A Load Of Orbs 1
The peculiar thing we've discovered at Tredegar House is their remarkable proliferation - it's very difficult for us not to snap an orb!
This fine example was captured during this most recent visit of our friendly psychic, Gafyn. I quote at length from the e-mail that Paul, our resident expert, sent me after their afternoon's scurrying through the cellars on 17/3/06.
"Gafyn felt lots of things as he went round the House but nothing greatly specific, except when we entered the cellars. I hadn't realised that Gafyn had never really been down there. As soon as he entered the Receiving Cellar he was hit with all kinds of images. He saw people conducting a ritual involving the consumption of red wine with a drop of blood in it, and all sorts of strange goings-on. He became absolutely convinced that it was here, in the room where the focus of the natural spring is probably strongest (you can see it bubbling up in one corner of the bath, underneath the makeshift stage that was erected for Halloween) was the Magic Room. He even felt that much of the supernatural activity had its centre, if not its actual source, in the Receiving Cellar.
[The location of Lord Evan's Magic Room is something of a mystery. We know that he had one; many guests reported being shown it. Though the House was stuffed with occult paraphenalia throughout (all of which was buried somewhere in the grounds by a footman after Evan's death, on the instructions of the last Lord Tredegar), the precise location of the room is unclear. Aleister Crowley, a life-long friend of Evan's, states in unpublished diaries that it was "the largest and best equipped magic room that I have seen." No mean claim from a man who once had his own Abbey!
The receiving cellar does seem to be a good location for a secret area; the two doors into it can be locked without affecting the the flow through rest of the house, and it is sufficiently away from the main areas for the necessary privacy. In addition to the natural energies associated with the spring that rises in the receiving cellar, the cellar also contains two medieval stone heads of pagan design - a Green man, and possibly a Wild Man of the Woods. Where these came from is uncertain, but they have been in the house probably since the 1660's, if not a hang over from the previous Tudor building (or earlier - the lost 1385 home of Llewellyn ap Morgan)]
"We took some photos on Rob's digital camera. Several orbs were apparent, but the most curious moment occurred in the Game Larder (we really did roam EVERYWHERE today; including the Housekeeper's Flat, Nursery Wing and Flour Room), Rob took a photo and nothing was present, then, just seconds later, he took a photo of Gafyn in the same spot. [see above - Goff] Gafyn started posing and messing around for the camera. When Rob examined the image he was stunned to find a very large orb on, or near, Gafyn's head. When zoomed in, the orb seems very unlike dust, in that it is perfectly spherical, and almost like a golf ball, although considerably bigger. Very interesting."
Indeed! Is this a manifestation? Or is it just a trick of the way digital camera's form their images? Or is it dust, or internal light refraction? Frankly, you can make you own mind up! All I do know is we get a large number of them, in all sorts of conditions. Rare is the one thing they're not.
The House does seem to have a strange effect on electrical equipment. Batteries drain, and filming in the House can be very irksome for the cameramen, who have to keep reloading new batteries. On one occasion I was escorting a gentleman from ASAP (the Association for the Study of anomalous Phenomena) through the house with a video camera. We were about to enter the Master's Bed Chamber, and said "Now, this is the room with the most sinister reputation in the House!" and he said, "Oh, it's stopped! The battery's gone flat. Don't worry, I have my camera!"
The batteries in his camera had also gone flat.