Monday, 26 June 2017


Monday 26th June 2017.

Quite recently, mid-Staffordshire resident, Steve Roslow, made a comment on the W.M.G.C. Facebook page, enquiring about Boscobel House in Shropshire.  Specifically, Steve was interested to know if anyone knew of any 'paranormal history' associated with the 'attic' area of the property; a part of the house that once served as a 'chapel' and is the location of one of the 'priest holes', situated at the top of the stairs.  He told us that, during a recent visit, he and his partner had felt themselves being 'drawn' to the fireplace in the room, quite forcibly, and, once there, they had experienced a great sense of calm.....!? 

In responding to the query, we had to admit that - as far as we were concerned - the site itself wasn't at all 'known' for any form of spooky reputation..... and it was only through attending a 'Halloween Ghost Walk' there in Oct. 2000, that we learned of any, alleged, paranormal history!?  I guess it should go without saying that there is a strong chance that those tales, related to us some 17 yrs ago now, were - of course - possibly more to do with 'entertaining the visitors' than anything else, perhaps!?

As our visit to the site had been some while ago now, I had to dig out my diary for the period concerned, before responding.   Interestingly, it seemed that we were, indeed, taken into the attic area during the tour...... my notes on the latter running thus: 

"Moving up into the attic, we were shown the site where the chapel would have been. (Though the Oratory, downstairs, is called 'The Chapel' too). The guide said that one regular visitor to Boscobel liked to hang behind, alone, in the chapel area.  She confided that she could see a woman and child in the room". 

This, it also transpires, was the very area where an 'invisible intruder' had supposedly set the house alarm system off first.... before seemingly proceeding to pass through the property, setting off the alarms for different sections as they went!?  It was believed that the 'thing' had gone down the former location a spiral staircase - already removed at the time of the incident in question - as 'it' proceeded to pass from the Oratory and through the house, setting each zone off as it went.....!?  This matter had initially been mentioned elsewhere on our tour - as we passed through the relevant section - but the details were re-visited when we later entered the attic. 

Interestingly - on this latter-mentioned angle - a fire officer has subsequently responded to Steve's Facebook post and told us that he'd had cause to visit Boscobel a great many times at night, as the fire alarms go off there 'very regularly', it seems!?  He tells us that his most eerie visit was one Halloween, while was looking for an activated detector..... "I genuinely felt sick and unnerved!" He admits.  Somewhat sadly, the gentleman reveals that they'd never actually 'witnessed anything' during their visits, but doesn't mind saying:  "If you've ever seen 8 firefighters holding hands..... it's there!!"  Seriously, however, it's interesting to note that Boscobel appears to be the 'only' place, in his experience, where the alarms regularly go off and are unexplained!?

In furtherance to our own comments on the attic area, veteran ghost researcher and author, Andrew Homer, tells us that one of the stories he has from Boscobel House - related by one of the guides there - is that a lady in a 'white swirly dress' has been seen descending the steep stairs from the attic, when there has been nobody up there at the time!?

Another story associated with Boscobel House says that the figure of an old woman - dressed in olde-worlde-clothing -  has been seen in one of the bedrooms from time to time....... so we cannot help but wonder whether she, and the apparition mentioned to Andrew, may well be one and the same, perhaps?   During our visit in 2000, our tour guide took a female attendee from the group and 'placed her' on the exact spot - between a bed and a nearby post - to illustrate where the 'ghost' is mainly said to appear!?

According to legend, the ghost concerned - in life - had little to do with Boscobel itself, but had, for whatever reason, taken refuge there after her own house had been burned down!  We were told that she had been 'caught with a priest in her home'..... which, of course, conjures up all sorts of potential scenarios, but was supposed to have been linked to the 'Catholic persecutions' of distant centuries!?!

Upon gaining sanctuary, the elderly woman found herself secreted in one of the 'priest holes' at the house.  Sadly, while in hiding, she is said to have heard what she took to be 'cavalry' riding into the courtyard, followed, by a loud knock at the door....!!  Believing this to be her persecutors, her poor, frail heart simply couldn't stand the stress.... so, when the occupants later went to retrieve her from her hiding place, they discovered that she had, unfortunately, died of fright!!

In recent years, during a tour of the house, a young boy was invited to look into the priest hole in question and it is said that he reported seeing an old lady in there.... staring straight back at him!?

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