Below is a list of local haunted places. Please follow a link to read more.
Longleat house is one of the most famous houses in Wiltshire, and was built in 1568 by Sir John Thynne. The house was completed in 1580 and has remained unchanged, except for the updating of the staterooms in 1870.
By the mid 18th century the Thynne family had become extremely wealthy and they acquired the title of Viscount Weymouth. Thomas Thynne, who was the second Viscount, married Lady Louisa Careret. Louisa moved into the house and brought some of her servants with her. One was a young footman who was devoted to her. Thomas Thynne suspected that his wife was having an affair with the footman and confronted him in the passageway outside the library. Thomas lost his temper with the footman and threw him down the spiral staircase, and the servant broke his neck. It is rumoured that the Viscount had the servant buried but told his wife that the footman had left. Louisa did not believe her husband and thought that he had locked the servant up in one of the rooms. She then searched each room in the house looking for him, until she caught a chill that turned into pneumonia and died. Soon after, her ghost was seen prowling the rooms again looking for the servant, and today she is known as the Grey Lady. In 1903 when the central heating was being installed, it became necessary to lower the floor in the cellar. Whilst doing this work a skeleton was discovered and it is presumed to be the body of the footman.
Another ghost is seen in the library just sitting reading and a third ghost is reported to run along the corridors at night banging on all the doors. There is also the Green Lady who walks the grounds but no one knows who she might be.
Royal Oak Inn - Corsley Heath
The Royal Oak Inn stands on the main road at the edge of the village, and it contains three ghosts. In the middle ages the holy men of Long Leat Friary, where they offered food and lodgings to any traveller, owned the Inn. One of the friars that worked there was far from honest or holy, and would ply them with ale and then search they belongings and pockets, looking for money or valuables. He was supposed to have stolen money that was meant to be used in the running of the building by the friary. Eventually he was caught and was walled up alive in the cellar and left there to die. His body is still there and he is seen from time to time in the inn.
Bratton village is to the east of Westbury and on the edge of Salisbury plain. There is a phantom black dog near to St Catherine's Well, and it been described as being enormous. It is said that this large brute should be avoided as if it is encountered it will bring sickness and death.
On the main road through the village where it crosses a stream, a hearse is heard on a full moon, and indicates that a villager will die before the next full moon. It is said that the best time to hear the hearse is midnight.
The ghost of an 18th century peddler appears on a short stretch of road going up the hill. It is presumed that the peddler was murdered for his money on his way back to the village, but his body was hidden too well to be discovered.
Trowbridge is a busy town that started its life in the 14th century. Church Street, which is now part of a one-way system, has a ghost called the Old Hag. She is described as very old with a wizened face and wrinkled skin, hardly any teeth and wearing an old coat or cloak. Her eyes attract most attention as they sparkle and glitter, but she makes anyone meeting her uneasy, due to the malevolence, evil and hostility that comes from her. No one knows who she was in real life or why she should be giving off such feelings.
In the 1990's a poltergeist was experienced in a shop at Roundstone Street, where it would knock on doors, hide objects and move stock around in the shop. The manifestations were linked to the houses upper rooms where there was once a nursery for a Victorian family that built the shop. It was wondered if the disturbances might have come from a mischievous child who once lived there.
The Wiltshire Heritage museum in Long Street has a ghost that appears in the lower floors of the building. The ghost is an elderly woman wearing a straw hat, is the late Maud Cunnington. Maud Cunnington was the foremost archaeologist of the county and chairman of the Wiltshire Archaeology and Natural History Society, which runs the museum.
The local castle, which has been renovated, rebuilt and altered over the years, and due to this not much of the original building is left standing. There is a white lady that walks the corridors, who said to be Lady Isabella, who is the daughter of Charles VI of France and wife of Richard II England. Unfortunately their marriage that took place in 1396 was not a happy one, with no love on either side. Isabella met a local man of the gentry who she fell in love with. Her husband could not allow this and ordered the young knight to be poisoned and his wife to be walled up alive in the castle. Unfortunately this is a legend and not thought to be true, so the true identity of the white lady is unknown.
There is another unknown ghost who is a cavalier and runs down the main staircase, and his footsteps can be heard as he clatters down the stairs. There is a room within the castle where mutterings can be heard at night, and this is believed to be the ghost of soldier of the Wiltshire Regiment, as the castle was used as overflow barracks during World War II. He was unpopular with his fellow soldiers as he sleepwalked and sleep talked, and he disturbed them so much they gave him a room to himself.
There is a very active ghost of an elderly lady who is dressed in 19th century clothing and is seen in the upstairs gallery. She walks with a walking stick and just potters around, but the dogs do not like her, and are very wary about entering the gallery.
In Lacock Abbey there is a ghost but from where he came or what century he belongs to no one knows. The ghost is a hunched back dwarf that runs around in the upstairs rooms of the Tudor manor, and he is dressed in dark clothes and has only been seen fleetingly by the witnesses. There is a lake near to the abbey and the ghost of lady in a flowing white gown can be seen walking on the shores. She is a very elegant lady and legend has it that she is the famed beauty Rosamund Clifford, who became the mistress of King Henry II after he fell out with his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine. No reason is known about why she walks the shores of the lake, it is possible that it was one of her favourite haunts.
In the village high street there is a 15th century building that is now an inn called The Angel. The ghost is an elderly lady who is thought to be one of the 20th century owners of the inn and can't bear to leave it. She is not mischievous, but she did materialise in front of a carpet fitter who ran screaming from the inn.
In the fields between the 14th century manor of Bewley Court and Lacock Abbey a phantom nun is seen. It is thought that she was forced into religious orders by her family, and eventually became disillusioned with her vocation. She met and fell in love with the son of the family who owned Bewley Court. Eventually her sins were discovered and she was locked in a damp cell at the abbey, where she became sick and died. Now her ghost wanders down to the river where she found love and happiness.
In the 18th century the daughter of the house began a romance with one of the servants that lived in the village of Zeals. Her father disapproved of her seeing such a low and shady character, but she found ways to continue to meet with him. One morning it was discovered that the girl had left Zeals house with a trunk full of clothes and jewellery, along with a pot of gold that her father kept in the house. The servant had disappeared from the village as well and it was thought that the pair had eloped. Riders were sent out to search the countryside to find her and her lover, but neither of them was found. Several weeks later dressed in a long grey cloak, the daughter was seen by several of the servants walking down the stairs and out the door. They saw her walk across the grounds, round by the lake and into the woods where she vanished. For sometime the servants did not talk about what they had witnessed as they were so frightened. When the family finally got to hear about the story they searched the woods but they found nothing. In the 1890's a skeleton was found in the woods in a shallow grave, but they did not find any gold or jewels. It was thought that the girl had been murdered by the villain for the jewels and gold and then buried there. The bones were removed and given a proper burial, but the girl's ghost can still be seen in the fields close to where she was brutally murdered and buried.
Although the origins of Salisbury date back to pre-Roman times, the current city site has only been occupied since 1220. It was in that year that Bishop Robert Poore pulled down the cathedral sited in the Sorviodunum high on the hills, and started to build the current cathedral, as there was better water supply and less violent wind in the valley. The people soon left their old site and started to move and live around the new cathedral.
To announce the death of a Bishop or some other senior cleric, large white phantom birds, larger than swans circle the cathedrals spire. One day a Miss Moberly who was the daughter of the then bishop saw these huge birds, and not knowing of the story enquired of a local workman about what they were. When she was told the story she hurried home to her father, who at the time was very ill, but he died later that day.
In the centre of Salisbury is the ancient Poultry cross, a market cross of carved stone, with arches that use to shelter the old market stall holders, now is used for the same purpose by shoppers. There is a ghost that stands there, if you can spot him, of a gentleman in a grey pinstripe three-piece suite. He stands there and doesn't bother anyone but suddenly disappears.
The ghost of Henry, Duke of Buckingham haunts the Debenhams department store. The store is built on the site of the old Blue Boar Inn, and the rear courtyard is still an open space. The boar was the personal emblem of King Richard III, and it is because of Richard III that Buckingham haunts the place. In 1483 Richard took the throne after the sons of Edward IV had been declared illegitimate. The sons were the famous Princes of the Tower whose existence was an embarrassment to both Richard and the monarch who followed him, Henry IV. Which King had them murdered was not known though it was not disputed that they were murdered. Richard did not need to have Buckingham murdered as he had him legally tried and executed. In fact Buckingham had helped Richard gain his current position, but within weeks of Richard coming to power Buckingham changed his mind, as he thought that he had as much to rule as Richard. Buckingham sent our messages to his men calling on them to meet him in Bristol and to be ready for war. He travelled west but was delayed by a terrible storm and as he was unable to reach Bristol and was captured by Richard's men.
Buckingham was taken to Salisbury for his trial, and was kept in the Blue Boar Inn. He was found guilty and was given the dignity of a private execution. He was beheaded in the courtyard of the Inn, where his beheaded figure is often seen. The Duke haunts the back of the store but the front is haunted by a playful spectre of a little girl, who is dressed in Victorian clothes.
The Haunch of Venison, which is a Salisbury Inn that was built in 1320 and housed masons and craftsmen, who were working on the construction of the Cathedral. It is said that the odd layout of the building, with floors on different levels, reflects the hierarchy of the workmen, foremen and master masons who lived there. Winston Churchill used the lower levels and the smallest rooms in the spring of 1944, when he came here to confer with General Dwight Eisenhower over the planning of D-Day.
The most active ghost in the Haunch of Venison is called the Whist player, as his name is not known. The man was travelling through Salisbury in the 1820's and stayed at the Haunch of Venison where he won a great sum of money at cards, but he was found to be cheating. A butcher who was in the game chopped of the stranger's hand as he held the five aces. The mummified hand was preserved in a box still gripping the five aces as a warning to any further cheats. It is said that his spirit returns to the Inn to seek vengeance for the deed and hides objects, throws open doors and slams them shut again.
There is also a ghost of a young lady that is seen in the Inn and also outside in Minster street. About a century ago she sent her young lad to the Inn to purchase a few bottles of beer, but he never returned. The poor mother came to the Inn looking for her son, but she never found him. She continued to look for him not knowing his fate until she became ill and died. Still her ghost searches for her lost son.