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Ghosts from Berkshire Places
Beginning with 'A'


The ‘Crown and Thistle’ Hotel in Bugle Street was an old time coaching Inn of the 16th and 17th centuries situated near the Bridge over the Thames. It is entered by a passage through the building into a small courtyard, across which is the road to the stables. A ghostly coach and four horses is said to be heard and seen occasionally to enter and cross to the stables. In 1930, Mrs. Usher staying in the house, saw the coach and horses late one night in the courtyard. Four years later, an old lady stayed in the hotel and asked after the apparition, saying that fifty or sixty years ago her parents kept the hotel, but sold it because they were so troubled and frightened by the ghost.

Strange noises, banging doors, spooky voices and ghoulish figures manifest themselves at the Old Gaol, now a Sports Centre. They are at least partly thought to be due to the youngest person to be hanged in Britain having met his death there. Read the full story.

The Thames at Burford Bridge is haunted by the ghostly head and shoulders of a lady floating across the water. Did she drown in the river?


The Butt Inn is plagued by a mischievous spirit who slams doors and turns on the beer taps.

The ghost of a suicide haunts the vicarage.


This village has the ghost of a man who is buried beneath an alter-tomb in the churchyard. He dislikes schoolboys sharpening their pocket-knives upon his final home and sneaks unseen to remove the offending but essential part of schoolboy furniture.


The old churchyard, adjoining the site of the long demolished Arborfield Hall, is haunted by the ghost of a murdered bride. A maid at the Hall, she was to be wedded to the gardener. However, the jealous butler could not bear her to be with another and dispatched her from the World. Her spirit returns at midnight every 1st January to stand beneath the yew tree and await her love’s arrival for their marriage. An alternative version has the girl becoming a suicide when deserted by the son of the hall who had promised to marry her.

The old Hall housed many evacuees during the Second World War. They clearly remember the ghost of a grey lady carrying a child gliding gracefully down the main staircase to the entrance hall.

The green at Arborfield Cross, beside White’s Farm opposite the ‘Bull,’ was once the site of a large pond, filled in after the War. It was here that the ghost of a local 18th century farmer’s wife – a supposed witch – would descend beneath the waters after having spent the night wringing her hands and groaning around the country lanes. She was finally bound in the pond under a large stone slab, by a group of seven priests called in to conduct an exorcism.

Ghostly horses are seen at the Remount Depot.


A Berkshire policeman used to be seen pacing his beat at the junction of the A30, A329 & the A332, but only at night. The badly scarred face of the phantom, seen only when illuminated by headlights suggests that a horrible accident occurred in the vicinity at the beginning of the 20th century, especially as the bobby was wearing the high-necked tunic of earlier days.

The old ‘Royal Ascot Hotel,’ at the same junction, was demolished in 1964. The men undertaking the work stayed in the house for a number of nights and reported hearing the sound of footsteps within and a horse stamping and snorting without. Twice a grey or white horse was actually seen. The site is still supposed to be haunted by the sound of horse’s hooves on the long removed cobblestones. The local story seems to concern a phantom rider as well.

A certain late 19th century house in the town is haunted by the ghost of a previous owner. In the 1970s, the occupier saw him clearly in the hall and a baby has been heard crying in an upstairs room. The place has an eerie feeling and on one occasion, despite there being no wind, all the doors in the house suddenly slammed shut.

‘Huntingdon’ was a big old house on the Windsor Road, built in 1898, but demolished after being mysteriously set alight during a period of dereliction in 1977. The fire-officer who returned to inspect the building at three in the morning found the place to be extremely creepy. Then he saw an old lady in a long black dress, black boots and bonnet, on the stairs. He asked her what she was doing there and was about to throw her out, when she disappeared! This may have been the widow of a newly wedded soldier who was killed during the Great War. She lived in the house for many years afterward, always living the gate open, expecting his return.

‘Old Huntsman’s House’ on the Windsor Road was once haunted by a previous owner, Charles Davies. He was a Royal huntsman in the time of Queen Anne, but died after breaking his neck in 1792. The whole building has a very ‘creepy’ feeling and Mr. Davies has appeared in an upstairs room, dressed in his hunting pink. His spirit is presently at rest and it is said it will remain so as long as his portrait continues to hang in the main entrance hall. However, a phantom dog – big and woolly – is also said to bark in the corridors at night.

There have been many peculiar happenings reported at the Ex-Serviceman’s Club in the High Street. Doors fly open, the gas for the beer gets turned off, the record player is switched on or off and even the toilets flush, all apparently of their own accord. The culprit appears to be the ghost of lady of five foot six who glides along in a long robe an d a wimple: seemingly a nun. She tried to shut the steward in a cupboard!

There is a well-know case of a poltergeist haunting a modern house in Fernbank Road. It was associated with a Wooden Nigerian statue. Disturbances were last witnessed in 1976, but since the figure’s removal all activity has ceased.

Heathfield School is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a past headmistress, Margaret Clarke. She is said to have committed suicide.

Aston Tirrold

Unaccountable lights are seen round the village sometimes as long flashing trails between Lydds and Blewburton Hill or on Mile Furlong lighting up the trees at Lollington. A phantom coach passes along the Turnpike Road with galloping horses it is heard but nothing is ever seen. At Thorpe Farm, strange noises are heard and a little old lady is said to come and sit by the fire sometimes, but only a member of the Slade family can see her. The Slades bought Thorpe Farm in 1521.


    © Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.