The most haunted place in the world is the English village of Prestbury – which is teeming with at least 30 ghosts.
That’s the conclusion of Britain’s Psychic Research Society, which has sent a team of investigators to study the spirit-packed village and interview the people who live there.
Sightings of certain ghosts have been reported by many locals over hundreds of years.
Most frequently spotted is the Black Abbot. People claim to have seen the ghostly monk floating down the aisle of St. Mary’s Church and hovering around the graveyard. Local resident Lynn Baker told researchers she glimpsed him a few years ago when she was working in a beauty parlor.
“I saw the outline of a figure dressed in black. He sat down in a chair, picked up a towel – then he just vanished and the towel dropped onto the floor.”
A mounted ghost dubbed the Galloping Cavalier is said to be the spirit of a messenger who died during the 17th-century civil war. He was thrown from his horse by a rope stretched across the road, then killed by rebels.
Local teacher Valerie Braunholtz reported hearing his ghostly hoof beats: “One night I was woken by a loud galloping noise. It got closer and closer as if someone was racing down the lane. But when I looked out the window I saw nothing.”
There have been many documented sightings over the last 150 years of another ghost known as the Old Lady of Cheltenham. Retired dentist John Newman says he once encountered her.
“I saw this elderly lady sitting on a doorstep. One minute she was there, smiling at me – the next she was gone.”
There’s also a knight in rusty armor whose presence causes dogs’ fur to bristle and horses to rear.
All the ghosts are friendly – except one said to haunt the area where a villain murdered a young bride in an ancient farmhouse. People who slept in one of the bedrooms said that they woke up in the night to find cold fingers tightening around their throats – and escaped only by blurting out a prayer. The farmhouse was exorcised in the mid-1990s and the occupants have had no further trouble.
The society’s researchers have logged at least another two dozen additional hauntings in the old village, which was the site of many bloody skirmishes in past centuries.
“We’re slowly building up a picture of the ghosts and who has seen them,” said Chris Romer, part of the research team. “Then we move in with our scientific equipment to try and find exactly what’s there.”