Malevolent Spirits That Drove Families From Their Homes In The United Kingdom - True Ghost Stories

Updated: Mar 4

A collection of reported paranormal hauntings in the United Kingdom that resulted in the tormented families feeling as though they had no choice but to leave their homes.


True ghost stories from the United Kingdom
True ghost stories from the United Kingdom

A Maccesfield Haunting


Mr and Mrs Albert Barker, in 1958, bought a large, rambling house in Macclesfield, Chesire, with the purpose of inviting Mrs Barker's mother and two brothers, who lived in Wales, to come and stay with them. The twelve-roomed house overlooked a church graveyard, the boundary wall of which was only a few yards away.

Six weeks after the purchase, the brothers and their mother arrived from Cefn Forest, in Monmouthshire. Ivor and Clifford Packermoor, both miners, were aged thirty-eight and forty-eight respectively. Their mother, Mrs Nellie Packermoore, was in her seventies.

The brothers were given a bedroom on the second floor, overlooking the open space at the back of the house, while their mother had a room on the same landing. The Barkers slept on the ground floor, the third floor being as yet unfinished.

Soon after their arrival, the brothers told of seeing a "white figure" in their room between one and two o'clock on a Tuesday night. They became so nervous about sleeping in the room that Mr Barker decided on Friday night to keep a vigil outside the bedroom door, sleeping on a mattress. He gave up about 1.30 a.m. when nothing occurred, and went down to his own room. But at 2 a.m. the brothers claimed to have been visited by the ghostly figure again. The brothers now thoroughly uneasy, especially as a worker in the graveyard had now told Clifford, "I wouldn't live in that house for a fortune."


On the Saturday night, all retired to bed after playing cards for most of the evening. In the early hours of Sunday morning, the Barkers were awakened by loud yelling and banging from one of the upstairs bedrooms. They jumped out of bed, Mrs Barker falling over the bedstead in her haste and gashing her shin. On the landing, they found the two brothers and their mother, ashen-faced and shaking with fear. The mother was in such a nervous state that Mr Barker had to carry her downstairs, and he also had to carry down his wife, who was completely shocked by the sight of her terrified brothers, and especially her mother. The situation seemed so desperate that Mr Barker called the police, who arrived to find the three frightened people in the kitchen, and Mrs Barker nursing her injured leg. Upstairs, in the brothers' room, was chaos; part of the skirting board had been smashed and there were two gaping holes where the door panels had been. The two brothers then told their story.

Ivor said he saw a figure "dressed in white, with staring eyes" near the window. He yelled in fright to Clifford. Clifford said he looked across the room and in one corner something white with "a horrible looking face". As he lept out of bed, Ivor kicked at the figure with his metal left leg and hit the skirting board. After that, all was confusion as they both rushed to get out of the room. Clifford said he felt something dragging him back from behind, and in their panic, they did not stop to open the bedroom door but smashed out the door panels and clambered through. On the landing, they were joined by their terrified mother, who said she had seen the doorknob in her own room turn twice though no one was there.

The police were satisfied that something, whatever it was, had really frightened the Packermoores. With Mr Barker, they searched the house from cellar to attic and examined windows, but found nothing. They also spent some twenty minutes in the brothers' bedroom, waiting in the pitch blackness, but nothing untoward occurred. The brothers and their mother, however, were so convinced that there was something supernatural in the house that they left it to return to Wales later that same day.

There was, so far as could be discovered, no history of anything strange in the house, though a previous occupant was said to have left because of "bad nerves". Two years earlier, in 1956, workmen digging up the road nearby had unearthed skeletons that were believed to have formed part of the paupers' grave in the days when the graveyard extended beyond its present bounds, a bare twenty feet from the house.

The ghostly incident attracted nationwide attention and Mr Barker, who refused to believe the house was haunted, received many offers from people to sleep in the room. Shortly afterward an all-night vigil was kept there, but nothing more unusual was seen or heard.


A Bolton Haunting

At Bolton, Lancashire, in 1963, a family fled their council house after a haunting which they said had been going on for more than five years.


Not long after the Smith family moved into their house, on the Hunger Hill estate at Bolton, Harry Smith, a crane driver, and his wife began to hear bumping downstairs during the night. Mr Smith went down many times to investigate the noises but could never discover the source of them. At first, the Smiths did not think too much of the disturbances but in time the thumping and banging began to get unbearable.

Other strange things began happening. At times a "bony figure" clambered into the Smiths' bed. Mrs Smith said, "You could really feel its bones sticking into you, but when you put out your hands there was nothing there." When they switched on the bedroom light they would hear the ghost banging on the floor under the bed.

Elsewhere in the house lights were turned off and on, cups and other objects were strewn on the floor, and the ghost began to walk about the house even in broad daylight, stamping up and down the stairs and touching people. At least one neighbour hurriedly left the house after "something" walked past and brushed her shoulder.

In spite of all these unnerving experiences, the Smiths and a few close friends managed to keep the haunting a secret for more than five years, being careful not to mention anything about it to the four children. But then, in October 1963, as if determined to get the family out of the house, the ghost began attacking the children, The two boys, aged seven and eight, and their sisters, aged eleven and seventeen, began to complain of noises in the night and a presence getting into bed with them. The mother then suspected that the ghost had been tormenting them in their sleep for some time. The boys said they were pinched by an invisible force, and had their hair pulled.


One night the parents, hearing moans coming from their seventeen-year-old daughter's bedroom, rushed in to find her struggling to push something invisible off her. Afterwards, the distressed girl said that a strange force had had her in a stranglehold.

The family had scarcely any sleep in their last few weeks at the house. Finally, one night in November 1963, the thumping and banging got so bad that Mr Smith called a taxi and the family left for the house of a married daughter.

Mr Smith told Bolton Corporation that his family could never go back to the house as there was something intensely malignant there. Two women officers of the Salvation Army spent a night in the house. They heard bumpings and growlings, and while not prepared to say that there was a ghost, they could not say definitely that there was not. And they testified that the Smiths were very, very frightened.

Bolton corporation, treating the matter as an emergency, moved the family to another council house a mile away. No one was able to trace anything in the haunted house that could have caused the family's alarm. A next-door neighbour, however, said that once she had heard banging on the party wall and later discovered there was nobody in the Smith family home at the time, which gave her quite a shock.

Mrs Smith revealed that when her family moved in they had been told there was a case of suicide in the house about thirty years previously, shortly after it was built. A newspaper reporter and photographer kept a night's vigil in the house but saw nothing. The house, after redecoration, was relet to other tenants, and no more disturbances were reported.


A Cardiff Haunting

In 1962 a family of seven, the parents and five children, who had lived for a year in their council home at Rumney, Cardiff, packed up one night and left it for the home of a relative, claiming the house to be haunted by a "White Lady". The ghost, said Mr Ernest Lewis, a building worker, and his wife, took the form of a young girl dressed in white who appeared generally at night, peering around doorways and at windows in the upstairs rooms. She would beacon to them, then vanish.

Mrs Lewis said the haunting started from the day they moved into the house, when they had heard sounds of digging, "as if someone was making a grave". More incidents followed: icy blasts on still, warm nights, and the sound of footsteps at midnight; the ghost eventually came so close that she and her husband could hear the rustle of a dress and smell of perfume. Then the White Lady became visible. Mrs Lewis said she saw the apparition twice. The first time it gazed at her from the bedroom doorway; next time it appeared as a vague misty figure by the window. Her husband also saw it.

Mrs Lewis tried to get rid of the ghost herself. "We called in a priest, but he said he could only get rid of her in the daytime. But he did give me a Bible and a cross. We had to go round each room and say, 'Begone with thee, and be cast out of my home.' Then we had to say the Lord's Prayer."

She and her husband were, however, too nervous to do this. Mrs Lewis went to her doctor, who found she was in a state of acute anxiety and advised her to move. So the couple packed up and left, and asked Cardiff Corporation to rehouse them.

The previous tenants at the house, which was built in 1947, were there for thirteen years and said they had seen nothing strange during this time.


A Middlesex Haunting

In January 1963 three people walked out of an eighty-year old house in Isleworth, Middlesex, because of the uncanny things which they said had occurred there. Rather than return to the house they stayed out in the winter cold and slept "rough" in a railway waiting room.

Earlier, police who were called to the ten-roomed house found Mr Ronald Bush, his wife Ann, and mother in law Mrs Barbara Basted, "in a genuine state of distress". Mrs Basted said she had seen a figure of an elderly, white-bearded naval man, and also smelled strong pipe tobacco in the house although nobody has been smoking. There had also been many strange noises.



Mrs Bush told of hearing the sound of a baby crying in an empty room, and footsteps on the stairs. The police searched the whole house, pulling up floorboards and examining walls and cupboards, but found nothing to account for the noises. After their search, Mrs Basted returned to the house alone, only to leave it again hurriedly after hearing a groaning noise and a sound like that of crockery being smashed.

Neighbours whom Mrs Basted knocked up at three o'clock in the morning after she had felt the ghost push her down the stairs, said they understood the house had been built eighty years ago to the design of a Captain Auden, who had been a sea captain.

An investigator held a vigil in the house but saw nothing. Mrs Basted afterwards returned home, the ghost seeming to have vanished from the premises as abruptly as it had invaded them.


A Berkshire Haunting

At a farm worker's cottage in Faringdon, Berkshire, In 1963, it was not an apparition that frightened the Wheeler family but a relentless succession of mysterious noises. Police, local architects and villagers all tried to discover the source of them. Floorboards were taken up and walls were examined for flaws that might be producing some freak echo, but nothing was found.

The noises began suddenly with tappings on the windows and persistent knocking on the walls, which caused the Wheelers, who had lived there for eighteen years, to abandon the upstairs bedrooms and sleep with their children in the ground floor living room. The bangings and knockings brought Mrs Dorothy Wheeler to the edge of a nervous breakdown, and the three girls among the four children, aged from five to nineteen, were given sedatives. The noises, an unearthly banging, rumbling and howling, continued for several weeks into January 1964 and finally drove the family out, Mr Norman Wheeler taking his wife and children to stay with in-laws. But to their horror the noises followed them to their temporary home, emanating from the walls and furniture there. Mr Wheeler, not wanting anyone else to be frightened, decided to return to the cottage with his family. The banging and howling noises pursued them, continuing in the car as they were on their way back to the cottage, and resuming in the cottage the moment they opened the door.

Mr Wheeler was then told by a medium that the vengeful spirit was that of an old man who had lodged at the cottage seventeen years before, and who had afterwards committed suicide. Mr Wheeler recalled that they had only let one man stop with them for a week because he was a trouble-maker. The same night he left the cottage the man had lain down in front of a train outside Uffington station and killed himself.

Mr Wheeler now sought the help of Faringdon's acting vicar, Canon Christopher Harman, who, after visiting the cottage, said he was conscious of an oppressive atmosphere inside it and there was "something uncanny about the place". He agreed to carry out a service of exorcism.

The ceremony took place one night in February 1964. Canon Harman conducted a thirty-minute service at the cottage during which he said prayers and sprinkled holy water in each room. After this the noises stopped, giving the family their first peace in weeks. Now you have researched some of the more aggressive hauntings from the United Kingdom, make sure you learn about the Black Eyed Child from Cannock Chase.








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