St.Dunstan’s Church, East Acton

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 !

Steve Russell

3 thoughts on “St.Dunstan’s Church, East Acton

  1. I was a choir boy at St. Dunstans during the Mid 1950’s. Following choir practice, myself and two other lads, one being Rodney Eccles, were walking down the pathway between the church and the old vicarage, and noted what we believed to be a parent coming to collect his offspring walking up towards us. There was nothing out of the ordinary in that until he veered off the path and walked into the grounds of the old vicarage through a chain-link fence. We all stopped and ran towards the spot where he vanished. The fence was sound and un damaged. We mentioned this to the Rev Anton Stevens who was not that surprised as such an apparition had been seen before.
    James Stringer

  2. I attended St. Dunstan’s Church services many times
    in the 50’s and 60’s marrying there in 1964 and having my two sons baptised at St Dunstan’s.
    I remember the Rev. Anton Stevens very well and his conviction of seeing monk ghosts and must say I would never walk the church path or enter the church alone. It was a beautiful church but somehow I felt the Reverend was right!

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