Does the Ghost of Royal Australian Air Force Flight sergeant haunt the church at Langham in Norfolk?
In June 1996, my wife (who is an American) and I went for weekend trip to Norfolk to escape London. We had a marvellous few days there. The weather was fine and the beaches uncrowded. We decided to drive along the back roads away from the coast to see what we could find.
We stopped at a small place called Langham, and went to have a look at the little church there. It was open and nobody was around. We went inside and, by the altar. saw a thrush fluttering about, looking for a way out. Amy walked back down the aise to open the door and I tried to guide the bird towards it. She opened the door and came face-to-face with a young man dressed in a dark blue uniform. He stood looking at her for a moment, smiled, the vanished. She thought she was hallucinating, but she was able to describe his face and his uniform in some detail. She distinctly recalled the half-wing and the letter “O” above his breast pocket, and that his tunic was dark, like a sailor’s, and that he had stripes and a crown on his sleeve.
Amy knew nothing about military uniforms, and less still about those worn by the British. When we arrived home a day or so later, I showed her photos of RAF uniforms, but the blue was the wrong shade. She later positively identified the uniform of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the rank of flight sergeant. The “O” was a brevet work by observers (later navigators). RAF Langham was once home to 455 Squadron on the RAAF. The observer’s badge was superceded in 1942 and 455 Squadron occupied Langham in 1944. Perhaps the soul she saw was a long-serving airman, or perhaps he served with an RAF squadron early in the war. It’s a tantalising mystery but I have no doubt that she saw what she claimed to have seen. She is a very level-headed woman, not given to flights of fancy.
The clincher for her was Heather and Geoff, our friends and neighbours, both of whom served for many years with the RAF. Heather was a believer and told Amy she’d seen the spirit of a dead flyer who was likely doing what he enjoyed in life: enjoying the sights and sounds of an English summer’s day. Heather thought that the young man died a violent death and that perhaps he didn’t know that he had passed on. Whatever the case may be, I hope he finds rest.
Laying isolated and in a state of complete ruin Minsden Chapel has been a place of worship and odd occurrences since the 14th century.
The Chapel can be found in the hamlet of Chapelfoot, near Preston, in Hertfordshire. Partly surrounded by a small wood, it is only accessible only by foot, the under growth can be heavy going at times.
Misden Chapel was built in the 14th century, and over the next three hundred years was used for a whole range of religious ceremonies. In the 18th century the masonry became too unstable and large sections of the structure began to fall away this posed a real danger to the general public and visitors to the chapel and all activities were forced to a halt..
The paranormal history to the chapel is long and varied. There are legends that tell of ghosts and apparitions, in particular that of a monk who has been seen climbing a staircase that crumbled away hundreds of years ago. It is also reported that best chances of witnessing this ghost is midnight on Halloween (31st October).
Many other people have reported hearing music hanging in the air around the chapel whilst others have heard the ghostly bells tolling in the depths of the night which were apparently stolen in the 1700′s The ghost of a murdered nun is said to haunt the grounds around the chapel and the spirit of a robed monk in white has been seen high up in the archways above some of the collapsed ruins. A ghost of a small child has been seen and there are rumors of secret tunnels that lead away from the chapel, perhaps in relation to Temple Dinsley, Knights Templar Manor and Temple.
Last year Almost Haunted TV ran a paranormal video investigation in to Minsden Chapel this 6 part video series goes in to the chapels history and the paranormal activity reported there.
The strange unexplained phenomenon at Borley rectory during the 1920s and 1930′s are probably among the most famous in England.
Built for the Reverend H.D.E Bull 1863, Borley was constructed on the site of a Benedictine Monastery. Both the Reverend Bull and his son Harry passed away in Borley’s ‘Blue room’ which was reported to be the most haunted spot in the house. Famously Harry Price leased the Rectory for a year so he could conduct his investigations with a team of researchers.
The results of his detailed and lengthy investigation were published in ‘The Most Haunted House in England’. In 1885, there were sightings of a ghostly nun at the rectory. She was believed to be the ghost of a 13th century Nun from a nearby convent who fell in forbidden love with a monk from the local monastery.
They paid a high price for their affair – the monk was hanged, and the Nun walled up inside the convent. In 1900, two sisters of the then owner Harry Bull, reportedly saw the Nun one day in the gardens. She has also appeared to many local people. A phantom coach and horses has also been seen in the vicinity of the Rectory. Mysterious footsteps, doorbells ringing have also been heard by visitors.
Poltergeist phenomena have also been experienced and recorded at the haunted building. Smashed glasses and stone throwing, mysterious writing on the walls and people being thrown from their beds by an unearthly force have all been reported. In 1939 Borley was destroyed by a fire and the ruin was finally demolished completely in 1944.
Bretforton village has several local legends of ghosts, ghouls and murder…
Bretforton village has changed little over the centuries: the earliest documented record of the villge name dates back to 709AD. The settlement is distinguished historically by an unusual system of land ownership.
Some of the more notable ghosts within the village and surrounding areas includes the ghost of Lola Taplin, a former landlady of the Fleece Inn. It is is said that Lola Taplin haunts the bar area of the inn, throwing food, glasses and other objects at both the staff and visitors alike.
The haunting of Spot Loggins Well is also well known in the locals of Bretforton, its is reported that this water well has been in use for over four hundred years and is named after a cattle driver called Spot Loggins who drowned in a cattle spring in the 17th century.
Local legend states that any who runs around the well three times while blindfolded will lose anything they are carrying.The Water Well is located on the old Bretforton House Farm of the Appleby family and the Spot Loggin ghost is celebrated locally in November at the local Fleece Inn.
The Church at Bretforton also plays a large part in ghostly happenings and the supernatural at Bretforton, there have been several reports over the years of a phantom funeral procession arriving at the church, and disappearing into the ether as quickly as it appears, for whom it represents is a mystery even till this day.
The fields on either side of the church are said to be haunted by a decapitated woman, carrying her head under arm. It is suggested the decapitated woman is the ghost of Ann Cormell, who was murdered on 4th February 1707 by John Allen of Bretforton, Giles Hunt, Tom Dun, Thomas Palmer and Thomas Symonds.
John Allen was later hung in a gibbet in Bretforton at what is now known as “Allen’s Barn”