Swansea’s JON REES describes how a Halloween weekend with the Scouts in Mid Wales left everyone with the chills
“I’m a pretty big sceptic when it comes to the paranormal. I don’t believe in spirits or contact with the dead and I think that in the unlikely event ghosts exist they are inanimate recordings on an environment, but I’m even pretty sceptical of that.
Halloween weekend was an interesting experience though. We took the Cubs, Scouts and Brownies to Broneirion – Girl Guiding headquarters in Mid Wales – a 19th century manor house.
On the Thursday night I retired to my room, a single bedroom on the top floor (so probably in the old servants quarters). Walking in, the room was freezing cold even with the fire on and didn’t feel very welcoming. I settled into bed and turned the light off. About a minute later I put the light on. I had a overwhelming feeling I was being watched by someone at the foot of the bed. I tried reading and sleeping with the light off, but still couldn’t shake the feeling of discomfort. I left the room after about an hour and went to sleep in the Library downstairs on a sofa. The next night I moved into a vacant room where I slept on a mattress.
On the Sunday we found out that very few people can spend the night in that room, the staff hate cleaning it and during a walk around the house by the adults before leaving where we all shared our weird experiences no one liked the room at all!
The next morning a few of the rest of us had shared spooky experiences. One of the Guiders with us swore that during the night she was disturbed by a ginger boy running around her room. This appearance was later collaborated by the cook, a member of staff and our bus driver who walked into his apartment across the courtyard from the main house on Saturday night and found the red-headed apparition sitting on his dinning room chair!
Other weird goings on there similar feelings in other rooms to what I experienced, a Guider feeling like she was being “tucked in” by an invisible figure when she got into bed, the smell of wood smoke, one of the leaders young children reporting seeing someone “hiding under a bed”, and footsteps and doors opening with no one around.
The house staff were at first reluctant to talk about it, but once we told them what we had experienced they opened up. One told us that the staff hate cleaning in several of the rooms we described and that the last month the “activity” in the house had greatly increased, and our weekend was the busiest she’d ever known the spooky goings on to be. Several of the staff had also had spooky experiences they couldn’t explain during the weekend.
So were our experiences at Broneirion caused by ghosts or more rational explanations? I genuinely don’t know. Mine could be explained by phenomena such as infra-sound, but others such as the little boy are hard to explain as the corroborating sources seemingly didn’t know about what had been seen already before talking about it. Ironically though the kids were not aware of any of these goings on (unless they just didn’t tell us!) and had a perfectly normal time while there.”

JON REES has a blog where he discusses all sorts of things, including crime and Jack the Ripper. Read the blog here.


  1. My guide group stayed at Broneirion and though we did not experience anything the whole place though beautiful did completely give us all the chills but that was mostly because our guide leader told us that when she was a guide she was told a particular room was haunted which funily enough may have been your room, was it the single bed room just before the fire escape in the little hallway? None of us stayed in the room but we all went in to have a look and it was a very strange room compared to the rest. But no ginger boys, our guide leader simply told us apparently a girl had killed herself in that room, but as I say she is from Wales and was told this when she was a guide so it could have just been made up to scarer her when she was little. We stayed for a weekend at the end of July, maybe your experiences were to do the fact it was near halloween who knows? But glad the kids werent effected x.


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