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CHILTERN GHOSTS

DIG THAT GHOST

 

See a British Pathe film of the ghost of The Chequers pub, Amersham, Bucks from 1964... (the pub - and ghost! -still exist)

THE Chilterns are full of tales of highwaymen and it is not surprising that there are many tales of spectral riders thundering along roads and footpaths. It is perhaps surprising however that there are reports of teams of horses and their coaches haunting various routes! For example, a ghostly coach and horses has been seen waiting at the Greyhound, Chalfont St Peter.

A coach and team are also said to dash through Finnamore Wood, near Marlow. Another has been spotted racing down from Hampden Common into Speen Bottom while a third haunts the road from Radnage Bottom to Bennetts End.

A headless woman dressed in flowing white is said to ride along Whyteladyes Lane Cookham. Another female ghost on a spectral horse was seen this century riding along Loakes Road, High Wycombe. There was speculation that it was a girl thrown from her horse and killed 200 years earlier near Loakes House. In Penn, the ghost of a farmer is said to be seen dashing through the village on his horse.

On February 10th, 1984, The Bucks Free Press, reported the experience of a Mr Dave Robson. Walking home along deserted country roads about midnight as he had done many times before after work at the Bull Hotel, Gerrards Cross, he was startled by an owl's screech. Then he heard the sound of horse's hooves. Hardly believing his ears, he waited as it approached. Unmistakably, a mounted highwayman, surrounded by a luminous haze, emerged from the darkness.

Mr Robson told the Free Press: "Through the haze I could clearly pick out a man, with a gun, dressed in a big cloak and black hat. He rode past me and disappeared by a group of trees".

Where Disraeli still walks

The ghost of a former prime minister is said to haunt Hughenden Manor. Benjamin Disraeli statesmen, novelist, wit and dandy, raised to the peerage by Queen Victoria, whose favourite he remained throughout his life, acquired Hughenden Manor in 1848 while temporarily out of political favour. What must have attracted himself and his wife to its was its magnificent aspect of lawns, trees and parkland with views across the hills beyond. The building itself was in an unadorned Georgian style, then out of fashion but the Disraelis were soon adding embellishments and decorating the rooms to their own tastes. It was soon after his death in 1881 that reports that his ghost had been seen started to circulate and have continued to do so ever since, though it has to be said that the present staff of the house, who ought to have seen it if anyone has, remain sceptical.

Among those who claim encounters was a visiting member of The Ghost Club. Wandering away form the main party into the study, she was examining a painting when half seeing, half sensing movement, she turned and saw the famous figure with beard on chin and fringe of curls over forehead.

On other occasions his wraith has been seen on this same staircase with papers in his hand. It seems to have been a favourite site for another woman visitor once came upon him standing near the portrait of himself which stands on the staircase. For a time it stood, oblivious or unaware of her presence, then as approaching voices were heard, dissolved. The same day another Ghost Club member glimpsed a figure, which from a back view looked very like Disraeli, going down the stairs.