Warning: contains topics that may cause an uneased feeling. Advised to not read at night or rather with someone when easily feeling unsettled.
England has many buildings that behold ghost stories, or well, paranormal ones. I’ve always been interested in such stories, including abandoned buildings. Sure, the question will always be the same: are such stories true? Multiple buildings have been visited by paranormal scientists, and they said it was true. I’ve researched multiple stories last year, for no real purpose. So, I suddenly decided to turn it into a series! In several parts, I’ll be telling all paranormal stories and the history of England’s buildings! Today: part 6!
1. Blickling Hall/Estate (Norfolk, England)
This exquisite piece of residence is home to one of history’s most famous people: Anne Boleyn. It stands on the site of an older medieval manor, which is in thought to have been her birthplace. She was famously beheaded on the orders of her husband Henry VIII when she didn’t want to bear him a son and heir. She had given birth to a daughter, but it wasn’t good enough. Now her headless ghost is said to return every year on 19 May, the anniversary of her execution. When night falls, her ghost is seen arriving in a coach drawn by a headless horseman. Her own head lays in her lap. However, the moment the coach appears, it also vanishes just as quickly into thin air. Some say that when the news of Anne’s death reached the Blickling Hall in 1536, four headless horses were seen dragging the body of a headless man across Norfolk. Her father, Sir Thomas, seems to have been cursed in haunting the Hall. Why? For taking no action in preventing the execution of his two children by Henry VIII. They say that his ghost attempts to cross 12 bridges before cockcrow. The route takes him from Blickling to Aylsham, Burgh, Buxton, Coltishall, Meyton, Oxnead and Wroxham. Other less dramatic ghostly residents are the spirit of Sir John Falstofe (the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Falstaff) and Sir Henry Hobart’s dying groans are said to be heard from the West Turret Bedroom on the anniversary of his death.
2. Buckland Abbey (Devon, England)
Sir Francis Drake (the one and only from the Uncharted games) lived in glory as a national hero. Though, his spirit is far from happy and is said to haunt his own Devon Home. The house was sold to Sir Francis Drake in 1580. He made Buckland his home after returning to England as he had been sailing on The Golden Hind for about three years. Though, many locals feared him and said he had supernatural powers. Others believed he defeated the Spanish Armada with a pact he made with the Devil. His ghost seems to ride across Dartmoor in a black coach driven by headless horses, led by twelve chattering goblins and pursued by a pack of dogs. Any living dog that hears their barking, is said to die instantly.
3. Corfe Castle (Dorset, England)
This ruined fortress in southern Dorset is associated with murder, war and ghosts. One of the legends is that of the murder of an 18-year old Anglo-Saxon heir to the throne. His name was Edward the Martyr. He was slain in the grounds of the castle at the orders of his stepmother Queen Elfrida. She wanted her own son Ethelred to be successful. Though, he became known as ‘The Unready’ later on. In the 13th-century, King John imprisoned 22 captured Frenchmen in the dungeons and left them to starve to death. In 1327, Edward II was imprisoned at the castle prior to being murdered. During the Civil War, the castle was the home of the Royalist Bankes family, who managed to take the castle by Cromwell’s Roundheads. Though, an act of betrayal allowed the Roundheads to smuggle in their own soldiers inside the walls back in 1645. They attacked from within and seized control. In the same year, later on, they blew up parts of the castle to avoid it becoming an opposition stronghold again. A ghostly figure of a headless woman dressed in white (the woman who betrayed the Bankes as rumours tell) has been seen stalking the walls and battlements.
4. Croft Castle (Herefordshire, England)
There are said to be a total of seven ghosts in residence at this ancient Herefordshire fortress. One of them is a seven-foot figure of a man dressed in a leather jerkin. It appears to be the ghost of Welsh freedom fighter Owain Glyndwr. The Croft family descends from him. In addition, members of the staff have reported many strange occurrences. They say to hear the cry of a wailing baby and see a figure wearing a grey doublet and hose. Also, they saw a woman gazing from a window while wearing crinoline and a close-fitting cap. The woman is said to be the ghost of a member of the Croft family. It is said that she once held a desperate vigil in the house, waiting for money by a relative in Ireland to be sent home. The ghost was seen in several locations. One person claims to have seen her entering a room at the castle to meet a friend. The friend jumped up and asked to be introduced to the lady who had followed her in. Of course, no one was there.
5. Newton House (Carmarthenshire, Wales)
The 17th-century building is residence to many ghosts. At one point, a crew went to the house to film any supernatural occurrences. At a certain moment, the cameraman swore he felt an invisible pair of hands squeezing his throat. On other occasions, staff members reported having heard muffled voices when they knew they were alone. Lights switched on and off when the house was empty and locked up. Also, there are numbers of mysterious ‘cold spots.’ From time to time, there’s an unmistakable smell of pipe or cigar smoke. And of course, no one is smoking. One possible source of all this paranormal activity is Lady Elinor Cavendish, who was murdered. She was the cousin or sister of the lady of the house in the 1720s. She was forced to marry a man she didn’t love. She eventually ran away after their marriage to seek refuge with her family at Newton House. Her enraged suitor followed her, burst in the house and strangled her to death. It was in the same room where the cameraman felt the hands around his throat.
That’s it for part 6! Which story had you heard before? And which one seems the most ‘creepy’ to you?
Love, Deem ❤