Woodchester Mansion is a place that holds a mystical allure. What’s fascinating about Woodchester Mansion is that it was never finished, and still remains a shell of a building.
When you visit Woodchester, you really do feel as though you are walking onto the set of a horror movie. You travel to the middle of nowhere, and travel down a long, winding driveway that takes you through the woods, before you even get to glimpse Woodchester Mansion. But once you get there, the sheer beauty of the place stuns you.
Once inside, you almost expect to see a little girl ghost run across the hall, and Dracula to appear from behind a doorway. In fact, the place is now home to bats, and a film version of Dracula used the mansion as a central location.
Scaffolding still stands in place for work long forgotten. Doors lead to nowhere, hallways end abruptly and only one room has working electricity.
It’s a perfect ghost hunters dream! And thankfully, Woodchester welcomes paranormal groups to come in and discover if the mansion really is haunted…
There are many different stories of hauntings at Woodchester Mansion. Probably most commonly known are the ghosts of American and Canadian soldiers, who used the mansion as training base back in the Second World War. In fact, a photograph was taken at the mansion, and claims to show the clear facial features of one of these commonly sighted soldiers. The image gained media attention and remains one of the most defining ghostly images to date. Whilst training in the grounds, a bridge collapsed and killed several soldiers. Their bodies were brought back to the mansion, and stored in a room, which is today known as the mortuary. It’s now reported that people hear 1940s music playing throughout mansion.
The ghost of a stonemason is also seen in the chapel area, just a few feet away from the mortuary. He is said to be unhappy with the unfinished work and damage made to the stained glass windows and stonework. Stone throwing is a common reported phenomena here, and it’s said the stonemason is responsible for this.
The kitchens hold a sort of eerie atmosphere, with the constant feeling that there are people around you. It’s here where the voice of a singing woman is heard. A tall man has been seen coming to the doorway and stopping to look for someone, whilst at a different time a boy is seen hiding in the corner.
Children ghosts are reported on a common basis. People have reported seeing a young girl skip down the stairs, oblivious to the stunned stares of the people who have witnessed her.
People who investigate the cellars say that the most activity takes place here, and is home to a negative Gollum like entity who does not welcome people.
Woodchester Mansion is your typical haunted house, and an ideal setting for a horror film (in fact, it was used for a 2006 BBC production of Dracula). It is said to be one of the most haunted locations in the UK, attracting paranormal investigators and TV crews from around the world, including Most Haunted and Ghost Hunters International. The previous building that occupied the site, Spring Park was abolished and work began on building the new gothic style mansion in the mid 1850’s, led by William Leigh. What interests many people about the building is the mystery behind it- work on the mansion was mysteriously abandoned in the 1870’s, (probably due to a financial crisis but let’s try and be more imaginative). Workers left behind tools, unfinished rooms and doors leading to nowhere; what you see of the mansion now is what it would have looked like when abandoned in the early 1870’s. During the Second World War, the nearby lakes were used for the training of American and Canadian soldiers, while the cellars of the mansion were used to store the equipment. One day during training on one of the lakes a bridge collapsed and several soldiers drowned; their bodies were brought back to the mansion and kept in a room on the first floor of the mansion, now known as the morgue. It’s no wonder then that in this area people in military uniform have been seen, and 1940’s music has been heard. The Woodchester Mansion Trust now keeps the mansion, and although it’s been saved from becoming derelict, it will never be completed.
We have investigated Woodchester Mansion twice, and it did not disappoint. Whilst down in the cellars, one of our team members who is sensitive claimed to see the ghostly face of a man. She was asked to draw this face, as another member on the investigation had a theory. Once the face was drawn, it matched that of a ghostly painting, which is thought to be haunted by the artist who committed suicide. The said painting has been housed in the mansion, in the room where the woman who saw the face almost felt herself being taken over.
Another finding we had was when every member of our group was in the same room, when we heard three women talking outside in the hallway. On investigating, a few people claimed to hear laughs and claps. Splitting up, we covered the mansion for we all thought somebody had gotten in. However, there was nobody in the mansion or in the mansion grounds but us.
Three of us were in the bathroom, when we supposedly contacted the ghost of a little girl. And whilst in the kitchens, we had the strange phenomena of our arms rising up without willing to do so.
© Jack & Laura 2014