Hampshire Ghost Club founder DAVID SCANLAN says he knows the ghosts of Wymering Manor in Portsmouth are a friendly lot because he used to live there!
Well, it appears according to the Telegraph (“Council gives away £375,000 manor ‘because it is haunted’“) that the Portsmouth City Council recently gave away Wymering Manor due to not being able to sell it because of its haunted reputation.
It always amazes me when people appear to be fearful of places that state they are haunted, there is nothing to fear about living at Wymering Manor! How would you know? I hear you ask.
Simple… I lived there, I saw the ghosts on numerous occasions and it was myself that was directly responsible for bringing the haunting of the manor to the public limelight and bringing hundreds of paranormal investigators to the manor to investigate the haunting.
I took a job as the resident live-in manager at the Youth Hostel back in 2002 and lived every day of my life in that fantastic, ancient dwelling for the next four years. Even to this day, I will openly state that there is so much more enjoyment and atmosphere in living in a historic building than there is living in a newly constructed place.
When I first moved into the manor, I brought with me my young family, Joe, 6, Martin, 4, and Sharon, 2. As soon as we entered the manors great hall, my son Joe threw himself on the floor and started rolling around, as kids do, then suddenly sat bolt upright and said quite defiantly: “Daddy, there’s a man with a magician’s hat going up the stairs.” I looked instantly but sadly saw nothing… on that occasion!
Ghostly happenings at Wymering Manor
My wife, Evette, had always scoffed at the idea of ghosts and haunted houses and really mocked me when I started the Hampshire Ghost Club back in 2001. However, that changed on the very first night we moved in. She made her way down the stairs about 11pm to put some washing into the washing machines.
I heard a loud bang and then footsteps ascending the spiral staircase at a rapid pace, she burst through the living room door saying she had just seen a man dressed all in black standing in the main hall. I’d known about this ghost for some time and even have a photo of this apparition that still defies rational explanation to this day.
After explaining to her that this apparition had been seen on frequent occasions she started to believe that little bit more in what people had previously experienced.
Over the years, we had many experiences at the manor and I’m not just talking about witnessing the occasional fleeting glimpse or movement from the corner of the eye but actual face to face encounters often in broad daylight or with the lights fully on. You didn’t have to be on your own or in the darkness to witness the ghosts of Wymering Manor.
Sadly, we left the property, with very heavy hearts, in March 2006 following redundancy from the YHA. Our departure saw other owners taking over the manor but the ghost groups continued to come to the manor in search of the ghosts. Some of those groups came with a serious attitude and intent on discovery, others came with nothing more than looking for a cheap thrill or a supernatural scare.
Certain TV shows also produced a show from the manor and claimed to have had stones thrown at them, others claim to have witnessed and encountered the darker side of the supernatural… for me these stories are nothing more than poppycock and the ramblings of fraud and over active imaginations. Believe it or not some groups, and I know who they are, even claimed that I and my group were a practising witchcraft/satanic cult that were invoking evil spirits at the home. Again, complete nonsense.
The ghosts of the manor were friendly, they craved understanding and a family environment, something which they got during the time my family resided there and I’m sure they still desire that to this day.
Perhaps I should write a book?
DAVID SCANLAN is the founder of the Hampshire Ghost Club.