These Buckinghamshire churches have some of the scariest hauntings in all of England, says EDDIE BRAZIL
Ghost hunter Eddie Brazil has been in search of the spooks of his home county for inclusion in his next book. Here are a few mouth-watering snippets about some very spooky Buckinghamshire churches!
Scary Buckinghamshire Churches Hauntings
The Ghostly Vicar of Aston Sandford
Aston Sandford lies some six miles to the south west of Aylesbury. It is a peaceful, cul de sac hamlet in the water meadows of the Thames Valley with a tiny 13th century, tower less church and a handful of cottages. Thomas Scott, the grandfather of architect Giles Gilbert Scott, was vicar between 1803 and 1821, and it is his ghost, which is said to haunt the church and graveyard.
Between October 1996 and March 1997, a young female commercial artist took a short let on one of the village cottages. She had the pleasure of working from home, and after a tiring day at her easel, would often take a walk through the village up to the Aylesbury Road.
On several occasions, she tried to take a look inside the church, but found it locked. One cold November afternoon, as it was approaching dusk, she took her regular stroll and, looking over at the church, was pleased to see the vicar by the south door. She decided on her return, she would go over and have a look inside. Yet when she returned to the building, she found it in darkness and with no sign of the vicar. Assuming that he must have finished his business quickly and locked up, she carried on home.
On several subsequent occasions, she again saw the clergyman by the church, yet every time she returned to look at the building, he was nowhere to be seen and the church was appeared empty. The young woman was by now becoming a little curious about the vicar’s behaviour. On her next walk, she decided if she saw him she would go over immediately and introduce herself.
And so it worked out. A few days later, on her late afternoon walk, she passed the church and saw the vicar by the south door. As she entered the graveyard she momentarily looked away from the church entrance. It was only seconds, yet when she returned her view to the door and the vicar, he was nowhere to be seen.
She rationalised that he had gone inside, however, when she reached the door she found it securely locked and the church in darkness. It was at this moment that the young woman became icy cold and unnerved. It suddenly became apparent that there was no clergyman and that she was totally alone in the graveyard. She turned and hurriedly walked back down the church path to the gate, yet as she did so she had the horrible sensation that someone was walking quickly behind her.
When she reached home she turned on all of the cottages lighting and poured herself a stiff drink. She had no doubt that what she had seen and heard was in some way paranormal. Her assumptions were confirmed a few days later when one of the villagers showed her around the sunlit church and related the supposed-ghostly appearances of the Rev Scott.
Of course, the villager laughed and scoffed at the idea of ghosts, but the young commercial artist, who kept her experience to herself was of a different opinion.
Holy Trinity Church Penn
The church is located on a side road between High Wycombe and Beaconsfield, and is full of history. The grandsons of William Penn, he of Pennsylvania fame, lie in the churches vaults. Within the churchyard are the graves of David Blakeley and Donald Maclean. Blakeley was murdered by Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain. Maclean gained infamy as a Soviet spy.
The church is believed to be haunted by a phantom horseman, who rides through the village on moonlit nights and disappears on reaching the graveyard. A more substantial ghost is that of the apparition of a woman in white who passes through the churchyard, through the east gate and vanishes down a nearby lane.
In recent years, some paranormal investigators have speculated that the apparition of the woman may be the spirit of Ruth Ellis. David Blakeley, a one-time resident of Penn, and Ellis were lovers. She shot him outside a London pub in 1955. Does she return to haunt the grave of the man she said she loved?
The Ghosts of the Prime Ministers Church
The parish church of St Peter and St Paul, Ellesborougth stands proudly on a steep knoll halfway between the towns of Princes Risborough and Wendover. It was built in the late 14th century, but has undergone extensive Victorian restoration.
The Hawtry family were once lords of the manor and are laid to rest in the church. They were also the owners of the nearby stately manor house of Chequers. The house was bequeathed by the Hawtrys to the office of British Prime Minister, and is used by the King’s First Minister as his country residence.
Ellesborough Church is also known as the Prime Ministers Church as many Labour and Conservative leaders have attended worship there. Margaret Thatcher prayed at the church during the Falklands conflict.
The church also has its resident ghosts. Over the years, the apparition of a tall figure dressed in medieval attire has been seen to glide towards the memorial tablets commemorating the Hawtry family within the building, although it is unclear if it is the ghost of Sir Thomas Hawtry, who was lord of the manor in the 16th century.
The figures of two women have been seen sitting in the pews nearest the altar, but their identity is unknown.
There is also a lady in white . She is said to be the unrequited lover of Rev Robert Wallis, who was Rector of the church in the early 17th century. The ghost of Wallis, himself has been seen on the footpath leading to the south door. One 1980s rector is said to have seen the apparition of several occasions.
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Have you been to a haunted church in Buckinghamshire? Tell us about it in the comments section below!