The Paranormal Database

Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

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Phantom Bells and Ringing Forteana

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, some 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.

Folklore says sunken church bells still ring.

Submerged Bells

Location: Hayling Island (Hampshire) - Off the south coast
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The sound of sunken church 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.

Missing Town

Location: Hood Grange (Yorkshire) - Gormire Lake
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Lake still present
Further Comments: Legend has it that a town once stood here, but an earthquake swallowed it up as punishment for the inhabitants' ungodliness. The old church bell still rings, and sometimes the blacksmith can be heard at work. Or so they say.

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.

Beyond Last Orders

Location: Huncoat (Lancashire) - Black Bull public house
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Mid twentieth century
Further Comments: Though nothing has been seen here, the bar bells have been heard ringing when the building is empty, and pet dogs refuse to go down into the basement.

Thirsty Bells

Location: Ibberton (Dorset) - Church and village pond
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Midday
Further Comments: At midday, the church bells were said to grow thirsty and cross the lane to drink from the village pond.

Ringing Bell

Location: Isle of Skye (Highland) - Northeast coast, place once known as Ashig
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Pre-nineteenth century
Further Comments: A bell on a tree, hung by Saint Maree, would remain silent all week until dawn on Sunday mornings, when it spontaneously bust into life until sunset. The bell was removed and taken to another church but failed to ring unaided again.

Bell Ringing

Location: Kenfig (Mid Glamorgan) - Kenfig Pool
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Pool still present
Further Comments: Legend says that the pool covers a lost town from which one can still hear the church bells ringing on stormy nights. The truth is likely to be based on the nearby town of Kenfig being lost to shifting sands during the sixteenth century. Other local legends say that the pool is bottomless and that a whirlpool pulls unsuspecting swimmers to their deaths.


Location: Kilkenny (County Kilkenny) - Deanery
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The old servant bells were said to ring themselves in the early hours of the morning.

Magic Bell

Location: Kincraig (Highland) - Church of Insh
Type: Other
Date / Time: Still present?
Further Comments: This bell possesses healing properties and would travel (flying self-propelled!) across the country when needed.

Sunken Church

Location: Kirksanton (Cumbria) - Village Green
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The church of the village sunk beneath the ground - whether God's hand or earthquake is unknown. One is said to be able to hear the bells if an ear is placed on the earth.

King's Home

Location: Knighton (Somerset) - Knighton Farm
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The King of the pixies once lived in this area, but the ringing of the church bells drove him away.


Location: Lavenham (Suffolk) - Tickled Pink tearoom, Tickle Manor
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2008
Further Comments: A blonde woman has been observed shrouded in mist at the base of the stairs, and children have been heard singing Greensleeves. The sound of church bells has also been heard, even though the nearby church has been silent.


Location: Leek Wootton (Warwickshire) - Blacklow Hill and area around Gaveston's Cross
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Nineteenth century?
Further Comments: Piers Gaveston was murdered on this site in 1312. A local legend claimed strange sounds filled the air after dark, and that at midnight, bells would be heard moments before a ghostly man riding a horse manifested.

Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire.


Location: Lincoln (Lincolnshire) - Lincoln Cathedral
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 05 December 2004
Further Comments: This seventeenth century holy man has been seen climbing the steps at the front of the cathedral. The last witnesses to see him reported a chain hanging from his neck. The bells have also been pealed by an unseen hand, while legend says a procession of praying monks haunt the cloisters. A suicidal woman named Constance who jumped from the tower during the 1960s returns to re-enact her final, desperate action. Finally, an immovable bloodstain is said to remain on the floor where a stained glass window master landed after leaping from the gallery - he became depressed after his apprentice created a superior window from the master's off-cuts.

Sunken Village

Location: Llangadock (Dyfed) - Exact area unknown
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Certain times of the year, though no further details known
Further Comments: The ringing of the bells from this sunken village are said to be heard by those in the right place at the right time (and in the right state of mind).

Cathedral Bells

Location: Llangorse Lake (Powys) - General area
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: Holy Days (reoccurring)
Further Comments: A cathedral once stood in this spot before it was flooded - the tower bells now ring out on select days of the year.

Auditory Warning

Location: Llantwit Major (South Glamorgan) - General area, and church
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Before a death in the neighbourhood
Further Comments: The ringing of this phantom bell can be heard over the house or building where the death shall occur. Before the funeral of the person, strange noises can be heard in the church - if anyone is brave enough to peep into the building, they can see the forms of everyone who is due to die during the year.


Location: Macclesfield (Cheshire) - Maggoty's Wood
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A figure has been reported dancing about the woods, their clothing adjourned with bells. The grave of the last 'real' jester in England is housed in this wooded area, and it is believed that the shade is he.

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