In the heart of Old Portsmouth lies a theatre steeped in history—the Groundlings Theatre, a place that has witnessed performances, emotions, and untold stories.
Yet, beyond its stage and theatrical allure, the venue holds a lesser-known tale—a history whispered to be those of inexplicable phenomena. Although I am eager to unravel these mysteries, it is evidence of life beyond this life that I seek to uncover; So, I embarked on a chilling adventure—a night of paranormal investigation at the iconic Groundlings Theatre.
Accompanied by a team of intrepid investigators from DS Hauntings, armed with the latest specialised equipment, our journey began amidst the echoes of past performances and the faint scent of aged timber. The historic significance of the theatre added an extra layer of intrigue to our exploration, heightening the anticipation of what spectral secrets it might hold. Indeed, the location held the title of 'Most Haunted' location in Portsmouth. Was it to disappoint or excite?
Setting up our arsenal of ghost-hunting tools amidst the ornate architecture and storied walls, we aimed to bridge the gap between the tangible and the ethereal. EMF meters stood ready to detect anomalies, EVP recorders poised to capture the faintest whispers from the beyond, and infrared cameras prepared to pierce through the veils of darkness - capturing significant 'Orbs' from the moment we arrived.
As the night descended upon the theatre, a hushed reverence enveloped our team. The air seemed charged with a peculiar energy, an unseen force that tugged at our senses and beckoned us deeper into the unknown. Our investigation led us through the corridors, each step resonating with the echoes of performances and the school long past. The historic significance of the location seemed to magnify the intensity of our experience, as if the spirits of bygone actors and patrons were eager to share their untold tales.
What is Groundlings? A History.
Constructed in 1784, the Grade II* listed building originally served as the home of the Portsea Beneficial Society and the Beneficial School. It held an educational purpose until 1962, making as one of the earliest purpose-built free schools in the UK. In 1837, the inclusion of a girls' school within its walls marked it as one of the pioneering co-educational institutions in the country.
This historic venue, once a gathering place for the esteemed Beneficial Society with notable patrons like Prince Albert and Lord Palmerston, witnessed remarkable events. It hosted Strauss conducting an orchestration in the presence of Queen Victoria and even became the unexpected setting for Charles Dickens' birth, as his mother went into labour during a naval dance, promptly escorted home by her husband.
Fast forward to the present, the space now thrives as Groundlings Theatre. The drama school stands out as the most affordable option in the area, offering unbiased opportunities for individuals of all ages. It is supported by a dedicated volunteer cohort, and allows for multiple work placements and creates secure avenues for individuals to pursue their passions, enhance skills, or reintegrate into paid employment.
Back to the Hunt
In a space known for theatrical performances, our devices became the stage for an otherworldly show. The EVP recorder crackled to life, capturing spectral murmurs that hinted at conversations from another era. The EMF meters flickered sporadically, registering unexplained fluctuations in the theatre's electromagnetic field, hinting at unseen presences lingering within the historic walls.
The theatre's storied past seemed to come alive in unexpected ways. Shadows danced across the stage, defying logical explanation and leaving us in awe of the inexplicable phenomena unfolding before our eyes. Anomalies in temperature fluctuated in distinct areas, creating an atmosphere that felt both surreal and undeniably real.
As the night progressed, the theatre continued with its spectral symphony—a compelling blend of historic resonance and unexplained occurrences. At one stage 'cat balls' came to life almost on command, moved and were played with. I experienced sharp pains in my leg, had I come to blows with the Headmaster and his cane?
Groundlings Theatre, with its rich history and spectral whispers, left an indelible mark on my exploration, reminding me of the enigmatic dimensions that exist parallel to our own.
The historic investigation at Groundlings Theatre was not merely about seeking paranormal thrills; it was a testament to the intertwined tapestry of past life history, mystery, and the unexplained. Already a believer in there being 'more', did I gain the increased proof I was seeking? Yes, in some ways, but no in others.. however, I feel that I am stepping in the right direction, getting closer to the information I seek.
The experience left me with a profound appreciation for the theatre's legacy and a deep curiosity to unearth more of its hidden stories, waiting to be discovered by the curious and the daring. I would love to return as soon as I can for another night of exploration. Links: https://www.groundlings.co.uk/paranormal-events