For Whom the Bell Tolls - Phantom Ringing and Ghostly Pealing


Location: Cromer (Norfolk) - Off coast
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Weather Dependent: Prior to storm
Further Comments: The church of Saint Peter is reputed to exist off the coast of Cromer, where a town called Shipden once stood before being taken by the sea. The church bells could be heard ringing just prior to a storm.


Location: Crosby (Isle of Man) - St Trinian's Church
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This monster, an ogre-like entity, was stirred by the ringing of the bells of this church - it tore off the roof in order to silence the peals. Another story says that the roof is missing because demons would throw it to the ground after each repair until either the locals eventually gave up trying to fix it, or local tailor Timothy Clucas tricked the Buggane into exploding its own head.

Lost Bell

Location: Danbury (Essex) - Bell Common
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Having stolen the church bell, the Devil dropped it on the common, where it sunk into the earth. The bell is said to still be buried there today.

Black Tom of Scothill

Location: Dewsbury (Yorkshire) - Dewsbury Parish Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: 24 December (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Black Tom is the name of the bell in the church, and is toiled the number of the year (ie, in 2007 it was tolled 2007 times) to ensure Old Nick doesn't visit the village during the following twelve months. The last peal must occur on the stroke of midnight to ensure success.

Twenty Five Clangs

Location: Didlington (Norfolk) - Church
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: 14 November 1956
Further Comments: A local policeman reported the bells of the locked church rang 25 times, marking the anniversary of the death of a landowner. The officer entered the church to investigate, finding the bell rope swinging, but no one there.

Church Bells

Location: Dunwich (Suffolk) - Coastline
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Once a busy port town, sea erosion has reduced this location to only a few dozen houses. The church that once stood on the cliffs has been washed out to sea, and it is said the bells still ring on still moonless nights. Divers exploring the ruins of the old town that once stood on the cliffs have often reported a strange feeling that they are not alone under the sea.

Missing Steeple

Location: East Bergholt (Suffolk) - Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Bell house still stands
Further Comments: Night after night, during the construction of the church, the Devil appeared and pulled down the steeple. The builders finally gave up building the tower, and the bells now stand in a little bell house.


Location: EC4 (Greater London) - St Andrew by the Wardrobe, Queen Victoria Street
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Gabriel, one of the bells in the church and once at home in Avenbury (Herefordshire), is reported to ring when death strikes the Rector of its old parish.


Location: EC4 (Greater London) - St Paul's Cathedral
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Haunting the All Soul's chapel area, the holy man is wears archaic clothing, thought to be hundreds of years old. His whistling is known to be so loud it upsets people who have come to the church to find peace. There are also reports of children crying which sounds as if it comes from the far east section of the crypt, and the sound of footsteps in various parts of the building, heard when there should be no visitors to the site. St Paul's is also home to the bell Great Tom, which is said to strike incorrectly prior to the death of a royal.


Location: Ellesmere (Shropshire) - Colemere (aka Cole Mere, aka Crose Mere, aka Crosmere) lake
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 21 May (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Sunken bells on a long forgotten chapel can still be heard ringing from the mere. One version of the story says they ring to mock Oliver Cromwell, who pulled down the church, while another version say they ring on St Helen's day, the patron saint of the chapel.

The Rector's Wife Bell

Location: Elm (Cambridgeshire) - Elm Vicarage near Wisbech, now known as The Old Shires
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The wife of the rector was the only person in the village to hear the bell, but it always foretold a death within a couple of days of the tolls.

Sound of Silver

Location: Evesham (Hereford & Worcester) - River
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 24 December (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Hidden in the river when the local abbey was closed for business in 1539, the silver bells still sing their song around Christmas.

Speeding Cyclist

Location: Eyam (Derbyshire) - Road between Eyam and Stoney Middleton, and dales in the area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid twentieth century
Further Comments: A squeaky bicycle with a ringing bell has been heard approaching various witnesses at speed - they move out of the way and turn to see where the sound is coming from, but nothing can be seen. A few people have reported spotting the phantom cyclist, who quickly vanishes from view.

Dancing Girl

Location: Farnham (Surrey) - Farnham Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Though long since removed, the bell that was once housed in the castle tower can still be heard to chime. A shadowy figure haunts the guard room, while the long gallery is home to a phantom monk. Lastly, a little dancing girl haunts a staircase, where she collapsed and died. Outside the castle, on the hill where it stands, disembodied footsteps are heard.


Location: Felixstowe (Suffolk) - Coast off Old Felixstowe
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Circa nineteenth century
Further Comments: It was believed that the bells from sunken churches could be heard ringing off the coast here.

Lost Village

Location: Ferryside (Dyfed) - Estuary
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An ancient village is submerged under these waters, and sometimes the toiling of the old church bell can be heard from within the estuary.

Sunken Rings

Location: Forrabury (Cornwall) - Off coast
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: These bells can sometimes still be heard to peal - they were lost as the ship due to deliver them sunk just off the coast.

Former Waitress

Location: Garve (Highland) - Hotel, exact details unknown
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This former worker killed herself after being victimised by her boss. For many years after the event, bells would ring without reason throughout the building.

Kitchen Clanger

Location: Great Bealings (Suffolk) - Bealings House
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 02 February - 27 March 1834
Further Comments: Another famous case, the bells in the dining room and kitchen rung erratically for a two month period, while carefully watched by the occupiers looking for a rational explanation. None could be found.


Location: Halam (Nottinghamshire) - Valley southeast of village
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: 24 December (reoccurring)
Further Comments: The buried village of Radley is hidden somewhere in this area, and long vanished church bells can be heard on Christmas Eve.

Whistles and Bells

Location: Halifax (Yorkshire) - Former police building, Prescott Street
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: When in use, a number of police officers reported strange occurrences in the building, including whistling, doors opening and closing themselves, cold spots, and ringing bells that were connected to empty cells.

Submerged Bells

Location: Hayling Island (Hampshire) - Off the south coast
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The sound of sunken bells is said still to be heard coming from the sea.

Ringing Bells

Location: Helmsley (Yorkshire) - Rievaulx Abbey
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late at night
Further Comments: Now little more than ruins, people still say they can hear the ringing of the bells, once pealed by monks. Before the Dissolution the destruction of the abbey was prophesied in a manuscript, although the paper was destroyed in the mistaken belief that the prediction would be stopped.


Location: Hockley (Essex) - The Old School House, currently a private residence.
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1957 onwards?
Further Comments: The opening of doors and ringing of bells resulted in the owners of this house calling the 'ghost' Matilda, suspecting the spirit to be that of a child.

Marching Troops

Location: Horley (Surrey) - Thunderfield Castle and Haroldslea Drive area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 11 November (reoccurring)
Further Comments: A phantom bell begins to toll as the sun sets here, slowly growing louder until midnight comes and a small army of men pass through the area. The castle is said to have been a resting place for King Harold's men as they marched to Hastings.

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