Was a Demon really caught on camera? “It seems we weren’t alone on our early morning walk in Clumber today!” Those were the words Hannah Rowett posted on her Facebook page on December 7th, 2022. She also posted photos and a video clip. At the time of writing this article, the post has gone viral with 660 likes, and 1.9K comments. It’s been shared 2.8K times.
On the morning of December 7th, 2022, local pub owners Hannah and Dave Rowett took their dogs to Clumber Park in Nottingham, United Kingdom. In the early morning darkness, 52-year-old Hannah stood alone outside while her husband was still getting one of the dogs out of their car. She claims that while she waited for him, she felt that they were not alone. As reported in Britain’s The Mirror newspaper, Hannah is no stranger to this feeling. She said that she grew up seeing the ghost of an old man in her childhood home.
Hannah Rowett pointed her flashlight ahead towards the forest path. Then, she captured something strange on her cell phone camera. She claims that the footage is of a demonic figure crawling across the path in front of her.
What do you see in the photo above? What do you see in the moving clip on her Facebook page? Is it something sinister?
Hannah Rowett is not the first person to have reported sightings of ghostly figures in Clumber Park. Purchased by the National Trust in 1946 and preserved on the register of Historic Parks, Clumber Park is a tourist attraction. It’s a place enjoyed for trail walking, camping, and events, but it's also a place visited by those who have an affinity for haunted locations.
Apparently, the Grey Lady of Clumber Park roams the grounds in a long grey cloak. The Nottingham Post reports that misty days are best if you want to see her and watch her vanish into the haze. Is it possible that Hannah’s perception was motivated by this legend, making her vision suggestible to seeing a ghost?
According to weatherspark.com, the temperature in Nottingham, United Kingdom at 6:30 am that day was below freezing, hovering at -2 degrees Celsius. The wind direction was to the West at 9.26 km/hour. The cloud cover that morning is documented as “mostly clear.” It was cold enough to see your breath outside or the exhaust from Rowett’s vehicle. Is that what she actually saw? Or was it in fact a spirit caught on camera?
The Perfect Setting for a Ghost Story
Violence. Divisiveness. Arson. Political tension. These things plagued the 17th Century property owned by the Dukes of Newcastle in Nottinghamshire, England. The land known as Clumber Park was carved out of the legendary Sherwood Forest in 1707 by the 1st Duke of Newcastle. Sherwood Forest is well known in British folklore for its ties to the outlaw Robin Hood.
Sometime between 1760 and 1770, a mansion was built on the grounds for the 2nd Duke. Originally a hunting lodge in a private hunting park for Queen Anne, Clumber House was remodelled into a 105-room lavish country home. The property was endowed with 3-mile-long double rows of lime trees and an 87-acre man-made lake.
In 1831, an angry mob fuelled by political strife burned down the house. It was rebuilt but in 1879, an accidental fire destroyed it. Several other fires subsequently occurred and Clumber House was eventually demolished in 1938.
The photo above is the footprint of the home, its walls revealed by parch marks during a heatwave in 2018. The chapel commissioned by the 7th Duke of Newcastle remains standing today. The historical site has been disturbed by archaeological digs, the last of them was in 2018, which uncovered the cellars of Clumber House and various artefacts.
With a history steeped in bad luck, it’s no wonder that tales of the paranormal are part of the local folklore. But, that’s not all.
Murder Amongst the Lime Trees
On July 24th, 2022, the body of Henry Thwaites, an 85-year-old retired man, was found on Lime Tree Avenue, close to Clumber Park. Two people are charged with this gruesome murder. Two others are charged with assisting the alleged offenders.
Did the news of this recent local murder influence what Hannah Rowett perceived? Or was it the ghost of Henry Thwaites running from his attackers?
Demon Caught on Camera! An Evidential Medium Adds a Layer of Potential Explanation
There are so many questions about what Hannah Rowett alleges to have captured on camera on the morning of December 7th. The following is an examination of the reported event by PDN’s Editor-In-Chief and Evidential Medium and researcher, Jock Brocas.
Perceptions and Persuasions
Do your eyes trick you? Actually, most of the time. You can be duped by your own mind and your perceptions, and what you see may be an illusion and far from the truth. When I first saw this, I was intrigued but did not get swayed by the hype. In all paranormal occurrences, you must look toward the natural, environmental and scientific. Only when you have ruled out these three basics can you then suggest there may be another explanation that needs to be investigated.
Many people do not question what they see with their own eyes, but the reality is that your eyes can deceive you all too easily.
This may come as a shock to some, and others may scoff, but we are extremely biased as a species because of how we learn and how others see us. The media has a role to play in our bias, including religion and family mechanics. Our own egos play a controlling role upon our bias, and we often fall into the pattern of self-serving bias – especially mediums. What we desire to see, we will see, even if it is not there.
If you are an individual who has an interest in the paranormal, then you are prone to this bias. Sitting at home watching Most Haunted or engaging in the lore and scary stories of old already sets a seed of bias within you. As you will note from my colleague above, this pattern of bias in the environment and with all probability the alleged apparition is somewhat biased.
We all love a good ghost story and even the most ardent skeptic loves to listen to those stories, even if there is no way they would believe in them. As a human species we are developed to tell stories, it is how we learn. These stories that have been told over and over and these same stories make us yearn to believe in them.
Our environment plays a fundamental role in how we perceive things. Environmental conditions such as temperature, wind, moisture, light, sound and energy are all contributing factors to our environmental conditions. They also play a pivotal role in how our senses perceive information and how we discern that information is indeed an underdeveloped skill. Without the ability to recognize subtle changes in the environment or energetic patterns, it is easy to fall into the paranormal bias or pareidolia effect based on your beliefs.
The Pareidolia Effect
Unfortunately, pareidolia is rife within the paranormal, afterlife and spiritual communities. In fact, daily I am plagued by claims of the paranormal and the afterlife that are clearly pareidolia and have no evidence to come to a specific conclusion. Signs of spirit and of loved ones are often exaggerated by those who have little understanding or wisdom of the mechanics of divine law.
What do you see in the image above? It’s a photo taken of evaporating puddles in the co-author’s driveway. Do you see two angels? This is an image that my colleague Mary Kay posted on social media. As I watched the post, i could not help but notice who was responding in amazement. I wanted to reply to give an explanation of the pareidolia effect and suggestions, yet, I did not want to spoil their excitement. It did make me contemplate on how the power of perception whether truth or lie guides our personal realities and bias. This is nothing more than a natural phenomenon that occurs because of the conditions. Yet, so many will claim this as something supernatural as validation of their personal bias.
Pareidolia is the tendency to attribute meaning to a random pattern within your perception. As an example, one could see a pattern in smoke or a cloud and claim they could see an angel or demon. Recently I was sent some images of a cloud formation that was claimed to be demonic. It was not. In fact, the individual was probably more religiously biased. Believing that demons could be seen everywhere, she saw them in clouds.
This same example also happened after 9-11 when the towers fell. There was an image going around claiming that Satan was in the cloud of smoke. This of course is ridiculous, but the sad thing is that many people fall into that trap. Many mediums will attribute signs to something that is normal and is not of a supernatural nature. This is further proliferated when you have media sensationalizing a natural occurrence into something unexplainable. This further fuels expectations and beliefs of those who soak up the hype.
Thoughts from a Medium
As I have mentioned before, there have to be patterns and evidence within the claimed phenomena. Think about storytelling and how that story has a pattern. This is the same with evidence from potential phenomena. Without evidence or storytelling, one cannot conclude there are real paranormal phenomena going on.
In the footage, the claim is that a Demon was caught on camera crawling across a path. You can thank the media for that! I am not one to assume that Hannah actually claimed it was Demonic. However, one has to be able to understand the modus operandi of a potential demonic presence or be able to discern its truth from a lie. The evil intelligence that has existed since the beginning of time and has intelligence greater than man in the material world – will not run over a path and be seen. That battlefield is one of the mind and rarely comes to fruition in the material realm. To suggest that a being of that intellect allowed itself to be seen in a situation such as this is rather foolhardy.
Is the Footage Real Paranormal Phenomena?
It is very hard to tell based on what was shown and without any real background story or evidential patterns. Furthermore, the power of suggestion feeds the seeds of implanted bias. One may suggest that something is experienced and that person that is within earshot will concur with the claim. This is apparent in paranormal investigations where one person will suggest or offer a proposal of a particular perception. This is a psychological method of guiding another’s thoughts, perceptions or behavior. The result is that everyone else begins to believe in the suggested thought or experience. This is the power of suggestion.
However, I am inclined to refute the claims of anything paranormal in this story. Not because I do not want it to be right, but because I, like many researchers, really want the phenomena and the evidence to weigh up, so it warrants further investigation. As a professional medium with many years of experience, however, I would have to say that this is one of those mysterious natural environmental anomalies that have more normal than paranormal explanations.
Sometimes we can’t stop ourselves from believing everything we see or think we see. As human beings, our brains are wired to look for familiar patterns in the ambiguous in order to make sense of what we are seeing. Given that our minds can be said to be relatively untrustworthy through bias or suggestion, the potential non-paranormal explanations offered above are worthy of evaluation.
We know that Hannah Rowett was already a believer in the paranormal. Does that mean she was primed to interpret the images as a ghostly figure? The alternative explanations may provide more insight into human psychology than support or refute Hannah Rowett’s claims in Clumber Park.
What did Hannah Rowett really capture on camera? You decide.