Ghost stories in Northamptonshire
As Halloween approaches, we’re getting in the mood for some spine-tingling tales here at Rushton Hall.
As one of the oldest hotels in Northamptonshire, we have plenty of ghoulish stories to tell you about the local area.
So brace yourself for some nerve-jangling accounts of Northamptonshire’s most haunted…
Playground of the Dead
Old St John the Baptist’s church in Boughton, which has been in ruins since the late 18th century when the spire collapsed, is a well-known sight of hauntings in Northamptonshire.
It is thought that many of the hauntings at the site can be put down to the fact that during Henry VIII’s reign, when the church was still in regular use, an infestation of rabbits in the churchyard dug up so many graves that you couldn’t walk more than few paces without crunching down on human bones.
If that’s not chilling enough, it is reported that if the old cemetery is recorded at night, the voice of a young girl can be heard on the tape during playback, apologising over and over again for an unknown crime….
The Dutch Doll
In the early 1900s the headmistress of the Charity Girls School in Finedon, Mary Ozier, had a wooden doll made to represent an 18th-century schoolgirl, to commemorate the building of the school in 1717.
The doll was about 3 feet tall and painted in such a way that it bore on its face a disturbingly realistic stare.
Nicknamed ‘The Dutch Doll’ by the girls at the school and positioned above the door on the inside of the entrance, the girls quickly became terrified of the thing.
They were most perturbed by the doll’s emotionless and demonic expression.
This led to the circulation of stories of seeing and hearing the dread doll walking around the school at night.
After the school’s closure, ‘The Dutch Doll’ was mounted on the wall of a local church.
By this point, someone had taken a saw to its feet in an attempt to stop it from walking around.
On the night of the 18th of January 1981, the doll disappeared from the church and hasn’t been seen since – some people believe she walked out of her own accord, and wanders the local are trying to find whoever chopped off her feet…
Another gruesome tale comes from Hexham.
It concerns the discovery of two small stone heads, at first identified as Celtic, but their origin was later disputed.
The little carvings wreaked havoc after they were found in the garden of a council house and brought, foolishly, inside.
Upon the entry of the stone heads into the house, strange lights were seen, glass and mirrors shattered, and a disturbing half-human creature was seen lurking in the shadows.
The archaeologist who took the objects to study also reported those same terrifying manifestations…
The Drumming Well
Down the road from Rushton, in Oundle, there is a well shrouded in mystery.
A booming and persistent pounding sound has been heard emanating from the well in the run-up to days that prove to be historic.
It is documented the pounding was heard during the Great Fire of London, the death of Charles II, and the death of Oliver Cromwell.
So, if you hear the metronomic drumming sound, beware of things to come…
In the area directly surrounding Rushton Hall, the spirit of a monk has been seen drifting along carrying an unknown item, sometimes crossing the road and disrupting traffic.
Some drivers have reported looking into their rearview mirror and seeing a man’s face looking back at them from the back seat…
And in the grounds of Rushton Hall itself, there have been reports throughout the centuries of a rider on horseback and his hunting dog patrolling the area around the hall.
The area that they traverse is said to be where their bodies were once discovered during a renovation of the hall.
Civil War Wanderers
A sombre procession of spectral men has been sighted numerous times, pushing carts down an old drovers’ road on the site of the famous Battle of Naseby which took place during the English Civil War on 14th June 1645 and saw the roundheads defeat the cavaliers.
In one sighting from 1949, a young couple taking a rest from a cycle ride was alarmed by the appearance of a group of dishevelled looking men clothed in leather jerkins and high boots, who disappeared promptly in front of their eyes.
In another incident, the sound of cannon fire was heard at the site, though nothing was to be seen for miles around…
If all of those terrifying tales have got your supernatural senses tingling, then maybe you’d like to find some Northamptonshire ghosts of your own?
Pay us a visit at one of the finest hotels in Northants this October, and you never know you might catch a glimpse of Rushton’s roaming horseman, or perhaps the Lady of the Lake, another of our unearthly inhabitants…