New Stories and Pictures

Grave misgivings at Gatcombe

In 1978 when he was the about the age of eleven, his parents started working at Gatcombe House. Tony Williams explained, "We lived within the grounds in a flat above what used to be the stables. I had started to collect old Victorian bottles, and gatcombe house had many areas littered with bottle dumps. One such dump was in a wooded area by the road which leads from Gatcombe church to the village of Gatcombe itself. The site was approximately 50 yards from the entrance gates of the church, on a bank leading into the woods. It was one early summer evening when the event, which even now is indelibly fixed in my memory, took place. I had been digging and searching for about an hour and dusk was rapidly approaching. The evening was bathed in the last rays of sunlight and was beginning to lose its warmth. having found nothing of particular interest, I decided to pack up and head home. The bank, being devoid of any grass just slippery bare soil, made it easier to come down backwards. As I emerged from between the bushes onto the road I glanced sideways toward the church. I did a double take as movement caught my eye. Snapping my head back to take in the church, I felt the hairs on the back of my neck rise with a feeling of primeval fear. There in the churchyard moving between the gravestones was what I can only describe as a black amorphous shape, approximately seven feet tall judging by the way it towered over the memorials. It seemed to swallow the light that fell on it, it was the blackest thing I have ever seen even to this very day. Slack jawed I stood motionless, transfixed, watching it move between the gravestones as if it was searching for something, Time felt like it had stopped, every second I stood in witness to this strange and deeply unnerving spectre seemed like a lifetime. The whole event could not have lasted more than two or three minutes, but they seemed interminable, only ending when the apparition disappeared around the side of the church. The spell was broken, my heart was racing with adrenaline, finally my mind managed to send a signal to my feet to run. There were two possible routes I could take to get home, the first was via a dirt road which sweeps past the back of the church through the woods and was only about 500 yards from home. The second was the roadway that ran past the church but was about half a mile in distance. Fearing to enter amongst the trees, particularly in light of the fact the ghost had gone around the back of the building that the track overlooked, I decided to take the long way home. I ran the entire way, not daring to look over my shoulder in-case I saw the spirit pursuing me.

I never told my parents what I saw that day, but years later I related the story to my stepson. His face took on an incredulous look as my story unfolded and when I had finished he told me one of his best friends, only a few years ago, had seen the exact same thing one evening while out driving with friends. I have experienced many paranormal things, before and since this ghostly encounter, but tat was the only time I have been genuinely terrified by a spirit."


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