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Trinity College, Cambridge University


In a History of the Supernatural (1863), William Howitt mentions a haunting associated with Trinity College, Cambridge. He had obtained the information from the poet William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850), who in turn had been informed of it by his youngest brother, Christopher Wordsworth (9 June 1774 – 2 February 1846), The Master of Trinity.

According to Howitt: A young man having just come to enter himself a student at Trinity, brought a letter of introduction to Dr. Wordsworth, and on presenting it, asked if the master could recommend to him comfortable chambers. Dr. Wordsworth mentioned to him some then vacant, and the young man took them. In a few days seeing him. Dr. Wordsworth asked him how he liked them. He replied that the chambers themselves were very convenient, but that he should be obliged to leave them. Dr. Wordsworth asking for what reason, the young man replied, that he might think him fanciful, but the rooms were haunted. That he had been woke each night by a child that wandered about the rooms, moaning, and strange to say, with the palms of its hands turned outwards. That he had searched his rooms, found them on each occasion securely locked, and that nothing but an apparition could thus traverse them. Dr. Wordsworth said, he would now be candid with him; that these rooms had been repeatedly abandoned by students who asserted the same thing, but having perfect reliance on his veracity and judgement, from what he had heard of him, he was desirous to see whether he would confirm the story, having had no intimation of it beforehand. I relate the account from memory, after the lapse of a good many years, but I believe it to be substantially correct whether the young man thanked the doctor for his recommendation of such lodgings does not appear.

Christopher Wordsworth was Master of Trinity College between 1820 and 1841, so we can date this experience to within those twenty years, however we cannot identify the exact building or rooms from the account.


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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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Re: Trinity College, Cambridge University

According the Ghost Club website:

The Ghost Club is the oldest organisation in the world associated with psychical research. It was founded in 1862 but has its roots in Cambridge University where, in 1855, fellows at Trinity College began to discuss ghosts and psychic phenomena.



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