Prestbury Village in Gloucestershire is a serious contender for the title of most haunted village in England, says RICK HALE
The history of England is a long and storied one stretching back beyond the mists of time.
Wars and battles have been fought for king and country as well as for god.
Because of this many of the country’s many castles and homes are haunted by those who lived through the battles, and their lives tragically cut short.
However, it’s not just these noble castles with their crumbling walls that can make the claim of being England’s most haunted.
Entire towns and villages have gained a reputation for being home to numerous ghosts.
Prestbury Village in Gloucestershire is one such town where the ghosts are known to walk the streets among the living.
In Prestbury Village, the living and the dead have found a way to peacefully coexist.
The Haunting Of Prestbury Village
The hauntings of Prestbury Village are so well known, they attract people from all over the world who go there hoping to catch a glimpse of the other side.
The ghosts of this village are so innumerable, it’s become a daunting task to catalogue them.
If you were to ask a citizen of Prestbury what their most haunted building is, they may be hard pressed to provide a definitive answer.
With that being said, if you were to ask what is their most active ghost, chances are they would undoubtedly answer, the Black Abbot.
The Black Abbot
No one can really put a name to this often sighted ghostly monk.
It’s possible he died when King Henry VIII, enacted his policy of Catholic suppression history calls the dissolution of the monasteries (1536-1541).
During that brief dark episode of England’s history, being a Catholic was nothing short of perilous.
The phantom known as the Black Abbot, appears to be nothing more than a psychic imprint.
As he seems to follow the same route without deviation and awareness of his surroundings.
He appears to be active on high holy days. On Christmas, Easter and All Soul’s Day he starts his walk from St. Mary’s church and crosses the churchyard.
He then walks past the old priory and ends his pilgrimage by vanishing through the wall of a cottage on High Street.
It’s believed he may be walking the route he followed every day when he was among the living.
People strolling down the oldest street in Prestbury, The Burgage, have claimed to hear the unmistakable sound of a horse galloping past them at breakneck speed.
Although this ghost has only been heard and not seen, the ghost is believed to be a Royalist soldier who was captured and executed by Parlimentarian troops during the civil war.
Shaw Green Lane
A grisly phantom has appeared riding his horse down Shaw Green Lane, shocking those unfortunate to see him.
It’s commonly accepted this blood soaked horseman was a messenger on his way to Edward VI’s camp in Tewkesbury.
When he entered town he was ambushed and shot dead by an archer’s arrow.
When he appears he is described as a bloody corpse with an arrow sticking out of his back. He then fades away when he reaches the end of the street.
The Headless Horseman
According to local legend, Mill Street is the domain of an eldritch ghost known as the headless horseman.
This terrifying entity was a royal dispatch in service to the king during the civil war.
As he rode down Mill Street he was knocked from his horse by a wire strung across the street. A common practice used to capture messengers.
As he watched his horse run into the dark he was surrounded by Roundheads who pinned him to the ground and executed him by beheading.
Many locals and visitors who have encountered the headless horseman say he abruptly appears out of thin air and gallops full speed down the street.
Sundial Cottage, a Grade II listed building is home to a musically talented young girl.
The girl has been seen throughout the cottage, however she has been heard adeptly playing a spinet, a harpsichord instrument popular in the 17th century.
During World War II, a family who lived in the house, searched day and night upon hearing the phantom music. When they found nothing they learned to live with it.
The Plough Inn
Patrons and staff of the Plough Inn have reported hearing horse’s hooves running through the building.
Accompanying the phantom horses is the ghost of a kindly old man wearing a hat and an old tweed jacket.
He is said to appear sitting in a corner with a smile and twinkle in his eye. He then vanishes just as quickly as he appeared.
A third reported phenomena at the Plough Inn is probably it’s strangest.
Herdsmen have reported difficulty getting their sheep, horses and dogs to pass in front of the building.
Perhaps these skittish animals are seeing something that we as humans can not see.
Pluckley Village in Kent has enjoyed a long history as being the most haunted village in England.
However, Prestbury Village in Gloucestershire is a serious contender for the title.
If you, or someone you know, has had an experience in Prestbury Village we invite you to tell us about it in the comment section.