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The Epworth Rectory Poltergeist

The Rectory at Epworth, Lincolnshire, does not look like a typical haunted house, but nevertheless it was the scene of maybe the most famous Poltergeist ever.

One of the most famous hauntings ever was that of the Epworth Rectory in Lincolnshire, in December 1716 and January 1717. Epworth Rectory was the home of the not so popular Reverend Samuel Wesley. In 1709, villagers who disapproved his stern principles and teachings, set fire to the building and injured the livestock. The rectory was rebuilt, but few years later the rest was again disturbed, now by a genuine Poltergeist. One of the children of the reverend who witnessed the phenomena was John Wesley, who later became the founder of the Methodist Church. The whole story of The Epworth Rectory Poltergeist is fully described and documentated by John Wesley, in his own words and in the letters he collected from his family. If you can appreciate a spooky true story, you’ll find here the Letters concerning some Supernatural Disturbances at my father’s house at Epworth in Lincolnshire.  Reading the letters is… well, close to being there!

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Old Jeffrey

On 1 December 1716, the servant Robert Brown and a housemaid first heard the eerie groans and mysterious knockings in the dining room. They assumed it were the final groans of their dying neighbour. Soon after that, the children too insisted that they could hear footsteps ascending and descending the stairs at all hours of the night. But when they opened the door, there was no living soul to see in the hallway.

At the top of the stairs, Robert saw a hand mill moving at great speed… and of its own volition. Later, as he lay in bed trying to get some sleep, he heard the heavy tread of a man in leather boots… but again, there was nothing to be seen.

This went on for about a week and only reverend Wesley did not heard any noises at all. According to vulgar opinion, such sounds were not audible by the individual to whom they foreboded evil, so his family at first refrained from telling him.

Every person who witnessed the disturbances believed them to be supernatural. They seemed to centre on a spirit the family nicknamed ‘Old Jeffrey’. Sounds like that of a saw on wood or the turning of a windmill echoed through the house each night now. They would gradually become stronger as if Old Jeffrey was slowy collecting dark energies, and they ended with crashing glass, moving furniture… and one night with the levitation of a bed which at the time was occupied by Nancy, one of the four grown daughters of the reverend. This time the Poltergeist was also accompanied by the sounds of clanking chains and loud bangs.

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User Comments
  1. Glynis Smy

    On January 3, 2009 at 9:37 am

    How interesting, thanks for giving me a restless night’s sleep tonight LOL good article

  2. Gone.

    On January 3, 2009 at 10:48 am

    I looooove this stuff! Nice work again,Patrick. Spooky,scary, supernatural stuff.

    Some of the others you wrote about I had heard a little bit of but this one was new to me.

  3. HatedNation

    On January 3, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Hey, Keep bringing in the supernatural, its always cool to read!

  4. Unofre Pili

    On January 3, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Thanks for the story.Very scary but entertaining.

  5. R J Evans

    On January 4, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Yes, very scary! I won’t sleep tonight now….

    OK, I exaggerate! :-)

  6. eddiego65

    On January 7, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Interesting and scary!

  7. Ruby Hawk

    On January 8, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    I do believe I will room elsewhere.I love these scary tales. Where I grew up we had a headless man that walked across the road every evening at dusk.If I had to go up the road late in the evening. I closed my eyes and ran through the spot he supposedly crossed the road.I never saw him but neighbors said they did.

  8. Bren Parks

    On January 10, 2009 at 1:43 am

    Great work as usual Patrick! Loved every word.

  9. C Jordan

    On January 19, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Spooky stuff Patrick

  10. shraii

    On March 15, 2009 at 7:43 am

    i’ve just searched about the rectory after going at around 3ish this morning. it is possible to see old jeffrey & other faces in the windows.

  11. Lost in Arizona

    On March 15, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Just browsing on through. :) This has given me an idea for traveling the country some day and staying at places like this. Of course, I must build up the fortitude to actually make it through the night…lol!

  12. mysticdave

    On June 17, 2009 at 2:17 am

    Great job! I love the spooky stuff……..keep it coming :)

  13. michelle

    On October 19, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Very scary story!!

  14. Mr Ghaz

    On October 22, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Well done! Nice spooky story..I liked it! cheers :)

  15. hollynoel001

    On November 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    love the supernatural!!! great post

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