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Ghosts in the West of England

SHROPSHIRE, WEST ENGLAND

BRIDGE STREET
Longnor
Shropshire
On the Bridge over a tributary to the Cound Brook, a figure of a young girl in what appears to be a wedding dress has been seen fairly recently. She stands, `For a second or two and then seems to float over the bridge into the stream`. The two latest sightings, one by a local motorist, occurred in August 1975 about 5.30 p.m. The belief is that she is the ghost of a suicide who was deserted by her lover on her wedding day.
© Andrew Green

BROAD STREET
Ludlow
Shropshire
In 'Haunted Britain' by Anthony D. Hippisley Coxe, a report states that the ghost of a 'grey-haired lady wearing a dressing gown' is seen in the church yard and rectory. One wonders if this figure is mistaken for the phantom of Catherine of Aragon who has also been witnessed in the same area. This former Queen of England is known to have visited Ludlow Castle on at least two occasions. Another contender for the identity is Marion de la Bruyere who, after being betrayed by her lover during a siege of the castle, killed him with his own sword and then jumped to her death from the roof. However, this female phantom is supposed to remain within the walls of the Hanging Tower, where the misty figure of a woman is seen halve way up the stairway. Accompanying the haunting is the strange sound of `laboured breathing` but owls could be the source of that noise.
© Andrew Green

CHURCH OF ST. LAWRENCE
Ludlow
Shropshire
Probably associated with the ghost of the church yard are the inexplicable footsteps heard in the nearby rectory. The ghost herself is that of an old woman wearing a dress of `heavy material` described by some witnesses as ` a dressing gown of a grey-blue colour`. The phantom walks from the rectory, through the graveyard and vanishes on reaching the doorway of the church. Summer evenings seem to be her favourite time to appear.
© Andrew Green

CORVE STREET
Ludlow
Shropshire
Why is it that many dogs become unnerved at a certain spot on this ancient old road? Owners frequently notice that their pets suddenly become apprehensive and anxious to get away, refusing to 'sit', 'stand', or even 'behave themselves'. Those interested in local history know that the site was originally that of a Grey Friars Priory associated with the nearby St. Leonard's Chapel. Although perhaps surprisingly, no phantom monks have been witnessed in the locality, Miss Evelyn Sheppard, a nurse, experienced an unusual incident in 1971', when walking along Corve Street. 'In front of me was a refine-looking gentleman wearing the style of clothes associated with the caricature of John Bull. He was hurrying toward St Leonard's Chapel, hesitated and suddenly faded away on reaching the burial ground there. There was nothing frightening about the figure, or his vanishing. It was just puzzling. The time was early evening and there were not many people about though'. Perhaps, relevant is the fact that William Owen, a well-known Ludlow born portrait painter to the Prince Regent would often walk in Corve Street. He died when an untrained chemist's assistant gave him a bottle of poison instead of medicine prescribed by the doctor.
© Andrew Green

FEATHERS HOTEL
Bull Ring
Ludlow
Shropshire
During the summer of 1974 Mr. Ainsley, a commercial traveller, had an appointment at the seventeenth century Feathers Hotel but was unfamiliar with the town. As a result he was a few minutes late arriving and irritated with parking problems. However, after touring round a couple of times he was lucky to find a space right opposite the entrance of the hotel. He pulled up, grabbed his brief case and was already halfway across the pavement when he realised he had forgotten some papers. He turned to retrieve them from his car when he saw the figure of a young girl ` about 16` wearing a see-through blouse and a mini skirt walk straight through his vehicle, glide onto the pavement and pass him and vanish. Astounded and hardly believing what he had seen, he ran to the bar of the hotel to gasp out his story to the barman. One can imagine his reaction on being greeted with 'Good afternoon, Sir, its alright, I know what you've seen, a young girl walk through your car. Here's the brandy - on the house. You are the sixth person to have experienced her this year'. The two men discussed the incident but the attendant was unable to provide any further information. The girl had been seen several times, always at the same place, usually about mid-day and wearing the same clothing.

The incident could have been forgotten had it not been form the fact that the intrepid Birmingham Researcher, Colin Smith, was able not only to find the girl in question but obtain details of this brilliant example of a 'ghost of the living'. The girl, Carole, now in her 20's, when living in the area would walk through the Bull Ring, 'at least once a week'to visit her aunt, a Mr. Hughes, who lived near the feathers. They were `extremely close` and she was `a very dear friend` of the young teenager. When Mrs. Hughes died suddenly, Carole moved from the district and now lives in Birmingham. However, she often visualises herself walking the route she used to take, for, `It was really a very happy time for me`, she said. It seems that like so many `living ghosts` her phantom will continue to be seen for some years yet.
© Andrew Green

SWAN HOTEL
Watling Street
Dawley
Shropshire
One of the few people who have seen the ghost in this old pub, situated on the site of a coaching inn was Mrs. Peggy Sawyer, the cook. `He was walking along one of the landings`, she said ` and was wearing a long, dark coat and trousers that looked more like untanned leather to me`. The figure is claimed to be that of a traveller who was robbed and murdered in one of the bedrooms over 150 years ago. Slow walking footsteps have been heard moving towards a particular bedroom and, on reaching the door, they fade away.
© Andrew Green