One of my favourite things about writing for Weird Wiltshire are the ghost stories I uncover by accident or that come about from a random conversation. It’s when I met up with my friends Emma and Lawrence at Avebury this year, Emma revealed she had lived in a haunted cottage! And she promised to tell me the tale. Lawrence has featured on here before when he recounted the tale of a ghost and the haunted pub (The Golden Standard) he was once the landlord of. You can read that here.
So, this one comes from down in rural Devon but as you know, I like to write about experiences and stories from outside of Wiltshire too. There’s a little hamlet called Lewdown in a fairly isolated location near to the edge of Darmoor. It seems to have been a settlement since at least the time of the Doomsday Book given that a couple of manor houses are listed within it. Attached to a large Victorian grange house is a cottage which was a property likely to have been a home to the grange’s servants. It’s larger now than it would have been as it was extended in recent years. There’s not a lot of information on the history of the property or of anything substantial that may have happened there. Well, not that I could find.
Emma rented the cottage and lived there in recent years with Lawrence. She tells us about her experiences.
When we first moved into the cottage all seemed normal. After several months we started to find the lights on when we arrived home and noticed aromas and strange shadows in the snug area, part of the old servant’s kitchen. I believe I saw a shadow cat and a figure by the fireplace in this room, but most of the activity was in the new extension.
I bought a WiFi camera to keep a check on my grandchildren when they stayed, and this captured shadows and orbs in the new extension area of the cottage after I moved it downstairs.
The main house was originally Georgian, extended in the Victorian era and the cottage was part of the old servant’s quarters. The new extension was where most of the unusual events occurred. It was originally a large two storey garden shed or storage area with the new extension built on the old foundations.
Most of the camera footage is from the hallway in the new extension, and much of the activity occurred in the master bedroom upstairs above this area. Heavy footsteps day and night were heard, when everyone home was downstairs. Handles rattled at night on furniture in this room and one night someone walked into the bed while I was alone in it! Thinking it was Lawrence coming back to bed I called out to him. When the bed was bumped into for the second time, I realised that the culprit was smaller than Lawrence and I fled the room faster than I’d ever moved in my life. Lawrence was fast asleep in a spare room after I’d sent him away for snoring.
We searched the cottage and checked all doors and windows but we were alone in the cottage. I moved out of this room into another part of the cottage, but the heavy footsteps continued mainly in the early hours of the morning until moving out of the cottage.
The heavy footsteps continued in this room until we moved out and I was so unsettled by these events that I sold all the antique furniture that I had used in this room including the antique rugs from the hall downstairs.
It certainly sounds like one of the old inhabitants who used the shed or storeroom in the past is still hanging around this cottage. Emma and Lawrence feel like they may have captured a photo of a ghost in the cottage. If you look closely in this CCTV image you can see a face. What do you think? Ghost or not?
Don’t forget, I’m always on the lookout for spooky and weird stories from Wiltshire and beyond. If you have a tale you would like to share I’d love to hear from you. Contact me via Twitter (or X as we are supposed to call it now) or here.
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Stay spooky everyone!