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This is oldest still surviving building in the city and was built between 1616 and 1629. It was once used to collect the tolls from new comers to the city. It also housed the city’s jail.
In the mid 16th century, the city’s only guillotine was put to work here. The blade can be seen today in the museum on site.
In the 17th century – when witchcraft was declared illegal – the prisoners were brought here and executed publicly by strangulation and burning.
This building was also used to house the Jacobite prisoners from the Battle of Culloden in 1746.
In the mid 18th century, the children rallied up to be sent to America – basically as slaves – were held here waiting for their ship. They were supposed to be street kids who no one was taking care of but quotas drove the collectors to grab any child off of the street while they were playing.
It is now open to public and used as a museum and has exhibits of the old jail cells and various memorabilia from the prison and law enforcement from times gone by.
It is also considered one of the most haunted buildings in the city.
The apparitions of former prisoners and prison staff. Unexplainable noises including disembodied voices, screams, crying and laughter, bangs, the clanking of chains, doors slamming and heavy objects being moved.
Time slips including visions of prisoners being executed by hanging. Touches, pulls, pushes and tugs by invisible presences. Feelings of extreme unease, being watched, not being wanted, sadness and desolation and physical illness.
Other activity: light anomalies; mysterious mists; objects moving on their own; electrical disturbances; objects disappearing or reappearing on their own and doors opening and closing on their own.
“The Lady Of The Lake”
19 Frederick Street
Status: Natural Wonder (Lake); Historical Legend
One day a farmer led his pony to the edge of the lake and was surprised to see a beautiful woman standing on the opposite shore. He immediately fell in love with her.
She told him her name was Nelferch and that she lived on the bottom of the lake with her father, sisters and cattle.
The farmer sang to her and she was so impressed she agreed to marry him. Her deal was she would stay until they fought three times.
The first argument was over Nelferch letting the farm house’s fire go out; the second one was when she split spilled the milk churn. Finally, a year later, a fox attacked and ate some sheep leading the farmer to blame her. He had run out of chances.
Nelferch returned to the lake with her cattle.
The farmer came to lake every day and begged her to return. Nelferch never returned and eventually the farmer went mad with grief.
A second legend who may or may not be a separate lady says a young woman drowned in the lake due to a foul act.
A young man was engaged to a beautiful girl but found himself to have fallen for another. Unable to do the right thing the fiancé took his bride to be on a walk around the lake. He pushed her in at some point and she drowned.
The “Lady Of The Lake” - whether there is one or two - is said to be, fittingly, very hauntingly beautiful and quite hard to resist.
Many believe that the “Lady of the Lake” calls to young men forever looking for another husband.
In the 12th century a young boy jumped in the lake attempting to rescue his friend who had fallen in. Legend says his self-sacrifice made him a worthy husband; the boy disappeared beneath the surface and was never seen again.
There are many more stories in the last 9 centuries of boys and men drowning in the lake and the lady being blamed. It is said that her victims can be heard singing at the lake when it goes very quiet.
The justifiably angry young woman who was drown is known for piercingly powerful screams and the unexplained sounds of splashing water; presumably she relives her murder over and over.
There are also reports of the half naked apparition crawling out of the lake soaking wet hair hanging over her shoulders.
No matter which legend is true – possibly both; possibly neither – should you see a woman either in the water or on the shores of Llyn Y Forwyn it would be best to keep your distance.
(Ysbyty Gogledd Cymr)(Denbigh Lunatic Asylum)(North Wales Counties Lunatic Asylum)
Accessible from Prion Road or B4501
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Prior to the idea of this asylum those deemed insane were cured by such treatments as bloodletting or flagellation; if the patient was overtly violent, they were locked up in a room for life and/or manacled to the wall. In the early 19th century, the Poor Law and the County Asylums Act finally created facilities that were government owned – so to speak - for the mentally ill.
While a good idea – or at least an improvement – these new facilities were barely monitored and basically amounted to crazy uncle John being manacled in a facility rather than in the family home. In 1845 the Lunacy Act was passed with the belief that a standard set of practices needed to be implemented for care of the insane.
In 1842 the great and powerful in North Wales – nobility and clergy – came together in an effort to redeem the fact that was no plan for the care of the mentally ill in Wales. One of the ideas put forth was a building was needed to house these unfortunates. Most importantly, a place that provided an environment where the ill could rest and recover – and not a wasteland dumping ground for society’s unwanted like the poorhouses had become.
In 1844 construction began on the North Wales Counties Lunatic Asylum and was completed in 1848 as a 200 bed facility. The dreams for this hospital died as quickly as they did in similar institutions at the time. Between 1848 and 1948 more patients were admitted than discharged or died every year – this led to massive over crowding.
New buildings and extensions were built in 1862-65, 1881, 1895-1910 and 1931 to create further room for patient beds. By 1956 – at the facility’s maximum population – there were 1,500 patients. By 1890 the staff could no longer focus on healing and basically became just caretakers.
When the asylum opened there were only 20 staff and the patients were left on their own between 10pm and 6am with no supervision. It wasn’t until 1892 that staff were trained on rudimentary first aid. As for who was locked up in the asylum; from violent psychopaths to schizophrenics to epileptics to women daring to have a baby out of wedlock to those considered excessive masturbators. Its not hard to figure why the population exploded – at one point woman’s problems was considered reason enough to be locked up.
Body odour was considered a sign of insanity and Turkish baths were given frequently. In the early decades of the 20th century the hospital spent more on alcohol than on the drugs; the reason for that is best left to the imagination. Just previously to the National Health Service (NHS) taking over the facility finally got a liberal director and things got a little better; the patients were even allowed to play sports.
Until 1948 when NHS took over the hospital was administered by a committee from the Counties that were sending patients to the asylum which goes a long way to explaining the – forgive me – insanity in running the asylum.
Once NHS took over the staff were held to standards that remained generally consistent and patient care was administered equally. Those locked away for reasons ranging from the utterly ridiculous – what are woman’s problems anyway – to just absurd were released. To be honest this started before 1948 as society’s values changed.
As mentioned above, patient populations began to drop off in the late 1950’s and with the advent of anti-psychotic drugs in the 1970’s the population dropped even further. By the late 1980’s treatment of the mentally ill was changing to a view of group homes and the end of the large psychiatric hospitals.
By the 1990’s buildings began to be closed at North Wales and in 1995 the main building was shut down locked up. The age of the Denbigh Lunatic Asylum would come to an end in 2002.
Most of the patients who died under care in this hospital were buried at Denbigh’s Town Cemetery.
After the closure of the hospital there remained a problem – what to do with the enormous campus filled with historical buildings. There were many plans made and almost as many owners but nothing ever came to any fruition. In fact, most of the plans were completely fraudulent in nature.
In the meantime, the buildings began to degrade and posed a health concern as they were filled with asbestos. Vandals and multiple arson fires made the issue worse. At one point the Denbighshire Council had to make nearly 1 million pounds in emergency repairs that the owners of the site refused to compensate them for.
Finally, in 2018, the Council took over ownership of the site. As of September 2021, Council is debating whether to allow a developer to put 300 homes on the property. The issue is 50% of the historical (Grade II) buildings will need to be demolished.
Every possible level and kind of paranormal activity has been reported at this location.
Apparitions of former staff and patients – including ones that interact with the living -; shadow figures, some of who have followed people; possession; attacks by unseen presences including bites, scratches and pushes.
Disembodied voices, whispers, breathing, laughter, crying, screams and cries for help; time slips; dimensional shifts; poltergeist activity including objects moving on their own, doors and windows opening or closing on their own, objects disappearing and/or reappearing in random locations; unexplained noises including bangs, scratching and pounding.
Sudden movements in your prereferral vision; warm and cold spots; sudden unexplained winds and breezes; phantom smells; phantom footsteps; mysterious mists – some of which move against the wind; light anomalies.
Feelings of being watched, not being alone, being followed and not being wanted; empathic feelings of sadness, euphoria, hatred, violence, fear, unease and being trapped.
The South Bridge was planned with the South Bridge Act of 1785. It was completed in 1788 and the city’s first purpose built shopping area.
Underneath the Bridge were 19 vaults which were originally used as storage and workshops for the stores above. They were constructed in hurry and only meant to be used for a very short time – they were not even sealed to prevent water from leaking in.
The stores began abandoning the vaults as early as 1795. Shortly thereafter Scotland – and the rest of Europe – began to experience the beginnings of what would be known as the Industrial Revolution. As employment moved from the farms to the cities so did the population.
What we now call the Edinburgh Vaults become the city’s slum as the poorest citizens moved in. The living conditions were beyond horrific with no light, no fresh air, no sanitation and sometime 10 plus people living in a cramped little room.
As is the norm, the criminal element quickly followed the poor into the vaults. Illegal brothels, bars and other enterprises sprung up like toadstools. Its even said the body snatchers both hunted for victims and stored their corpses here to keep them fresh until they could be sold to the medical school.
It is unclear when the vaults were closed for good; sometime between 1830 and 1875; but they were eventually sealed off and forgotten. History never remembers the backs of the poor the rich use to bring about progress.
They were rediscovered in 1980 when a rugby player found a tunnel into them. They were excavated in the 1990’s.
In modern times the north section of the vaults are open for tours – including ghost tours; and the south section – called The Caves and The Rowantree – are used for concerts and private events. Access to the vaults is strictly controlled.
The vaults are considered one of the most paranormally active places on Earth.
The most famous “infamous” ghost is that Mr Boots. He is said to a very dark and evil entity who murdered a woman and kept her body in his house when he was alive. He is extremely territorial and actively hates anyone entering the vaults. He is usually heard by the slow stomping of heavy boots but he has physically attacked visitors and has been recorded saying “get out” numerous times.
There is also The Aristocrat was described as a tall gentleman with a beard and wearing a top hat. He is most often seen leaning against the wall smiling at visitors in a way that sends chills down people’s spines. He is not known for being particularly nasty or aggressive but his presence makes most visitors uneasy and uncomfortable.
The Cobbler is one of genial ghosts in the vaults. He is described as a stocky short man wearing a leather apron and a white shirt. He is thought to be a shoemaker from the 18th century and – quite the opposite of the other two – he makes people feel positive and welcomed.
Then there is The Child who is known for holding visitor’s hands and tugging on their clothes seemingly trying to get their attention. He is a small boy – about six or seven – who wanders the vaults. Those lucky enough to see him say he has curly blonde hair and wears a blue suit and knickerbocker pants. He interacts, usually, with women and other children.
Other Activity: apparitions of the former occupants of the vaults; cold and warm spots; unexplained breezes; light anomalies; disembodied voices and whispers including calling out visitor’s names; unexplained noises from loud bangs to screams and laughter; touches, tugs and pulls from unseen presences; shadow figures; time slips; possession; feelings of unease, fear, being watched, not being alone and not being wanted and pretty much any other form of unexplained/paranormal activity imaginable.
Between High Street and The Royal Mile
Status: Subterranean Alleyways
By <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:The_Real_Mary_King%27s_Close" class="extiw" title="en:User:The Real Mary King's Close">The Real Mary King's Close</a> at <a class="external text" href="https://en.wikipedia.org">en.wikipedia</a> - Photograph courtesy of <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="http://www.continuum-group.com/">The Continnuum Group</a>., Public Domain, Link
Mary King’s Close was a close ended street sealed off from the city during the Black Death. It was named after Mary King who built up her own fabric business after her husband’s death in 1630.
Edinburgh was built from the bottom up with the rich living at the top and poor on the dirty streets below. When the Plague hit the city in 1644 the Close became the perfect place for it to breed and infect.
The infected were sealed off in Mary King’s Close but, contrary to popular belief, they were not just left to die. Uninfected people brought them food and water and the Plague Doctors – the famous men with the bird masks – did come in and treat them. The treatment – cutting open the boils and cauterizing them with hot poles – was extremely painful but also effective. In the time before anti-biotics, it was all that could be done.
After the Plague Mary King’s – as well as the other Closes – quickly became overrun with the poor and not much more than a seething pit of humanity resulting in the area becoming dilapidated. The city’s solution was to close down all of the Closes.
Mary King’s Close would eventually be partially demolished when the foundation of the Royal Exchange was built in the 18th century. In 1902 the Close was completely sealed off and all but forgotten about.
During World War II it was used as a bomb shelter for the city’s residents.
In modern times it is only accessible by booking a tour (see website above).
Reports of paranormal activity in the Close date back into the 17th century. This location is considered one of the most haunted in Scotland.
The most famous ghost is that of Annie. She was young girl who died of the Plague; it is thought she was abandoned by her family once she got sick. She made her presence known to a Japanese medium in 1992 by reaching out and grabbing the lady’s leg.
Many visitors have experiences in the small room where Annie’s spirit dwells. These including feelings of cold, sickness and hunger and well as feeling the presence of the ghost herself. Annie has become famous and many people leave her gifts – such as stuffed animals and dolls – which are collected once a year and donated to the children’s hospital.
Other Activity: cold spots; touches, tugs and pulls by unseen entities; light anomalies; phantom footsteps and other unexplained noises including the sound of clothing moving as if someone where walking by; electrical disturbances; a powerful feeling of uneasiness and anxiety; disembodied voices and feelings of being watched and not being alone.
Construction was begun on this grand Country House in 1619 as the Seat of the Townsend Family. There were some issues – including lack of building materials – that slowed the construction to a halt.
In 1622 construction was began again and was all but completed by 1637. Unlike the vast majority of its contemporaries this house was built in the Italian style rather than a local style. It is a very unique building with many features of 18th rather than 17th century manor houses.
In the early part of the 18th century the north wing was built and much of interior was decorated. The house is currently owned by Charles Townsend, 8th Marquess of Townsend.
Being a private residence, and ancestral home of the Townsends, this house is rarely open to the public. Please check the website above for times.
The – arguably – most famous ghost photograph ever taken was taken on the main staircase of this house.
The Brown Lady – named for the brown brocade dress she is seen in – is thought to be Lady Dorothy Walpole (1686-1726) who was the wife of the first Charles Townsend. When Charles discovered his wife had committed adultery with Lord Wharton – a man known for his debauchery – he locked her in her rooms in the house. She remained there until her death from Smallpox in 1726.
The first recorded sighting of the Brown Lady was by Col Loftus in 1835 when he was a guest of the Townsends for Christmas. He saw the ghost on 2 consecutive nights noting her empty eye sockets and glowing face.
She was seen again in 1836 by a man seeking to prove the haunting a fake. He, and 2 other men, saw the ghost holding a lamp walking toward them in a hallway. She, apparently, grinned at them in a maniacal way that so incensed the man he discharged his pistol directly into her face. The bullet passed through her and she disappeared in front of them.
She was next seen in 1926 on the main staircase and positively identified as Lady Walpoole by a portrait of her.
On September 19, 1936 two men were taking photos of the house for Country Life magazine. They say they were setting up the camera to take a second photo of the main staircase and therefore set up perfectly to take photo of the vaporous apparition of a woman formed and began coming down the stairs toward them.
Many people since have insisted the photo is fake but no one has proven without a doubt whether it is real or faked.
There are no recorded sightings of the Brown Lady since. She may have crossed over or moved to another residence to haunt it.
(East Sussex County Asylum)
Status: Former Insane Asylum, Partially Repurposed, Partially Abandoned; Partially Demolished
By <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/77969030@N00">Paulio Geordio</a> - originally posted to <a href="//commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Flickr" class="mw-redirect" title="Flickr">Flickr</a> as <a rel="nofollow" class="external text" href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/77969030@N00/311870989">Hellingly Corridor</a>, CC BY 2.0, Link
As the 19th Century was coming to a close the County Authority of East Sussex began looking for a site to build a large insane asylum; due, in large fact, to the overcrowding at the Haywards Asylum. A plot of 400 acres was purchased from the Earl of Chichester near the village of Hellingly and its railway station.
The hospital was opened 1903.
Patients were expected to work and, like all asylums, the patients were divided by sex. On the west side were the men's quarters with jobs more suited to them including the boiler room, workshops and maintenance. To the east the women were housed with jobs more suited to them including the sewing shop, laundry and nurses’ residences.
There was also a main complex devoted to administration, recreation and the main kitchen. Eventually a chapel would be built as well as a building for housing the incurable cases, an isolation unit and housing for patients referred to as mentally defective children.
The hospital could be reached from 2 main driveways coming from 2 directions and even had its own railway which was closed in 1930 with the tracks being torn up in 1959.
In the mid-80's a new Medium Security Unit was built on the site called Ashen Hill but the site was already in decline with a falling patient population. In 1994 the main complex was closed down and abandoned but in 2000 another Medium Security facility was built near Ashen Hill and called Southview.
After the abandonment of the main site several fires were started and the area become very popular with urban explorers and was also heavily vandalized. In 2010 the demolishment of the main complex was begun in order to built a housing development.
Today, most of the old original buildings are gone but both Ashen Hill and Southview are still running with plans to build more Medium Security facilities in the future right along with the new residential complex.
And people will still wonder why the brand new house they just bought is haunted?
We have complied a short list of activity that has been reported at this location but it is far complete. We've said it before, but in this case, there really is no paranormal activity that hasn't been reported here.
Apparitions of former staff and patients, shadow figures, touches (of all kinds) by unseen presences, disembodied voices, cries, screams, laughter etc., phantom footsteps, light anomalies, mysterious mists, ectoplasm, vortexes, feelings of being watched, not being wanted, extreme unease, fear and being followed and stalked, symptoms of both physical and mental illness, possession, empathic feelings of sadness, fear, loneliness, illness etc., time and dimensional slips and many more.
11B Orphan Drive
Status: Former Orphanage; Former Psychiatric Hospital; Being Refurbished
Ghost Tours Available Via This Link
Attribution: By Phil Nash from Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0 & GFDL
In 1868 the ship owners and merchants of Liverpool decided it was past time to create a place to help the orphans and widows of the men from Mercyside – the metropolitan county that Liverpool is in – who had died.
The majority being men lost at sea.
In August of 1869 a temporary residence was set up on Duke street with 46 boys and 14 girls living there.
In April of 1870 Liverpool donated land – 0.6 hectares (7000 square yards) – in the northeast section of Newsham Park. The foundation stone of the building was laid on September 11, 1871.
In January of 1874 the first children were moved from Duke St to the completed north wing of the building. In September of 1874 the institution was formally opened.
By the end of the 19th century there were over 300 children in the building more than 500 were being supported while living at home with their mothers. Even Queen Victoria herself, after visiting the institution in 1888, was a sponsor.
By 1918, with the First World War ending, there were over a thousand children living in the building (their fathers having been lost in the war).
In 1921 King George V granted the facility a Royal Charter.
During the Second World War the children were evacuated north as Liverpool was within range of the Nazi bombers and the shipyards were a prime target.
In July of 1949 the orphanage officially closed, although they continued to support seaman’s orphans who lived at home (and still do), and the building was sold to the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry converted the building into a psychiatric hospital which opened in 1954 and took in patients with very severe mental health issues.
The psychiatric hospital closed in 1988 and the last patients were moved out in 1992.
From 1992 to 1997 the patients of the former Rainhill Lunatic Asylum were moved here when that asylum closed down.
In 1997 the building was sold to a land developer who wanted to develop it into flats (apartments) but that idea was fought by a regeneration group and ultimately failed.
In July of 2007 the property was put up for sale.
It is now owned by another developer. Tqhey are looking to convert it into a restaurant, bar and public space.
Thankfully this building is listed as Grade II – historical and deserving of special protection – so tearing it down would be very difficult. It’s also not in as bad of shape as some other historical properties as 1.6 million pounds (almost 2 million USD) was spent on it in 1992 for renovations and restorations.
Many consider this to be one of the most paranormally active buildings in the United Kingdom.
It is said approximately 16,000 orphans died and were cremated on site. Granted, this seems like a very large number and may be either a typo or intentionally exaggerated to make the site more frightening.
What is known is that the site is haunted by both the orphans and the patients of both the building’s incarnations as a orphanage and a psychiatric hospital; the ghosts of staff are also always possible.
Tales of paranormal activity date back to the days of the orphanage. There are many tales of both the orphans and the psychiatric patients talking to people who the staff could not see. Not that the staff didn’t have their own experiences with unexplained mists floating through the halls, being touched by something unseen and objects disappearing.
As with many other institutions in the 19th and early to mid 20th centuries there are numerous stories of terrible mistreatment – tantamount to torture in today's world – many of which were considered medical procedures at the time but many more were just the result of borderline psychotic behaviour by staff who were overworked and under trained.
Like most other locations that feature ghost tours the actual activity can be difficult to find – why would someone buy the cow when they can have the milk for free is the attitude I’m guessing – although in my opinion knowing the paranormal activity would make me want to go on the tour more not less.
These are the reports we found from research and interviews.
There are multiple reports of the phantom sound of the headmaster’s cane tapping as he patrolled the hallways along with the occasional sharp smack as he dealt out discipline.
The ghost of a little boy is often seen near a set of cupboards on the way to the attic. These cupboards were used for punishments when the orphanage was running; “bad” kids would be locked in the cupboards. Most often this boy will let his presence known by opening and/or slamming the cupboard doors although his apparition is also seen.
Objects frequently move on their own within the building or just disappear only to show up somewhere else; usually in completely different room if not different floor.
The ghosts have been known to tap on things right in front of you where you can clearly see there is no one visible. One investigator had a chair move right in front of them.
Other reported activity: apparitions of children are by far the most common ghosts seen but the patients from the building’s time as a psychiatric hospital are also seen wandering the halls and rooms (usually with a vacant look on their face); shadow figures most of which move very rapidly across your field of vision; objects moving on their own; cold and warm spots; electrical disturbances; unexplained mists; phantom footsteps; disembodied voices; unexplained loud bangs; touches, pokes and prods by unseen entities especially below the waist at the height of children; time slips; light anomalies and feelings of not being alone and being watched.
6 July 2011, 16:37:42
This palace was begun in 1514 for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey; the head statesman for King Henry VIII. In 1529 when the Cardinal fell into disfavour – as everyone eventually did with Henry – he gave the palace to the King in an attempt to curry favour.
It didn’t work. In 1530 Wolsey was recalled to London – meaning the Tower (see below) – to answer for Henry’s favourite charge; treason. Wolsey would die of natural causes during the journey.
The palace was lavish by any standard; as it still is. Wolsey wanted to live like a Renaissance Cardinal would have in Rome.
The palace would become one of King Henry’s favourite residences; all 6 of his wives would live here.
Henry’s only male heir – Edward VI – would be born here and shortly thereafter his mother – Jane Seymour, would grow ill and die there.
Four years later his 5th wife – Catherine Howard – would be accused of adultery (treason for a Queen) here and imprisoned in her rooms. Legend says she escaped her guards and ran screaming down the “Haunted Gallery” to beg for forgiveness.
Again, it didn’t work; Catherine was beheaded in the Tower of London.
King Henry died in January of 1547 and was succeeded by his son Edward; who would die from an illness while he was still quite young.
Queen Mary I would succeed Edward – Henry’s eldest child – after a very brief period of ruling by Lady Jane Grey (9 days). Mary honeymooned and retreated to Hampton for her first pregnancy. That being the first of her 2 phantom pregnancies.
Mary would only rule for a few years before she was taken by – many historians believe – uterine cancer.
Elizabeth I – another daughter of Henry with a different mother – would rule after Mary and she added on the East Kitchen which is now the public tea room.
Elizabeth would die in 1603 and succeeded by her cousin James I whose son Charles I was imprisoned in Hampton before his execution during the English Civil War. Hampton Court was saved from destruction because Oliver Cromwell – an important figure on the Parliamentarian side in the war – took it as his personal residence.
After the Monarchy was returned Hampton lost it’s place as a primary royal residence; mostly due to it’s age and deteriorating condition.
In 1689 when Mary II and William III ascending the throne together, they began a very expensive restoration of Hampton. The famous architect, Sir Christopher Wren, was hired to plan out the remodel.
King Henry VIII’s staterooms and private apartments were lost to history during this restoration.
After Mary passed William lost interest in the project and all work stopped. Although Hampton is where he fell off his horse which would lead to his death.
His sister-in-law, Queen Anne, succeeded him and continued the restoration.
George I and George II who followed Anne were the last Monarchs to use Hampton Court as a residence.
Hampton Court was, from the 1760’s, used as apartments for those who had the Crown’s favour. Michael Faraday, one of the pioneers of electricity, even lived here.
In 1838 during the reign of Queen Victoria the palace was also opened to the public.
In 1896 a major fire damaged the palace and killed Lady Daphne Gale. The fire damaged the palace so severely it took until 1990 to complete the fix.
After 1980 no new residents were allowed to move into the palace. In 2005 only 3 guests remained and as of 2017 no one lives there anymore.
The Screaming Queen (Catherine Howard)
Henry VIII’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard, was beheaded at age 19 in the Tower Of London for adultery and treason. It is said when she was arrested – at Hampton Court - she broke free from the guards and ran down what is now known as the Haunted Gallery. She was screaming for mercy and tried to get to the King.
She never made it. Catherine’s phantom screams are now heard, and her apparition is occasionally seen running down the gallery. Catherine’s ghost is also seen, and photographed, in other parts of the castle; she is usually weeping violently.
Two women also fainted in the exact spot where Catherine is seen as she begins her run.
Henry’s third wife, who gave birth to his only male heir before dying herself, is often seen on the stairway which once led up to the room she died in. She is said to be a pale sad looking ghost and carries a lit candle stick.
She is most often seen in October on the anniversary of her giving birth.
The Grey Lady
The famous Grey Lady is actually Sybil Penn who was a high level servant to 4 Kings and Queens.
She nursed Queen Elizabeth I through smallpox and then contracted the disease herself and dying from it.
Stories of the Grey Lady began in 1829 when her tomb was disturbed while renovations were being done to the church it was in.
The Grey Lady is often seen in the halls of the Clock Court or in the State Apartments. She also said to be responsible for the noises of a spinning wheel coming from behind a wall in an apartment.
Civil War Victims
In 1871 an elderly woman staying in one of the apartments was much relieved when 2 male skeletons were discovered under a cloister in Fountain Court. She had been dealing with almost constant banging and knocks on her walls, which ceased when the skeletons were given a proper burial.
It is thought these 2 men were hastily buried victims of the English Civil War.
Skeletor (King Henry VIII?)
For three days straight, in October of 2003, a fire door was viewed as bursting open in security’s CCTV system (see video below).
On the second day a skeletal figure was seen coming out of the doors before retreating inside and closing them.
Many people believe this may have been the ghost of King Henry VIII himself.
Other Reported Activity:
Apparitions and shadow figures; objects moving on their own; disembodied voices and conversations; temperature fluctuations; electrical disturbances; phantom footsteps; light anomalies; feelings of being watched; feelings of not being alone; feelings of being followed; touches by unseen entities and pretty much anything else paranormal you can think of.
The original article written for this location on the first – and sadly lost – website was written by a citizen of the United Kingdom. I probably won’t do as good of a job as he did but I will begin it the same he did his.
To the tower with you!
Soon after his coronation in 1066 William The Conqueror began construction of fortifications inside the old Roman Wall on the north shore of the Thames River. This was to control the Upper Pool area of the River Thames which where the major docks – until the 19th century – of the City of London were and, therefore, the centre of trade in the city.
This fortification would become known as the White Tower.
It was originally designed as a show and symbol of Norman Power and today is the most complete 11th century Royal Palace in Europe. It was also the first stone keep in England; all keeps previously were built of timbers.
The tower was extended under the reign of Richard I in the late 12th century; with even a first attempt at creating a moat; which was dug but all attempts to fill it with the Thames failed. In October of 1191 the Tower was put under its’s first siege by Prince John – King Richard’s younger brother – when Richard was away fighting in the Crusades.
Richard’s Lord Chancellor surrendered the Tower after 3 days allowing Prince John to usurp his brother.
Side Note: this is the period of the Legend of Robin Hood. The Sheriff of Nottingham is generally portrayed as an ally of Prince John.
In the 13th century both Kings Henry III and his son Edward I worked on the Tower increasing it to the size it is today. During this time the Tower was made stronger due to periods of civil unrest and conflicts with the Barons leaving the Kings in need of a place to be safe and behind strong walls. During this time the Tower was seen as a symbol of oppression and hated – sometimes openly – by most Londoners.
Edward I – being an experienced castle builder from his years in the Crusades – finally got the moat built a century ago - to fill up from the Thames and he introduced arrow slits to the Tower and many other English and Welsh castles.
In 1279 all the mints in the Country were unified into one which was kept in the Tower.
In 1321 Margaret de Clare was the first Royal imprisoned in the Tower. She had refused Queen Isabella – wife of King Edward II – entrance into Leeds Castle and had her archer fire on the Queen’s party killing 6 of the Royal Escort.
During the 14th and 15th centuries the Tower kept busy both as a prison and protecting the King with events such as the Peasant’s Revolt, the 100 Years War and the War of the Roses.
1483 was the year the 2 young Princes disappeared in the tower. Their Uncle Richard was named their Lord Protector while they were too young to rule but when Richard was declared King the boys were never seen again. They are presumed to have murdered by their uncle as a threat to his new rule.
By the 16th century the Tower was being used less and less as a Royal Residence and more as place to hold Royal and State criminals and the English armoury. It began to gain a reputation as a rather grim place where people were locked for life or until their execution.
Although torture was sanctioned there were only 48 cases of actual torture being used to gain a confession. The 16th and 17th centuries were the darkest days of the Tower with the famous imprisonment and execution of such historical figures as: Katherine Howard – beheaded on Tower Green, Anne Boleyn – beheaded on Tower Green, Thomas Cromwell – beheaded on Tower Hill, Lady Jane Grey (Dudley) – beheaded on the Tower Green and Margaret Poole – beheaded on Tower Green.
(Queen) Elizabeth I – sister of the Lady Jane Grey – was held in the Tower under suspicion of attempting to overthrow Queen Mary’s rule but was not executed. She went on to become one of the greatest British Monarchs.
11 men were executed in the Tower in the 20th century; all for spying and all by firing squad. 10 were during World I and 1 in World War II.
During the English Civil War (1642 – 1651) forces loyal to the King attempted to take the Tower but it remained in the hands of Parliament for the duration.
The Last Monarch to uphold the tradition of the march to the Tower after coronation was Charles II in 1661. He didn’t stay there one night due to the deplorable conditions.
In 1669 the Crown Jewels were moved to the Tower and put on view for the public.
Between 1843 and 1845 the moat was drained – due to being filled silt which was spreading lethal disease.
The last major fortification of the Tower was also in the 19th century during another period of civil unrest.
In both World Wars the Tower used as a prison – for the last time – for POW’s including Rudolph Hess, Adolf Hitler’s Deputy, after his ill-fated flight to the Britain in attempt to get them to become Nazi allies. Hess was the last State prisoner held in the Tower.
The Tower is still the Regimental Headquarters of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers but it’s main function now is tourism. HRH King Charles III still retains ownership of the Tower but it is cared for by a private charity with no financial help from either the Royal Family or the UK government.
The Tower of London is one of the most haunted places on Earth, no question. It is consistently on every top 10 list be it of the United Kingdom, Europe or the entire planet. It has more legends surrounding it then all of the haunted places in some Countries put together.
Having been to the Tower myself as a teenager I will close this section with my own personal experiences there.
I will try to stick to verified accounts witnessed by multiple witnesses but please forgive me if I get lost in the mystique that is the Tower a few times.
There are 13 verified ghosts in the Tower
The second wife of Henry VIII – first to be executed – Anne is a very tragic historical figure.
Her headless apparition is most often seen on the Tower Green where she was executed. She is also seen in St Peter ad Vincula where she is buried.
Those that have witnessed the ghost of the tragic Queen say she is surrounded by a thick energy of intense sadness and loss.
A ghostly procession led by the headless Anne has also been witnessed a few times.
Henry stood to inherit both the English and French thrones but was imprisoned by the House of York during the War of the Roses. When Edward IV seized the English throne Henry became a bit of a hindrance and was stabbed to death while praying in the Wakefield Tower.
He eternally haunts the tower he was murdered in. His apparition appears suddenly at the last stroke of midnight like – forgive me – clockwork.
Lady Jane Grey
Side Note: my favourite historical figure; had a crush on her since I was a teen.
Lady Jane was only Queen for 9 days. She was forced onto the throne by the Anglican powers in hopes of keeping England Protestant. Her aunt Queen Mary “Bloody Mary” executed both her and her husband for treason when she took the throne back for the Catholic Church.
The apparition of Lady Jane is seen wandering the battlements of the Tower forever a solitary lonely figure.
Lord Guilford Dudley
The husband of lady Jane Dudley was also executed by “Bloody Mary”. He is said to have been responsible for etching the name “Jane” into the walls of Beauchamp Tower where he was imprisoned.
His ghost haunts that same tower and is usually seen sitting in his former cell and weeping loudly.
Margaret Poole, Countess of Salisbury
When brought forth to be executed on the Tower Green Margaret refused to kneel before the axeman because she was no traitor. She then ran while the executioner chased her hacking at her with his axe. She eventually succumbed to her many grievous wounds.
Her disembodied screams can still be heard on the Green. The horrible scenes of her death are also replayed before terrified witnesses on occasion.
Sir Walter Raleigh
Raleigh was imprisoned in the Tower twice. The first time for a secret marriage; the second time for high treason.
Shortly after his execution – and forevermore - his apparition was seen wandering in the Bloody Tower where he had been imprisoned.
His ghost also walks the battlements in an area now called Raleigh’s Walk.
Arbella was imprisoned for marrying without the King’s permission. Her marriage was seen as threat to his throne so he solved the problem brutally as Kings are apt to do. She died while in prison either from a hunger strike or by being murdered.
Her apparition eternally walks the halls of the Queen’s House.
Guy was imprisoned for taking part in the failed Gunpowder Plot in 1605. Guy avoided his grisly execution by falling from the scaffolding while he was being taken to be hung and breaking his neck.
His phantom screams and cries can still be heard in the Council Chamber of the White Tower.
The Two Princes (Edward V and Richard, Duke of York)
The 2 boys were imprisoned by their Uncle Richard under the pretense of being protected until Edward was old enough to rule. Instead, they were murdered; probably by their Uncle. In 1674 the bones of 2 small boys were found under a stairway and given a Royal burial in Westminster Abbey.
The apparitions of the boys are often seen in the White Tower in their nightshirts holding hands. They are also seen up on the battlements playing while laughing.
The White Lady
The White Lady has no identity but she, fittingly, haunts the White Tower.
She was named as the White Lady as she is known to tap people on the shoulder who turn around to only a faint white wisp of mist.
She is also responsible to be the source of the smell of cheap perfume that, at times, is so strong it has made people physically ill.
The Grey Lady
She is also unidentified but haunts the Queen’s House. She is seen frequently; but only by female witnesses; she has never appeared to a man.
The ghosts of both a grizzly and a black bear have been seen.
The grizzly apparently charged a soldier who tried to bayonet it unsuccessfully. He was left delirious by the encounter and died only a few days later.
The black bear is seen from time to time near Martin tower.
The Nameless Thing
Possibly more of a force than a ghost this thing follows the guards on their patrols of the battlements.
Other Activity: pretty much any paranormal activity ever recorded has been witnessed in one way or another at the Tower including white misty figures, a faceless woman, shadow figures and other uncountable apparitions.
My experiences while touring the Tower in my teens: the entire Tower Green turned red while blood boiled out of the earth and flowed over the ground; a thin twisting tall figure of white mist moving across a room; the apparition of a beautiful woman watching me from the other end of a hall – I like to think it was Lady Jane herself but I doubt I was that lucky (probably a King’s mistress or prostitute); unexplained breezes that appeared suddenly and moved right through me before disappearing just as suddenly; a feeling of intense evil and darkness coming from certain places and feelings of being watched from something unseen.
The Tower of London was one of the major factors that began my career as a paranormal investigator and in the end led to the creation of this website.
This castle is most famously linked to William Shakespeare’s Play “MacBeth” although it actually didn’t exist during the same period; King MacBeth ruled in the 10th century and this castle doesn’t appear in history until the 15th century.
The first mention of the castle in historical record is in 1454 although historians have found stonework dating back 1380 in the building. Traditionally, the owner of this castle was the Thane of Cawdor.
The original owning family was the Calders; which is probably where the name Cawdor came from.
In 1510 the heiress of the Calder holdings and fortunes married a Campbell passing the castle into the Campbell family. In the late 17th century, the oldest male heir met and married Elizabeth Lort which resulted in the main Campbell family fortunes being moved to Pembrokeshire.
The responsibilities of holding Cawdor Castle fell to the remaining younger brothers who would add the walled garden as well as the surrounding forest.
In the end of the 18th century John Campbell married an Earl’s daughter earning the title of Lord. His son would create the title the Earl of Cawdor which remains the title still used by the castle’s owner.
Currently the Dowager Countless of Cawdor, step-mother to the Earl of Cawdor, lives in the castle.
It is also open as a tourist attraction.
I will write the details at the end of this section but my experience in this castle predates purposeful paranormal investigating by myself. It was also my first encounter with a dark entity.
The most famous and oft seen ghost is that of a lady dressed in blue velvet. She wanders the castle for eternity but is most often seen in the drawing room. Many think she is the ghost of Muriel Calder who was kidnapped as a young woman in an attempt to gain control over her inheritance. Others believe she is the Baroness Caroline Cawdor based her often being seen gazing at her husband’s painting.
Caroline’s husband, John Campbell, also haunts the castle. His apparition is also seen throughout the castle.
My Personal Experience:
I was on tour here when I was on vacation while a high school student.
At one point I heard a growling in the dark recess under a stairway which no one else heard. When I approached the space I got – for the first time ever – the now familiar coldness and unpleasant feeling when a dark entity is near. Seeing 2 red glowing eyes now staring at me out of the darkness convinced me I had seen enough.
In the 15th century Blickling and the surrounding area was in the possession of Sir John Fastolf of Caister who had made his fortune during the Hundred Years War. By the early years of the 16th century the Boleyn family were living here in a house that now has long since been demolished.
It is historically accepted that all 3 of the Boleyn children were born here including their daughter Anne who was destined to become Queen of England. Her most accepted birth year is 1501.
The Blickling Hall standing today was built on the ruins of the Boleyn home in the early 17th century by Sir Henry Hobart, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. The estate stayed in the Hobart Family until the latter years of the 18th century when it was passed to the Kerr Family.
In 1940 the last Kerr died out and the house with it’s 5,000 acres was passed into the ownership of the National Trust. During World War II it was used as an officer’s mess for Royal Air Force Base (RAF) Oulton. The nearby lake was used by RAF personnel to practice water crashes.
When the war ended the National Trust loaned it out to tenants until 1960 when they began a restoration program to bring it back to it’s former glory. The estate was opened to the public in 1962.
The library in the home is one of the most historically significant in the United Kingdom. The art in the house includes a tapestry was gifted by Catherine The Great of Russia.
The most famous ghost of Blickling Hall is no less than that of Queen Anne Boleyn herself.
She said to arrive in a carriage driven by a headless horseman and 4 headless horses. The Queen exits the carriage in a white dress holding her head still dripping blood. She usually arrives at night and will walk the halls and rooms of the house until day break.
Anne’s father – Thomas Boleyn – who orchestrated his daughter’s marriage to the King is also haunting the house. It is said his penance is to cross 12 bridges every night before dawn for a thousand years. He leaves the house every night to begin his spectral journey.
Like his daughter he was beheaded and is said to carry his head as well; although his mouth spits flames rather than blood.
The apparition of Sir John Fastolf also wanders the home endlessly.
There is also an unidentified “grey lady” who haunts the estate.
By <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Superhasn" class="extiw" title="wikipedia:User:Superhasn">Superhasn</a> at <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/" class="extiw" title="toollabs:commonshelper/">CommonsHelper</a>., Public Domain, Link
The earliest record showing this site being used for official government purposes was by the Normans who used this site as a base for Sheriffs who would collect taxes and work as peace officers in the 12th and 13th centuries.
So, for fans of Robin Hood, this is where the Sheriff of Nottingham was based.
The first record identifying it as a Court of Law was in 1374 – it began to be used as a prison in 1449.
In 1724 the courtroom floor collapsed when court was in session and a large group of people were in the room. There were no fatalities but one man is described as having the flesh of his leg tore right off the bone. It was rebuilt between 1769 and 1772 – the frontage of the building was also redesigned during this refit.
Additional wings were added to the building in 1820 and 1840.
So begins the Victorian Era – so named as Queen Victoria reigned over Britain, the Colonies and the Commonwealth - when you could be arrested, tried, imprisoned and executed all in this building. From 1832 until 1864 all public executions in Nottingham took place here.
After 1868 public executions were outlawed and capital punishments took place at Borough Goal. However, Thomas Gray was the actual last person hung on this site – in the rear yard – November 21, 1877.
Until 1991 this building was used for all civil and criminal court proceedings in Nottingham. The Galleries of Justice Museum was opened in 1995 and then re-branded as the National Justice Museum in 2017.
This building is considered one of the most haunted in the United Kingdom – in fact, it was recently voted the most haunted in the entire Country - and certainly has a place among the world’s most haunted locations.
Considering the horrors this building has witnessed – not to mention injustices - especially in the Victorian era the level of paranormal activity is not surprising.
If you are looking to have a firsthand experience with the paranormal booking a tour here gives you one of the best chances – in a controlled and safe environment – of doing so.
Throughout the building apparitions have been seen, terrible unexplained noises are heard including rasps, breathing and screams and people have become literally paralyzed with fear and unable to carry on.
Below we have the reported paranormal activity for specific areas of the building:
The Caves and Chapel
Many consider this area to be the most haunted part of the building of all. Poltergeist activity here is rampant – a cross was once thrown across a room – with stones being thrown, sometimes at people. There are uncountable stories of people being touched by unseen entities; in fact, this the place to come if you actually want to experience this. Unexplained loud bangs and other sudden noises are recorded here as well.
Disembodied groans and screams are heard here and are thought to be echoes of the terrible sentences that were handed out – including death for mere thievery. Shadow figures have been seen in this room and the ghosts have frequently responded to questions posed by the living using knocks. Light anomalies are quite common here as well.
The Entrance Hall
Yet another part of the building that could easily be called the most active. The building’s cleaning staff have refused to work here due to the frequency of paranormal activity. There are 3 identified ghosts here including: an old lady, a gentleman in Victorian attire and a soldier – an all 3 are known for letting the living know they are there.
No matter what you imagine, just based on the name, its neither intense nor horrifying enough.
It was – and still is – pitch black and nightmarishly cramped in this area. It would have been so terrible to be imprisoned here that death was probably preferrable. Phantom footsteps echo here with many sounding as if they are approaching you – and whose to say they’re not. Dark figures – not to be confused with shadow figures – surrounded in dark energy have been reported down here. It is yet another place where touches from unseen entities is chillingly frequent.
People have become so nauseous in here that have had to leave the building to avoid becoming cripplingly ill.
(Lancashire County Mental Hospital)
Status: Former Psychiatric Institution, Former Military Hospital, Completely Demolished
Map of the full complex. The location of St John’s Anglican Church, which still stands, can be used to plot out where every building once stood.
In 1866 the 3 existing lunatic asylums in Lancashire were completely full. Another asylum was needed; especially one for the poor who could not afford to pay for their care. In 1869 construction began using bricks made from materials right on site. The asylum opened on April 1, 1873.
The first staff had to live under some pretty serious rules. They lived on site and were allowed to leave only 1 day every 3 weeks and 1 Sunday a month; they were to wake up at 6am and only allowed to bed at 10pm. Should a staff member lose a patient they had to pay the costs of retrieving them.
The first of the massive complexes built at the site – what would come to be known as St Luke’s Division – was completed in June of 1875. It could hold 1100 inmates – that’s what the patients were called at the time – and had both Anglican and a Catholic chapels plus a fully functioning farm. In 1878 what was eventually called the St John’s Division was completed with room for another 700 inmates and the site was granted its own post office.
Between 1892 and 1894 electric lamps were added to grounds and buildings. In 1912 Cameron House and St Margaret’s Division were both completed. By 1915 the hospital’s population was listed at 2,820 more than double what the asylum plans was originally designed to house.
In 1918/19 St Margaret’s was emptied of patients so the government could house and treat the wounded of the First World War. There are 4 graves in the hospital cemetery of men who died related to wounds sustained in that war.
In 1919 the military returned the building to the hospital for civilian use. The name was changed from the Whittingham Asylum to the Whittingham Mental Hospital at this time.
In 1930 the Mental Health Act allowed people to voluntarily admit themselves to the hospital.
In 1939 the population of the institution was recorded at 3,533 and St Margaret’s was emptied again so the military could use it as an emergency hospital. Many of the wounded from the Dunkirk evacuation were treated here. Enemy POW’s were also treated at the hospital during the war.
Many of the allied soldiers wounded after D-Day who heroically took Western Europe back from the Nazis were treated at this hospital.
In 1946 the military again returned the building to the hospital. In 1948 the hospital became part of the newly formed National Health Service and the name was changed to the Whittingham Hospital.
In the 1950’s staff reworked War Surplus equipment and created the first EEG which was first used here to treat the mentally ill. This marked the beginnings of modern medicine in the field of mental health.
The late 1960’s were the darkest chapters in the hospital’s history. Complaints by the nursing staff and students of abuse, maltreatment, insufficient infrastructure and outright theft/fraud were hushed by the senior staff with those who complained were threatened. The details of what was happening are easy to find and absolutely nightmarish so we won’t cover them.
Suffice it to say some senior staff went into “early retirement” and other staff were jailed for their actions.
In the 1980’s; as new treatments were developed and the large psychiatric hospital system was dismantled in favour of smaller group homes; the hospital population and staff numbers began to steadily decrease. The hospital would close in 1995.
In 2015 – despite a huge outcry from the public including former staff – the entire hospital complex was razed to the ground. The government found no historical or architectural reasons for saving anything beyond one church.
Nothing remains at the site now except some sports fields, old roads and fields still scarred from the demolishment. There isn’t even a memorial to what was once the largest mental health complex in the United Kingdom and the 10s of thousands lives it affected.
Reports of paranormal activity date back to when the hospital was open.
Shadow figures have been seen crawling along the walls and even crawling over and on to the living – this was reported by numerous staff members.
There was a corridor that provided a short cut between 2 wards that staff acknowledged as making your hair stand on end. It wasn’t used unless haste or lack of patience made it more palatable. One young nurse had all the lights turn off on her when she was mid-way down it. Other staff reported feelings of being followed, unexplained sounds of breathing and a general feeling of creepiness that couldn’t be shaken. There were unused rooms along this corridor and more than one staff member reported the feeling that these dark rooms were not as empty as they seemed.
Many people – both staff and explorers after the hospital was closed – report being pushed - sometimes violently - by something unseen; disembodied voices including full conversations that went silent as soon as the visitor neared; their names whispered directly into their ears and well as some disturbing and vile suggestions; objects moving on their own such as doors and windows opening and closing on their own; electrical disturbances; light anomalies; hot and cold spots; time slips; missing time periods; severe disorientation; nausea; response to questions and inquiries by unseen entities; unexplained noises from deafening bangs to knocks; apparitions of former patients and staff including those that interact with the living and feelings of not being alone, not being wanted, being watched, being followed/stalked and general unease.
Most commonly reported since the hospital closed – including after the buildings were demolished – is a powerful malignant energy that seems to be intelligent and delights in causing fear and other unpleasant sensations and emotions.
Of course, everyone asks has tearing down all the buildings done anything at all to affect the paranormal activity at the site?
The short answer is no.
People report disembodied voices, screams, laughter, crying and breathing; shadow figures - including those that seem to physically touch the living - and apparitions; everything from touches to pushes to scratches from unseen entities; misty figures; time slips; electrical disturbances; cold spots and feelings of not being alone and not being safe most often these days.
There are also hours of audio and video of recordings that cannot explained including entities answering questions posed by the living.
Sensitives have reported a tear in the etheric here.
And, of course, that malignant energy was unaffected by the site being torn down.
Hall Road near the Borley Church
Sudbury, England, UK
Status: Former Rectory; Famous Haunted Location; Completely Demolished; 3 Residential Unit
By Unknown author - Museo britannico del soprannaturale, Public Domain, Link
Borley Rectory was built in 1863 in Borley, Sussex, England. The house was destroyed in 1939 by fire.
Although it already had a reputation as being haunted with the locals it was not until its story was covered by The Daily Mirror in 1929 and the famous investigation begun by Harry Price in 1937 did it become known as the most haunted house in England. The house was built by Reverend Henry Bull after he demolished the Rectory that was already on site; the house was later enlarged to house his family of 14 children – 11 bedrooms, 7,500 square feet.
Stories of hauntings and encounters with the paranormal began immediately after the house was completed including locals reporting hearing phantom footsteps and 4 of the Reverend daughters reported seeing the ghostly figure of a nun that disappeared when they approached her.
The Reverend died in 1892 and his son Rev Harry Bull moved in. During this time encounters with the paranormal continued including sights of a ghostly coach driven by 2 headless coachmen. Harry died in 1927 and the Rev Guy Smith and his wife moved into the house.
The Smiths witnessed several different types of phenomena including ghostly faces and lights in the windows, the ringing of the servant’s bells which had been cut and the wife believes she saw the phantom carriage. In 1929 they contacted The Daily Mirror in order to find a way to contact the Society for Psychical Research, the paper wrote a number of stories on the haunting and arranged for Harry Price to investigate the property.
The Price Investigation
Upon Mr Price’s arrival new phenomena began to appear including the throwing of different objects and spirit messages being tapped out on a mirror. Mrs Smith was convinced Price was a fake as these events discontinued when he left the property.
The Smiths left in July of 1929 and the family of Rev Foster moved in. They kept a record of the events in the home and forwarded it to Mr Price. The events included: windows shattering, throwing of objects, their daughter being locked in a room with no key, being thrown out of bed and being attacked by dark entities. A lot of these events were said to be caused by the energy of the number of psychic researchers present at this now famous haunting. The daughter would later admit she used paranormal events as a cover up for the fact that she was having relations with one of the lodgers.
Once the Fosters left Harry Price took the lease of the property for his investigation. Through newspaper advertisements he gathered a group of 48 observers who spent time on the property cataloging all paranormal events.
During a seance a ghost stated he would burn the Rectory to the ground that night (March 27, 1938) and this prophecy would come true exactly one year later on March 27, 1939. The new owner of the Rectory was unpacking his things when an oil lamp overturned and the building burned to the ground. He also predicted that the bones of a murder victim would be unearthed; in an examination of the house’s basement Mr Price did find 2 bones of a young woman.
Mr Price’s findings were highly criticized both during his life and after his death in 1948. He has been painted as a charlatan who faked his research but this does not explain the long history previous to his investigation of hauntings at this location. In fact, periodically, there are still reports of paranormal activity where the Borley Rectory and its grounds once stood to this day.
A brilliant investigator or unprecedented fake Harry Price brought a lot of attention to Borley Rectory and its hauntings and no has ever been to prove that there was never a haunting or that it does not persist to this day.
In 2004 Warner Pictures purchased the rights to the book “The Most Haunted House in England” proof that at least certainly interest in the hauntings has not waned in the decades that have followed the house’s destruction.
The Legends of Borley Rectory
A Benedictine Monastery was built on the site in 1362 in which a monk from the monastery carried on an affair with a nun in a nearby convent. When this affair was discovered supposedly the monk was executed and the nun was walled up within the convent’s walls. This is apparently the origins of the ghostly nun often seen on the grounds. It is also rumoured that this story was manufactured by the original Reverend to romanticize the house.
Another answer to the question of the ghosts was given in a seance during Price’s investigation. Apparently, a nun by the name of Maire Lairre was contacted and she claimed to have moved to England from France in order to marry the owner of the 17th century manor house that was located on the site. She also claimed she was murdered in 1677 in the house. This was Price’s explanation for the ghostly nun, that Marie was destined to wander forever in search of burial in holy ground. Legend says her answers mirrored those from the story told by the Bull sisters from they encountered her ghost.
When Price found the bones of a young woman in the basement of the Rectory in 1943 (after the fire) the bones were given a Christian burial and said to put Marie finally to rest. However, the ghost of nun is still seen to this day wandering the grounds.
BORLEY RECTORY NOW
Three luxury bungalows now stand on the grounds where the Rectory once stood. The only original building left from the time of the Rectory is the Rectory Cottage but even it has been heavily modernized and not really recognizable.
As for the hauntings in modern time – the ghostly nun is still seen and still walks the path known The Nun’s Walk, the phantom coach is still seen at night as well as the ghost of a headless man and phantom sounds are said to come from the Borley Parish Church including chanting and organ music.
Other reports include phantom footsteps, poltergeist activity and objects appearing in thin air and then vanishing as well as feelings of unease and outright fear.
8 Potters Pond
Status: Burial Ground; Murder Site; Historic Site; Former Inn and Public House; Residence; Famous Haunted House; Open to the Public
This site was originally a multi-generational so-called “Pagan” burial ground; dating back to about 5,000 years ago. It is also a spot where 2 ley lines cross; one of which goes directly to Stonehenge. Many believe the paranormal activity here derives its energy from that ancient site.
The first building here was built in 1145 was a home for the slaves and masons who were building the nearby St Mary’s Church. At this time streams were diverted for the church which is believed to be what opened a portal of dark energy that infests the house. Some blame Pagan rituals but no activity was reported here until the Christian church moved the streams.
In the 16th Century a woman was burned as witch – by that blameless Christian church again – on the property after hiding out in the building. An innkeeper’s daughter is rumoured to have been murdered in the attic during that century as well.
After the church was completed and the slaves, left the home became the residence of a Priest; then later an inn and public house. There were countless – most unknown – owners of this building until 1968 when John Humphries bought it. It was his residence until 2017 when he passed away.
Its current status is somewhat difficult to clearly attain but it appears to be owned by Carolyn Humphries and open to the public for historical and paranormal events.
The building itself has garnered such an evil reputation that most locals won’t go anywhere near it after dark. Countless people have described the Inn as having a dark and heavy atmosphere or energy; some have been unable to enter this is so overbearing.
One person even described the energy as “pure filth”
The aforementioned woman who was murdered as a witch is said to haunt the Perfectly named “Witch’s Room”.
In the attic – where an innkeeper’s is said to have been murdered – there is a feeling of intense depression and hopelessness. People below the attic have also heard the phantom sound of someone dragging something heavy above them.
The “Men’s Kitchen” is the first room people enter and is said to be located directly over the Pagan burial ground and the phantom sound of a baby crying is frequently heard. To get to the first-floor visitors need to go up a set of stairs that many people have been pushed on.
In 1999 a photo was taken on these stairs seeming to be a misty figure ascending them.
On the first floor is the Bishop’s Room which is universally described as the scariest room in the building. The energy is here has been called downright disturbing. At least one person has been thrown across the room by an unseen force.
The ghosts of 2 monks are seen shimmering in a corner of the Bishop’s Room. The apparition of a Knight has been seen walking quickly through the room. The apparitions of a man with his German Sheppard dog are reported as well here. Phantom screams of a man who was reportedly murdered here by stuffing his head into the fire are also heard.
Worst of all anyone sleeping in this room takes a chance in gaining the attention of either a Incubus or Succubus – better known as Lust Demons.
Pretty much all levels of paranormal activity have taken place somewhere in this house. Entering this building you open yourself to a possible encounter with any paranormal activity that’s been recorded.