EDDIE BRAZIL, author of Haunted High Wycombe, picks five most haunted places in the Buckinghamshire town
The Swan Theatre, St Mary Street, High Wycombe
Although it was only built in 1992, the Swan Theatre has gained a reputation for being haunted. One night in 1998 after the last of the theatregoers had left, the caretaker, much to his surprise, saw a person still in one of the seats. Thinking that it was someone who had fallen asleep, he made his way across to where they were sitting. However, on reaching the figure it vanished right in front of his eyes. Doors open on their own and lights are inexplicably turned on. Those who are alone at night in the theatre tell of an invisible presence which follows them throughout the building.
The Antelope Inn, High Street, High Wycombe
One of Wycombe’s most haunted sites is the Antelope Inn which was built in 1795.Tunnels are said to run beneath the pub, the entrance to which can be gained from the cellars. In 2005, a medium visiting the pub asked to be shown the tunnels, and immediately sensed the presence of many people running to and fro throughout the passage ways. However, she could throw no light on who the people were or the reason for their presence. In 2007, the landlord was caught on CCTV alone in the pub one night after closing time. The footage showed him playing on one of the fruit machines when something caught his attention. He instantly swung around to see what it was, and then, without warning, suddenly bolted towards the front door seemingly in terror.
The Hobgoblin, High Street, High Wycombe
Another of Wycombe’s hostelries to have a haunted reputation is the Hobgoblin. It was built in 1756 as a coaching inn. In 1975 the new owners became aware of a presence and an unnatural chill in one of the upstairs bedrooms. One day the landlord went into the room, and was shocked to see a vision of an old woman sitting in the corner brushing her long fair hair. As she sat her black piecing eyes appeared to follow him round the room. The figure of the old woman was seen on many other occasions, and her phantom seems to be not of a benevolent kind, for bottles have been found smashed throughout the bar, and the staff fear going in to the pubs cellar alone because of an unsettling presence.
High Wycombe Railway Station, Amersham Hill
On a chilly, misty night, in 1986 a British Rail Employee was waiting for a train on Platform 3 of High Wycombe Station. The Station was empty and quite yet, as he stood under the cold glow of the platform lamps, he heard the sound of approaching footsteps. However, they were not on the platform, but were coming from the ballast down on the track. He looked over on to the track expecting to see a railway worker walking along the line, but was astonished to see that the track was completely empty. As he listened, he heard the disembodied crunching noises passing by below him. It is not only phantom footsteps crunching the ballast which have been reported at the station. The frantic footfalls of someone running down the platform have been heard on several occasions, but on investigation there is nothing to account for them.
Burleighfield House, London Road, Loudwater
On a bright Sunday morning in September 2005 a workman arrived at Burleighfield House to clean the windows. The building was locked and empty for the weekend. Placing his ladder up at one of the first floor rooms he commenced cleaning . Without warning he saw the figure of a woman dressed in black Victorian clothes descend, the stairs. She had a most horrible, deathly pallor to her face, and seemed not so much to walk as glide. The shock nearly made him lose his grip on the ladder and fall. The window cleaner was not the only one to experience the woman in black. Staff and workmen have reported seeing and feeling her ghost, and the upper rooms and corridors of the house are thought to be where she lurks to terrify any unsuspecting sceptics.
EDDIE BRAZIL was born in Dublin in 1956. He is a writer, photographer and paranormal investigator. He is co- author, with Paul Adams and Peter Underwood, of The Borley Rectory Companion and Shadows in the Nave: A Guide to the Haunted Churches of England. In 2012, with Paul Adams, he co wrote Extreme Hauntings: Britain’s Most Terrifying Ghosts, and in 2013 he published the first ghostly guide to his hometown Haunted High Wycombe. He has recently completed a bloody history of Buckinghamshire, which will be published in November. He is also a guitarist , and in 1983 wrote the theme music to the British comedy movie,”Expresso Splasho” which featured Gary Oldman and Daniel Peacock. Eddie lives with his wife and Daughter in Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire. Find out more at his website here.