Saturday, 30 October 2010

November's Ghostly Happenings

 (Entrance to Hyde Hall by Robert Edwards - Creative Commons Licence)

Hyde Hall at Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire is the venue on November 1st to see the ghost of Sir John Jocelyn riding a spectral horse down the drive of his former home. Another version says he rides his white horse furiously along an avenue near the church,

Sir John was a Nonconformist in an area dominated by Quakers. The church authorities rejected his request to be buried in the churchyard along with his favourite horse, so he left instructions that he was to be buried in the Hall grounds. In November 1741 he was buried, as per his instructions, without a coffin or shroud in a circle of yews along the main driveway to the Hall. There is no evidence that his horse was slaughtered and buried next to him.

The singer Suzi Quatro who once owned the Hall claimed that a guest room was haunted by a ghost named Richard. Supposedly the spirit of a little girl also walked around parts of the house.

The Hall later became a girls’ school.


On 3rd November the ghost of Lady Costania Coleraine runs through the rooms of Bruce Castle in Tottenham screaming in anguish. 

(Bruce Hall by Julian Osley -Creative Commons Licence}

Henry, the 2nd Lord Coleraine took over the house after his father’s death renaming it Bruce Castle. He had married Costania in an effort to restore his family’s fortune lost in the Civil War. He had a continuing affair with Sarah Alston (who he married in 1661 after the death of his wife.

Henry was a cruel man and confined his wife to upper rooms in the Castle, later effectively imprisoning her in the small rooms of the clock tower. On 3rd November 1680 she managed to escape with her infant son and flung herself off the Castle balcony to her death. Supposedly her suicide is replayed on the anniversary.

A reference to the Ghostly Lady of Bruce Castle appeared in the 1858 March Edition of the Tottenham and Edmonton Advertiser.

Bruce Castle, once the home of Sir Rowland Hill, is now a museum. In addition to local history records its exhibits include displays from the early postal service.

The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore is built on the site of a former convent. On 13th November the host of a grey lady, thought to be a nun, returns to haunt the wards.

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