Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 14°C

Search

Ghostly mansion spotted in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 07:50 10 October 2007 | UPDATED: 18:06 26 February 2010

DRIVING past a beautiful Georgian house, Jean Batram remarked on its splendour to her husband, Sidney.

With its graceful lines, elegant windows and picturesque garden, Mrs Batram was looking forward to catching a second glimpse on her return but she was left bemused and amazed when the magnificent home had seemingly vanished by the time the couple drove home.

DRIVING past a beautiful Georgian house, Jean Batram remarked on its splendour to her husband, Sidney.

With its graceful lines, elegant windows and picturesque garden, Mrs Batram was looking forward to catching a second glimpse on her return but she was left bemused and amazed when the magnificent home had seemingly vanished by the time the couple drove home.

She did not know it at the time, but her strange experience along Kingshall Street in Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, was one of many supernatural apparitions of the mansion which have left passers by like her scratching their heads in just the same way.

Experts say Mrs Batram and her husband saw the “Rougham mirage” - one of Suffolk's more well-documented spooky sightings.

She had all but forgotten the strange occurrence until she got a book out of her local library and read about other sightings of the ghostly home.

Mrs Batram, who is in her early 70s, said: “I know I saw this house, I can see it now and could sketch it if I needed to. It was a lovely big Georgian house with a whole row of long windows and trees at the back of it.

“I have talked to other people and they have heard of it and people in Rougham have heard of the tale. I would just love to get to the bottom of it.

“At the time it happened, I knew nothing about this house at all. I was looking across some ploughed fields when I noticed this great big house and remarked to my husband how nice it was.

“I had a quick look and saw these lovely big windows and then thought I would see it again when I came back. But when we drove back, there was no house there.”

Although there is some doubt over the origins of the house, Betty Puttick's book, Ghosts of Suffolk, devotes an entire chapter to what she christened the “Rougham mirage” near Colville's Grove woodland.

Referring to an eyewitness account from Robert Palfrey in 1860, she wrote: “Where just before there had been a familiar empty field, now he was looking at a large red brick double-fronted house behind ornate iron gates.

“Feeling rather stunned by this extraordinary happening, Mr Palfrey took a better look, but when he did there was nothing to see. Just as suddenly as it had appeared, the house had completely vanished.”

Amazingly, Mr Palfrey's great-grandson James Cobbold had a similar experience in 1912 when he was driving a pony. He recounted his story for Amateur Gardening in 1975 and then again, under a pseudonym, for the East Anglian Magazine in 1982.

The Ghost Hunter's Road Book also told how a Miss Wynne , a local schoolteacher, and her pupil, Ruth Allison, whose father was the new vicar of Rougham, saw the house.

Speaking last night, local historian Phil Sage said the sightings had fascinated generations and there was evidence to suggest a house, called Kings Hall, had been on the site - although little was known about the building.

A woman in her 30s was rushed to hospital after two men dressed in black hoodies threw a mystery liquid into her face during a “random” attack.

The family of Corrie McKeague will today be out on the streets of Bury St Edmunds talking to members of the public to mark the year anniversary of his disappearance.

A man in his late 20s has been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving after he crashed his car in Ipswich.

A teenager who had to be freed from the wreckage of a car by firefighters following a crash in Essex today is fighting for his life in hospital.

As the deadline for Stars of Suffolk nominations approaches, organiser Mick Parker is looking ahead to the “emotional and wonderful” annual ceremony that brings together the county’s unsung heroes for one night of celebration.

An 18-year-old woman who went missing from her home in Essex has been found safe.

The BurySOUND music competition is looking for up and coming bands to sign up for next year’s event - as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24