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Ghosts of East England

BEDFORDSHIRE, EASTERN ENGLAND

GREAT PARK
Ampthill
Bedfordshire
In the more imaginative days the ghost that haunts this 300 acre estate was described as that of a 'knight in full armour with a plumed helmet, riding a glorious white steed'. However, a more factual account was given in 1965 by an ex-policeman on holiday in the area. What he saw whilst strolling through the park with his family was 'the vague shape of a man on a horse who suddenly appeared from where the castle used to be and vanished near a small brook'. There are no records of who the unknown rider might be or why he continues to haunt the area but the castle, the site of which is marked with an eighteenth century cross, was known at one time to house Catherine of Aragon.
© Andrew Green

MARKYATE
Bedfordshire
In 1958 a cricket team from the Kenwood Manufacturing Company Ltd., were returning to Surrey after a match at Milton Bryan and had reached a spot near the Pack Horse Inn, between Dunstable and Markyate. The driver of their mini-bus swerved to overtake a car and was involved in a horrifying crash which killed two of the team, Sidney Moulder and Jerry Rycham, both of Woking. Three others were badly injured. One evening 15 years later a taxi driver on his way to collect a fare was scared by the sudden appearance of a tall man in 'white clothes' who stepped right in front of his cab. 'I braked, but was going too fast and went straight through him. I pulled up and spent some time trying to find the man but there was no-one in sight'. Several other reports by motorists who have seen the figure of a tall cricketer at the side of the road confirm that at least one of them still haunts the site.
© Andrew Green

UNION STREET
Bedford
Bedfordshire
About 100 yards from the prison, Union Street is a popular area for busy motorists as it offers a parking space, but about 200 years ago it was the site of a gallows. Here in 1607 'Black Tom', a dastardly highway man, was hanged, but it seems he still remains as a warning to those who break the law. On collecting their cars from the park, an occasional driver has seen the vague shape of a man 'lurking'in the corner. One witness who saw the figure and described it as that of, 'A drunk, with his head lolling about', corrected his impression when it vanished on his approach.
© Andrew Green

WOBOURN ABBEY
Woburn
Bedfordshire
Well known as 'the stately centre of the world', Woburn is perhaps less renowned for its ghost, though many people have witnessed at least one. A special club dinner was held in March, 1971 in the Sculpture Gallery and several guest enquired about the monk who appeared between the entrance pillars and then glided through the door. Some of the staff have also seen the figure in a brown habit in other parts of the house. More recent a 'new'ghost has made his appearance in the Antiques Centre. One or two visitors have commented on the 'man with a top hat' who 'seems to vanish suddenly'. One of the witnesses was a painter who had no knowledge of the phantom of the abbey.
© Andrew Green


ESSEX, EASTERN ENGLAND

ABBEY CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS AND ST. LAURENCE
Waltham Abbey
Essex
The abbey was one of the last to be founded by King Harold and built only 36 years before the battle of Hastings. The remnants contain a Norman nave, a fourteenth century chapel and a sixteenth century tower, though some parts were restored in the 1960's. Is every abbey haunted? This one certainly is by, as one would expect, the figure of a monk, not the site of the cloisters but gliding through the graveyard. Why he is no-one knows, let alone why he continues to appear. Nevertheless he was seen by a young courting couple late in 1976 and the following year by a gentleman taking an evening stroll.
© Andrew Green

BELL HOTEL
High Street
Thorpe-le-Soken
Near Clacton
Essex
I spoke to the manager of this inn, Mr. Eaton, in 1971 and received confirmation that, 'many people have experienced the sensation of a presence in the guest's bedroom'. The phantom of 'a female figure, rather shadowy', was witnessed by Mrs. Eaton's mother at the foot of her bed. She watched it move slowly towards the door and `then seemed to slide right through it'. In August, 1972 a guest in room six found, on waking, that a heavy wardrobe had been moved during the night and, from the state of the spare bed in the room, someone had slept there as well. But no-one had entered the room whilst he was there, at least no visible person. Mr. Eaton thought, at the time, that the ghost was that of Kitty Canham an eighteenth century bigamist buried in the adjoining churchyard.
© Andrew Green

UPMINSTER GOLF CLUB
Hall Lane
Upminster
Essex
Several members of this rather exclusive golf club the house of which was originally a monastery over 800 years ago, have witnessed the figure of a young girl in a long white dress in the first floor hallway. Another site of her haunting is the flat, used in former times by the Secretary of the club. A certain amount of investigation has resulted in the finding of possible cavities in the walls of the hallway resulting in the suggestion that these may contain a clue to the identity of the ghost. However, the popular idea is that she is a girl from Havering who was kidnapped in the seventeenth century, hidden in this manor house, and finally murdered. Her body was then entombed in a room which now overlooks the car park.
© Andrew Green


CAMBRIDGESHIRE, EASTERN ENGLAND

CARPENTERS`S ARMS
High Street
Great Wilbraham
Cambridgeshire
Inexplicable footsteps along an upstairs corridor is the phenomena experienced here, accompanied sometime by a knock on one of the bedroom doors. Often, poltergeist activity is the cause but this seventeenth century building has been subjected to the noise for well over 70 years. Not only are the regular sounds heard by the current licensee and members of the staff but also by the occasional overnight guest who is, naturally, puzzled when, on looking for the mysterious evening walker, finds no-one in the empty corridor.
© Andrew Green

GOLDEN LION HOTEL
Market Place
St. Ives
Cambridgeshire
The Cambridge University Society for Psychical Research were called upon to investigate the haunting here in 1970 and, as usual, nothing occurred during their visit. However, the phenomena experienced before the arrival of the team of specialist resumed a few weeks after departure, but, mainly, that of poltergeist phenomena. Bells would ring, doors open of their own accord and bedclothes would be moved by an unseen force. Nevertheless, during both periods two phantoms were actually witnessed. One was a woman in a green dress standing in bedroom 12 occupied by Michael Samuels and in room 15 'a Cavalier' was seen. A chambermaid saw the figure in the corridor and then watched it glide through the wall. Seconds later a guest in the room came running out saying that a ghostly figure in Royalist uniform had just entered and then vanished.
© Andrew Green


LINCOLNSHIRE, EASTERN ENGLAND

BLACK BULL
High Street
Welton
Lincolnshire
Charles McCreery, a researcher and co-author with the Psychophysical Research Unit at Oxford, said after investigating the phenomena here, 'This is more like a conventional haunting', even though no phantom has ever been witnessed. This old coach house situated near to the RAF camp at Scampton and well-known as 'the local haunt'of Guy Gibson and his Dambuster colleagues, has often been reported as haunted though the landlord said, initially, he refused to believe it. Now it seems he is convinced. Bill Dales recently made a tape recording of some of the mysterious noises heard, one only one by the recorder itself, that of a door opening and closing. The main inexplicable sounds is of an unseen ghost slowly walking up the 18 stairs to the restaurant.
© Andrew Green


NORFOLK, EASTERN ENGLAND

WHITE WOMAN LANE
Catton
Near Norwich
Norfolk
According to the Borderline Science Investigation Group's records and that exert investigator Joan Forman who mentions the case in her work, 'Haunted East Anglia', the ghost of a young woman has often been seen crossing this narrow road. She is thought to be the phantom of a former owner of the Manor House, and is mostly witnessed as dusk approaches.
© Andrew Green

TUDOR ROSE HOTEL
St Nicholas Street
Kings Lynn
Norfolk
According to the manager's wife, Mrs. Sally Hunter, parts of this old building date back to the fifteenth century when it was a nunnery. There is a local legend of Augustinian monks handing over a witch by the name of Margaret Read to the nuns and after a due 'trial' she was burnt for heresy in the nearby market. Mrs. Hunter has seen the apparition of a 'small woman in a grey gown'on the stairway leading to the guest's rooms. What has attracted her attention was hearing soft footsteps going up the stairs and, wondering who was causing the, she went with a member of the staff to investigate. There were no guests residing at the hotel at the time. Both the maid and Mrs. Hunter saw the figure before it 'faded into a mist and then disappeared'. Another member of the staff, Ruby, has also seen the figure and several guests have complained of the sudden and inexplicable cold draughts both in room 7 and room 9.
© Andrew Green

LONG STRATTON
Norfolk
There have been one or two incidents during the last few years when residents taking their dogs out for an evening walk, or themselves to a local pub, have heard the sound of coach and horses rumbling through the village streets. No-one has seen anything recently though some of the older folk recall that the apparition used to be witnessed. It was of a phantom coach and four horses driven, they say, by 'Old Hunch' who died in 1647. No reason has ever been offered for this haunting though the identity of the man has been stated as that of Judge Reeve who lies buried, with his wife, in Long Stratton Church.
© Andrew Green

HALL INN
Sea Palling
Norfolk
In May, 1975 and October 1976, a team of researchers from the Borderline Science Investigation Group made serious attempts to obtain facts regarding the alleged haunting of this 400 year old building, formerly a farmhouse. They spent many hours recording some interesting material, using sophisticated detecting apparatus and arrived at the conclusion that genuine phenomena had probably occurred. There was no real evidence that the ghost was of Maria Cubitt, as was originally claimed, but 'impressive' information did suggest that the phantom was a 'Lily Tayor'. On separate occasions the figure of a woman in grey clothing has been seen sitting on a window ledge in the television lounge and an accompanying drop in temperature recorded. Other phenomena has been sudden and inexplicable appearances of a 'bluish shadow'and 'the sweet, sickly smell of strong tobacco'. At 11 o'clock one morning, the manager's wife at the time saw a 'column of grey smoke'move across the dining room towards the kitchen. This was observed on two later occasions by other witnesses.
© Andrew Green


SUFFOLK, EAST ENGLAND

ANCHOR HOTEL
Lowerstoft
Suffolk
One of the first reports of this building being haunted in recent years was that made during the last war by a sailor sleeping on a couch in the lounge. He was awoken by, 'a cold blast of air'and saw the outline of a hooded figure standing in the doorway. Immediately he moved to get up, the apparition vanished. Other 'hooded figures' have also been reported in the area from time to time one being seen in an adjoining house until it was demolished in the 1960`s. The same figure frequents a building known as 'Mariners Score'immediately opposite the Anchor Hotel and in 1976 the landlord of the hotel saw 'an inexplicable figure'believed to be the same hooded shape in the cellars. Three members of a local scientific research group, the Borderline Science Investigation Group carried out an investigation later in 1976 and recorded a drop in temperature which lasted for two hours, gentle footsteps were also heard which could not be explained. The building is claimed to be on the site of an underground chapel of St. Bartholomew's Priory demolished in the fifteenth century. During the early part of the twentieth century workmen re-discovered the chapel and two tunnels leading to the Parish Church. Both the tunnels and chapel were re-sealed.
© Andrew Green

BURY ABBEY
Bury St. Edmunds
Suffolk
Two phantom women are seen separately in the precincts of the abbey and in the cathedral churchyard. Another ghost, that of a monk in a brown habit has been witnessed in the cellars, of the nearby Cupola House which was once linked with the abbey. The phantom of the monk is supposed to be that of Brother Bernard, thought to be a heretic by the Duke of Gloucester during the reign of Henry V, whilst one of the ladies is claimed to be Maude Carew. This, I feel, is rather doubtful, but whoever they are, the ghosts are still in existence.
© Andrew Green

GUN HILL
Southwold
Suffolk
In their book, 'Local Curiosities' published in 1976, Ivan Bunn and Mike Burgess mention that a phantom soldier, 'Has been seen standing by the second cannon from the right as one approaches from the road'. The mystery as to who he was or why he haunts was answered some three years later. Whilst on an evening stroll in September, 1979 a couple saw the ghost and recognised the style of uniform worn. Further research revealed that the guns were fired in salute during the visit of a local dignitary in the 1800's but, perhaps due to faulty maintenance or lack of experience in gunnery, one of the cannons exploded killing the soldier.
© Andrew Green

JAY`S HILL
Hulver Street
Near Beccles
Suffolk
A few year ago a teenage boy was cycling home from work when he suddenly noticed a tall woman 'in a white dress' standing practically in the hedges at the side of the road. As he drew nearer she just faded away. Somewhat frightened by the inexplicable disappearance he raced to 'The Gate' public house where on arrival, according to witnesses, he appeared to be 'very shaken by the experience'. Later, the boy's family were picnicking a few yards from the site and all felt 'as if they were being watched'. The feeling became very strong and when the nearby hedge moved without apparent cause, and a 'soft moan' was heard, the group decided to move to a more comfortable locality. It is known that a young woman from the nearby Sotterly Hall was murdered by her lover during an argument many years ago, and the site of the crime is according to local belief, the spot where the cyclist saw the phantom figure. A few months after the experiences of the boy a motorist reported seeing the same and although thinking 'she looked ill' was unable to stop due to an urgent business appointment.
© Andrew Green

LIONS GRAVE
Ditchingham
Near Bungay
Suffolk
At the spot where the original Bungay road to Norwich becomes a lay-by at the bottom of a hill, a coach and four horses has been seen occasionally. One of the most recent witnesses was a motorist travelling from Kirkstead Green at 10 o'clock one night. He had to brake sharply to avoid what he thought would be a head-on collision. When only feet away the multi-apparition just faded away.
© Andrew Green

NUTSHELL
Cornhill
Bury St Edmunds
Suffolk
One of the smallest pubs in the country housing an interesting collection of Victoriana and old by-gones, the 'Nutshell' also contains a ghost of a small boy. Believed to be the phantom of a lad who was murdered, for some unknown reason, sometime ago, he has been seen both by the landlord's wife and at least one of the regular customers. He occasionally stays the night in a small bedroom on the third floor and it is this room that the spectre appears. The landlord admits that he has experienced an inexplicable drop in temperature when entering the room, 'but is not bothered about it'.
© Andrew Green

PARISH CHURCH
Walberswick
Near Southwold
Suffolk
Here in the ruined chancel of this delightful old church the ghost of a man was seen in the mid 1930's by no less than George Orwell who made a hasty sketch on the back of an envelope. Whilst repairs were being carried our nearly 50 years later one of the workmen also witnessed the apparition and was assured when discussing the incident later, that the phantom had been seen by 'quite a few people'.
© Andrew Green

ROSS HALL
Barsham Road
Beccles
Suffolk
There are numerous tales associated with this old Tudor mansion ranging from headless coachmen to a Devil's footprint but I feel that most of these can be attributed to imagination, or stories invented by game wardens to scare off poachers and other undesirables. Nevertheless, there are genuine reports of the ghostly figure of a man being seen near a specific tree on the estate. He appears in a 'mottled old brown jacket and tattered trousers', and, 'just appears from nowhere', gliding towards the oak. Within a few feet of the old trunk of the tree he vanishes. To explain the haunting, locals claim that the tree once formed a gibbet and the ghost is one of the victims. He was hanged for stealing, but later evidence showed him to be innocent of the crime.
© Andrew Green

THEATRE ROYAL
Westgate Street
Bury St Edmunds
Suffolk
Few people have seen him, but many have 'sensed'the ghost here, believed to be that of the original builder of the theatre, William Wilkins. Some prefer to think that the 'misty shape of a man in a grey suit' witnessed near the stage door, is that of a 'stage-door Johnny'who, whilst having a passionate affair with one of the actresses, died suddenly.