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Tag Archives: Borley Rectory

raynhamghostSince my blogging day has fallen on Halloween, I’ll do my best to get into the spirit of things. (Get that? “Spirit”? Feel free to groan!)

I checked out the Internet and found many suggestions for “10 Most Haunted whatever”. Here are a few.

Listverse’s Top 10 Most Haunted Places (anywhere) has the following in the United Kingdom: Borley Rectory, Raynham Hall in Norfolk, where this famous ghost lady picture was taken, the Tower of London and Edinborough Castle.

Lists for the top 10 in the UK vary. Interestingly, Raynham Hall didn’t appear on either of the lists I checked. Haunted Rooms’ Top 10 Haunted Places in England lists the following places: Borley Rectory, Ancient Ram Inn, Pendle Hill, Berry Pomeroy Castle, Woodchester Mansion, Pluckley Village, Athelhampton House, Tower of London, Salmesbury Hall, Chillingham Castle. Visit Britain’s Top 10 Most Haunted Places lists Highgate Cemetery, Borley Rectory, Pendle Hill, Red Lion in Avebury, Ancient Ram Inn, Glamis Castle, Tower of London, Culloden Moor, Llancaiach Fawr Manor, Berry Pomeroy Castle.

borleyghostBorley Rectory seems to always hit every list. I’d already read tales of the hauntings, supposedly due to a monk from a monastery that had existed on the site falling in love with a nun. According to the story, he was executed and she was bricked up alive within the convent walls. According to the Haunted Legend of Borley Rectory, this legend has no historical basis. However, there were strange incidents, reports of ghost carriages, an apparition that could have been a nun. However, there’s also some suspicion that a paranormal researcher, Harry Price, faked the phenomena he reported, and also that a subsequent resident, Marianne Foyster, may have faked paranormal activity to cover up her affair with a lodger.

Here’s an image of a purported ghost sighting at Borley.

Another of the places that seems to hit a lot of the lists is Pendle Hill, around which 12 women who in 1612 were tried and hanged as witches in what became known as the Lancashire Witch Trials. Check out this Youtube video to learn more. Given the superstitious nature of the time when these hangings occurred, some are now urging for these women to be pardoned.

The legend of the Lancashire Witches forms some of the backstory for Lucy in Disguise by Lynn Kerstan, one of the Regencies in the ebook set Regency Masquerades. The set also includes the RITA-winning Gwen’s Ghost, co-authored by Lynn Kerstan and Alicia Rasley.

Regency Masquerades will be on sale for 99 cents only for a few more days, so if you’re interested, buy it now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and Kobo.


What ghost or witch stories or haunted places do you find the most interesting?

Wishing you a happy Halloween!


The Haunted Homes of England,
How eerily they stand,
While through them flit their ghosts–to wit,
The Monk with the Red Hand,
The Eyeless Girl–an awful spook–
To stop the boldest breath,
The boy that inked his copybook,
And so got ‘wopped’ to death!

from “The Haunted Homes of England” by Andrew Lang
(Read the rest here.)

Borley Rectory (shown here) has been called the Most Haunted House in England. Though the house was built after our time and has since burned down, the ghosts must have been around for much longer and reports of their activity continue.

The legend goes that a monk from Borley Monastery had fallen in love with a nun and both were killed when caught trying to elope. Here’s a photo purportedly of a monk walking near a grave on the grounds. Click here to read more about the hauntings at Borley.

The National Trust has just released a list of the 10 most haunted historic houses in England. I’ve been to only one of them–Dunster Castle–but did not see its famous Green Man, alas.

I do love the whole idea of weird phenomena. While touring the area around Loch Ness I kept my eyes peeled–in vain–for the monster. When at stately homes reputed to house ghosts (tour guides often make a point of mentioning them) I kept a lookout but never saw anything. Sigh…

My only possible brush with the paranormal occurred at my first visit to a friend’s Civil War era house in Pennsylvania and it could all just be overactive writerly imagination, since my friend had already boasted of how haunted the house was. I felt shivery the whole time I visited, although I’m hardly ever cold and it was a warm summer day. When touring one of the upstairs bedrooms I got a strong impression of having a young child hanging on my leg. My friend told me one of the most active ghosts in the house was a small boy who often liked to attach himself to motherly visitors. Yes, I was spooked. But that was my first and last ghost encounter and I’m not convinced it wasn’t my imagination.

I still love the idea of ghosts and will probably put one in a story someday. I know there have been a number of Regencies with ghosts in them but have to confess the only one I’ve read was Eileen Putman’s THE PERFECT BRIDE, which I enjoyed very much.

So do you believe in spooks? Have you ever had a haunting experience of any sort? Have you visited any of these famous haunted homes and what did you see? Do you have a favorite romance with a ghost in it?

In any case, Happy Halloween! Don’t eat any more candy than I will! 🙂


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