In the past Halloween, which is celebrated on the 31 October each year is believed to have originated from the Celtic festival of Samhain, which means ‘summers end’, and when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to scare away any ghosts and celebrate the end of the harvest. In recent times it has moved away from the harvest festivity and has become more about ghosts, dressing up and enjoying trick or treating.
With Halloween just around the corner we thought we would see if there were any haunted properties in Surrey and South West London, and surprisingly there are quite a few.
Nonsuch House, situated in close proximity to our branches and is said to be haunted, in fact it’s one of the top 15 haunted places in Surrey according to Surrey Life. People have seen and heard shadowy figures and the sounds of entertainment which have been put down to being ghosts of guests attending banquets in Nonsuch Palace. At the Eastern gate of this estate people have also seen the ghost of a tall man in a black coat loitering around.
It is said that the building which now houses The Plough Inn dates back several hundred years. However it’s reputation for being haunted began in the 70’s when Landlord Felwyn Williams and his wife started witnessing strange things happening at night time. They say they witnessed lady dressed in white with long black hair standing still and staring out of one of the top floor windows, although no top window was visible from inside the property, until they knocked down an internal wall years later.
Nutfield Priory built in 1872 is said to be haunted by a nun as well as another ghostly female figure. Witnesses to these sightings have said that she is a wears a high neck dress and a bonnet.
West Clandon is a Palladian mansion which was built in the early 1730s. The grounds were later designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, and they haven’t changed since their creation in 1770. The house was built by the Venetian architect, Giacomo Leoni, for the 2nd Lord Onslow.
West Clandon was commissioned by the Onslow family, who were really excited about sharing their lives together in their new home. However, sadly the wife died before the house was completed.
Since she died there have been sightings of a ghostly lady wearing a cream coloured satin dress who roams around the house and grounds, wielding a large hunting knife.
There is also supposed to be a male ghost with large amounts of facial hair who haunts the area, as well as a skinny woman in black.
If you would like to go and see if you can spot some ghostly goings on this Halloween, then the house is open to the public and is run by the National Trust.
Betchworth, this castle ruin dates back to at least 1379. The castle and grounds are supposed to be haunted by a dog, which prowls the grounds at night. The owner in the 19th Century was Lord Hope, and one night a convict escaped and Hope went in pursuit. It was dark that night and Lord Hope killed his son by mistake with his sword. It is now said that Lord Hope still walks around the ruins full of regret.