The Church is said to be haunted by monks who have been seen, sometimes in procession of up to twelve in number and at other times, just a lone monk has been viewed walking through the central aisle.
The Church only dates from the second half of the 19th century but the monks of the Order of St.Bartholomews lived on the site in the Middle Ages. The ghostly monks were seen regularly in the 1930’s, 1940’s and the 1950’s. One theory was that they appeared in four-yearly cycles and were always accompanied by haunting, chanting sounds with music from long ago.
Image copyright: Nigel Cox
In John and Anne Spencer’s excellent encyclopedia of, ‘Ghosts and Spirits’, they state that these sightings were originally reported by the Rev. Philip Bousted and also confirmed by the Rev.Hugh Anton-Stevens. The latter was adamant that up to a dozen monks could be seen walking up the central aisle of the Church on occasion. He described them as wearing gold and brown hooded habits. Furthermore, one of the monks was violet hooded and that they had even conversed with each other !!! He also stated that three other people had seen him. Anton-Stevens published an article in which he described one of his ghostly conversations. He also claimed that it had been dictacted to him by the monk !!! The Rev.Anton-Stevens became rather distressed by the nature of the publicity it attracted and from then on he didn’t encourage further investigation.
A newspaper man and former naval officer, Kenneth Mason, saw the procession of monks coming up the aisle and decided to try and bar their way. Apparently, they just walked right through him !