Oddities and Dark Spaces
by Barry Van-Asten
The grave of the poet Edmund Blunden at Long Melford
Edmund Blunden 1896-1974
The Church of Holy Trinity at Long Melford
Long Melford Church built between 1467-97
St Peters Church, Sudbury built in the 15th Century
Garden at Delapre Abbey, Northampton
'Woman and the Fish' sculpture by the British artist
Frank Dobson RA 1888-1963.
The Abbey and the grounds are
The Naval Prison, Bodmin Jail, Cornwall.
The Naval Prison was opened in 1887 for
the detention of Navy personnel.
Cell Door, Bodmin Jail.
The Jail was built in 1779 for King George III.
The Hanging Yard, Bodmin Jail.
The door above the arched gateway is where
prisoners would have been hung, dropping to
their death below.
The Door of Death
Entrance to Bodmin Jail, Cornwall
Garden, St Michael's Mount, Cornwall
The Angel Hotel, Helston, Cornwall.
The Angel Hotel is a 16th Century former home of the Godophin
family. It is said to be named after the Archangel Michael who
defeated the Devil. It has been an excise house and temporary
gaol for smugglers. In April 1975, Valentine Ohlenschlager
the landlord was murdered, shot five times by a member of staff.
The Blue Anchor Inn, Helston, Cornwall.
Possibly the oldest private brewery in the country!
The Inn was originally a monk's rest home which in the 15th
Century became a tavern. Local miners received their wages
inside the thatched pub.
Entrance and passageway to the 'Old Blue'.
At the end of the passage on the left, up the steps, is the
small brewery, next to the old skittle alley. The famous
beer known as 'Spingo' comes in three strengths.
The room to the left of the passage.
In 1717 the landlord was stabbed to death after
getting involved in an argument. In August 1791,
Jimmy James the landlord had his head fractured
with a bayonet by two soldiers named Ben Willoughby
and John Taylor in a bar-room dispute.
Ben Willoughby was hanged at Bodmin Jail.
The bar on the right of the passage.
In 1828 a man fell to his death in the well and in 1849,
landlord James Judd hanged himself in the skittle alley!
The haunted garden at Hinton Ampner House, Hampshire.
Swanshurst Park, Birmingham.
At the end of this path stood the old boathouse.
It was here in the early 1990's that I and another
witness saw the lower limbs of a ghostly apparition,
standing still, and on our approach, they faded away.
On another occasion, at the same location, I and the
same witness saw a 'ghostly' male figure walk towards
us and vanish on passing behind us.
Swanshurst Pool, also previously known as Grove
Pool, Moseley New Pool and Swanshurst Slade Pool,
was created in 1759 as a fish pond by Henry Giles.
the magician holds aloft the sword
and upon his altar is the Holy cup,
the wand, the Holy oil and incense.
near Bridge End Cottage Footpath, North Yorkshire
Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire.
Nan Tuck's Lane, East Sussex.
Nan Tuck was a 17th Century resident of Buxted in East Sussex.
She was accused of witchcraft and of poisoning her husband to death.
When the murder was discovered, Nan attempted to seek sanctuary
in Buxted Church. She did not make it there and was chased into
According to one account, Nan was found hanging in the woods.
Nan's ghost is said to haunt the area near Potter's Green and the
lane which bears her name. Her ghost is said to chase unfortunate
ones who walk along the lane or go into the woods!
Tickerage Mill, East Sussex.
The actress Vivien Leigh (1913-1967) lived here. She married
and divorced Laurence Olivier and her ashes were scattered on
Blackboys Inn, East Sussex.
This 14th Century Inn is reputedly haunted by the ghost of a
previous Inn-keeper's daughter named Ann Starr who died in
childbirth at the age of 39 in 1804.
St Mary's churchyard at Whitby
The beautiful but eerie interior of Bagdale Olde Hall,
an old Tudor Manor House in Whitby
Bagdale Hall (now a Hotel and Restaurant) is Whitby's
oldest building built in 1516
The Hall is haunted by the ghost of Captain Brown Bushell
Bushell was a pirate at the time of the English Civil War (1642-1651)
Bushell regularly swapped sides between the royalists
and the parliamentarians!
He was beheaded at Scarborough Castle!
His headless ghost still walks the corridors
at Bagdale Olde Hall!
The Admiral Nelson, Dark Lane, Braunston,
Northamptonshire. 18th Century pub which
was a farmhouse, haunted by a dark figure that
moves between the pub and the cottage next door.
The notoriously haunted Mermaid Inn at Rye.
The haunted vaulted cellar at the
Northampton County Club (1675)
The grave of an 'Unknown Man'
the murder victim of Alfred Rouse who was burnt
in a car in 1936 and never identified, at the Church
of St Edmund King & Martyr, Hardingstone,
The grave of the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)
at St Boniface Church, Bonchurch, Isle of Wight.
Freemantle Gate, Isle of Wight where the ghost
of a little boy is said to be heard laughing.
Freemantle Gate (opposite side) Isle of Wight.
It is said that two boys were killed in a gunpowder
explosion at the gatehouse in 1567.
Appuldurcum House, Isle of Wight (18th cent)
haunted by a phantom carriage and ghostly monks.
St Mary’s Island, Whitley Bay.
On 4th September 1739 Michael Curry was executed in Newcastle for the murder of Robert Shevil, the Landlord of the Three Horseshoes Inn at Hartley (it is said that he and the Landlord’s wife were possibly lovers). His body was afterwards brought within sight of the scene of his crime and hung in chains from a gibbet on this spot. Ever since that gruesome event this headland has been known as ‘Curry’s Point’. The plaque was erected on 4th September 1989 to mark the 250th anniversary.
Thirlwall Castle, Northumbria, haunted by a hideous
dwarf who defends the secret location of the solid
gold table which was hidden following a Scots raid.
all images Copyright Barry Van-Asten