Richard Holland, editor of Uncanny UK, continues his suggested chart of the most haunted places in Britain.
6. Woodchester Mansion, Nympsfield, Gloucestershire
Woodchester Mansion is a vast and beautiful house which proved so vast and beautiful that it was never completed – the money ran out in 1873. This majestic Gothic folly has been rescued from oblivion and is open to the public, with many cultural events taking place here. The most frequent events seem to be ‘paranormal nights’. Woodchester gained its haunted reputation fairly recently, but the organised ghost hunts held here over the last couple of decades have placed it firmly on the paranormal map.
Thanks to the commercial ghost hunts there are seemingly hundreds of reports of things going bump in the night in the old house and any number of possible orbs and strange mists captured on digital cameras. If all the reports are to be taken at face value Woodchester might very well deserve the top spot in this roster of haunted sites.
One investigation which goes some way to affirming the mansion’s reputation (and there are no doubt others) was carried out by the Ghost Club. Then General Secretary Robert Snow recalled his alarming experience in an upstairs corridor with several colleagues: ‘We all heard a strange sound coming towards us. I can only describe it as sounding like a combination of a heavy wooden box drawn across a rough floor, a jet aircraft and an express train. As it approached it grew louder until it was absolutely deafening by the time it reached us. I was leaning against a wall, which was vibrating and so was the floor. I shone my torch but could see nothing to account for the noise: a thorough investigation had revealed no intruders.’
Weird glowing writing had also manifested on a wall in a ground floor room during the same investigation.
According to researcher Anthony Poulton-Smith there are several ghosts in the vicinity of Woodchester Mansion, possibly as many as 16. They include monks, a Roman soldier, two World War 2 airmen and several coaches or horsemen.
[SOURCE: Paranormal Cotswolds by Anthony Poulton-Smith; ‘A Life Among Ghosts’ by Robert Snow, Paranormal Magazine issue 30].