There are probably more haunted houses in England than in any other country in the world. But then there cannot be many countries where a property has been in the same family for 6 or 7 generations! Although many ancestral homes claim that they have ghosts, often it is just rumour. Here however, you will find details of some places that genuinely are.
Now owned by the National Trust, the haunted house of Claydon House was the home of the Verney family for over 400 years.
Sir Edmund Verney was Standard Bearer to King Charles I at the Battle of Edge Hill in 1642. The victorious Roundheads demanded that Sir Edmund relinquish the flag. He bravely refused to do saying, "My life is my own. My Standard, the King's". So, Cromwell's men ran him through. But still they could not wrest the Standard from his grasp, so they hacked off his hand and took the Standard and its grisly attachment off in triumph.
It was not until much later, from a ring upon one of its fingers bearing the likeness of the King, that the hand was identified as belonging to Sir Edmund.
The appendage was pried from the flag staff and returned to Claydon House, Sir Edmund's former home, for burial. But ever since, the ghost of Sir Edmund Verney has appeared at the house, apparently searching for the rest of his body which is forever missing on the field of battle.
Another specter to be found to be found here is the 'Grey Lady' whom some have identified as being Florence Nightingale. It could be possible. She lived many happy years in the haunted house and even kept a pet owl there. I wonder if she ever met Sir Edmund!
Palace House was originally the gate house for the Cistercian Abbey that was built in 1204. In the 16th century, the gate house was converted into a private residence. It has had extensive modifications made to it since then.
People in the house have heard the sound of Gregorian chanting coming from the direction of old abbey. Usually this is in the early morning or at dusk. This would have coincided with the time of day when the monks celebrated Matins and Vespers. The chanting has been heard so clearly that it was possible to identify the chant that was being sung.
Spectral monks have also been seen in the area of the haunted house. They are always described as wearing white robes with strips of black cloth hanging down behind. It is unlikely that the observers would have been aware that these are exactly the vestments that the Cistercian monks would have worn and the reason why they were often known as the White Monks.
The Oak Bedroom at Althorp is haunted by a favourite groom of the fifth earl Spencer who lived in the haunted house from 1857 until his death. It was one of the groom's responsibilities to ensure that all the candles had been extinguished when everyone had gone to bed. It appears that he continues to faithfully carry out his duties. He wears a long red gown with 'brocade', highly decorative stitching, around the hem. And in his hand, he carries a lantern.
There is also the ghost of a little girl in grey with 'flappy shoes', who has been seen entering the Picture Gallery through a small doorway that is half way down the gallery. Who the girl is, is a mystery as she doesn't appear in any of the pictures.
There are several rather vague reports of Longleat House ghosts. One of them is supposed to be a member of the family that owns the house and who was killed in action in 1916. He has been seen reading quietly in the library.
But it is the Green Lady who is Longleat's most famous spectre and for which there would appear to be at least circumstantial evidence.
The first mention of a Littlecote House ghost is in notes at the end of Sir Walter Scott's poem,'Rokeby'. It is supposed to be a true story.
If you want to check out any of the ghosts at this haunted house then Littlecote House is now a hotel and runs 'Psychic Schools'. So, if you want to try and experience the Littlecote House ghosts for yourself, this may be your best opportunity.
At one time, the poet, Lord Byron owned Newstead Abbey but he eventually moved on and sold it to a friend of his, Thomas Wildman. At that time Sophie Hyatt, a young woman who was unable to speak as she was profoundly deaf, moved into a farm nearby. She was terribly shy and avoided contact with people. If she found it necessary to communicate then she wrote upon a slate which she always carried.
Sophie was a great fan of the works of Byron. When Thomas Wildman got to hear of this, he kindly allowed her to walk in the gardens whenever she wanted, even letting her exercise the dog that Byron had left behind. From her habit of always wearing light coloured clothes, she was affectionately known as the, 'Little White Lady of Newstead'.
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