Haunted Wardrobe

The Haunted Wardrobe that struck fear into the owners of a Torbay Antique Shop

Could an old wardrobe be haunted?

Here Fiona Dodwell takes a look back at a 2015 paranormal investigation into an alleged haunted wardrobe that saw headlines and articles land in the mainstream press….

From the outside, the Olden Ewe Antique and Collectors store in Torbay, Devon (now long closed) looked unassuming and inviting. However, the then-owners, Linda and husband Steve, had been experiencing unsettling events since the day they purchased an old wardrobe.

Since that day, they had insisted, unusual and creepy things had been happening, witnessed not only by themselves, but by surprised customers as well.

The couple were clearly troubled and were asking for help. Intrigued about the stories being told, my friend and I travelled to the small seaside town to see what we could find.

The wardrobe, which has an intricate carving on the front of it, depicting a horned and devilish character, is said to have originated from the early 20th century.

Haunted Wardrobe
The face carved into the alleged haunted wardrobe

Since the arrival of the large piece of furniture, both the shop owners and customers claimed to have experienced odd events. Steve, who ran the shop with his wife, said, “Sometimes, when I come into the shop in the morning, the door of the wardrobe has opened by itself, or it has locked or unlocked itself.”

Customers were complaining of cold spots in the store, unexplained noises, lights going on and off – and to top it off, the store next door, also a collectable shop, complained that they had been effected by the paranormal since the arrival of the wardrobe.

Owners of the business next-door said they had heard unusual noises on their stairs, and also witnessed a dark, shadowy figure.

With such unusual reports, and having an avid interest in the paranormal myself, I happily spent time in both stores with my good friend Chris, who was a member of a paranormal group I had been in contact with.

I consider myself open-minded to the paranormal because of several inexplicable experiences of my own, and I have to admit, I’m convinced there is something to the stories emanating from the Olden Ewe store – especially after my own experiences there.

Upon entering, and walking through the main hallway, one of the cabinet doors flew open, and a brass plate fell to the floor directly in front of us. We all stopped and looked at each other, surprised at something happening so quickly.

Further on into the evening, we spent some time centred on the wardrobe itself. I want to note first and foremost, how beautiful this piece of furniture is. The large and intricate carving on the front is said to be demonic by some, although many have since suggested it could be a faun.

Chris, of the paranormal group Hidden Realms, spent some time locked in the wardrobe (yes, you read that right!) and although she didn’t pick up on any negative energy from the piece, she did feel the icy touch of a hand in hers, lending to the theory that a child spirit may be associated with the item.

As the evening drew, we noticed the main light in the shop kept dimming, then brightening, then sometimes turning off completely. Of course, this could be a natural electrical disruption, however it is worth noting that the owner of the store admits he notices this occurs when people are talking about the paranormal events that had been ongoing. He also told us later that the lights returned to normal after we left the store.

We spent time in both the antique stores, which are in close proximity to one another. In both it could be said that there is an energy of some description, and it is not hard to see why.

The shops were situated in one of the oldest parts of town, and if you combine this with the antiques that are themselves old and full of history, it’s a perfect setting for paranormal energy.

Could it be that the wardrobe bought with it some paranormal energy? Or was it a coincidence? The shop owners insist that nothing out of the ordinary happened before they purchased the item. After some time, the wardrobe was sold and was soon shipped off to a museum that purchased it.

It was an interesting evening, and although it happened some time ago now, my time in that store has stayed with me vividly. My experience left me more than open minded to the possibility of furniture retaining some kind of paranormal energy.

The stories about the antique stores and the haunted wardrobe eventually hit headlines in the mainstream press, but the stores themselves are now closed, and the wardrobe is settled with a new owner.

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