The Colchester Gazette featured me this week. They did a piece on my investigation of a haunted church in Essex.
Here is an interesting account of a haunting from 'The Haunted Homes and Family Traditions of Great Britain' by John Ingham (1897). It was based on extracts taken from the diary of Richard Harris Barham, author of The Ingoldsby Legends.
Barham states that the story is current in the Carter family, of which his first wife was a member, and that it was told to him by Dr Roberts:
“One day, about the year 1785, two lads, one of whom was the uncle of the lady in question, were playing in the large hall of Brundon Hall, a mansion situated on the borders of Suffolk," and at that time the property of the Carters, but which afterwards passed into the possession of the Hurrells. The attention of the boys was suddenly caught by the opening of a door, usually kept locked, which led to the more ancient part of the landing; and they were more astonished still by the appearance of a strange lady dressed in blue satin, who slowly walked towards the great staircase, stamped three times on a large slab of blue stone which lay at the foot, and then, continuing her walk across the hall, disappeared through a door opposite the one by which she had entered. The boys, more puzzled than frightened, left off playing, and ran and told Mrs. Carter, the mistress of the house, and the mother of the narrator's (Mr. Roberts') uncle. She immediately fainted. Subsequently she told her son that the apparition had been frequently seen by other members of the family, and that there was a very dreadful story connected with it which, however, she declined to communicate. Some years afterwards, the house having, I believe, changed hands in the interval, certain repairs were undertaken, in the course of which the entrance to a large vault was discovered, concealed by the stone upon which the lady in blue satin had stamped. On examination two skeletons were found below; a gold bracelet was on the arm of one, and gold spurs were lying near the feet of the other. In addition, a goblet having some dark-coloured sediment at the bottom, supposed to be blood, was found in a recess in the wall, and a considerable quantity of infants' skulls and bones were heaped up in one corner. Lastly, a considerable sum in gold coin was brought to light."
Later research failed to provide any further information regarding the sinister vault or the reason behind the horrifying contents.
John is a producer, TV/Radio presenter and writer living in Suffolk