Penyffordd Farm: Genuine Haunting or Hoax?

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Was the Penyffordd Farm haunting authentic or attention seeking? RICK HALE takes a look at Wales’ most notorious paranormal case

The grave of Jane Jones at Penyffordd Farm
The grave of Jane Jones at Penyffordd Farm

Every year ten of thousands of families embark on an adventure that is a right of passage, buying a new home.

My family and I recently moved into our dream home. 

Although new homeowners have a few bumps in the road. Things like bad plumbing or not so friendly neighbours is typically par for the course, if you’ll pardon the golfing metaphor.

Nevertheless, there are new homeowners who run into situations that nobody expects. 

Ghostly phenomena that can turn a dream home into a horrific nightmare practically overnight.

And a number of these hauntings have caused eager new homeowners to flee for their sanity, even their very lives.

This is what the Gower family experienced when they moved into a quaint little farmhouse in the bucolic North Welsh countryside in the small village of Penyffordd.

An experience that brought them to the brink of insanity. With that being said, this particular case was met with a great deal of scepticism.

And although many consider this to be the most haunted home in Britain, many believe it was pure hokum. Hokum created for attention.  I’ll let you be the judge.

This haunting tale of angry ghosts began innocently enough, I suppose as these things often do.

The Nightmare Begins

David Gower, a headmaster and chemistry teacher, along with his wife Rosemary and their children, purchased Penyffordd Farm in Flintshire as a quiet respite from living in a larger town.

When they moved into the farm that was built sometime in the 15th century they immediately went about the business of cleaning it up. They intended on making this archaic home theirs.

While taking a look around the outside of the house, David and Rosemary came upon a curious artifact.

Leaning against the house was a simple gravestone. Not really something most people would discover on their property.

Upon closer inspection they were able to make out the words, “Jane Jones, 1778”, engraved on it. Of course, the great age of the stone made it difficult to read.

So, the Gowers did something that most of us might do in a situation such as this, they moved the headstone. A decision that was extraordinarily regrettable.

The Haunting of Penyffordd Farm

Shortly after the moving of the headstone, the house seemed to change and take on an overwhelmingly eerie feeling.

Simple household items seemed to take on a life of their own.

Objects would suddenly move from one place to another. Sometimes in full view of the awestruck family.

Perhaps one of the strangest things to occur was the family members finding the word peace written in Welsh on the walls.

Of course this might strike someone as not being so bad, but to the Gower clan, the word mixed with everything else going on in the house had an air of the sinister.

Rosemary’s Encounter 

As the activity in the house ramped up to more strange words appearing on the walls and odd noises being heard at all hours of the day, Rosemary Gower saw something that chilled her to the bone.

Rosemary claimed to see the sad apparition of a pregnant girl in a white gown wandering the property.

Rosemary claimed to research who this ghostly girl may have been and came to the conclusion, the girl was none other than Jane Jones herself. 

Rosemary believed she was the one and only apparition causing the problems in the house. And all because the family dared to move her headstone.

The Gowers would soon learn, Jane wasn’t the only ghost haunting the farm. Something much darker was about to show itself.

The Phantom Monk

When David and Rosemary left the house in the opening years of the 21st century, their daughter, Nicolette remained in the house with her husband and infant son. 

I find this rather extraordinary that through it all every family member didn’t say, well we’ve had enough. But, who knows, perhaps Nicolette was OK with the haunting. But not for long.

One night, Nicolette went to check on her infant son and as she entered the room her eyes were met with a horrifying sight.

Leaning over her baby’s crib was the figure of a man cloaked in a dark monk’s robe.

Nicolette screamed, grabbed her son and fled the room. Eventually leaving the farm in the dust. Nothing more than a terrifying memory.

Sceptics abound

As with any famous case of anything dealing with the fantastical  sceptics seemed to come out of the woodwork.

According to them, Rosemary Gower’s character and motives were a little too questionable. 

They claimed that Rosemary was not the quiet, unassuming woman she claimed to be.

Sceptics claimed that Rosemary concocted the entire story to get on television, as well as for gaining attention.

Let’s face it, this kind of thing does happen in the paranormal, whether or not we want to accept it.

A local chemist further stated the creepy words written on the walls were nothing more than salt water painted over with silver nitrate.  

Something, the man of the house, being a chemist would have no problem pulling off.

And lastly, other sceptics suggested that a previous sighting of a vision of the Virgin Mary in the area may have influenced Rosemary Gower to believe her farm was haunted.

To this day, the haunting of Penyffordd Farm is considered to be highly divisive.

You have the word of the Gower family claiming to encounter eerie apparitions and bizarre spectral activity.

And then you have sceptics who make a good argument that events may have been faked for personal gain.

This of course is not for me to decide. I will let the evidence speak for itself.

Tell us your thoughts on Penyffordd Farm in the comments section below!

Penyffordd Farm is the subject of a new BBC series. Read our review of Paranormal: The Girl, The Ghost and The Gravestones.

Watch Paranormal: The Girl, The Ghost and The Gravestone Trailer

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Rick Hale
Rick Hale, is a native of Chicago, Illinois and first became interested in the paranormal after having a positive interaction with an apparition at a young age. Rick is the author of The Geek's Guide To The Strange and Unusual: Poltergeists, Ghosts and Demons. Behold! Shocking True Tales of Terror...and Some Other Spooky Stuff. And Bullets, Booze and Babes: The Haunted History of Chicago and Illinois. Rick is the co-host of The Shadow Initiative Paranormal Talk. Rick was featured in the documentary Ghost Tapes 2. Rick is a featured writer for Spooky Isles and Paranormalstudy.com. Rick has also been published by Haunted Times, Paranormal Underground, The Supernatural Magazine and Legends Magazine.

1 COMMENT

  1. Hello I run a Paranormal group and I saw the show on bbc about the house and I was wondering if you would allow just my team members (just 4 of us) to come from London to do an investigation? We are a well put together team and we arrange investigations for small to large groups at various venues,we are insured and very respectful.
    I hope I get a reply

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