The Wem Town Hall in Shropshire, England, mysteriously went up in flames in November 1995. As the fire services struggled to battle the flames, a amateur photographer snapped images of the dramatic event.
One of these images displayed what is now referred to as the Wem Town Hall ghost…
The full force of the fire eventually managed to burn the Town Hall of Wem to the ground. As it crumbled and burnt, sewerage farm worker Tony O’Rahilly snapped as many photographs as his film would allow.
Tony knew that this was going to be an historic disaster in the area, so his photographs could prove to be very important in the aftermath.
When the photographs were finally developed, Tony noticed one which displayed a image of a little girl in the doorway as the building was ablaze all around her.
At the time Tony didn’t realize how important this photograph was…but within weeks it was a paranormal gem that had made international headlines.
Three centuries before the Wem Town Hall fire, another infamous fire swept through the area.
A fourteen year old girl named Jane Churm accidentally set fire to her parent’s thatched roof when she was collecting fuel from underneath a bed.
In 1677 every house in the area was made out of wood and thatch – resulting in up to 540 buildings going up in smoke.
Many paranormal experts believe that Jane Churm is the girl spirit that appears in Tony O’Rahilly’s photograph.
The morning after the Town Hall fire in 1995, two fire professionals entered the burned down location to assess the damages.
As they made their way through the ruined building, they noticed footprints in the soot on top of one of the landings – footprints that seem to have been made by a child.
When they left the location they checked with the local police and security – they had been guarding the area all night, nobody had got in.
A few days later, another two fire experts reported seeing a young girl inside the town hall ruins.
The Mystery of The Wem Town Hall Ghost
Over the years, Skeptics have had a field day with the ghost picture taken in the burning town hall. The most recent claim involves a postcard with the image of a similar looking girl from the period.
Unfortunately, Tony O’Rahilly died in 2005 but he always stuck to his guns on the legitimacy of the photo.
What are your thoughts on this subject – do you believe that the photograph is real or was it simply an attempt at fame from an amateur photographer?
Please leave your thoughts and opinions on the Wem Town Hall ghost in the comment section below.
The village of Bramshott has been around since the Doomsday Book in 1086, and was home to the notorious inn called Seven Thorns.
The famous Bramshott ghosts were the reason Boris Karloff decided to settle in this picturesque and paranormal village…
The Legend of Seven Thorns
By the 1700’s, the village of Bramshott had an inn called Seven Thorns, which was also known as a popular trading post.
Numerous highway men from the area would use the inn to fence the goods they had picked up off the nearby traffic, heading from London to Portsmouth.
Suffice to say – the Seven Thorns quickly picked up a reputation for being a pretty rough and ready place!
Historic reports point to the fact that hundreds of murders took place on the grounds of the inn, along with robberies, attacks and horse thefts.
The demise in the inn’s reputation seemed to coincide with the paranormal activity that was breeding within the village…
Bramshott is said to be the most haunted village in Hampshire, and possibly in the UK. In all, there are 17 well-known entities that haunt this area.
Actor Boris Karloff even moved to the village BECAUSE of it’s reported paranormal activity – the house he chose was said to have been haunted by a tall dark figure.
These days the house is now thought to contain the ghost of Karloff himself!
The Famous Bramshott Ghosts
1) Mistress Butler – When she was alive, this woman apparently lived in the big manor in the village. She was so unhappy with her life that she drowned herself in 1745. Her ghost can regularly be seen walking along the river bank where she died.
2) The Grey Lady – This specter is often spotted outside the Seven Thorns, by a well where she is said to have plunged to her death. Nobody really knows how she managed to end up falling down this well…
3) The Pot Boy – A famous ghost from inside the infamous inn. This pot boy was apparently ‘butchered’ by passing highway men one night in 1772.
4) The Flute Boy – This ghost never really appears in humanoid form…but his music can frequently be heard on the lanes, in trees and behind bushes in the village.
5) Highwayman Jacques – The ghost of Highwayman Jacques is tied to the Anchor Hotel. It was here that he was shot by lawmen in room six.
6) The Boy Ghost – A rather sad story behind this ghost. This ‘boy ghost’ died at the hands of the most feared gang of local highway men when he was carrying out his daily job – tending to horses outside the inn around the 1800’s.
7) The Canadian Soldier – This foreign soldier was eventually killed by Georges Coders at Bramshott army camp in 1915. Reports at the time claim the two men had been driven completely insane by the regular appearance of a spirit. This spirit eventually caused the two to argue…then fight…
The local church, St. Mary’s, holds the graves of 318 Canadian soldiers stationed at the nearby Bramshott Camp during the First World War.
Locals believe that the ghosts of these soldiers look over the visiting grieving relatives to the graves. They never move, or say anything, they just watch as flowers are laid next to headstones.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here today, please leave them in the comment section below.
It is Christmas Eve in a small town in Lincolnshire, England. Two young children excited at the thought of Santa paying them a visit, refuse to settle and go to sleep.
Eventually their tired mother exasperated and at the end of her tether, issues a threat. The children are immediately silenced and snuggle down under the covers of their warm beds.
Santa is quickly forgotten and the children are suddenly keen to seek the refuge of sleep. What magic spell has this mother cast upon her children?
The answer is she hasn’t, she has merely uttered the words ‘If you don’t behave, the Black Lady of Bradley Woods will come and get you’.
Strange Lights and Grey Mists Drive by Bradley Woods, on a winter’s evening and you may spot an eerie light hovering in the distance.
As you approach, the light may become brighter and brighter until you are so dazzled you fail to see the young woman standing in the road until the very last moment.
Slamming on the brakes and hastily climbing from your car you will be shocked and relieved to discover it was just your imagination.
Or was it?
For many decades now, drivers in the area have reported the same story over and over. Known as the Black Lady of Bradley Woods, this sad spectre seems to be searching for something along the roadway.
Young and beautiful, witnesses have described the cloaked woman as tear stained and anguished. Disturbingly, the Black Lady also reportedly materialises as a grey mist which tempts children to follow her.
Those who do, find themselves at the ancient Norman church of St. George, where the sad lady materialises fully before disappearing into the church.
Rumored to be a kindly and benign spirit, does she think she is leading the children to safety? Who is the Black Lady?
Who is The Black Lady?
There are many different theories as to the identity of the Black Lady. Most locals agree that she is the ghost of a young woman who lived in Bradley Woods during the middle ages.
The young woman was married to a woodsman and they lived with their new born child in relative peace and isolation. Indeed, the remains of an old tumbledown cottage can still be found deep in the woods.
Whether it was her home or not, we will never know.
During the wars of the roses, the woodsman like most serfs, was obliged to take up arms for the local nobility. Leaving his wife and baby behind in their secluded cottage, the young man went to fight for the Earl of Yarborough.
Pining for her husband and desperately lonely in her isolated home, the new mother took her baby each day to the road at the edge of the woods.
There she would wait for hours on end, hoping to catch a glimpse of her returning husband on the horizon. Sadly, he never appeared.
One terrible midwinter day as she left her cottage to perform her daily pilgrimage, she was set upon by a group of men.
Whether they knew the beautiful young woman was alone in the cottage, or they just happened upon her, we can’t know.
Rumored to be cavalrymen fresh from battle, they attacked and raped the defenceless woman. Sadly, her futile cries went unheard in the isolated woods.
Not content with violating the poor woman, the laughing soldiers stole her baby and rode off into the woods, never to be seen again.
Heartbroken and bereft, the woman continued to wait for the return of her husband and child. When neither happened she faded away before dying of a broken heart.
The spirit of the young woman now haunts Bradley Woods and the nearby road. Searching desperately for both her husband and her stolen baby, she stands for hours waiting and watching.
Occasionally, she will stand in front of an approaching car. Does she think there is a baby, her baby, inside? Destined to haunt the woods forever the beautiful lady cannot understand that she will never see her husband or child on this earth again.
She remains a desperate and lonely spirit searching fruitlessly for something she will never find.
The legend of the Black Lady of Bradley Woods is now ingrained in Lincolnshire folklore. Indeed, her ghost is so famous that she is used as a warning to naughty children that they need to behave or she will come and get them.
This seems a little harsh as the poor young mother is tied to this earth because of the love she had for her own child. Young and beautiful she had everything to live for, before it was cruelly snatched away.
For those who don’t believe that such a ghost exists, drive slowly past Bradley Woods on a winter’s evening and you may catch a glimpse of a pale grey mist or a strange hovering light in the corner of your eye.
Better still, take up the local challenge and venture into the woods on Christmas Eve and shout out ‘Black lady, black lady, we have your baby’. You may just get the fright of your life.
Close your eyes and imagine the quintessential English castle and you will probably come close to picturing Arundel. Founded in 1067 this rambling castle invites you to step back in time.
Climb the stone staircases to walk along its battlements or stroll through the maze of sumptuously decorated rooms and you can almost feel history seeping through the walls.
Saved from ruin by constant occupation it has been restored at various points in its history and is still home to the Dukes of Norfolk, chillingly it is also still home to the Arundel Castle ghosts.
A Brief History of Arundel Castle
The stunning Arundel Castle was founded in 1067 by a cousin of William the Conqueror, Roger de Montgomery.
Built at a pivotal point in the history of the British Isles, its walls have borne witness to some of the key events of subsequent times. Passing largely down the female line it became the seat of the Fitzalans, the Howards and then the Dukes of Norfolk.
The Howards of course were at the forefront of Tudor history, with Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn becoming two of the wives of Henry VIII. A political family not adverse to intrigue and plotting, they saw their share of executions and imprisonments.
During the English civil war the castle was badly damaged. Besieged by the Royalists and then by Cromwell, large parts were left to crumble and decay until Victorian times.
Now beautifully restored, it attracts visitors from all over the world keen to experience its history and perhaps catch a glimpse of its ghostly occupants.
The Four Ghosts of Arundel Castle
The Blue Man
Step inside the library of Arundel Castle and you can’t fail to be impressed: Gothic vaulted ceilings, luxurious hand woven carpets and plush red velvet sofas make it immensely comfortable.
Who wouldn’t want to stay awhile and curl up with a good book, there are literally thousands available. It seems at least one visitor to the castle can’t help himself. He finds the library at Arundel Castle so compelling he has hung around for the last 450 years.
Known as the Blue Man and wearing the foppish garb of a cavalier, his apparition often appears in the library. Witnessed since the English civil war he seems intent on reading his way through the thousands of dusty tomes filed carefully away on the library shelves.
The ghost of the Blue Man is said to be so clear that witnesses can read the title of the book he is perusing. Each time he appears he is seen reading a different book.
What is he searching for? One thing is for sure the answer lies within the library and this ghost is not going to give up until he finds the answer.
The Kitchen Boy
Travel back in time a couple of hundred years and imagine the kitchen of Arundel Castle in the Georgian era. A time when there were few labor saving devices and when children of poor families were expected to work.
During this period it would not have been unusual to find one or two children working long hours in the Arundel kitchen.
A job in a kitchen would not have been the worst in the world, after all you would be warm and probably have enough to eat.
But for one little boy who worked as a scullery lad at Arundel Castle, life was hell. Beaten, bullied and abused he is rumored to have died tragically young when his little body succumbed to the punishments he had to endure on a daily basis.
Sadly the young lad did not find peace in death. Visit the kitchen today and you may catch a glimpse of him or hear him anxiously trying to complete his daily tasks.
Unable to rest he is often heard clattering pots and pans into the wee small hours as he hastily tries to clean them and avoid another beating before bedtime.
The White Lady
No self-respecting castle would be complete without its own ghostly white lady and Arundel doesn’t disappoint.
Separated from the main castle, the triangular Hiorns Tower was built as a folly during Victorian times. Designed to test the architects who were to restore the castle, it still stands in the grounds and is open to visitors.
Approached by a steep hill and overlooking a lake, the tower is hauntingly beautiful and deeply romantic. One can imagine that it has been the trysting place for many liaisons over the years.
What drew the white lady to the tower one moonlit night in Victorian times, we will never really know. Was she expecting an assignation with her lover who stood her up? Was she drawn by poignant memories of happier times?
Whatever the reason a young pregnant woman made her way up the hill, the full moon and the stars her only light on a dark night.
Reaching the tower she climbed its stone staircase and then overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness threw herself to her death on the ground below.
Sadly, the white lady is still tied to the tower in death. Her apparition appears on moonlit nights, witnessed by the Arundel gamekeepers.
The poor woman is said to gaze forlornly down the hill. Is she still waiting for a lover to come and rescue her from her tragic fate?
The White Bird
Before its restoration Arundel Castle was home to a parliament of American White Owls. Deeply significant in the history of folklore, many myths and stories surround these beautiful creatures.
Interestingly, the owls that once resided in the crumbling keep of Arundel Castle are viewed by American Indians as harbingers of sickness and death. Whether or not the owners of Arundel Castle knew this when they decided to breed the creatures, isn’t known.
For the past few centuries though, the story of the ghostly bird of Arundel Castle has gathered momentum.
The white bird appears to castle residents before their death. Is it the spirit of one of the owls who lived here?
Often heard fluttering desperately at the windows of the castle, it is best ignored. To see it will surely bring grave misfortune, sickness and death.
For those who wish to steep themselves in the history of England, a trip to Arundel Castle must surely be on the bucket list. The stuff of fairy tales, its crumbling medieval walls have been restored to their former glory.
To walk through its halls, chapels and gardens is to walk through the pages of a thousand years of history. Betrayal, intrigue and siege have scarred its past and shaped its future.
Small wonder then, that some have refused to leave its walls in death. At least four ghostly spectres make a regular appearance in the castle but many more are said to roam this vast complex of turrets, corridors and dungeons.
For those keen to spot a ghostly presence, look out for Roger de Montgomery as you ascend the castle keep or catch a glimpse of a headless apparition as you stroll through the baronial hall.
By all means investigate the Arundel Castle ghosts, but a word of caution, never, never, turn to hear the fluttering wings of a small white bird.
Westminster Abbey has a mixed history but most of its earliest accounts have since been lost in legends. Today, the site is known for its religious and royal significance but most of all, the associated paranormal activity.
Let’s take a good look into the ghosts of Westminster abbey. What have you heard about it so far?
What makes these poor spirits eternal prisoners to the old church?
To better understand this, we’re going to start near the beginning. I say near the beginning because it’s not clear whether the Isle of Thorney, where the Westminster Abbey presently stands, was the site of an early monastery or just consecrated land.
One thing is for sure though… the beginning was tied to religion and some sort of spiritual reverence. Rumor has it that King Saeberht built a church dedicated to St. Peter on Thorney Island between 604 and 616 AD.
Many years later after undergoing several renovations, King Edward the Confessor rebuilt the church again. It is said the ghost of St. Peter himself came and sanctified the church a night before the official ceremony.
A fisherman who witnessed the event says the sky lit up and angles sang! What’s even more amazing is that our St. Peter ghost was not doing the ‘walking on water’ thing anymore so he hitched a ride with the fisherman.
He even went further and asked the petrified unlucky fisherman (unlucky because he hadn’t caught anything that day…) to keep the meter running as he went about his consecrating business.
How did St. Peter pay for the ride? A net full of salmon; but not before slapping him with the terms and conditions: Always take 10% of every salmon catch to the Abbey and give it to then Bishop of London, Mellitus.
And thus the one thousand years tradition of stuffing monks with fish at the Abbey for fishermen on the Thames began.
Despite the rosy beginning of the Abbey which was also plagued with controversy, things took a different turn when royalty became involved. Have you watched A Game of Thrones the series?
Now that’s exactly how these guys did it back then.
A quick forward to 1066 and now much of what we can remember or justify in small bits begins around this time. Kings (Charles I) are being killed by politicians (Judge John Bradshaw) and princesses (Elizabeth I) are calling their cousins (Margaret, Countess of Derby) witches and monarchs being overthrown… it has been a hectic time!
The Westminster building as it stands today has seen more changes (renovations, demolitions and name changes) than you’ve done a change of clothes in your lifetime!
A monk died in the early building during a stick up, there are several cases of exhumed corpses (some of which were royalty and some hanged after being dug out… the horror!) as well as countless stories of deaths (whether natural or murder) that happened here over the years… ever heard of “Bloody Queen Mary”?
Above all, this has been the burial ground for royalty as far back as the monarchs go. Oh, plus one known case of an unknown!
The Westminster Abbey is home to over 3,000 graves and some of the most outrageous atrocities in history were carried out here…so why would there be no trouble from the other side?
This building is practically a place of rituals (coronations), spritism (bordering on religion and occultism) and an overstuffed graveyard. Why then wouldn’t there be a ghost or two?
Has anyone ever seen a ghost at the Westminster Abbey? Who are these ghostly creatures vacationing at the Abbey?
Apparently his ghost is heard pacing around his former office (Triforium) and a few people have seen him together with the government officials (Henry Ireton andOliver Cromwell) who supposedly helped him execute King Charles I for high treason.
Why wouldn’t he haunt the hell out of the Westminster Abbey? They kicked him out, a judge that had the power to slay a king, and brought in an unknown foot soldier from World War I… why would he not be pissed? Wouldn’t you?
The story goes that after his natural death (malaria) in 1659, he was buried at the Abbey. Guess what King Charles II does soon after he regained power and England’s throne to punish the already dead and stinking Bradshaw and his “crew” to avenge his father?
He has them exhumed then hanged! Now why does anyone hang a dead body from the gallows? Rumor has it that John Bradshaw’s ghost is always seen in deep thought or in serious conversations (when sited with the Cromwell and Henry) maybe discussing or pondering over his decision to off the king.
He is the first reported ghost to set foot on this site. Our guess is that he came to inspect the masonry that went into building his crib. Plus sprinkle a little blessing, if the fisherman’s story is anything to go by.
Remember the monk who was killed during a robbery? Well his name was Benedictus and he is one of the regular visitors at the Westminster Abbey from the other side.
One way people have tried to explain his regular early evening visits is that maybe he died too soon and it has never really hit him that he’s actually dead.
He is the only ghostly figure who appears in an almost solid form. Some say he gives Casper a run for his money on the friendly ghost category. Visitors at the Abbey have talked to him and there were two ladies who allegedly got into a staring competition with him for a whole 25 minutes!
The Unknown Soldier
After losing so many good men on the war front, England decided to choose a random unknown body from the graves at the battlefield in France and bury it at the Abbey as a representative of all unknown felled infantry men during the war.
It is said that a shadow spirit of a soldier wearing a full khaki uniform and boots can be seen beside praying and bowing as if paying his respects. There are many unknowns in this story since the shadow ghost is just as much a mystery as the guy lying in the grave.
Any More Ghost Stories?
Of course there have been more reported sightings of various apparitions such the procession of hooded singing monks reported by several people among them a guard at the Abbey.
Another lady visiting the grave of the Duchess of Suffolk, Frances Brandon (Bloody Mary’s mom) at the St. Edmund’s chapel swore that she stood there for almost 20 seconds and watched a gate close by itself!
During the 1970’s, in Thornton Heath, England, a happy family unit became the target of an angry entity residing in their home. The Thornton Heath poltergeist is now one of the most famous real life hauntings to come out of the UK…
One hot summer night in August the family were awoken by a bedside radio blasting out a strange foreign station. The family had no idea where the radio station was transmitted from and had never tuned into it before.
Little did they know that this strange incident was the catalyst of a four year trip into the realm of the paranormal.
The following nights saw bedside lamps and ornaments tampered with by unseen hands.
The following Christmas ( 1972 ) things started to get physical when the husband was assaulted by a flying figurine in the living room. It hit him so hard on the forehead that he collapsed giddy into a nearby chair.
As the family struggled to get the husband back to his feet the nearby Christmas tree began to rise and shake violently.
The New Year
The New year brought with it a mass of new paranormal activity. The family would constantly hear the footsteps of an unseen visitor walking though the bedrooms upstairs.
Several days after the New Year celebrations were over their young son was awoken by what he later described as a tall angry looking man.
The man hovered over him as he lay there with an incredibly evil look on his face. The son later claimed that this man was dressed in ‘old fashioned clothes’.
Before long visitors to the family home started experiencing the paranormal events. One evening the family was in the process of holding a dinner party for some close friends when the door began to shake and knock violently.
It seemed as though the front door was being knocked first then the living room was targeted. As the party members cautiously stood up the living room door flung open and every light in the house started switching on and off.
The family realized that things were steadily getting out of control – they needed help.
The family managed to get hold of a representative from their local church who sent a priest around to their home. Unfortunately the blessing the priest gave only seemed to make matters worse.
The family were then put in touch with a medium who visited their home to find out the cause of the haunting.
The medium was able to deduce that the entity was actually a dead farmer by the name of Chatterton. This Chatterton character was angry with the family because he considered them to be trespassers in his home.
After a little digging they did find out that a farmer named Chatterton owned their home during the mid-18th century.
The Farmer’s Wife
For some reason Chatterton’s wife began to make an appearance after the medium’s visit. She seemed to have a bit of a problem with the mother of the household.
Whenever the tenant’s wife would walk up the stairs she would become aware of someone following her. She would often turn around to see Chatterton’s grey haired wife following her.
As soon as the old lady’s specter noticed she had been spotted she would disappear into the nearby shadows.
Things eventually got so bad that Chatterton would frequently pop up on the family’s television screen – interrupting whatever program they were watching.
After nearly four long years of paranormal activity the family decided to throw in the towel and purchase a new home. Once out of the house in Thornton Heath the strange happenings ceased immediately.
There have been no further reports of poltergeist activity in the house they left behind…
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the article you have read here today please leave them in the comment section below.
As a kid I was always jealous of my mate Glyn and the summer vacations he used to take. Every year his family would pack up the car and head through mid Wales towards Blackpool.
By the time I got to see Blackpool for the first time I was already a teenager – and the battered old fashioned coast had lost it’s spark somehow.
The third day I was there I discovered a book on haunted Blackpool and I badgered my dad to purchase it for me.
This article covers a handful of the more interesting cases of paranormal activity in this famous English seaside destination.
The Grand Theater Spirits
The Victorian Grand Theater in Blackpool is home to a well known presence called Charlie.
Charlie has put in many appearances over the years ruining productions and pestering spectators.
He is thought to be the spirit of a young man who committed suicide in the theater after a young actress rejected him. He was apparently so heart broken he jumped to his death from one of the balconies.
The most famous encounter with Charlie came in 1980 when a play director sat watching proceedings from ‘Charlie’s balcony’. As he watched the rehearsal he felt a tapping on his shoulder – when he turned around there was nobody there!
The tapping continued throughout the performance yet every time the director turned around he was confronted by a row of empty seats!
Charlie is not the only spirit that walks the aisles of the Grand – former manager Thomas Sargentson has often been spotted keeping a weary eye on the newer employees.
The Village of Kilmigrol
Kilmigrol is a village off Blackpool Beach that was eaten up by the sea in the Dark Ages. Ever since it’s disappearance there have been paranormal reports linked to it’s inhabitants.
Whenever there is a sea front storm on Blackpool beach many local residents claim to hear tolling bells and melancholy shanties. From time to time ghostly lights can be seen shimmering on the horizon.
The Ghost Train
These days, the Ghost Train is a typical attraction found in most fairgrounds, but did you know that they originated from Blackpool Pleasure Beach?
In 1936, Blackpool Pleasure Beach opened its spooky ride and a few years later its name was changed to “ghost train”. This was the first ever Ghost Train ride of it’s kind!
For many decades a worker named Cloggy used to tend to the Train’s every need until he passed away in 1970. Cloggy’s devotion to the ride seems to have carried on even after his death.
Guests would often report being grabbed and touched by some unseen presence as they took on the ride. At first these guests thought is was part of the show – a worker hiding in the shadows to freak them out maybe?
When they disembarked the ride they were told that no such worker was employed inside the ride itself!
Several years ago a group of maintenance workers were carrying out a large batch of repairs on the ride when they heard terrifying moans ring out. They finished up their work as quickly as possible and turned the main lights off on the ride switchboard.
As they left the Pleasure Beach they noticed that the skull at the very top of the Ghost Train was still shining out a bright light.
They returned to the electrical switchboard and discovered that everything was shut off – the skull’s light remained on for several more hours throughout the night.
No one know’s how or why it was lit…
If you have any opinions on haunted Blackpool that you’d like to share please use the comment section below.