|HAMPSHIRE LEGENDS, GHOSTS AND APPARITIONS|
The County has some unique folklore and
some gruesome ghosts!
WINCHESTER The city has two haunted Inns, The Hyde and The Eclipse. The former was reputed to be the oldest Inn in the City, dating back to when Alfred was King over Saxon England, originally it was part of Hyde Abbey founded by Alfred, hence its name. It is reported to have a ghost that has never been seen or heard, but sent cold shivers down the spines of overnight guests. People woke up shivering to find their bedclothes had been taken from their beds, and often piled in the centre of the room. No matter how tightly the bedclothes were tucked in they would always end up on the floor. The story goes that centuries ago, the Inn was a place of refuge for pilgrims, and one time a woman stayed there for shelter. The next morning whe was found dead from cold and hunger. And over the years her ghost comes in from the cold and buries itself in other peoples bedclothes.
The Eclipse, also had a tragic guest. Dame Alice Lisle from Ellingham near Ringwood had been condemned to death by the dreaded "hanging judge" Judge Jeffries in the Bloody Assizes of 1685.She had been accused of harbouring some fugitive cavaliers for a night. She stepped from an upper window of the Inn to a scaffolding which had been set up against the old timber framed wall of the Inn. It is said that her ghost haunts the place where she spent her last night. Their have been many reports of a tall figure in a grey woollen dress gliding along the passages of the Inn, or standing on the corner of the landing. It is said that no frightening aura radiates from her but those who have seen her say they get a strange feeling of infinite sadness.
UPHAM The Brushmaker's Arms at Upham is so called for way back in its history, it tended the needs of the travelling brushmakers who made their base in the vale of Upham. When they were not touring the country selling their brooms they settled here for a while. The brooms were made from Hazel sticks cut from the hedges of the Hampshire countrysided.
A regular guest at the inn was a Mr Chickett, who was renowned for the good quality of his wares and it was well known that he made a good living from selling them. He was also know to be careful with his money, and to be a man who carried his hard earned cash around with him. And was believed to sleep with his money tucked under his pillow.
One night the inevitable happened, and he was attacked while asleep at the Inn, and he lost his life and his money. The murderer was never found but Mr Chickett's ghost is seen searching, either for his money or his killer, haunting the low ceilinged rooms where he had slept his last sleep. There have been numerous reports of a shadowy figure in the room, and dogs have been know to show fear and restlessness at times, growling softly and laying back their ears at a soft sound or unknown presence.
BASINGSTOKE The White Hart, is also reported to be haunted by sounds, but these are only heard in the middle of the night when all the lights are out. A low rumble is heard starting from one end of the a room and moving towards the window, like someone or something moving on gravel, the sound increases as it gets nearer the window, stops several times then disappears completely. If a light is turned on the sound disappears and if the lights are left on all night nothing is heard. No explanation or story has ever been disclosed.
MARWELL PARK Marwell Park is now a large tourist attraction through its fame as a zoological park. where rare animals facing extinction are bred for restocking their natual habitats, and is situated near the village of Twyford, a few miles from Winchester.
It was formerly a 14th century Manor known as Marewell Woodloke and among its many owners there has been a Bishop of Winchester and the much married Henry Vlll, who was reported as donating the manor to the Seymour family whilst courting Jane Seymour, who was later to become his third wife and give him his only male heir, the young Prince who would in later life become Kind Edward Vl, albeit for a short time.
Legend has it that Henry and Jane were actually in Marwell Hall when his second wife Anne Boleyn was in the tower awaiting execution. The story relates that the King had arranged for a chain of Beacons to signal the moment of Anne's death. At that moment he was to wed Jane in Marwell Hall. Reports suggest that the ghost is that of an unfortunate young lady who hid in a large wooden chest whilst playing a game of 'hide and seek', and died through suffocation through being unable to get out of the chest, which being of stout wood muffled her cries for help. The "Mistletoe Bough" story which is connected to so many country houses.
In a letter, written by a Mrs Morgan, head housemaid at Marwell for many years states, "On the night after Boxing Day, if you went upstairs about 11 o'clock, you could hear a great crowd of young people rushing along the stairs and the corridors, and you just darted into the nearest bedroom and fell to your knees and buried your face in your hands and prayed, until the whole lot of them passed by."
Another haunting came from the local oilman, a Mr Sharpe, a few decades ago. On his return to his home from doing his Owlslebury round, once a week and rather late at night his horse always 'played up' at the entrance to Marwell Hall. Shying and whynnying so badly that unless Mr Sharpe had to dismount and lead his horse past the gates an inch at a time. He and his family believed that the 'white lady' of local legend could be seen by the horse!
YewTree Walk, which is situated at the rear of the Hall is supposed to be the favourite haunt of Anne Boleyn, Because here while sauntering along this walk, King Henry and Jane planned their wedding. So for those visiting the hall, we suggest you plan your departure early, because that quiet pitter patter of footsteps behind you may not be just your imagination, nor may it be one of the wild animals, loose in the grounds, it could be......
had the reputation of being haunted when
members of the Lefroy family were in
"It came to within 15 feet of us
turned and smiled at us and then went through the kitchen. When
she turned and looked at us we could see that it was a really
beautiful woman with dark hair-I can see
"It is not a trick of the imagination-the three people who were with me saw exactly the same thing. Later that day one of us went to Fleet and got a book which said that Itchell Manor was haunted. It gave us quite a fright.We were glad that we were only stopping there one night!
(Text and photo kindly sent in by Sally Baker, Mission, B.C., Canada)