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The whiff of fuel, a spirit's footsteps and ghostly voices at Rougham airfield

PUBLISHED: 19:00 15 March 2019

Rougham Control Tower Picture: GREGG BROWN

Rougham Control Tower Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ghostly goings-on at a former World War Two RAF station have excited spirit hunters who braved an overnight visit.

Ghost Hunt UK took a group on a visit to Rougham airfield Picture: GHOST HUNT UKGhost Hunt UK took a group on a visit to Rougham airfield Picture: GHOST HUNT UK

Rougham airfield, just outside Bury St Edmunds, has a rich war-time history so it is not entirely surprising it is on the ghost hunters’ trail.

Home of the 94th Bombardment Group, it opened in 1942 and many airman lost their lives on missions from Rougham or on their return.

The group Ghost Hunt UK said after their visit to Rougham Control Tower they were suffering from “a paranormal hangover”.

Clare Wagg, of Ghost Hunt UK, said on their Facebook page: “What a night we had!

An old picture of Rougham airfield provided by the Rougham Control Tower Aviation Museum.An old picture of Rougham airfield provided by the Rougham Control Tower Aviation Museum.

“All in all, it was a very interesting and interactive night giving us more questions then answers, some nice experiences and some names both new and old.”

Guests’ phones captured electronic voice phenomena (EVP) of a lady who gave her name to the group, but the mirror scrying - a technique to detect messages or visions - was “the star of the night”.

Ms Wagg said: “Two separate groups picked up on a cross-eyed spirit and one man got a very howling experience as he was observed changing from human to canine.

“There was no denying that the reflection on the mirror was no longer a human face. Could it be a spiritual guide or was it one of the canine presences that a group had been picking up on during the event?”

Americans visit Roughman airfield in the 1970s Picture: IAN HULLANDAmericans visit Roughman airfield in the 1970s Picture: IAN HULLAND

At the Nissen huts one guest picked up the floral scent of jasmine, and other localised smells included fuel and old spice.

The temperature was said to “plunge” at the huts in one spot, said to be a spirit enjoying the music the guests were playing.

In the tower, the group were said to become aware of the presence of a male spirit who apparently wanted “to make himself known with footsteps heard and the throwing of something that sounded like a screw or metal object in a different part of the tower”.

But when the guests looked for the object they were unable to locate it or see anything out of place.

The mirror scrying technique being used at Rougham airfield Picture: GHOST HUNT UKThe mirror scrying technique being used at Rougham airfield Picture: GHOST HUNT UK

“This would happen when everyone was doing something else as if someone wanted our attention,” said Ms Wagg.

Flashes of light and female voices talking when no-one was there also spooked the guests.

Read more: Ghost hunter visits haunted Suffolk airfield

Clint Cansdale, paranormal investigator officer on the Rougham Tower Association committee, said he didn’t know whether to believe the paranormal reports or not, but he himself has experienced the floor creaking in one spot yet no-one was there.

The Echoes of the Past 1940s recreation event at Rougham Control Tower.
 Picture: PHIL MORLEYThe Echoes of the Past 1940s recreation event at Rougham Control Tower. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

He said different ghost hunter groups had heard the name ‘George’ called out, but added it was a common name so difficult to trace to a particular airman.

Most airman were not actually allowed within the control tower as it was restricted to control tower staff, he added.

The airfield was designed for the United States Army Airforce unit (USAAF), with the first group to arrive the 47th Bombardment Group (Light), followed by the 322d Bombardment Group (Medium).

The 94th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrived from RAF Earls Colne in June 1943.

Mr Cansdale added: “A lot of people died on the airfield. A lot of people came back and the plane was badly damaged.”

Tragedy struck in May 1943 when a B-26 plane crashed onto the airfield, killing the crew and damaging a hangar.

Rougham Control Tower Aviation Museum will be open to the public on Sundays from April through to the end of October.

For more information see here.

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