Blenheim Palace , the birthplace of Winston Churchill, is stalked by the spirits of the dead, says RICK HALE
A short walking distance from the MacDonald Bear Hotel is Woodstock’s second most haunted building, Blenheim Palace.
A haunted house steeped in history and birthplace to former Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. And a UNESCO World Heritage site.
As well as being home to several encounters with ghostly phenomena.
History Of Blenheim Palace
This stunning example of English Baroque architecture was built in 1704, by Sir John Vonburgh.
The house was gifted to the 1st Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill.
Churchill distinguished himself in battle against French and Bavarian forces during the War of Spanish Succession.
Sadly, construction on the palace was halted as a result of political infighting.
This controversy led to Churchill losing the house, as well as his title and power.
Following the departure of the Duke, Blenheim Palace changed hands between several dukes and duchesses who expanded the building and gardens.
The Spencer-Churchill family regained the building and in 1874, Sir Winston Churchill was born there and spent much of his formative years at the palace.
The Haunting Of Blenheim Palace
Today, Blenheim Palace is owned by Charles James Spencer-Churchill, 12th Duke of Marlborough.
Spencer-Churchill is well aware of his residence being a haunted hotspot and will occasionally allow ghost hunters to conduct investigations.
Some of these paranormal investigators have come away with interesting results that suggest this elegant house is most certainly haunted.
The Dean Jones Room
Since the 19th century, the Dean Jones Room has been considered the most haunted room in the palace.
The ghost of a kindly old man, thought to be the 1st Duke’s personal chaplain has been encountered in the room.
He is said to sit in a chair rocking and quietly reading his Bible.
According to a number of guests he looks up from his book, and with a nod and a smile, he acknowledges their presence. He then slowly fades away.
And considering Winston Churchill spent a great deal of time in this room, it’s a good chance he experienced this spirit at least once
The spirit of a Roundhead soldier has been seen stalking the halls and corridors of the palace.
The ghost of the soldier has also been witnessed huddling by the fireplace and appears to be warming himself.
It’s possible this out of place civil war soldier isn’t so much associated with the palace, but rather from the land the palace sits on. Just echo caught forever in time.
The Unseen Force
According to the haunted history of the palace, Royal commissioners were meeting at the palace when they were disturbed in a most unexpected way.
As they met, a sudden strong, cold wind blew through the building. Suddenly, a violent unseen force began throwing objects around the room.
Books and heavy furniture seemed to have a life of their own as they moved about the room.
Terrified by the experience, the commissioners fled from the palace and never returned.
The stunningly beautiful Blenheim Palace is open to the public for tours. And the Duke extends a warm welcome to anyone who appreciates his home and World Heritage site.
Ghost hunts are occasionally allowed, but the Duke makes one request, that you respect his home and the ghosts he shares it with.