Ghosts from Berkshire Places
Beginning with 'A'
The ‘Crown and Thistle’ Hotel in
Bugle Street was an old time coaching Inn of the 16th and 17th centuries
situated near the Bridge over the Thames. It is entered by a passage
through the building into a small courtyard, across which is the road to
the stables. A ghostly coach and four horses is said to be heard and seen
occasionally to enter and cross to the stables. In 1930, Mrs. Usher
staying in the house, saw the coach and horses late one night in the
courtyard. Four years later, an old lady stayed in the hotel and asked
after the apparition, saying that fifty or sixty years ago her parents
kept the hotel, but sold it because they were so troubled and frightened
by the ghost.
Strange noises, banging doors,
spooky voices and ghoulish figures manifest themselves at the Old Gaol,
now a Sports Centre. They are at least partly thought to be due to the
youngest person to be hanged in Britain having met his death there. Read
the full story.
The Thames at Burford Bridge is
haunted by the ghostly head and shoulders of a lady floating across the
water. Did she drown in the river?
The ghost of a suicide haunts the
The old churchyard, adjoining the
site of the long demolished Arborfield Hall, is haunted by the ghost of a
murdered bride. A maid at the Hall, she was to be wedded to the gardener.
However, the jealous butler could not bear her to be with another and
dispatched her from the World. Her spirit returns at midnight every 1st
January to stand beneath the yew tree and await her love’s arrival for
their marriage. An alternative version has the girl becoming a suicide
when deserted by the son of the hall who had promised to marry her.
The old Hall housed many evacuees
during the Second World War. They clearly remember the ghost of a grey
lady carrying a child gliding gracefully down the main staircase to the
The green at Arborfield Cross,
beside White’s Farm opposite the ‘Bull,’ was once the site of a
large pond, filled in after the War. It was here that the ghost of a local
18th century farmer’s wife – a supposed witch – would descend
beneath the waters after having spent the night wringing her hands and
groaning around the country lanes. She was finally bound in the pond under
a large stone slab, by a group of seven priests called in to conduct an
Ghostly horses are seen at the
A Berkshire policeman used to be
seen pacing his beat at the junction of the A30, A329 & the A332, but
only at night. The badly scarred face of the phantom, seen only when
illuminated by headlights suggests that a horrible accident occurred in
the vicinity at the beginning of the 20th century, especially as the bobby
was wearing the high-necked tunic of earlier days.
The old ‘Royal Ascot Hotel,’ at
the same junction, was demolished in 1964. The men undertaking the work
stayed in the house for a number of nights and reported hearing the sound
of footsteps within and a horse stamping and snorting without. Twice a
grey or white horse was actually seen. The site is still supposed to be
haunted by the sound of horse’s hooves on the long removed cobblestones.
The local story seems to concern a phantom rider as well.
A certain late 19th century house in
the town is haunted by the ghost of a previous owner. In the 1970s, the
occupier saw him clearly in the hall and a baby has been heard crying in
an upstairs room. The place has an eerie feeling and on one occasion,
despite there being no wind, all the doors in the house suddenly slammed
‘Huntingdon’ was a big old house
on the Windsor Road, built in 1898, but demolished after being
mysteriously set alight during a period of dereliction in 1977. The
fire-officer who returned to inspect the building at three in the morning
found the place to be extremely creepy. Then he saw an old lady in a long
black dress, black boots and bonnet, on the stairs. He asked her what she
was doing there and was about to throw her out, when she disappeared! This
may have been the widow of a newly wedded soldier who was killed during
the Great War. She lived in the house for many years afterward, always
living the gate open, expecting his return.
‘Old Huntsman’s House’ on the
Windsor Road was once haunted by a previous owner, Charles Davies. He was
a Royal huntsman in the time of Queen Anne, but died after breaking his
neck in 1792. The whole building has a very ‘creepy’ feeling and Mr.
Davies has appeared in an upstairs room, dressed in his hunting pink. His
spirit is presently at rest and it is said it will remain so as long as
his portrait continues to hang in the main entrance hall. However, a
phantom dog – big and woolly – is also said to bark in the corridors
There have been many peculiar
happenings reported at the Ex-Serviceman’s Club in the High Street.
Doors fly open, the gas for the beer gets turned off, the record player is
switched on or off and even the toilets flush, all apparently of their own
accord. The culprit appears to be the ghost of lady of five foot six who
glides along in a long robe an d a wimple: seemingly a nun. She tried to
shut the steward in a cupboard!
There is a well-know case of a
poltergeist haunting a modern house in Fernbank Road. It was associated
with a Wooden Nigerian statue. Disturbances were last witnessed in 1976,
but since the figure’s removal all activity has ceased.
Heathfield School is supposed to be
haunted by the ghost of a past headmistress, Margaret Clarke. She is said
to have committed suicide.
Unaccountable lights are seen round the
village sometimes as long flashing trails between Lydds and Blewburton
Hill or on Mile Furlong lighting up the trees at Lollington. A phantom
coach passes along the Turnpike Road with galloping horses it is heard but
nothing is ever seen. At Thorpe Farm, strange noises are heard and a
little old lady is said to come and sit by the fire sometimes, but only a
member of the Slade family can see her. The Slades bought Thorpe Farm in
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