Sep 20

The Ghosts of Brockley Combe

Bristol, UK

Bristol, UK

With several ghost sightings in the area, Brockley Combe is thought to be one of the most haunted locations in England. Situated to the south west of Bristol, the combe is a picturesque beauty spot by day; however at night there is a distinctly otherworldly atmosphere…

The apparition of a terrified elderly woman has been sighted in the woods of Brockley Combe. The ghost is believed to be that of Dinah Swan, a 90 year old woman who allegedly died of fright in 1833 after her house was broken into by ruffians. The old woman’s body was discovered at her home and several of her belongings were missing. Her ghost was last seen in 1940 by a woman from Weston-super-Mare. Dinah’s spirit apparently appears around midnight and is said to bring misfortune to those who witness it.

A phantom coach has been seen on at least three separate occasions. The first to behold this spectacular manifestation were a group of gypsies residing in the woods at the time. The coach was a hearse-like vehicle drawn by four horses and, according to them, its driver also appeared to be headless! The second sighting was by a sceptical chap who, having heard that Brockley Combe was haunted, decided to investigate for himself. After fleeing from a party of footballers of which he had previously had a set-to after encountering in the woods, the man happened upon the unearthly coach and subsequently reassessed his former scepticism. Another person to witness the phantom coach was a cyclist who was seriously unnerved when the spectral vehicle materialized from nowhere and seemingly passed right through him!

The condemned spirit of an evil parson has been observed prowling along a road which runs through the combe. The spectre is supposedly that of a man called John Hibbetson who in 1776, witnessed the squire of Chelvey, James Stevens, have a serious fall and subsequently nursed him back to health. However, as soon as Hibbetson had wormed his way into James’s favour, and the squire had altered his will so that the parson would inherit a substantial amount of his fortune, Hibbetson promptly murdered him. John Hibbetson was also rumoured to practice devil worship and it is said that on his death, a terrifying beast was witnessed entering the parson’s abode to claim his soul.

A number of other ghosts are said to haunt Brockley Combe. These include a phantom known as the Bounding Ghost, which is apparently a slender figure who bounds silently along a road through the wood. An apparition known as the Phantom Girl is thought to be that of a young woman who, legend has it, killed herself by jumping off one of the crags in the combe after a love affair ended in tragedy. A spectre simply known as the Ghost Man has been occasionally glimpsed in the woods by several witnesses. The mysterious figure is swathed in black and stands at the foot of one of the trees.

St Nicholas’ Church in the village of Brockley is reputedly haunted by an apparition known as the Little Lady in Brown. The spirit is thought to be that of a former cleaner who died around 1900. A number of visitors to St Nicholas’ have witnessed the ghost in the church’s aisle and vestry. The renowned ghost hunter Elliott O’Donnell conducted an all-night vigil at the church back in the 1940s but failed to witness the Little Brown Lady, although he did report strange whisperings and footsteps of which a source could not be identified.

The combe is also home to Brockley Court, an old manor house where apparently an actual ghost was once photographed. Elliott O’Donnell visited Brockley Court on several occasions and arrived at the conclusion that it was indeed very haunted. Accompanied by a range of acquaintances O’Donnell oversaw a number of all-night vigils at the house where he witnessed a variety of supernatural phenomena. Perhaps the most terrifying however was the ghost of a monk. One of O’Donnell’s companions was frightened out of his wits when a monkish figure with a horrible skull-like face suddenly leapt up the stairs towards him. This apparition put in a second appearance in a chamber dubbed the ‘haunted room’ and was subsequently photographed by another of O’Donnell’s acquaintances. When the film was developed, it showed the face of an evil-looking monk…

 

Visit my website, Haunted Realms, to read about the haunted castles and houses of the British Isles. For more Somerset real life ghost stories.

Ben Wright is an independent scholar and researcher. He is the Webmaster of Haunted Realms.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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