Peter Underwood and his ghosthunter colleagues never, ever forgot their investigation at Curry Mallet Manor House in Somerset, says RICK HALE
In the spring of 1988, stories of unnerving ghosts and strange hauntings at 900-year-old Curry Mallet Manor House in Somerset, South-West England, came to the attention of ghost hunter and President of the Ghost Club, Peter Underwood.
And as was often his practice, the ghost hunter sent a letter to the owner of the house, Dita Mallet.
Mrs. Mallet was a 91-year-old woman who could directly trace her ancestry to a Norman knight who fought bravely alongside William the Conqueror at the battle of Hastings in 1066.
Not long after sending his letter, Dita wrote back with some disappointing news. She no longer owned the house having sold it to Mr. Daniel O’Sullivan and his family.
However, Mrs. Mallet felt confident that the new owner would be open to allowing such an event in his new home. All Peter had to do was ask.
Peter Underwood approached the new owner who was understandably reluctant to allow such an enquiry.
He explained he was fearful that an investigation might breathe new life into the paranormal forces that currently laid dormant in his house. The last thing he wanted to do was expose his family to anything frightening.
Completely understanding of his concerns, Peter assured Mr. O’Sullivan that such a thing rarely occurred and he had nothing to fear.
Peter further explained that all he and his colleagues wanted to do was scientifically investigate the house by taking temperature readings, take photographs and recording any unexplained sounds.
After giving it serious consideration, Daniel O’Sullivan changed his mind and gave permission to the learned ghost hunters to come in and inspect his home.
Ghosthunting and a cup of tea
When Peter Underwood and 14 members of The Ghost Club arrived at Curry Mallet, they were met with a friendly cup of tea.
And Mrs. Dita Mallet regaled the eager group with the history and hauntings of the timeless manor house.
The house itself was only 900 years old but it sat on the foundations of an older structure, a wooden Saxon castle.
According to Dita, Curry Mallet played host to three of Britain’s kings, William the Conqueror, Henry II and King John.
All broke bread and feasted in the great hall during their respective eras.
Dita further explained that three streams ran under the house and these waterways are believed to be the source of the holy well of Glastonbury.
Throughout its history the surrounding region saw a great deal of war and bloodshed.
The Monmouth rebellion happened nearby and Crimson Hill flowed with the blood of the combatants of the Battle of Sedgemore resulting in several reported hauntings.
The Ghosts of Curry Mallot Manor House
As for the ghosts of Curry Mallet Manor House, they were almost too innumerable to count.
In the courtyard the unmistakable sounds of clashing swords and voices raised in combat have been heard.
Visitors and residents of the house claimed to witness the ghostly image of a woman carrying keys silently making her way throughout the house.
It’s believed she was a former maid still going about her chores long after her death.
The image of a gentleman dressed in Elizabethan attire has been seen nervously pacing about the great hall. His voice raised in prayer to almighty God for the safety of his beloved England.
A room overlooking the rose garden is said to be the domain of the spirit of a battered woman who was kept imprisoned there by her cruel husband. A former owner of the house.
Several people have remarked that upon entering the room, an overwhelming sense of despair causes them to immediately flee. Mrs. Mallet had experienced this herself on more than one occasion.
And lastly, the garden appears to host a multitude of lost souls experienced by almost everyone who walks among its finely manicured flowers.
Armed with all this information, Peter Underwood and his Ghost Club colleagues were eager to get their investigation underway. And what an investigation it would prove to be.
The paranormal investigation
Throughout the house, several thermometers were placed to check temperatures. Along with several trigger objects that would hopefully entice the ghosts to come and inspect them.
One of those trigger objects, a dagger, was moved from it’s spot by an unknown person.
A curious creaking sound was heard in the garden accompanied by a bone chilling cold spot.
And in the haunted courtyard where the sounds of combat have been heard, two members could make out a voice dragging out the name, “Julie.”
A thermometer was moved three feet from it’s spot when a member went to document any temperature changes
And an unpleasant odour was detected in several areas of the house.
With all this activity by clearly purposeful entities, Peter Underwood came to the conclusion that it would be an appropriate time to conduct a seance.
He hoped that whomever these entities were would come forward and communicate with the ghost hunters. He was not disappointed.
In all a marathon of 5 seances were held and each time a ghost calling itself “FR” came through.
According to this entity, he lived during the 1600s and was murdered and buried in the garden. FR, claimed he was displeased because his remains were disturbed, making it difficult to rest.
FR further revealed that he wasn’t the only entity in Curry Mallet Manor House. Several lost souls called the house and garden home. Lost souls who would never know the peace of the grave.
Peter Underwood and his team walked away from Curry Mallet Manor House with a memorable night.
This ancient house proved to be one of his most active investigations on record. Curry Mallet Manor House was one he and his colleagues would never forget.
For many of you, these five entries in my Trailing Peter Underwood series will probably be an introduction to one of the greatest ghost hunters to ever take up the hunt.
I hope this will encourage you to take up an interest in his staggering body of work.
Many of Peter Underwood’s books are still in publication and they are required reading for both the aspiring paranormal investigator and the seasoned veteran.
Have you seen at ghost at Curry Mallet Manor House? Tell us about it in the comments section below!