Haunted Churches and other Myths & Legends

 
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.


 
Moved

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.


 
Chimes

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.


 
Monk

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.


 
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.


 
Unbottled Ghost

Location: Welton (Northamptonshire) - Field next to the church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown, likely to be pre twentieth century
Further Comments: The ghost in a field by the church was said to have been tricked into a bottle by members of the local clergy who cast it into a well. The ghost managed to escape and continued to haunt the area.


 
Moved by Fairies

Location: Wendover (Buckinghamshire) - Church
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The church was planned to be built elsewhere, however the local fairy population had other plans, and moved the building materials to the place the structure now stands.


 
Devil Summoning

Location: Weobley (Hereford & Worcester) - Churchyard
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown - traditional
Further Comments: Anyone reciting the Lord's Prayer backwards whilst walking around the large cross in the churchyard will call upon the Devil.


 
Child

Location: West Auckland (Durham) - Churchyard
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 24 March 1873
Further Comments: A local postman named Barker passed the church and spotted a phantom child dressed in white clothing. The postman fled home, with the ghost in following close behind. Entering his home, the man ran upstairs, but still the ghost followed, the panicked postman then running back downstairs and grabbing his wife from the parlour, fled the house. This time the ghost did not follow, but remained inside the property, along with the couple's young child. Such was their fear, they found an old woman and sent her in to recover their offspring.


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