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Woodchester Mansion

Listed under Paranormal in West Country, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of Woodchester Mansion
  • Photo of Woodchester Mansion
  • Photo of Woodchester Mansion
  • Photo of Woodchester Mansion
  • Photo of Woodchester Mansion
  • Photo of Woodchester Mansion
  • Photo of Woodchester Mansion
Photo of Woodchester Mansion
Photo by johnblythe
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Woodchester Mansion is a Victorian mansion that was never completed and fully lived in. It was built by the freemason William Leigh and replaced a Georgian country house called Spring Park. Since his death in 1873 the Mansion has been the focus of investigations into its unusual symbology and hauntings.

Many sightings have been reported over the last two hundred years. Why the Mansion is so haunted no one knows for sure but one theory is that it stands on the site of three previous buildings and it is haunted by the ghosts of each of those structures. In 1902 a local vicar saw a strange apparition at the gates to the mansion and a few years later a phantom horseman was also seen on the drive.

But it is the Mansion itself that is the epicentre of hauntings. From the Tall Man of the Chapel to the elemental in the cellar, the Mansion has some of the most fearsome ghosts in England. Visitors have collapsed uncontrollably and been attacked by invisible forces. In the bathroom is the ghost of a man who often manifests to visitors as a floating head and nearby the ghost of an old woman likes to attack women by grabbing them in the dark.

Woodchester's cellar is, thought by many to be the most haunted part of the building. With its high vaulted ceiling and lack of light the cellar gives out a daunting atmosphere. Behind these many and varied manifestations, there seems to lurk one powerful, possibly elemental presence. On a number of occasions a figure, often described as a 'ragged dwarf' has been seen.

U.S. and Canadian soldiers once occupied part of the mansion during the Second World War and on a tour of the cellars I could distinctly smell TCP. Apparently medical supplies were once stored there but it’s hard to imagine the smell still lingers after 60 years, unless it was a residual memory from the past. The kitchen is also a place to be wary of; my wife was pushed to the floor by an unseen hand on our first visit.

I also heard the story of a redheaded woman who hanged herself or was hanged there. Details are unclear but in a picture taken by me on a disposable camera it appears that a red headed woman in a white flowing gown is still ‘hanging around’.

Written by  John Blythe.

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