Haunted Churches and other Myths & Legends

 
Soft Ringing

Location: Stourpaine (Dorset) - Church
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The little people ring the church bells after covering them with dew, ensuring the soft ringing is seldom heard by mortals.


 
Construction Devil

Location: Stowe Nine Churches (Northamptonshire) - Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The foundation stones of the church were moved around the village by Old Nick nine times before the rest of the building could be constructed. Another version of the story blames fairies.


 
Shakespeare's Grave

Location: Stratford-upon-Avon (Warwickshire) - Holy Trinity Church
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: The tomb of Shakespeare has the following curse written upon it: Good frend for Jesus sake forebeare, To digg the dust encloased heare; Bleste be the man that spares thes stones, And curst be he that moves my bones.


 
Nun

Location: Stratton St Margaret (Wiltshire) - Church and general area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Dressed in white, and ghostly nun is said to haunt not only the church, but the entire village.


 
Ettie

Location: Strelley (Nottinghamshire) - Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Ettie has been named as the ghost that walks around the churchyard.


 
More Monks

Location: Stubbington (Hampshire) - Church of the Holy Rood, Crofton
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: A phantom monk is said to walk around this area. He may be connected to the sighting at the nearby Manor Hotel - an underground passageway is said to connect the two buildings.


 
Simon

Location: Sudbury (Suffolk) - St. Gregory's Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1381 onwards?
Further Comments: After Simon was murdered in 1381, the former archbishop of Canterbury's head was removed and buried here after being displayed in the Tower of London. He has reportedly been seen in the church. Simon's shade could also be to blame for the disembodied footsteps that also haunt the church.


 
Seeker

Location: Swaffham (Norfolk) - Churchyard
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: One local man recalled how, as a boy, he was told about a ghostly woman who walked up and down the graves, as if looking for a particular headstone.


 
John Chapman

Location: Swaffham (Norfolk) - Church
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Fifteenth century
Further Comments: John Chapman was a pedlar living in the town who dreamt that if he stood on London Bridge he would hear good news. He travelled to London where he waited on the bridge for three days before telling a shopkeeper about the dream, but not about where he was from. The shopkeeper laughed at Chapman, and said that he himself had a dream of digging up treasure under a tree belonging to a pedlar in Swaffham, but was too wise to pursue 'silly dreams'. The pedlar returned home, dug under his tree and found great wealth that he used to rebuild the church.


 
Whistle

Location: Swanton Morley (Norfolk) - Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An old belief from this area of Norfolk was by running around the church at midnight and whistling through the keyhole, the Devil would be seen.


 
Moving Stones

Location: Talland (Cornwall) - Church
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: It is reported that construction on the church began further inland, but each night the foundation stones were moved by unseen hands - hence the church now stands here.


 
Those that will Die

Location: Tavistock (Devon) - Church
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 23 June (or Midsummer Eve) (reoccurring)
Further Comments: The spirits of those who will die during the following year come to the church on Midsummer's Eve - they were last seen by a pair of brothers who saw themselves in the crowd.


 
Presence

Location: Templemichael (County Waterford) - Templemichael Castle and Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Several unconfirmed stories speak of this location being haunted, but no one can say for sure by whom or what.


 
Colman's Ducks

Location: Templeshanbo (County Wexford) - Church of Templeshanbo
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A pond which could once be found here contained indestructible ducks. Animals which tried to hunt the ducks would be found dead, and one man who accidently took one of the birds home and put it in a cooking pot found his fires burnt cold until the duck was released.


 
Man in Black

Location: Tenby (Dyfed) - Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Thought to be a former parish priest, this ghostly figure in a cassock walks down the aisle before fading away.


 
Marge in a Bridal Gown

Location: Terrington St Clement (Norfolk) - Parish Church, the 'Lovell' pew
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Every Sunday before Christmas (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Legend says that the chest next to the west door once contained the remains of a bride who was trapped inside after a game of hide and seek went wrong. She is reported to emerge once a year to join in with the choir.


 
Lady Anne's Cracked Grave

Location: Tewin (Hertfordshire) - St Peter's Church
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 1780 to present
Further Comments: Not believing in an afterlife, during her earthly days Lady Anne Grimston scoffed that trees would ruin her tomb if she was wrong. Sure enough, her tomb is now ruined by a large tree that has split the stone open. One legend has the Devil appear near her grave every New Year's Eve, on the stroke of midnight.


 
Lady in White

Location: Thames Ditton (Surrey) - Home of Compassion church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Appearing quite real and substantial, the room that this sad shade haunts remained locked up for many years. She could be one of the nuns who once worked in the building.


 
Lights

Location: Thaxted (Essex) - Churchyard, Almshouse Cottages
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Corpse lights have been seen floating around an empty set of cottages which sit in the churchyard.


 
Banishing the Dog

Location: Thorne St Margaret (Somerset) - Church
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The ancient custom of 'clipping the church' once preceded the chasing of the black dog, which was thought to be Satan, out of the village's boundary.


 
Who Woke the Vicar's Wife?

Location: Thornton (Leicestershire) - St Peter's Church, and vicarage
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A vicar here was once forced to exorcise his own home after his wife complained she was being woken during the night by a ghost.


 
Moved Again

Location: Thriplow (Cambridgeshire) - Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Church still present
Further Comments: The village folk wanted their church in a hollow by their homes, but the Devil had other plans, and moved it to the hill.


 
Romans

Location: Thundridge (Hertfordshire) - Area around Cold Christmas Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1940s (soldiers), 2009 (growling)
Further Comments: Phantom Roman soldiers were spotted near the church by a female witness during the 1940s. More recently, there are local stories about phantom children, though no witnesses appear to exist. Another myth perpetuates the belief that the church is so called as most of the children buried here died around Christmas - it is more likely that the church is named after a cold Christmas that delayed its construction by several weeks. A local legend says the church brought ill-fortune to the area, as it was constructed facing the wrong direction. More recently, strange growling has been recorded in the empty church, though the sounds are most likely from a feral cat.


 
Black Monk

Location: Thurgarton (Nottinghamshire) - St Peter's Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This phantom has been observed walking towards the church before suddenly disappearing from view.


 
Blonde Woman

Location: Tideswell (Derbyshire) - Churchyard
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This phantom fair-haired lass rises from her grave and travels towards Wheston Hall, where she once concealed her husband's body after murdering him.


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