WEIRD SUFFOLK: The ghost that knocked over a boy in Bungay
- Credit: Stephen Richards / Geograph.org.uk
It may be famous for Black Shuck, but it’s a ghostly white figure that brings WEIRD SUFFOLK’s Stacia Briggs and Siofra Connor to Bungay for this chilling tale.
Bungay is steeped in history and home of Weird Suffolk’s favourite devil dog – but it can also boast ghosts amongst its paranormal roll call of strange town dwellers.
We have already brought you the story of The Three Tuns in Bungay (here) where a host of ghosts – including one that breaks wind, one that snaps bra straps and a phantom called Tom Hardy live alongside the landlord. And we have mentioned the spectral coach and horses driven by a headless coachman whose passengers were the restless souls of the infamous Bigod family on their way to their stronghold at Bungay Castle (here). But our tale today is far less famous and rears its head for perhaps the first time in more than a century: the ghost of Trinity Hall.
Once a stronghold encircled by a broad and a river, Bungay has been home to Romans, Saxons and Normans: the main shopping street follows the line of the town’s old defences. This is a town where a fine castle once stood, where nuns worshipped in cloisters, where Black Shuck threatened to bring Doomsday closer for those knelt in prayer at St Mary’s church in 1577. It is also where, in 1901, a ghost dressed in white appeared from nowhere and knocked a terrified boy to the ground before it vanished in front of his very eyes.
The Eastern Daily Press of June 12 1901 reported the curious tale of the Bungay ghost which had hastily become the talk of the town (palisading refers to a kind of fencing).
“Rumours of a ghost to be seen issuing from Trinity Hall, a residence which has been untenanted for several years, were rife on Friday evening at Bungay, and attracted a number of boys and girls to the spot after nine o’clock,” it read.
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“They preferred to keep at a respectful distance from the house rather than wait immediately outside.
“The apparition, however, did not turn up. On the contrary something more real did in the shape of the inspector of police, who proceeded to clear the little crowd off. It is stated that the ‘ghost’ was seen by a boy on Wednesday evening, and the next night three others kept vigil near the palisading.
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“From their statements it appears that a flash of light was seen coming from the building, and a figure attired in white crossed the road. One of the boys asserts that he was pushed or knocked to the ground by the phantom and when he got up, he saw it vanish into space through the palisading.”
Flashes of light are often associated with paranormal activity: flashes like a camera flash have been reported before a ghost or shadows in a room are seen.
Trinity Hall is an early Georgian townhouse that backs on to the graveyard of Holy Trinity Church, a rich source of ghost-like winding sheets, one might think. Just what did cause a young man to be knocked over that night in Bungay?