Are these the most haunted places in Suffolk?
PUBLISHED: 19:00 28 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:44 29 October 2019
Have you been scared by ghost outside Ipswich Buttermarket, or endured the wrath of Grog at The Woolpack?
Otherwise known as the UK's smallest pub, The Nutshell in Bury St Edmunds is rumoured to be home to the spirit of a little boy. Although it is not known who he is, how he died or why he haunts the building, he is believed to be very unhappy as residents have said he appears to have cold shivers, and hold him responsible for shattering glasses. You may also smell a female perfume when there aren't any women present - this will mean another spirit is around you. There is also a cursed mummified cat hanging - it's said that anyone who touches it will suffer great misfortune. Men from RAF Honington once kidnapped the kitty, but after experiencing a plane crash and kitchen fires, they soon replaced it.
Three Tuns Pub, Bungay
Legend has it that 18-year-old Rex Bacon was shamed for stealing money out of the church's collection box and marrying a woman very quickly after. He soon found his wife having an affair in the Three Tuns pub, so, blind with rage, killed his spouse, her lover and himself. Rex is now known to haunt the halls of the pub, playing tricks on staff members, including pinging females bra straps. The cellar is also believed to be riddled with ghosts, one being Lizzie Bowlynge, a maid who was chained up and starved to death after she was caught stealing.
As one of Ipswich's most ancient inns, it's no surprise The Woolpack fosters a number of different spirits. Admiral Vernon, who has been nicknamed Grog, is arguably the most infamous ghost that lives in the pub. It is believed that he tore off a sign that was firmly attached to the wall and aggressively threw it on the floor after pub regulars laughed his spirit off as a hoax. When he was alive, Grog was very unpopular with sailors as his legislation to water down rum on navy ships was passed. Several other spirits have been spotted in The Woolpack, including two men who a clairvoyant believed to be well associated with one another. A grey figure that scales the walls like a spider is said to be a monk who was hiding in a priest hole to escape persecution. A sailor by the name of George was rumoured to be helping the monk, as he too was killed.
The Swan Hotel, Lavenham
Back in the 19th century, the housekeeper of the hotel fell pregnant out of wedlock. Although the baby's father agreed to marry the lady, he left her standing at the altar causing her to spiral into a deep depression. She later committed suicide in room 15, which is said to be the most haunted area of the property. If you fancy a stay in the hotel, you'll be welcome to stay in room 15 - but beware - previous guests have reported seeing the lady's ghost in the middle of the night, and one guest claimed she woke by the ghost tickling her feet. Although the hotel has kept its traditional structure, rooms have been refurbished to give a modern feel. A night therewill definitely be one of luxury - just don't go wandering around alone in the dark!
The Bull Hotel and Long Melford Hall
Just a short walk from one another, both venues have a spooky history. Between May and September in 1604, 119 men, women and children were burned during the plague epidemic in Melford Hall.The ghost of Countess Rivers may be roaming the grounds too, as she supposedly jumped from a window and drowned in the moat.The Bull hotel, just down the road from Long Melford Hall has been haunted since 1648, when a man named Richard Evered was murdered after a political dispute.Witnesses left him lying in the hallway as they ran to get help, but on their return, his body was gone. If you fancy booking yourself in for a spooky experience, spend a night in room number five at The Bull hotel, which is apparently where Richard's spirit haunts.
If you find yourself shopping in The Buttermarket, you may well be in one of the most haunted places in Ipswich. Although this may come as a shock, the building has a very spooky history as it was built on an Anglo-Saxon graveyard. It should therefore come as no surprise that the car park is haunted too, and the CCTV cameras have picked up many shadowy figured that cannot be explained. But the apparitions aren't just confined to the building; if you leave through the emergency exit doors you will see an alleyway. Many people have reported a male phantom that runs forward then vanishes before reaching them, leaving them terrified. Opposite the shopping centre you'll also find St Stephen's Church, which was abandoned for many years before being renovated into the Tourist Information Centre. Two elderly female spirits have earned themselves the nickname 'the organists' as they congregate where an organ should stand. These ladies have been spotted regularly and are believed to be the old up keepers of the church. Finally, if you stand on the corner of St Stephen's Lane and The Buttermarket, you will be close the a 15th century Sparrows House, which is rumoured to be haunted by a grey lady.
This 16th century, Grade I listed building is said to be the home of many apparitions. The most famous ghouls are a headless coachman and his four horses, which are apparently carrying a member of the Blennerhassett family back to Roos HallThe horseman is believed to be an old owner of the hall, and is accompanied by a beautiful young woman, who can turn anyone mad if she looks them dead in the eye. The group only make an appearance once a year - on Christmas Eve.
The face of a young, pale girl has also frequently been spotted at the topmost gable window. The devil has also been said to make an appearance in Roos Hall, as he's marked a red-brick wall with his hoof and been seen circling the hanging tree - a large oak which was brought death to lots of criminals.
Rumoured to be where the devil resides, Akenham Church is the right place to visit in you fancy a spooky afternoon out. Amongst the graves, you'll find Sir Edward Waldegrave who was the chief advisor to Queen Mary I. He was associated with the Burial Reformation Act of Joseph Ramsey, a two-year-old child who was denied a Christian burial. Also, keep an eye out for a spilt grave while wandering around the grounds, as this is where it's believed that the devil sleeps. Legend claims that if the church is circled 13 times anti-clockwise the devil will wake from a long slumber. This theory has been tested, and although there have been no sightings of the devil himself, paranormal experts have documented a change in atmosphere.
The story of Thornham Magna begins with two star-crossed lovers - a service lady and the Lord of the Manor's son. The pair fell in love and planned to wed, yet the Lord forbade it, believing that it would bring shame to the family. He therefore watched the young lady carefully and learned that she walked through darks woods to get home. One night, the Lord instructed his gamesman to wait for her in the woods, then to release the dogs once he caught sight of her. Following his orders, he unleashed the dogs which attacked the young lady and left her for dead. Worried why she didn't return home, her parents went searching for her the next morning, and of course, just found her body. There is now a road that bisects the spot where she was murdered, which has received reports of a rose-tinted, misty shape that appears from the trees forming a young woman running to her death.
We asked you to tell us where you thought the scariest places in Suffolk were.
I knew someone who lived in Borley Rectory and what they witnessed was certainly not made up! My uncle always swore he saw the headless coachman and the nun who looks like she is floating where the floor level used to be.
Great Livermere is supposedly the most haunted village in Suffolk. It's also the birthplace of M. R. James - the legendary horror writer who drew much inspiration from the village.
Christchurch Mansion is haunted. A ghost of a maid is said to reside there along with four headless horses.
We've had a lot of weird things happen at The Locomotive Social Club - things falling off shelves, alarms going off when they shouldn't, the sound of footsteps above when no one is there. There have been sightings of human images that just disappear and we can't keep pictures on the wall in the ladies loo as they get smashed.
Nacton village is haunted place - there is a graveyard keeper in the church on the right and a cavalier horseman who comes down the lane with the devil's dog. There is a field where the ghost of a young girl in a white dress dances around - she's aged between 18 and 20 years old.
When I was a kid I lived in Shakespeare road. I saw a ghost of a child in the front bedroom, my sister saw a ghost of an old woman walking towards her bed and when we went up stairs it felt like we were being watched. We'd hear noises up stairs, but there would be no one there - my mum even called the police once.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East Anglian Daily Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.