The village of Bramshott, located in the East Hampshire district of Hampshire, England, along a road that once linked London and Portsmouth, has been around since medieval times, and by all appearances doesn’t seem to have changed all that much. Tracing its origins back to at least 1225 AD, it still has a historical feel of a place almost forgotten by time, with cobbled streets and rustic old buildings from another time. Here within this sleepy locale are numerous manors and churches from another era, defying time and enchanting visitors. Yet for all of its charming beauty this little village holds a dark history and reputation for being extremely haunted, to the point that it is often considered to be the most ghost infested village in all of England.
The village knew its share of death and torment in the old days. In the 14th century it was besieged by the plague, and in addition to this there were the numerous bandits and highwaymen said to lie in wait along the roads for the unwary. Many were murdered here, and perhaps just as many were executed for those crimes at an immense oak tree right in the middle of the road. Considering this, it is perhaps not too surprising that tales of paranormal activity are not hard to come by in Bramshott. One place known as a haunt for supernatural forces is a local stagecoach stop and inn once called the Seven Thorns, established in the 1700s and long known as a hangout for highwaymen and other nefarious elements of society. The place was notorious for its fights and murders, and many people were said to enter the Seven Thorns to never be seen again. One of the most commonly seen ghosts on the premises is what is called “The Grey Lady,” who appears by a well outside the premises, apparently pushed down into the darkness to be murdered in life. Another frequent specter is a young boy holding pots, called the Pot Boy, who is said to have been murdered by bandits back in the inn’s villainous heyday. Adding to the ghostly roster here is what is called the “Flute Boy,” a ghost that plays eerie flute music and can often be heard more than seen, and there is a ghostly highwayman and even a spectral stagecoach said to make a run past the inn.
Another intensely haunted place in the village is Bramshott Manor, said to be the oldest continuously inhabited Manor House in the whole of England, which is haunted by a former resident named Mistress Butler, as well as an apparition that appears in old-fashioned Quaker clothing and that of a priest. Another boy ghost is said to haunt the stables, where he once worked before also being killed by highwaymen. The manor to this day is a constant source of reports of all manner of unexplainable phenomena, and it is considered to be one of the most haunted places in the country.
Of course, there is also the requisite spooky haunted cemetery, located at the historical St. Mary’s Church. The cemetery is notable for holding the graves of 318 Canadian soldiers who were once stationed at the nearby Bramshott Camp during World War I, as well as the corpses of many victims of the influenza outbreak of 1918-20. One of the more infamous spirits of the cemetery is that of an entity that apparently has the power to drive those that see it insane, as well as that of a Canadian soldier who was killed by a fellow soldier who went mad from seeing said spirit, and there is also the apparition of a little girl wearing a bonnet, who is said to walk away from the church before disappearing through a churchyard wall. There are also plenty of stories of orbs, shadow figures, and the sound of moaning and screaming coming from the cemetery at night, making it an undeniably harrowing place to be.
Another famous haunting here supposedly happened at the home of the famous actor of the 1930s, Boris Karloff. He allegedly moved to the village precisely because it was considered to be so haunted, living there up until his death in 1969, and his home purportedly haunted by a tall apparition in a cloak and presently by the ghost of Karloff himself. Other miscellaneous spooks and ghouls around Bramshott are phantom highway men, a lady wearing a white flowing gown, and even a ghostly cat, a black demonic pig, and spectral calf. Jack Hallam, a former picture editor of the Sunday Times newspaper, published The Ghost Tour: A Guidebook to Haunted Houses Within Easy Reach of London, in which he claimed that Bramshott “is the most haunted village in England, with less than 300 living residents and, so far, 27 recorded ghosts.” If this is true, then why should this be? What is it about this otherwise quiet, peaceful village that should invite such tales of paranormal strangeness? Is there something here that has managed to latch onto the very land itself, is it a portal of sorts, or is this all just legends? We may never know, and the village of Bramshott retains its aura of mystique and mystery.