Haunted Churches and other Myths & Legends

Monks and Priests

Location: Scattery Island (Inis Cathaig) (County Clare) - Church of St. Mary near the Round Tower
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: A fisherman caught in a storm sought shelter on the island and went to pray at a ruined church. He encountered a large number of monks and priests within the building, although when he closed his eyes and opened them, the figures had vanished and the church once more appeared ruined..

Thuds and Bangs

Location: SE18 (Greater London) - Presbytery and church, Plumstead
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1918
Further Comments: These buildings were home to a poltergeist which created footfalls around the living quarters at the dead of night, and made sounds as if someone was trying to break into the church (both day and night).

A Knock and a Ring

Location: Seaton (Cumbria) - Camerton Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: Mr H T Graham was dared to knock on the door of this empty church late one night - the moment he did so, the bells began to toll.

Gilbert White

Location: Selborne (Hampshire) - White's Church, and other parts of the village
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Monk seen 1976
Further Comments: The naturalist Gilbert White has popped up in many places in the village, despite dying in the 1700s. Monks have also been reported in the village - a priory once stood here, and though the building has long since gone, its former occupants are less reluctant to leave.

Dead Man's Shoes

Location: Selkirk (Borders) - Shoemakers (no longer standing) and unknown churchyard
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A shoemaker in the town once made a pair of shoes for a stranger donned in a black cape. As the mystery man paid, the shoemaker noticed maggots in the purse, and decided to follow him. The figure walked into the local churchyard and vanished into a grave. The shoemaker returned later with some friends and dug the grave up, discovering a rotting corpse wearing a brand new pair of shoes...


Location: Selsey (Sussex) - Church car park, western edge of Pagham Harbour, Church Norton
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: October or November 2001, 23:30h
Further Comments: Two teenagers hanging out at this car park at night witnessed a flash, quickly followed by a bang. From within their car they could hear loud moaning approaching the car, but no footsteps could be heard on the gravel. Nothing could be seen as the teenagers drove off, and many years later one of the witnesses read about a Civil War ghost reputed to haunt the area

Gabriel Hounds

Location: Sheffield (Yorkshire) - Area around parish church
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: These hounds are said to have the faces of men, and have been heard passing the church on dark, still nights.

Man on Fire

Location: Shelfanger (Norfolk) - Wash Lane, near the church and ford
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1990s
Further Comments: A ten year old girl travelling with her mother in a car was horrified by the appearance of a burning man who ran in front of the car.

Traffic Deadlock

Location: Shocklach (Cheshire) - Area around the church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Once a year, the Brereton family return from the grave to rendezvous at this church - their phantom coaches are reported to create tailbacks!


Location: Silton (Dorset) - Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This phantom holy man has been watched as he moves from the altar to the vestry.

Cowled Monk

Location: Skelton cum Newby (Yorkshire) - Church of Christ the Consoler
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Summer 1954
Further Comments: Reverend K F Lord accidentally snapped an image of a cowled monk on the altar of this church - dressed in black robes with an elongated, skull-like face, this picture frequently appears in ghost literature.


Location: Skidbrooke (Lincolnshire) - St Botolph's Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Summer 2003
Further Comments: The church is said to be haunted by phantom monks. When the Bassetlaw Ghost Research Group visited in 2004, they did not encounter anyone who had previously lived the monastic lifestyle, though they did report picking up flying 'rods' on night vision cameras.


Location: Slapton (Buckinghamshire) - Churchyard
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The buckles on a pair of shoes belonging to a former rector are said to glint in in the night as his ghost runs to attend a long forgotten incident.

Communication from Henry Barnard

Location: Snettisham (Norfolk) - St Mary's Church, grave of Robert Cobb
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: October 1893
Further Comments: Mrs Goodeve, while visiting friends in the West Country, was visited at night by ghostly apparition calling itself Henry Barnard. Barnard asked Mrs Goodeve to travel to Snettisham church and wait by the grave of Robert Cobb. This she did, and at one o'clock in the morning, Mrs Goodeve was given a message by a tall dark figure who manifested by the tombstone. The message was taken to Barnard's surviving descendant at Cobb Hall, though what was said has never been told to anyone else.

Praying Man

Location: South Mimms (Hertfordshire) - Church and vicarage
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1920s
Further Comments: A man seen praying in the church stood up and walked through a closed door leading to the vestry. The Reverent Allen Hay also reported that he would often wake at 3am and felt a presence in the vicarage, though he was convinced the ghost was friendly.

Person Holding Lantern

Location: Southend-on-Sea (Essex) - Southchurch Lawn (was also Eton House School before closing in 1993)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Possibly the ghost of a smuggler, this spirit takes credit in saving the life of Princess Charlotte in 1801.

Devil's Treasure

Location: Southwood (Norfolk) - Old church and Callow Pit
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A local legend states that the door handle of the church is all that remains of a treasure chest discovered by three (or two) men at the bottom of Callow Pit. As the men tried to take the chest away with them, Old Nick appeared and pulled at the other end - the men managed to escape with only one handle from the chest.

Blue Lady

Location: Spondon (Derbyshire) - Church and Vicarage of St Werburgh
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s?
Further Comments: The blonde lady wearing a blue dress has been seen (and once photographed) within the church and leaving the building via the vestry door. The vicarage is home to an old lady, monk and bishop. A local legend speaks of the 'Devils Gravestone', which from the nearby path you can see the image of Old Nick upon, but up close there is nothing.

Moving Bricks

Location: St Brelade (Jersey) - Parish church
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The church was going to be built over a mile away, but the workmen awoke the day the construction was due to start and found their materials had been moved closer to the sea. The men spent the day moving everything back to the original spot, but after the materials were once again moved the following night, the church was constructed where it now stands. The jury is divided on whether God, the Devil or fairy folk were responsible.

Frank Lenine

Location: St Buryan (Cornwall) - Churchyard
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The son of a farmer, Frank fell in love with one of the servants, a young lady named Nancy. Horrified at his son's choice of potential bride, Frank's father sent him to Australia. A few years later Frank came back, but was drowned as his ship wrecked off the coast. He was buried in St Buryan's churchyard. The night after the funeral, Frank appeared to Nancy, taking her from her home to his grave on horseback. She died two days later.


Location: St David's (Dyfed) - St Nonna's church ruins
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 01 March (reoccurring)
Further Comments: The sound of phantom singing is heard coming from these church ruins on the evening of St David's Day.

End of the World

Location: St Levan (Cornwall) - St Levan's Stone, in village churchyard
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: St Levan hit the rock with his bare hands, and broke it in two large pieces. He declared that when the gap grew big enough to let a horse through, the world would come to an end. In another part of the graveyard, one can find the tombstone of Captain Wetherel, who can be heard ringing his ship's bell from within his coffin.


Location: St Mawgan (Cornwall) - Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: During construction, the Devil moved the stones each night to where the church now stands.


Location: St Michael's Island (Isle of Man) - Church, and nearby ruins
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: It is said if you knock on the church, one can hear the screams and cries of a group of pirates. These men were killed on the nearby rocks as they tried to escape with the church gold. The nearby ruins are haunted by the drowned people buried around the site. They have been seen sitting on the rubble and walking inland from the sea.

Mr Blondel

Location: St Peter in the Wood (Guernsey) - Church at St Pierre du Bois and rectory
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: Mr Blondel left instructions that on his deathbed the church bell should be tolled to show his passing. However, when Blondel died the bell remained silent, so his ghost took to climbing the church tower and throwing crockery around in the rectory kitchen. Thirteen members of clergy gathered and locked the ghost in a cupboard.

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