Recommended Reading:

Ham House

Elizabeth Maitland (nee Murray), the Duchess of Lauderdale who lived here in the late 17th century walks the corridors, her cane tapping along as she meanders the building; she was said to be ambitious and ruthless in life, taking family members to court if she thought that they had betrayed her. She had close connections with Oliver Cromwell and Charles II and some thought that the death of her first husband (and the wife of her second, allowing her to marry him) was suspicious, allowing her to ascending the "social ladder" even further. The death of her second husband, coupled with ill health and financial worries saw Elizabeth confined to a ground floor apartment at Ham House. Supposedly, staff have been known to say, "Good evening, your Ladyship" before entering her bedchamber. A small dog, described as being a King Charles Spaniel has been seen, even in daylight. It runs around before disappearing into a skirting board but on one occasion snarled at a human visitor before vanishing; this phantom hound may be the reason why it is said that pets have been reluctant to enter the property. Bangings heard behind locked doors, a smell of roses and the appearance of phantoms in period clothing have also been reported here. There have even been footsteps ascending the Great Staircase - these may be the stairs where a woman in black, perhaps Eliabethan, has been seen. A vague shape at a window and the sound of falling may be the remnant of John Macfarlane who jumped to his death to a misfortune in love. Certainly, it is said that every January 31st, a scream is said to be heard coming from the window of the Site Manager's flat. There are said to be around 15 ghosts in this one building.

Update 3/3/22: Jen Maclachlan, the Business Services Coordinator replied to my email about any recent phenomena: "In the ten years or so that I've been at the property, I have heard fairly regularly of odd things happening: footsteps and other sounds when no-one appeared to be there; the smell of cigar smoke in one of our historic showrooms (smoking is strictly forbidden anywhere within our grounds); sightings of a small dog inside the House, possibly a King Charles spaniel (pre-dating our policy of allowing dogs on site - not that they're allowed in the House even now); and reports of a feeling of being 'pushed' when standing on a certain step on the great staircase. There's also a mirror in the collection that I believe belonged to Elizabeth Murray herself and is displayed in her former bedchamber, which some people are very reluctant to look into, sensing a presence over their shoulder... Fortunately I've never experience anything spooky myself, but confess I'm always quite relieved when winter is on its way out and I don't need to be in the office when it's dark outside!"

Link: Daily Mirror

Link: Daily Mirror

Link: SW Londoner

Link: The Express

Link: National Trust

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