Haunted: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Stewart | On 28, Jun 2017
The Hauntings of Bury St Edmunds
In 1973, frightened children playing in the coppice which runs along the Horringer Road witnessed a ghostly apparition of a man carried a walking stick and wearing a black suit with a bowler hat…
What frightened them so much was that the ghostly figure had no face!
The churchyard of St Mary’s Church is well known for being one of the haunts of Bury’s Grey Lady but it’s also rumoured to be haunted by another lady ghost…
You see the tomb of Henry VIII second daughter Mary Tudor is in St Mary’s Church.
And, it’s said that her ghostly spirit is sometimes witnessed by members of the congregation during service!
With Bury’s monastic heritage you probably won’t be too shocked to discover that the most reported apparitions witnessed within the town is that of ghostly monks…
In fact, it’s safe to say that the town is awash with sightings of them!
The impressive Abbey Gateway is one location within the town that terrified witnesses have seen apparitions of monks.
In the 1960s, the ghostly monks where given the nick-name of the Brown Monks by the locals.
The funny thing is…
The Benedictine monks of St Edmund’s Abbey actually wore black!
Abbeygate Street is one location where a lot of sightings of the Brown Monks have been reported.
The cellars in the old Suffolk Hotel building in Buttermarket and the Cupola House in the Traverse are both said to be haunted by a Brown Monk.
In 1961, two spooked men witnessed the ghostly apparition of a monk wearing a habit in Angel Lane…
He glided along the lane and disappeared through a wall!
The following year, two motorists witnessed an apparition of a Brown Monk hovering in nearby Churchgate Street.
Whilst a week later, a local man was scared witless when he saw an apparition of a monk dressed in a brown habit disappearing through the Old Gaol wall in Southgate Street.
On a couple of occasions terrified witnesses have seen the hooded monk by Bury’s Norman Tower.
One occasion the hooded apparition was seen gliding through the undercroft whilst on the other occasion it was seen heading towards St James Cathedral.
Many of the members of staff in the shops along Abbeygate Street have witness an apparition of a ghostly monk within their premises…
Whether they’re the same monk or different monks nobody really knows!
On a cold October afternoon in 1935, two young girls and their mother were walking home along Eastgate Street when an unusual gust of wind blew past them…
They suddenly witnessed a man and a woman hurrying across the street in front of them.
The woman was wearing an old fashioned white nurse’s uniform and the man was wearing white underclothes from the same period.
The nurse was supporting the man who seemed to be in some distress.
The ghostly couple proceed to cross the street and entered an overgrown area known as the Glen.
A little while later a gunshot and a scream rang out!
The frightened mother and her two daughters quickly ran from the scene without looking back.
Apparently, they had witnessed the ghosts of a nurse from the 1800s called Mary Treese and a wounded Crimean soldier who she was nursing at the time and had fallen in love with…
Her father had strongly disapproved of the relationship which led to him shooting dead the soldier.
A crime which he was later hung for!
It’s now said that the ghostly shooting of the fleeing soldier is played out every 20th October on Eastgate Street.
The most infamous ghost to haunt Bury St Edmunds is the notorious Grey Lady…
Her ghostly apparition has been witnessed in many different places within the town!
In the 1930s, the park keepers at the Abbey Garden would often witness her apparition near a First World War tank which was being exhibited in the gardens at the time.
St Mary’s churchyard, especially the tree-lined avenue leading through it, is another place said to be haunted by the Grey Lady.
She was spotted twice here in 1862.
In the 1930s and 40s the houses built into the West Front of the Abbey were also said to be haunted by the Grey Lady.
In 1961, a shop owner from Abbeygate Street witnessed a ghostly apparition of a lady wearing an 18th century grey chiffon dress walking across her showroom and vanishing through her shop’s wall.
The Grey Lady is also said to haunt Cupola House in the Traverse…
It’s the cellars of the Cupola House and the corner of the bar which she is said to haunt.
In 2000, a bar man at Cupola House was scared witless when he witnessed a Victorian lady dressed in white on the stairs.
She was there for just a few minutes before disappearing into thin air!
The buildings which were once the old Suffolk Hotel also had a reputation of being haunted by the Grey Lady.
As does the Fornham Road!
The ruins of St Saviour’s Hospital, the Victorian houses and the Tesco supermarket along Fornham Road are all said to be haunted by the Grey Lady.
Poltergeist activity has been reported to take place both within the Victorian houses and the Tesco supermarket whilst in 1966 a lady cycling past the ruins of St Saviour’s Hospital saw the ghostly apparition of a hooded nun.
There’s also a local story which says witnesses have seen the Grey Lady leaping over the old Priory wall at the end of Fornham Road!
Alan Murdie (2013) Haunted Bury St Edmunds. The History Press