Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Ghost of Felbrigg Hall Library

Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk is said to be one of the finest 17th-century country houses in East Anglia and as befits a 17th century house Felbrigg has a resident ghost.

The National Trust says that "the ghost stories associated with Felbrigg centre on the phantom bibliophile." who "will only appear when an exact combination of books is placed on the library chair." The library ghost is thought to be that of William Windham who actually lost his life as a result of rescuing another library from fire.

In 1809 William Windham noticed a house on fire that was threatening to spread to the home of his friend Robert North, knowing that his friend's home housed a valuable library of manuscripts he set about rescuing them. William's rescue attempt was successful but unfortunately he was injured in the process. William's injury resulted in a tumour which had to be operated on and he died as a result of the procedure.

Later owners of Felbrigg Hall, the Kitton family, told the writer Augustus Hare about the ghost of William Windham:

"Mr Windham comes every night to look after his favourite books in the library. He goes straight to the shelves where they are: we hear him moving the tables and chairs about. We never disturb him though, for we intend to be ghosts ourselves some day and to come about the place just as he does."

Image: © Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Thursday, 20 March 2014

The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall

In 1936 Country Life magazine photographer Captain Hubert C. Provand and his assistant Indre Shira were taking photographs of Raynham Hall, Norfolk for a Country Life article when Indre Shira noticed "a vapoury form gradually assuming the appearance of a woman" moving down the stairs towards them.

Although Captain Provand saw nothing he took an exposure under Shira's direction which when developed showed a ghostly image of the "Brown Lady", catapulting the ghost of Lady Dorothy Walpole or at least her alleged photograph to fame.

Lady Dorothy Walpole (1686–1726)

Lady Dorothy Walpole was the sister of Britain's first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole of Houghton Hall, she was the second wife of Charles Marquiss of Townsend, known as Turnip Townsend. It was not a happy marriage, the couple became estranged to one another possible due to Dorothy's frivolous and extravagant ways  and Charles discovering that his wife had an affair with Lord Wharton.

Whatever the cause of the estrangement Charles Townsend deprived Dorothy of the care of their children and had her locked in her rooms in Raynham Hall where she died in 1726 at the age of 40. Rumour had it that she was starved to death, or was pushed down the stairs but the official cause of death was given as smallpox.

Over 100 years after the death of Lady Dorothy Walpole sightings of the Brown Lady were being recorded by house guests such as Major Loftus who was horrified to see that the ghost had no eyes, only empty sockets. And Captain Marryat who actually fired a shot at the apparition when it "grinned in a malicious and diabolical manner at him." The bullet went straight through the ghost which then vanished.

The Brown Lady even had the audacity to haunt the Prince Regent who declared, "I will not pass another hour in this accursed house for I have seen that what I hope to God I may never see again" after "a little lady all dressed in brown, with dishevelled hair and a face of ashy paleness" disturbed his Highness.

The photograph of the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall is one of the most famous photographs of a ghost ever to have been taken. But is it real? Some investigators including Harry Price believed so, however a file compiled by Mr CVC Herbert investigations officer for the Society for Psychical Research suggests that the ghostly image may have been caused by equipment failure others have suggested that it was faked using old spirit photography techniques. There's an interesting article by Tom Ruffles exploring some these ideas to be found here on

The Brown Lady photograph itself, which is apparently owned by Time-Life and Getty Images, can be viewed here on Wikipedia or by searching Google Images

Incidentally the ghost of Lady Dorothy Walpole is also said to haunt Houghton Hall and Sandringham House.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Ghost Hunters By Neil Spring ~ Teaser Tuesday March 18th


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:

"I am engaged in investigating one of the most extraordinary cases of poltergeist disturbance and alleged haunting that has come under my notice for years." - Harry Price, Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research." pg 131 The Ghost Hunters by Neil Spring

Book Description from Amazon :

Welcome to Borley Rectory, the most haunted house in England.
The year is 1926 and Sarah Grey has landed herself an unlikely new job - personal assistant to Harry Price, London's most infamous ghost hunter. Equal parts brilliant and charming, neurotic and manipulative, Harry has devoted his life to exposing the truth behind England's many 'false hauntings', and never has he left a case unsolved, nor a fraud unexposed.
So when Harry and Sarah are invited to Borley Rectory - a house so haunted that objects frequently fly through the air unbidden, and locals avoid the grounds for fear of facing the spectral nun that walks there - they're sure that this case will be just like any other. But when night falls and still no artifice can be found, the ghost hunters are forced to confront an uncomfortable possibility: the ghost of Borley Rectory may be real. And, if so, they're about to make its most intimate acquaintance.

  • ISBN-10: 178087975X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780879758

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks! :D

Monday, 17 March 2014

Is Pluckley England's Most Haunted Village?

 In 1989 the Kent village of Pluckley was named England's most haunted village by The Guiness Book of Records, it is reputed to be haunted by between 12 and 16 ghosts including:

The Screaming Man ~ Tayler Jay Smith was a worker at the Pluckley Brickworks who died when a drying clay wall fell on him.

The Watercress Lady ~ Watercress seller Abigail Nicolas accidentally set herself alight when smoking a pipe and burned to death.

The Highwayman ~ who jumps out at people at what is now known as Fright Corner.

The Hanged Man ~ Teacher Henry Turff hanged himself, he now appears as hanging from the tree where he killed himself dressed in a green blazer and striped trousers.

The Colonel of Park Woods ~ A military man seen marching through Park Woods.

The Phantom of The Pinnocks ~ The black silhouette of a man appears before a storm.

The Screaming Woods ~ Actually Dering Woods where apparently the screams of people who have died in the woods can be heard.

The Monk of Greystones ~ Haunts the old Rectory Cottage now known as Greystones.

The Farmer  Edward Brett ~ who committed ‘suicide whilst temporarily insane’ and has been seen around Elvey Farm.

The Phantom Coach and horses ~ A phantom carriage  is sometimes seen on Maltman's Hill.

And then there are three Dering lady ghosts ~ one the Lady of Rose Court is thought to have been a mistress of one of the Dering family and two Lady Derings, The White Lady and The Red Lady.

 Here you can watch the 1995 TV Strange but True? episode about Pluckley


Image: © Copyright Stephen Nunney and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Houdini and the "ghost" of Abraham Lincoln

Incredible photograph of Houdini and the ghost of Abraham Lincoln.

Or is it?

Was that a spirit or a double exposure?

" Harry Price was a member of the Society for Psychical Research, Librarian of the Magicians' Club of London and a member of the Society of American Magicians when, in 1922, his article "Cold Light on Spiritualistic Phenomena" was published in the "Journal of the Society for Psychical Research." Houdini valued this expose of how a photographer could produce fraudulent "spirit photographs" that purportedly documented the apparition and social interaction of figures from beyond. Demonstrating the company he could keep if the right technique were employed, Houdini had himself photographed with the ghost of Abraham Lincoln."

Source: Wiki Commons

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The Ghost that Blew Raspberries and Giggled Lots

"Blowing raspberry involves sticking your tongue out of your mouth and producing a noise similar to that created by flatulence, similar to that of gas as it is passed through the anus." Urban Dictionary

 "raspberry" is short for raspberry tart - fart - rhyming slang


The gardener turned around but saw no-one, he went back to his work weeding the border and a few seconds later there was another, "BZZZZPT!"

The gardener stopped what he was doing and had a good look around, peering over the hedge expecting to see a child from the village scurry away. Nothing, so back to weeding.


Okay so just what was going on? This time the gardener blew a raspberry right back and was rewarded with muffled giggles. Smiling he returned to his work.


The exchange of "raspberries" went on until the gardener's wife came out of the house with a cup of tea for him, then all went quiet. Both husband and wife believe the raspberry blower to be just one of the many ghostly "visitors" who frequent their 200 year old cottage.

Image:  Published by D. Lothrop Company, no artist or author identified [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Harlow Ghost Hunters Investigate Minsden Chapel near Hitchin, Herts

Harlow Ghost Hunters' video of Julie & Annie investigating the paranormal goings on at Hertfordshire's reputedly haunted Minsden Chapel


The mysterious case of the missing hammer ~ Is this poltergeist activity?

This could be just another case of a workman mislaying his tools but you'll have to decide that for yourself. The person who told me the tale of the mysterious case of the missing hammer is convinced that something supernatural happened.

It all started ordinarily enough, the chap putting up some trellis couldn't find the hammer he'd put down a few minutes earlier. He shrugged it off believing that the dog had picked up the hammer and run off with it, he simply found another to use. Of course he told the lady of the house that he thought her dog had taken the hammer, telling her she'd probably find it later in the garden somewhere. It was quite a distinctive hammer having been splattered with bright pink paint.

A few months later more work was being done in the garden, the Victorian crazy paving was being taken up, when low and behold a slab was lifted and there embedded in the ground, under the crazy paving was the missing hammer complete with splats of bright pink paint.

How did it get under crazy paving laid about 100 years before the hammer was lost?

Was this poltergeist activity? The lady of the house certainly thinks so. What do you think?

Image: (sadly not the hammer in question) Copyright © Michael Jastremski licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Monday, 10 March 2014

The Haunted Orchard

Looks idyllic doesn't it? An ancient tree in an apple orchard and perhaps it is on a bright and sunny day but not so much come dusk.

Members of the family who have owned this orchard since the 1920's are convinced that it is haunted by their Grandfather who lived on site for most of his long life. There is talk of the sound of footsteps approaching, the rustle of a branch, the feeling of being watched. But when you turn to greet the newcomer or call out "Who's there?" there is no reply and no one to be seen.

The family think it's Grandad because they never had these feelings of being watched or heard the sounds before his death.

Sunday, 9 March 2014