Haunted Churches and other Myths & Legends

 
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.


 
Giant

Location: Tilney All Saints (Norfolk) - Churchyard
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Eleventh Century?
Further Comments: Tom Hickathrift, the Cambridge giant and hero, is said to have been buried here; his grave marked by a stone eight foot long.


 
Figure in a Top Hat

Location: Tilshead (Wiltshire) - St Thomas a Becket Church
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 26 March 2012, morning
Further Comments: A ten year old girl became upset and left this church after she spotted a semi-transparent figure with grey hair and a top hat sitting in the box pews. When she started to return back inside the church, she saw the figure once again, sitting closer to the door.


 
Strange Light

Location: Timogue (County Laois) - Churchyard
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This churchyard would be illuminated by unearthly light and night, and the locals whispered that fleeting white shapes could be seen darting between tombstones.


 
White Rabbit

Location: Tollesbury (Essex) - Tollesbury Churchyard
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The white rabbit is said to appear at different times of the year, running about the churchyard.


 
Henry Ditton-Newman

Location: Torbay (Devon) - St John's Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1959
Further Comments: Henry died in 1883, though he returned to play the church organ up until 1959. The phantom was also heard to walk around the empty building.


 
Reverent Hitchcock

Location: Torquay (Devon) - St John's church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1950s
Further Comments: The Reverent Hitchcock died whilst working on a composition - he was heard playing the unfinished piece on the church organ during the 1950s. After a blessing on his grave in 1959, Hitchcock appears to have not returned.


 
Stopping Force

Location: Tostock (Suffolk) - Path on hill leading to the church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Summer, late 1990s
Further Comments: Two people walking towards the church suddenly found themselves unable to walk any further. The sensation lasted for around ten seconds before lifting. A short time later, along a lane past the church, they spotted a bright white light which then illuminated the area around them. Both witnesses ran back to the village.


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