Weird Suffolk: The haunting of Brundon Hall

Weird Suffolk: Back in 1785 it was reported that a ghostly apparition of a lady in blue satin was wi

Weird Suffolk: Back in 1785 it was reported that a ghostly apparition of a lady in blue satin was witnessed by two young lads stamping three times on a blue slabon the floor near Brundon Hall's great staircaise before she vanishing through a nearby doorway. - Credit: Archant

As areas go, it is surely one of the most haunted in Britain - but while Borley Rectory grabs most of the headlines, it is nearby Brundon Hall that captures our imagination for today’s visit to Weird Suffolk.

The 18th century hall, close to Sudbury, has hidden a haunting secret since 1785, when two young boys saw a ghostly lady dressed in blue satin close to the grand staircase. When she reached a blue stone slab on the floor close to the stairs, the spectral figure stamped her foot on it three times before vanishing through a nearby doorway. Years later, new owners at Brundon Hall began to renovate the building and when they reached the bottom of the stairs, they found the infamous slab which the ghost had stamped on.

Beneath it, they found an underground vault - and there, underneath the feet of everyone who had been living in the hall, was a shocking scene.

There, guarding a glittering pile of gold coins, were two skeletons, one with a gold bracelet around its bony wrist, the other with gold spurs near its feet. Beside them was a goblet which, it is said, bore the residue of dried blood. And there were more terrible discoveries: in a hole in the vault’s wall, a collection of children’s skulls and bones were found.

In his 1897 book, The Haunted Homes and Family Traditions of Great Britain, by John Ingram, the tale of Brundon Hall is elaborated on.

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Quoting author Richard Barham, it tells the story of the lady in blue satin, although in it, the lady appears in an ancient part of the building usually kept locked. Following the stamping and disappearance, the boys ran to tell the mistress of the house, Mrs Carter, what had happened. She promptly fainted. The report continues: “Subsequently, she told her son that the apparition had been frequently seen by other members of the family, and that there was a very dreadful story connected with it - which, however, she declined to communicate. “Some years afterwards, the house having, I believe, changed hands in the interval, certain repairs were undertaken, in the course of which the entrance to a large vault was discovered, concealed by the stone upon which the lady in blue satin stamped. “The present representative of the Hurrells (the owners of the Hall at the time) informs me that he is ignorant of the tradition attaching to Brundon Hall; but he adds that a pair of antique spurs and a sword were directed by his great grandfather in his will to be preserved as heir-looms in the family.

“How far this coincidence may be thought to corroborate the story of the well-known Sudbury apparition, afterwards to be referred to, must be left to the reader to decide.”

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