ASHLEY DARKWOOD from Wycombe Paranormal tells us about Amersham’s 7 most haunted places to visit!
Amersham in Buckinghamshire is arguably one of the most haunted small towns in the country. Originally a Saxon settlement, there is also evidence of Roman activity in the area. In the early 1500s, a group of local religious dissidents known as Lollards were tortured and burned at the stake for their heretical beliefs.
The Chequers Inn, London Road West
The original inn on this site was built in 1450. Legend tells of 13 different spectres within. This one pub beating the claim of the entire village of Pluckley in Kent.
In recent years, activity has included the sighting of an early 20th Century looking chimney sweeper sitting at the bar during closed hours, hooded figures seen entering guest rooms, only to have vanished when followed by housekeeping staff, objects are regularly seen moving of their own accord.
The cellar of the Chequers Inn was used to imprison the local protestant Lollards pending their trial and execution for heresy in the early 1500s.
The Amersham Cemetery
The Amersham Cemetery adjacent to St Mary’s Church is the final resting place of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed in the UK. Her coffin and remains were moved here following renovation of Holloway Prison in the early 1970s.
The story attracted further tragedy when her son, only 10 years old at the time of her execution, destroyed the headstone before taking his own life in 1982. Several locals claim to have seen an older woman weeping by the graveside who then fades away before their eyes.
The Saracens Head Inn, Whielden Street, Amersham
Originally local farm workers’ cottages, the Inn moved to it’s current site around 1725. Legend tells of the ghost of serving bar wench, however this is the site of current ongoing paranormal phenomena.
On two separate occasions mists have been observed forming into the shape of a person before dissipating.
A former chef who lived on-site recalls several instances of his bedroom door opening during the night and a shadowy figure entering his room.
Hair by Charlotte Hays, Whielden Street, Amersham
Just yards from The Saracen’s Head, this trendy ladies’ hair salon is situated in the former Hare & Hounds Pub which operated from the 1750s for about 200 years. At some point in the early 1900s, the pub was gutted by fire. The current hairdressing team regularly witness poltergeist type activity on motion activated CCTV when the salon is shut.
A medium visiting the salon as a customer talked of the “man upstairs” coming down to listen to the women chatting. At the time, the medium and staff would have been unaware of the building’s previous purpose. Of course, several landlords would have lived upstairs.
The hospital underwent major changes in the early 2000s, several buildings were demolished. The hospital grew around the Amersham Union Workhouse, built in 1838 in the Tudor style. The former workhouse was used as NHS administrative staff offices and the hospital radio.
During the renovation of the hospital it was sold and developed into private apartments. Many of the hospital staff would report seeing a hooded figure moving around the site of the old workhouse, with one claiming to see a floating torso in the area.
Station Road (various undisclosed properties), Amersham
A number of residents of the houses on Station Road claim to have witnessed very strange activity, ranging from poltergeist activity to a man seeing an image of his wife on his TV screen, before the advent of smart/digital devices.
Common occurrences included doors slamming, ornaments moving, books flying off shelves, radios turning on by themselves. Interestingly, Station Road runs adjacent to the execution site of the Lollards.
The Crown Inn, High Street, Amersham
Amersham hosted dozens of coaching inns, with The Crown being one of the more opulent. Built in the 1500s the building hosts a brick facade, but the beams within reveal the inn’s true age. Guest rooms numbered in the teens seem to be the focus of most of the paranormal activity.
A grey lady, often described as an old fashioned looking housekeeper is still seen regularly. She is seen in various parts of the building, even moving through solid oak doors. In one room the spectre of an old man is seen in the rocking chair.
Over the years a number of men staying in these rooms have fled during the night, unable to sleep due to the activity tormenting them, some even being ordered to “Get Out!” by a bodiless voice.
Pluma Restaurant, High Street, Amersham
Built in the mid 1600s this building has been a haberdashery, a grocers and a “fancy dealer” among other uses. In the 1990s it was a Chinese restaurant. A team of builders were employed carry out some renovation work. They removed a false wall revealing an original fireplace, in it was an old apothecary bottle filled with children’s teeth.
These big burly builders were instantly horrified and called the police. The police were a little more relaxed, believing it to be something of antiquity. A museum curator was called in who identified it as an apotropaic object. It was believed that children’s milk teeth, being pure of nature, would protect from evil spirits and witchcraft. They would be placed in fireplaces to stop any troublesome entities from entering the home via the chimney.
ASHLEY DARKWOOD says: “I am from South Buckinghamshire. Born into a Spiritualist family, some of my earliest memories are of attending the Spiritualist Church in High Wycombe. Tasked by the church to help a young boy having disturbing visions, my first paranormal investigation was at the age of 16. After spending many years working for the NHS and Social Services, I eventually became a stunt performer and actor. I have conducted thorough research of hundreds of paranormal cases and continue to investigate private cases. I have supplied paranormal research to a number of documentaries as well as appearing on TV and Radio.” You can follow Ashley Darkwood on Twitter.