom for his own, and straightaway banging noises had started in the bathroom on the floor above.

This had scared him so much that he was forced to abandon this room and share one with his brother.

They were both in a state of trepidation as to what else might happen.

Our friend hasn’t seen the woman since but he is aware that she and her family still live there, so either they all got used to the activity, or it stopped.

I believe the energy given off by the teenage boys was enough to activate the old owner, allowing him to get up to his old tricks again, just showing them who was boss!

Staying in Kingsteignton, one of TIP’s first big cases was at The Bell Inn, down in the village.

We had been asked to investigate, by the landlord, after his daughter started refusing to sleep in her bedroom at night, claiming there was a scary man in there!

I got my team together, including several good mediums among them a psychic artist.

We made many visits to the pub, by day and at night, and on more than one occasion the mediums sensed there was someone hanging outside on the wall.

In-between our visits, I was busy doing some research. I found out that the leat that runs outside of the pub was built to provide the water for the watermills that used to stand further down the lane.

These mills produced bread for the local community, and, back in the day when times were hard, they came under attack by the poor who raided and looted the properties for all they could get!

These became known historically as the Bread Riots, and anyone who was caught taking part in said riots, received the full force of the law, and, if found guilty, the punishment was death by hanging.

Back in those days, the guilty were often punished at the scene of their crimes, so, as many participants would have been involved in rioting, it is possible that any hanging space at the mills would have been full, so the walls of the pub up the road would have been utilised too for execution purposes.

So were our mediums seeing just such a victim of the bread riots?

During one of our visits, the psychic artist was able to draw the portrait of the person we suspected was hung outside, and, when it was shown to the landlord’s daughter, she confirmed it was a good likeness.

The mediums were able to communicate with this man, and he told them how he was innocent. He had gotten caught up in the throng as the real rioters fled the scene, and taken off to prison by soldiers who were grabbing anyone they could.

Once in court, no one would listen to him pleading his innocence. He then described vividly how, after being found guilty, he was marched back to the lane, by soldiers brandishing pikes, to where the pub and the mills stood, and strung up by his neck until he died.

When asked why he was still there, he said he just wanted to make someone believe he was innocent.

The mediums said that they did, asking him nicely to leave, as his presence was frightening the young girl whose room he was in.

Whether that request did the trick or not we will never know, for, at that same time, the girl was presented with her own TV for her bedroom, and she never mentioned the scary man in her room again.

Whatever the case, that was another happy ending to a TIP investigation!