Haunting and haunted...
Recording the sounds of a haunted house - not the fairground variety, but a 'real' one - has been on my list for a long time.
With the help of my friend Etienne, we sampled the sounds of Belle-Motte manor, an old property that has belonged to his family for many generations. If ever there was a haunted house in Belgium, or a place that felt haunted, it would be Belle-Motte! Though we saw no ghosts, this property has a soul of its own, and an eerie one.
The family has kept the property and its furnishings in original condition. Upon entering the manor, you travel back in time; to a time when there was no electricity, and the wind-up gramophone set was the latest technology.
The manor makes a myriad of sounds on its own. Its timbers creak when the wind blows outside, or when the fireplace heats the place on a chilly day. With the temperature change, the building takes on life as structural movement produces varied noises in the different rooms. At least, the rational part of me thinks that this is the cause. Maybe I am simply not willing to admit what the local people say; that this place is haunted!
I have to confess, it troubled me when the gramophone started playing while my microphones were supposedly recording the silence of the empty dining room. I guess the spring-loaded mechanism fired by itself, due to the poor working condition of the phonograph, and the fact that we had woken it from its lethargic condition a little earlier in the afternoon, when we sampled some old 78RPM records.
When it started up on its own, there was no disc on the turntable, and the sound produced was almost like human breathing! This sound can be found under the fourth slider, for your own inspection.
Haunting, for sure, but haunted? You tell me.
Special thanks to my friend Etienne for giving me access to his family property and willing to stay with me overnight there!