Ghost at Ash Manor House, Surrey
Type of spiritual experienceHallucination (2)
A description of the experience
Marchioness Townshend & Maude Ffoulkes
True Ghost Stories
Ash Manor House, Ash Green, Surrey.
The Manor House of Ash dates back to A.D. 1279. I first came to live there on June 28th, 1934. At that time I was not aware that there was any possibility of its being haunted, nor had any such thing ever occurred to me.
Nothing unusual occurred until early in November of that year when there were quite unaccountable noises of tramping footsteps in the roof overhead, but we did not take much notice of that.
On the night of November 18th (a Sunday) I was suddenly awakened by three violent bangs on my door - I am a very heavy sleeper and not easily awakened. I thought that it was probably my wife (who sleeps at the other end of the house), so I got up and walked down to her room. There was nothing to be seen (and I wasn't even thinking of a ghost at that time), but my wife assured me that she had never even stirred from her bed, far less knocked at my door. I didn't think anything more of it, and went back to bed. Nothing more happened.
The next night exactly the same thing happened, except that there were two knocks instead of three. Again I saw nothing, and my wife assured me that she had not knocked. The next night (Tuesday) it happened again, but with one knock instead of two.
Again I went along to my wife's room and she assured me that she had never moved. Laughingly I said to her: "Well, if it is a ghost, he is going to be unlucky tomorrow night, for I shall be away." (I was away the following night, and until the Sunday (November25th)). On that night I went to bed as usual, but I felt somehow that all was not well. The room was unnaturally cold, and there was some- thing unpleasant about it. I decided therefore to remain awake, and see what I could see.
I stayed awake until 3 a.m., and nothing happened at all, so I went to sleep. (I should mention here that I left my bedroom door open on this occasion.)
A short while after (I now know it to be at 3.35 a.m.), I was awakened by a violent banging on the door. I sat up in bed, and saw standing in the door the figure of a little oldish man, dressed in a green smock, very muddy breeches and gaiters, and a slouch hat on his head, with a handkerchief round his neck. He was not in the least transparent or ghost-like but appeared to be solid flesh and blood. That being so, it never occurred to me that he was a ghost, but I thought that a servant had carelessly left a door open, and a tramp had walked in. I asked him who he was and what he was doing there. There was no reply. I repeated my question, again there was no reply. Then I got out of bed and went for him, and ran right through him as I went to catch hold of his shoulders. After that I think I fainted, for I do not remember much more, but I eventually reached my wife's bedroom. I did not tell her what I had seen - I was too upset - but she saw that something had happened, and went back along the passage to get some brandy for me. When she arrived outside my bedroom door, she also saw him standing there. She, too, thought he was a real man, either a tramp or someone playing a practical joke, and she hit at him with her clenched fist. The only result was that her fist went right through him, and she barked it against the wall.
I had not yet told her what I had seen, and the next morning she described to me what she had seen, and it exactly coincided. I should perhaps have added that, when she got close up to him, it was possible to see that his throat was cut from ear to ear.
Since then he has been seen in, or near, the same place on various occasions by different people, but he never attempts to make any movement, or to do any harm. It sounds, I knew, an extraordinary and unlikely story, but those are the facts to which I and others can testify.
On the advice of a member of the council of the Society for Psychical Research, I had down two men who claim to be able to "lay ghosts". I attach a copy of their report on the subject, but would say that I do not place any faith in it, nor do I accept it all. Partly because, though I have searched every available record, I cannot trace anyone of the name mentioned, and also because they claimed, and still claim, that they have disposed of the matter, which is quite untrue, as it is still seen at intervals, and has been seen as recently as within the last fortnight.
The source of the experience
Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image
References and further reading
Townshend, G. & FFoulkes, M., (1936) True Ghost Stories, London:Senate
Observation contributed by: Monica Van Rossem