Remnants of hangmen’s gallows still sit beside the county’s roads, a record of numerous witch trials and video uploads of poltergeist activity in the county, makes Bedfordshire a real treat for anyone looking for seeking out an encounter of the paranormal kind.
Now, let’s look at some of Bedfordshire’s most haunted places:
10. Luton Museum & Art Gallery, Wardown Park
Two workers, called out at night to repair the heating system, saw a woman in a dark dress, carrying a large set of keys on her belt. They watched as she walked up the staircase and attempted to follow her, but as they did so, she vanished into thin air. When they enquired with the building’s caretaker the next morning as to who the woman might be, the caretaker confirmed that no one else was present in the building overnight. There have been several reports of disembodied footsteps on that very same staircase too. There is a tale that a Victorian housekeeper drowned herself nearby after being jilted by her lover but nobody knows who the woman actually is or whom the footsteps belong to, for sure.
9. Cineworld, Bedford
Bedford’s Cineworld cinema attracts its fair share of ghostly activity too, the majority of which seems to centre on Screen 4 and the toilets. Several witnesses have reported seeing a monk or a hooded figure in both the foyer and the toilet, with one young girl claiming to have seen a ghostly monk in the toilet mirror. This sight that terrified her so much that she locked herself in a cubicle! Screen 4 reportedly experiences frequent temperature drops; strange scratching noises and the sound of jangling chains have also been heard. There have also been accounts of ghostly activity manifesting itself in more physical ways – cleaners at the cinema have had apples and sweets thrown at them by something unknown and customers have complained of the feeling of hands brushing against their legs as they sit to watch a movie.
8. Thurleigh Airfield
Home of the 306th Bombardment Group of the United States Air Force, during World War Two. This group holds a unique place in military history as having the longest length of stay at a UK base (September 1942 – December 1945) and also, unfortunately, as having the highest loss rate in the Eighth Air Force (between October 1942 and August 1943). The officers’ mess is said to be haunted by the ghost of an American airman. In the early 1990s a civilian staff member of the Ministry of Defence witnessed the door to the reading room opening wide and then closing all by itself. Another incident in the same room saw a light bulb fall from its fitting and land on the coffee table next to the witness’s hand. The feeling of another presence in the room then immediately followed this incident. The corridors have also echoed with the sound of footsteps when there has been nobody else in the building.
7. Leighton Buzzard
The incident involved Roy Fulton who was driving his van in the area of where Peddars Lane becomes Station Road. Roy noticed a young man hitchhiking so he pulled over and offered the man a lift. The hitchhiker was described as dark haired with a pale and unusually long face. He got into the van and simply pointed ahead when asked where he wanted to go. During the drive Roy turned to offer his guest a cigarette only to discover that the man had vanished! Roy stopped the van and searched the road but there was no sign of anyone. We dare you to drive along this stretch of road on a visit!
6. Ampthill Castle
The original Ampthill Castle was built in the fifteenth century, it’s grounds landscaped by the great “Capability Brown”. It is now known as Ampthill Great Park and a commemorative cross to Henry VIII’s wife Katherine of Aragon now marks the exact location of the castle. Although the castle has now gone, a remnant of its former days is apparent in the form of a ghost knight that has been seen emerging from the area marked by the cross. Descriptions of the knight have varied throughout the years; some have witnessed a clearly visible armour-clad figure riding a magnificent horse, whereas a policeman in 1965 witnessed a more vague shape – but a horseman none the less. The majority of accounts have testified to the figure vanishing near a stream.
5. Eastfields Corner, Riseley
Eastfields Corner is the setting for a strange encounter involving a supernatural horse. A local farmer was walking along the road when he heard the sound of a horse galloping towards him, yet no sign of the beast could be seen, no matter which direction he looked. In the next moment, the hedgerow crashed with the sound of something passing through it, and the farmer felt a rush of cold air as if something had just rushed past him. Again the sound was real, but the source of the noise was not visible.
4. Wood End Road, Cranfield
Wood End Road in Cranfield is the location that is visited by spectre on horseback, a woman by the name of Lady Snagge. Lady Elizabeth Snagge was married to Thomas Snagge who was a Member of Parliament and Attorney General for Ireland. It is said that Lady Snagge was riding down Wood End Road and was decapitated by a rope, which had been stretched across the road by thieves in order to unseat riders. The thieves robbed her body of its jewels and finery and then fled. Her ghost is often sensed riding down the lane past pedestrians who feel the cold air generated by her presence swishing against them. She is also said to materialize along the narrow lane. Sometimes the spirit is seen headless and at other times fully formed.
3. Woburn Road, Millbrook
It’s hard to say what lies behind the strange phenomena reported from this area of Bedfordshire. A mother and child were walking along a path when they witnessed a pile of stones rise into the air and then fly around in all directions. On another occasion, a man walking in the area claimed a strange light that had emerged from a hedge followed him, then, simply disappeared. The same stretch of hedge could also be responsible for a Shuck sighting. A woman claims she saw a large black shape leap over the hedge and land in the middle of the road without making a sound. In this same spot, a man claims that while climbing a stile, he suddenly found himself in another village, some 10 kilometres away having been teleported.
2. Bedford Hospital
The scene of a manifestation witnessed by several people over a 40-year period. Nurses, on the south wing, witnessed an attractive girl in a long dress and coat, gliding into the toilets. When they followed her, they found only an empty room. An entity of a similar nature was witnessed by another group of staff at the hospital, who claim that a woman in a long dress walked straight through the wall of a store room. There have also been reports of the sound of footsteps that could not be accounted for.
1. Flitwick ManorSTAY HERE
Flitwick Manor is a Grade II listed Georgian country house. Originally built in 1632 by Edward Blofield. Between 1793 and 1808, significant changes were made to the house.
In the early 1990s the property was undergoing renovations when a builder discovered a wooden door beneath the roof tiles. This opened into a hidden secret room and inside the room was a bricked up doorway, which led into the upper floor of the manor. The room is believed to have been the quarters of an old white-haired housekeeper.
There have been reports of the sighting of a woman in the corridors late at night, phantom footsteps and a guest waking up to find the ghostly figure of a woman standing at the end of his bed, looking out of the window.