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All Saints Vicarage, Bristol


In 1846 the Bristol Times published the following story entitled ‘A Ghost at Bristol’ which concentrated on the vicarage of the Grade II listed All Saints Church, parts of which date back to the 12th Century.

"We have this week a ghost story to relate. Yes, a real ghost story, and a ghost story without, as yet, any clue to its elucidation. After the dissolution of the Calendars, their ancient residence, adjoining and almost forming a part of All Saints' Church, Bristol, was converted into a vicarage-house, and it is still called by that name, though the incumbents have for many years ceased to reside there. The present occupants are Mr. and Mrs. Jones, the sexton and sextoness of the church, and one or two lodgers; and it is to the former and their servant-maid that the strange visitor has made his appearance, causing such terror by his nightly calls, that all three have determined upon quitting the premises, if indeed they have not already carried their resolution into effect. Mr. and Mrs. Jones's description of the disturbance as given to the landlord, on whom they called in great consternation, is as distinct as any ghost story could be. The nocturnal visitor is heard walking about the house when the inhabitants are in bed ; and Mr. Jones, who is a man of by no means nervous constitution, declares he has several times seen a light flickering on one of the walls. Mrs. Jones is equally certain that she has heard a man with creaking shoes walking in the bedroom above her own, when no man was on the premises, and 'was nearly killed with the fright.' To the servant-maid, however, was vouchsafed the unenvied honour of seeing this restless night visitor; she declares she has repeatedly had her bedroom door unbolted at night, between the hours of twelve and two o'clock the period when such beings usually make their promenades by something in human semblance. She cannot particularise his dress, but describes it as something antique, and of a fashion 'lang syne gane,' and to some extent corresponding to that of the ancient Calendars, the former inhabitants of the house. She further says, he is 'a whiskered gentleman’, which whiskered gentleman has gone the length of shaking her bed, and, she believes, would have shaken herself also, but that she invariably puts her head under the clothes when she sees him approach. Mrs. Jones declares she believes in the appearance of the whiskered gentleman, and she had made up her mind the night before she called on her landlord to leap out of the window (and it is not a trifle that will make people leap out of the windows) as soon as he entered the room. The effect of the flickering light on Mr. Jones was quite terrific, causing excessive trembling, and the complete doubling up of his whole body into a round ball, like."


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