If you‘re going to knowingly purchase a haunted farmhouse or any haunted building for that matter, it seems to make sense that you would want the ghosts or spirits to stick around, at least until you recoup your investment with haunted farmhouse tours. However, would you first consider how many ghosts are haunting the place and put a limit on the total you can put up with?
“For some reason I’ve ended up buying a lot of haunted houses. I’ve renovated 15 properties. You come to realise when you start doing the work, you disturb the energies of the house, and whatever is there appears. Now, whether that’s just me – and I don’t think it is because I’ve had a lot of other people say that – you just change the energies of the house.”
If you’re going to buy an old haunted house that needs renovations (as seen in the large number of photos here), David Hunt sounds like the kind of guy you might want to partner with, or at least hire as a contractor. One of the 15 properties he’s worked on is the Upcott Barton farmhouse in Devon, England. Purchased in 2011 with his mother, Diana, the dilapidated house had been vacant for 50 years but the views, six acres of land and a detached former chapel convinced him to take on the project. It also helped that the place was full of ghosts.
“Sometimes you stand here and just feel that there are people around you, watching you – in a nice way. It’s not nasty, you know. We speak to them. We used to go into the house and say ‘Good morning everyone’.”
The project turned out to be bigger than he expected, but the slow going allowed David to learn about the history of the previous residents haunting it from psychics and the ghosts themselves. The historically significant Grade II Listed farmhouse appears to date back to medieval times, possibly the 11th or 12th century. An electrician who was also a psychic told David the site was a strategic point in the English Civil War, a time when Oliver Cromwell’s troops would have chased Royalists while shouting “Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide!” That’s when David knew he was onto something because another medium claimed to have spoken to the spirit of a former maid who kept repeating that same exclamation.
There are more soldier spirits on the grounds – another medium saw a Royalist patrolling the grounds — and Hunt himself says he’s seen a soldier with long boots and a sword riding a huge horse. Some of the spirits may belong to people who died in the house, including a drunk woman who was brought home from the pub in a wagon and found dead the next morning at the bottom of the stairs. Diviners hired to look for water told Hunt there was something buried in the orchard at the end of a line of old lime trees, which he later learned was the traditional way monks were buried, indicating it may be the grave of a monk from the nearby famous medieval monastery known as Torre Abbey. If you don’t believe humans, Hunt says his dog Monty refused to go into the house for a long time.
And yet, it’s not the ghosts that are forcing David and Diane to sell this Upcott Barton farmhouse but the amount of renovation that still needs to be done to make livable for the living.
“This Former Farmhouse is believed to date from the late medieval period with 17th century alterations. Now in a derelict state, plans have been drawn to create an exceptionally spacious distinctive four/five bedroom residence retaining many character features. There are the remains of a medieval great hall and stair turret, together with a traditional cross passage.”
The listing by Stags estate agents has a guide price of £530,000 ($685,000 US). While there’s no mention of the ghosts, David willing admits that the mediums say at least the negative spirits have vacated the area.
If you’re interested in buying the Upcott Barton farmhouse and property, David relates that one of those mediums gave him a good piece of advice about dealing with the ghosts (not knowing how he was already communicating with them):
“They like the fact that when you come in you say good morning to them”.
Good advice for the living too.