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Saturday, 20 February 2016

Saturday, 18 July 2015

The Stately Ghosts of England

This charming documentary dates from 1965 and features the actress Margaret Rutherford, her husband Stringer Davis and Tom Corbett, a famous psychic of the time. They visit Longleat, Salisbury Hall and Beaulieu in search of England's ghostly past.

Monday, 6 April 2015

The Pedlar of Swaffham

Swaffham Church

Tradition says that there lived in former times in Soffham (Swaffham), alias Sopham, in Norfolk, a certain pedlar, who dreamed that if he went to London Bridge, and stood there, he should hear very joyfull news, which he at first slighted, but afterwards, his dream being doubled and trebled upon him, he resolved to try the issue of it, and accordingly went to London, and stood on the bridge there two or three days, looking about him, but heard nothing that might yield him any comfort.

At last it happened that a shopkeeper there, hard by, having noted his fruitless standing, seeing that he neither sold any wares nor asked any almes, went to him and most earnestly begged to know what he wanted there, or what his business was; to which the pedlar honestly answered that he had dreamed that if he came to London and stood there upon the bridge he should hear good newse; at which the shop-keeper laught heartily, asking him if he was such a fool as to take a journey on such a silly errand, adding: "I'll tell thee, country fellow, last night I dreamed that I was at Sopham, in Norfolk, a place utterly unknown to me, where methought behind a pedlar's house in a certain orchard, and under a great oak tree, if I dug I should find a vast treasure! Now think you," says he, "that I am such a fool to take such a long journey upon me upon the instigation of a silly dream? No, no, I'm wiser. Therefore, good fellow, learn wit from me, and get you home, and mind your business."

The pedlar observing his words, what he had say'd he dream'd, and knowing they concentred in him, glad of such joyfull newse, went speedily home, and digged and found a prodigious great treasure, with which he grew exceeding rich ; and Soffham (Church) being for the most part fallen down, he set on workmen and rectified it most sumptuously, at his own charges ; and to this day there is his statue therein, but in stone, with his pack at his back and his dogg at his heels ; and his memory is also preserved by the same form or picture in most of the old glass windows, taverns, and alehouses of that town unto this day.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The ghostly knights of Holy Trinity Church, Ingham, Norfolk

According to local legend, two stone knights, Sir Oliver de Ingham and Sir Roger de Bois, are said to wake up once a year (1st of August) and walk down to Stalham Broad where, accompanied by a faithful hound, Sir Roger engages in battle with a Middle Eastern soldier. After defeating him, the two knights return to the church where they resume their sleep for another year. 

Dancing monks are also said to haunt the area.

Sir Roger de Bois. His head rests on the severed head of a Saracen

Sir Oliver de Ingham. He rebuilt the church in the years following the Black Death

Monday, 9 February 2015

The ghosts of Barsham, Suffolk

Barsham's main claim to fame is that Lord Nelson's mother, Catherine Suckling, was born here in 1725. It can also claim a haunted church!

Footsteps have been heard in the chancel and the apparition of a lady dressed in Georgian clothes has been seen in the building. Lights have also been known to switch themselves on and off on their own. Some claim the phantom to be the ghost of Nelson's mother. Why she should haunt the church - if it is indeed her - has yet to be explained.

The churchyard is also haunted by the figures of people in medieval dress. A nearby plague pit is held to be the reason why the spirits still linger here. 

The nearby rectory has a room - with a priest hole - which is claimed to be haunted by ghostly lights and footsteps. A poltergeist also moves objects in other parts of the rectory.

Finally, a phantom coach and horses - headless of course - is said to appear in the village every Christmas Eve. It makes for Hassets Tower in Norwich and is said to carry members of the Blennerhassett family. The coach returns to the village before sunrise. 

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Guest on Blog Talk Radio

I was Leo's guest. We had a chat about various subjects including ghosts, reincarnation and crime. 

Friday, 16 January 2015

Queen Isabella's ghost at Castle Rising, Norfolk

The 12th century Norman keep is said to be haunted by Queen Isabella, mother of Edward III. She was the lover of Roger Mortimer and had her husband, Edward II, murdered in order to secure power for herself and Mortimer.

Edward III eventually seized power from his mother and had Mortimer executed. It's claimed that, following the execution, he had Isabella imprisoned in the castle. She eventually went mad and supposedly died there in 1358. Since then, her tortured screams have been reported echoing from the upper rooms of the keep.

Sadly, much of the legend surrounding this tale is untrue! Isabella did live at the castle but was free to travel to her other properties and actually died at her castle in Hertford in 1358. She was buried in Greyfriars by Newgate in London and her ghost is said to haunt the site of the graveyard, holding the heart of Edward II in her hands.

However, people still claim to hear screams and maniacal laughter coming from the castle walls in the early hours of the morning. So if it's not Isabella, who or what is behind these terrifying sounds?