Reports of Curses and Cursed Places in the UK and Ireland

Webb's Portrait

Location: Ludgershall (Wiltshire) - Biddesden House
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: A portrait of General Webb was at one time thought to be cursed, with ill luck befalling anyone who removed it.


Location: Luton (Bedfordshire) - The Alma cinema (no longer standing)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Pre 1960s
Further Comments: The Alma was thought to be cursed by locals who were forced to move from their homes so they could be demolished for the construction of the cinema. A construction worker fell to his death during the building work, and many felt that it was his ghostly presence that haunted The Alma.

Francis Downes

Location: Manchester (Lancashire) - Wardley Hall
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This building is reported to have had a skull bricked up within its walls, to prevent it from accidentally being removed and condemning the house's occupiers to misfortune or death. The macabre relic is thought to belong to Edward Barlow, a Catholic executed by Protestants in 1640.

John Fothergill

Location: Market Harborough (Leicestershire) - Three Swans Hotel
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The portrait of John Fothergill that hangs above the bar is no longer touched - if removed from its spot a disaster befalls the handler or hotel.

Lady Montague

Location: Midhurst (Sussex) - Ruins of Cowdray House & Park
Type: Curse
Date / Time: 1994
Further Comments: This wraith walks the gardens surrounding what's left of this once great house - the building was once cursed by a prioress, after its owner ransacked the local priory.

Cursed Castle

Location: Moreton Corbet (Shropshire) - Moreton Corbet Castle
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Fifteenth century
Further Comments: During its construction, the owner of this building was cursed by a neighbour for being uncaring, and the castle was never finished. It is also said to be haunted by an aging man and a younger gentleman, who were caught on camera in 2003. (Image ©2006 Lawson Clout)

Cursed Chest

Location: Morwenstow (Cornwall) - Stanbury Manor
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Still present?
Further Comments: The chest is supposed to contain an evil presence that moves furniture around. Two old women who owned the chest prior to its delivery at the Stanbury are said to have been struck deaf when they first opened it and released the spirit hidden inside.

White Lady

Location: Naworth (Cumbria) - Naworth Castle
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Falling in love and becoming pregnant by the lord of the castle, a local girl committed suicide after being shunned by him after their love affair. Though her mother then cursed the evil lord (resulting in his death, and that of the estate's future heir), the young lass still returns to the site.

Bleeding Cat

Location: Near Clifton (?) - Oxenby Manor House (no longer standing?)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Elliott O'Donnell wrote that this manor house was haunted by a mutilated feline, which would slowly sink into the wooden floor and disappear - it was considered an ill omen as a death followed shortly after the creature was spotted. A ghostly pale face with yellow teeth was also seen by one witness. When the area was dug up years later, a number of bodies were discovered.


Location: Nottingham (Nottinghamshire) - Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem public house
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Probably the oldest public house in England, the building is home to spectral voices and other phantom noises. A model galleon, thick with dust, hangs from the ceiling and is said to be cursed - anyone who touches it dies within twelve months.

Cursed Lock

Location: Odstock (Wiltshire) - Church
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A young gypsy lad buried in the churchyard was hanged for stealing a horse - a crime his relatives claimed he didn't commit. To stop their protests, the church door was locked to prevent them from visiting, but their leader cursed anyone who ever locked the door again. After several deaths occurring to people who preformed this action, the key was thrown into the nearby river.

Mother Ivey's Curse

Location: Padstow (Cornwall) - Field near the Hellyer's farm house, Harlyn Bay
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Sixteenth century
Further Comments: Mother Ivey (or Ivy), a local wise woman, cursed this land after pilchards that could have been used to feed starving villagers were used to fertilise the field. She reportedly said if the soil was broken, death would soon follow. Whoever digs up any of the field is reputed to suffer soon afterwards. The story was carried by the popular UK press once it emerged that Conservative leader David Cameron had booked a holiday on the 'cursed' land.

Young Horseman

Location: Penicuik (Lothian) - General area
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Often heard and sometimes even seen, the horseman is thought to have been a young lad who stole a horse from his master to speed up the journey to meet his secret lover. In his haste, he galloped past the scene of an accident involving a cart - he could have saved the life of the driver, trapped underneath, but lust took priority and the rider left the site without offering assistance. The victim of the accident later died, but managed first to curse the lad who rode on by; hence, the boy's ghost now roams.

Underground Mutton

Location: Portland (Dorset) - General area
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Still occurring
Further Comments: The death of a crane operator in the nineteenth century, caused by a rabbit warren caving in, gave birth to the belief that saying the word 'rabbit' is unlucky. Instead, bunnies are referred to as underground mutton or furry things.

Maud Toogood

Location: Ramsbury (Wiltshire) - Elm tree in village (now replaced with an oak)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Oak still present
Further Comments: A hollow elm tree which was killed off by Dutch elm disease was replaced with an oak. One of the reasons for the replacement was that the shade of a local witch had taken up residence in the tree, and locals were worried that she may curse the area if the elm was fell.

White Lady

Location: Randalstown (County Antrim) - Shane's Castle
Type: Curse
Date / Time: 1966
Further Comments: This pallid female wraith cursed the family with everlasting sorrow and misfortune. She is said to be quite tall and slender, with blue eyes and blonde hair. The figure was last seen in 1966, where the entity was said to be on her knees, crying, bathed in bluish-white light.


Location: Rostherne (Cheshire) - St Mary's Church
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Newly married couples avoided passing through the Lychgate as it was believed the marriage would fail, either by discontent or death.


Location: Sand Hutton (Yorkshire) - Busby Stoop Inn, road outside
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Tom Busby murdered his father with a hammer - an event which resulted in the public house in which the crime was committed being named after him. Hanged for the crime, his shade now comes back complete with noose, and any who see it are doomed. The shade was once thought to be centred on Tom's favourite chair, though when the chair was removed to Thirsk Museum, Tom stayed pub-bound. The chair itself was thought to be cursed, anyone sitting on it would die soon after.

Lewes Dowrich

Location: Sandford (Devon) - Dowrich manor house
Type: Curse
Date / Time: 1973
Further Comments: Lewes died drunk, after falling from his horse on the nearby bridge. He was cursed to return home from the bridge, but only to move ten centimetres every four weeks. The ghost was seen in 1973, only a few metres short of its goal.

Billy Callender

Location: SE19 (Greater London) - Crystal Palace Football Ground (Selhurst Park)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Callender, a goalkeeper, hanged himself in the Old Stand in 1932, after his fiancé died of a disease. His form is said to linger on. The ground was also subject to a curse in the 1970s from a psychic who was originally called in to lay the ghost of Callender.


Location: Semley (Wiltshire) - Pythouse
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: After murdering her daughter by pouring boiling water over her, Molly the maid was herself hanged for the crime, and her skeleton placed inside this house. Her ghost appears in the 'Pink Room', where she committed her heinous crime. The skeleton itself is reputedly cursed, and removing the bones would bring misfortune to the occupiers.

Peasant Girl

Location: Silverstone (Northamptonshire) - Whittlebury Forest (and site of the former woodland)
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A knight took his own life after having his love rejected by a peasant girl. Lying in his own blood, the knight cursed her, and she died soon after. The peasant's ghost remains in the forest. Another entity reported to haunt the area is the wild hunt, complete with headless horseman (thought by some to be the aforementioned knight).

Egyptian Curse

Location: Sligo (County Sligo) - Seaforth House
Type: Curse
Date / Time: Early twentieth century?
Further Comments: Poltergeist activity broke out in the house shortly after it was filled with Egyptian and Syrian artefacts brought back from the Middle East by Owen Phibbs. Servants were driven away, while the house sometimes shook to the very foundations. Eventually the family moved away and left the house to rot.

Pagan Help Required

Location: Southampton (Hampshire) - St Mary's Stadium
Type: Curse
Date / Time: November 2001
Further Comments: Cerridwen Dragonoak Connelly was called in to cleanse this stadium after it was believed the location was cursed or jinxed. After the blessing, the football team went on to their first win at their new home.

Chair of Despair

Location: Southport (Lancashire) - Oast House public house
Type: Curse
Date / Time: 2005
Further Comments: A chair in this public house has reported as being cursed after eight people who sat there died.

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