Westage Unitarian Chapel and Catacombs Investigation

Last week along with some friends and a spiritualist medium I set about investigating one of the earliest catacombs in the country which was open to public burials.

The Chapel is a fine Georgian building listed Grade II* and possesses many fine features including its pulpit, first erected in an earlier chapel in 1737, an interesting organ manufactured in 1847, and a bell tower.

The congregation adopted Unitarian thought in the eighteenth century. Its members have taken a leading part in the economic, social, educational, political, and spiritual life of Wakefield and its vicinity.

The Chapel

Amongst those interred in its catacombs perhaps the earliest in the country to be opened for public burials are industrialists, innovators, merchant princes, members of Parliament, and political radicals. The catacombs feature a coffin shoot that from street level the coffins would be dropped through.

The catacombs under the Chapel still have around 40 bodies in, three of which belong to the Heywood family. It’s the spirits of the Heywood family specifically John Pemberton Heywood that haunt the catacomb.

Investigation wise the highlight of the night was a reading from the medium to one of my friends, she talked about things that only my friend would connect with… Interestingly the medium wished to do a reading of my friend’s ring… she asked to hold the ring, but it wouldn’t come off her finger.. maybe it didn’t want a reading? My friend was shocked that the ring wouldn’t come off and said it always comes off.

We did a table tipping session downstairs.. am not a great believer in table tipping as it can easily be manipulated on an uneven surface by one stern finger on the table… However, this experiment definitely intrigued me this time, as I know three of the people wouldn’t purposely manipulate the table, the other participant was the medium.. the table danced into action and span repeatedly and even on one occasion stood on one leg.. I was watching all fingers on the table with a deliberate intention of catching someone out… I found no foul play.

I spent a couple of hours down in the catacombs and tunnel in pitch black with Daz, on our own, nothing paranormal happened to us two when we were down there.

It was a interesting night, check out my pictures below
Simon Wilson

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