Haunted Churches and other Myths & Legends

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.

Stone Thief

Location: Towednack Church (Cornwall) - Church tower
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The tower's shortness is explained away by the story that Old Nick turned up each night during construction and knocked down the day's work. The builder's finally grew tired of the conflict and put the roof on at the height is now.

Daffyd Ddu

Location: Tremeirchion (Clwyd) - Churchyard Wall
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Former vicar and black magician, Daffyd made a pact with the Devil to take his soul 'whether buried in the churchyard or out'. Needless to say, the wizard cheated Old Nick by ensuring his body was buried under the boundary wall.

Marshy Bells

Location: Tunstall (Norfolk) - Church, and marsh known as Bell Hole (and Hell Hole)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The Devil once appeared in the village, stealing the church bells and sinking them into the nearby marsh. Bubbles in the marsh were said to be the result of the bells continuing to sink into the bottomless pit.

Gregorian Chant

Location: Tutbury (Staffordshire) - Former priory (only the church remains)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: February 2012, 22:00h (singing), 1970s (monk)
Further Comments: While at this site, two witnesses heard chanting coming from the church. The singing faded after a couple of minutes. A ghostly monk was seen by members of the church choir and bell ringers in the 1970s, standing on the crossing above the main doors.

Non Sinking Church

Location: Vigeans (Angus) - Church of St Vigeans
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Circa 1736
Further Comments: Legend said that building materials for the church were carried into position by a water kelpie. The creature said if anyone working for the church ever killed themselves, the church would sink into a great lake which lay deep under the building. In the eighteenth century the minister of the parish did commit suicide and some stories say many people gathered near the church to watch it being consumed into the ground. Needless to say, many people were also left disappointed when their expectations were not met.

Kneeling Priest

Location: W1 (Greater London) - St Thomas's Church (no longer standing), Tenison Court
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1921
Further Comments: This phantom was observed praying before the altar, before silently moving off and vanishing.

Procession of Monks

Location: W3 (Greater London) - St Dunstan's Church, East Acton
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid twentieth century
Further Comments: Walking down the centre of the church, these holy men are said to be golden brown in colour, while the 'leader' appears in a purple hood. Another phantom has been seen, this time an old woman wearing a World War 2 gas mask, leaving the church and heading off down Lower Thames Street.

White Figure

Location: W4 (Greater London) - Hammersmith Churchyard and Black Lion Lane area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1804
Further Comments: This ghost was blamed for the death of a local woman, who collapsed and died a few hours after witnessing the entity. A hunt for the spook resulted in another local man being shot by mistake (he was wearing white clothing), and the ghost sightings trailed off soon after.

White Rabbit

Location: Wadebridge (Cornwall) - Egloshayle church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Nights of the full moon (reoccurring)
Further Comments: When the moon is brightest, the ghostly rabbit bolts across the churchyard and vanishes into the boundary wall. Another entity that haunts the churchyard is that of a man who tried to shoot the rabbit with a shotgun, but managed to kill himself with the weapon instead!

Victorian Church Warden

Location: Walberswick (Suffolk) - Walberswick Church
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1930s, 1970s
Further Comments: Witnessed by George Orwell, a small and stooping figure dressed like a workman was seen silently crossing the churchyard, before disappearing from view. Orwell investigated further, and realised that the figure had vanished. Others who have seen the figure have described him as dressed like a gentleman.

Jane Wenham

Location: Walkern (Hertfordshire) - Area around church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Driven from the village by a mob that believed her to be a witch, Jane never returned during her lifetime. Post mortem appears to be a different story.


Location: Walsall (Staffordshire) - St Matthew's Church
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Church still present
Further Comments: The fairies took a dislike to where the church was going to be built, so moved the foundation stones to the top of the hill where the church was finally built.


Location: Walsingham (Norfolk) - Egmere church ruins
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Heading towards a shrine, the invisible procession of pilgrims can be heard ringing small hand bells as they move.


Location: Waltham Abbey (Essex) - Abbey Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: First seen over twenty years ago, a monk is said to walk the graveyard.

Overwhelming Evil

Location: Waltham Abbey (Essex) - Waltham Abbey Church
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1950s
Further Comments: A couple walking past the church noticed yellow lights shining through the window. The woman was overcome by a sense of evil, so great that she refused to talk about it for several years after the event.

Summoning the Dead

Location: Walton le Dale (Lancashire) - Churchyard
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: John Dee, together with Edward Kelly, attempted to raise a dead man to discover the location of his hidden treasure. A famous image exists of the event.

Countess of Salisbury

Location: Warblington (Hampshire) - Castle and Churchyard ruins
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Margaret Pole, the Countess of Salisbury, walks around this area without her head. The shade of a smuggler is also reported to frequent the castle.

Reverend F W Densham

Location: Warleggan (Cornwall) - St Bartholomew's Church, pathway leading to the vicarage
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1950s onward
Further Comments: The Reverend Densham was not a popular man within the local community, and after dying in 1953, it could be that his ghost is seeking redemption with the villagers.

Stone Throwing

Location: Warrington (Cheshire) - Houses close to the churchyard, Stockton Heath
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1885
Further Comments: A number of greenhouses had glass broken after paving stones were dropped upon them. Despite sentries being posted, the source of the stones could not be found.

Waking the Dead

Location: Watchet (Somerset) - St Decuman's Church
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A schoolmaster walking past the church was approached by robbers who forced him to take them to the grave of a wealthy woman who had recently died. Opening the crypt, the schoolmaster was made to remove the gold rings from the corpse's fingers. Half way through this ghastly task, the dead woman sat up and cried for her brothers and sisters to help her - nearby coffins opened and the dead sat up. The robbers and schoolmaster ran off, though the teacher died soon after sharing his story.

Mr Cooke

Location: Watford (Hertfordshire) - St Mary's Church, and the nearby shopping centre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: This 1840's school teacher died in a fire that ravished the educational establishment, and his ghost is blamed for disrupting local shops (moving pictures, flicking lights on and off, etc).

Sounds of Coach Crash

Location: Weeley (Essex) - Pond near Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A local legend tells of the phantom sounds of a coach crash near the pond.

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