10 Most Haunted Churches In The UK
Churches aren't often the type of places where ghost hunters can be found, because they're sacred places of worship. With around 40,000 churches in the country, most of which date back hundreds of years, it's no surprise that there are ghost stories attached to a few of them.
Some might argue that a church is the last place on the planet which should be haunted, they are places of worship, faith and sanctity, but still the reports persist.
These are the top ten haunted holy places, which are best known for their ghostly reputations. The stories include a lady in white who jumped to her death from a church tower, claims of Satanic rituals, and even the spirit of Oliver Cromwell's horses.
10. St. Dunstan's Church, Cheam
The first church on our list dates back to 1864 but there has been a church on the site from Saxon times. Visitors have reported seeing a ghostly apparition in the church. It's believed he is a former priest of the church who died at the altar.
Another of the church's resident spooks has been seen in the churchyard and is the spirit of a young girl. It's thought that she fell to her death down a well that was once in the grounds of the church. Her ghost has been been seen walking through the old caretaker's shed.
Others have reported a dark and oppressive, negative energy at the bottom of the churchyard.
9. Thundridge Church, Hertfordshire
Also known as Cold Christmas Church, after a nearby lane, the building dates back to 1086 and has been the scene of several ghost sightings, the most famous of which occurred in 1978. It wasn't just one ghost that a local woman saw, but an army of ghosts marching out of the church.
The church has a reported history of witchcraft and, as recently as 2009, many have witnessed a ghostly growl coming from the bell tower. Others have seen a mysterious dark figure in a black robe moving silently between the graves in the churchyard.
8. St. Mary's Church, Beaminster
This Grade I listed place of worship is said to be haunted by the spirit of a local boy named John Daniel, who's seen sitting at a desk in the church dressed in a school uniform and hat. He's said to have died in suspicious circumstances in 1728.
Another regularly sighted ghost is that of a woman seen wearing a dark gown and straw hat with a flowered handkerchief around her neck, she's been spotted standing in the church doorway. Some think she may be John's mother, Hannah Daniel, who is said to have died shortly after childbirth.
The haunting extends into a nearby field where a dairy farmer once saw two figures standing by one of his herd. One was a woman wearing a long white gown and the other was a boy wearing a dark outfit. They were seen to walk away in the direction of the graveyard, vanishing at the graves of the Daniel family.
7. St. Nicholas Church, Arundel
One of the most famous alleged photographs of a ghost was taken at St. Nicholas in 1940. The photo showed a semi-transparent priest kneeling in front of the altar. Over the years there has been a great deal of debate over whether this is genuine evidence of the paranormal, or nothing more than two photographs transposed, one on top of another.
Either way, this isn't the only strange goings on a the church, a female ghost is also said to haunt the church and is believed to be that of a nun. Her apparition has been seen and her footsteps heard in the church's bell tower.
6. St. Nicholas Church, Pluckley
It's no surprise that St. Nicholas Church has a few ghost stories associated to it, as it's situated in Pluckley, which is said to be the most haunted village in the UK.
Locals have reported seeing lights coming from the church's windows late at night when no one is there. The ghost of a local miller is also said to haunt the churchyard in search of a lost love.
There's also the spirits of Lady Dering and the Lady in Red, a ghost who searches the churchyard for her lost baby.
5. The Holy Trinity Church, Barsham
A ghostly apparition of a Georgian lady has been reported at Holy Trinity, she's been blamed for turning the church lights on and off. Others claim to have heard disembodied footsteps, some believe these are the spirits of the Suckling family who were an influential part of the Barsham community for centuries.
The churchyard is also said to be haunted by ghostly apparitions of people dressed in medieval clothing, some have speculated that they could be connected with a nearby plague pit.
4. St. Botolph's Church, Skidbrooke
Also known as "The Demon Church," St. Botolph's had links to Satanic groups in the 1970s and 80s, and as it's now abandoned has become a popular location for paranormal investigators. More recently, in 2004, evidence was found that animal sacrifices had taken place in the church and new Satanic graffiti was found on the walls.
The paranormal reports include sightings of the ghost of a monk, unexplained lights, and the sound of an approaching storm outside during calm weather.
3. St. Margaret's Church, East Wellow
This church in Hampshire has a famous ghost, that of Florence Nightingale, who is said to roam the church and its grounds.
Once a year, at midnight on 31st December, a phantom coach travels along the lane outside the church, pulled by four ghostly horses.
Other visitors have reported seeing an apparition in military clothing, it's believed he is Colonel William Morton who once lived near to the church.
One visitor was treated to the sounds of a choir singing from within the church, but upon opening the door and stepping inside, they found the church was empty.
2. All Saints Church, Patcham
All Saints Church has a couple of notable spirits, those of Sir Charles Thomas Stanford and Lady Ellen Stanford.
One of the oldest recorded hauntings took place in 1956 when two local boys were ghost hunting in the graveyard, when they saw a dark hooded figure amongst the grave stones.
In the 1970s during a midnight mass on Christmas Eve, some of the congregation noticed a pale, sick-looking woman in one of the pews. She was so ill that someone approached her to offer help, but as they did she disappeared into thin air right in front of their eyes.
Others have reported seeing an apparition emerging from the south side of the building before disappearing somewhere in the churchyard. And passers-by claimed to have seen two women in medieval clothing pass through the tombs on the west side of the churchyard.
1. St. Andrew's Church, Farnham
The most haunted church in the UK is a Grade I listed building in Surry, with surviving parts of the structure that date back to the Middle Ages.
The most commonly reported ghost at the church is that of an old lady who is seen walking through the main entrance on the north side of the building at exactly 6 o'clock when the church bells are ringing. So clear is her apparition, that most witnesses don't realise they've seen a ghost until they too step into the church and find she's completely vanished, as her spirit is never seen within the building.
One of the oldest claims of paranormal activity dates back to World War II, when fire guards were stationed at the church. They claim to have heard the disembodied sounds of a group of men chanting in Latin and say they saw strange lights moving in the darkness around the church from the tower.
And it's from this tower that visitors have reported seeing the ghost of a lady in white throw herself. Nobody has been able to shed any light on the identity of this White Lady who is presumed to have died as a result of the fall.
More recently, a former priest reported hearing the unexplained sound of horses at the back of the church, could this be connected to claims that Oliver Cromwell once stabled his horses at the church?
Many visitors have reported witnessing a strange semi-transparent curtain drop in between the altar and congregation during services, this was followed by strange lights and shadowy figures, which were visible behind the curtain.
One visitor even witnessed a ghostly church service while the building was empty. The vision of a pre-reformation mass took place at the altar and lasted for several minutes, complete with Latin chanting, swinging thuribles and the scent of incense smoke. The vision came to a sudden end when the rector and church warden arrived.
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