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Deddington Vicarage

In the 1960's the vicarage in Deddington was reported to be haunted by the ghost of its former resident, Revd Maurice Frost.

'The vicarage house, which stood in the grounds of the rectory house close to the north side of the church, was ruinous by the late 17th century when it was removed by Thomas Appletree's executors 'for their own conveniency', while they built a new one on the south side of Church Street on land belonging to the vicar. That house was in serious disrepair by the early 19th century, and in 1822 was taken down and rebuilt to a design by William Rose, a local builder. It comprises a three-storeyed house with a plain front of dressed stone, with sash windows and, above the original doorway hood, a circular window. In 1963 the house was sold and a new vicarage house built on the north side of Earl's Lane'. [ A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 11 (1983)].

As stated above the vicarage was sold in 1963 and is now a private residence. The sale came just after the haunting allegations. Revd Maurice Frost (Born 1889 – Died 25 December 1961) was the Vicar of Deddington from 1924. The following account of the haunting entited 'Haunting Vicar Scatters Maids' was published in the Ottawa Citizen on 27 April 1962.

'DEDDINGTON. England (Reuters) – The maids have gone on strike at the vicarage in this Oxfordshire hamlet because they say the place is haunted.

The vicar. Rev Maurice Frost died at 73 last Christmas day.

His servants have been refusing lately to enter the house for fear of his ghost.

The vicar's cousin, Campbell Jarrett, who came here from Italy to settle his estate said noises have been heard in the study and coughs in the drawing room.

Once a “mysterious hand” drew him back into the drawing room, he said.

One of the maids, Mrs Betty Spencer, said she saw the vicar's ghost sitting in his bed, tying his shoe laces.

Mrs Spencer ran out of the house and hasn't been back since.

“I believe my cousin's ghost has been returning to the vicarage to wind up his antique clocks and look at his favourite books, said Jarrett.

“I have never seen a ghost, but the feeling is always there that someone is in the place all the time”.

The Shields Gazette on 25 February 2010 mentioned some other related experiences in an article entitles 'Spooked by the ghost of a vicar'.

Bedsprings had begun to creak and groan even when no one was sitting or lying on the beds in question.

Other visitors claimed that they could actually see a depression forming on the bed, as if an invisible person was taking rest there.

This always seemed to occur between 8.30am and 9.30am.

Further, doors would slam without warning and bells could be heard tinkling during the night.

On one occasion, Mrs Spencer heard the distinctive sound of the deceased vicar coughing in the drawing room.

Thinking it best not to enter, she decided to go upstairs to tidy the bedroom in which the old chap had once slept.

She was more than a little surprised, then, to find his ghost sitting on the edge of the bed calmly tying his shoelaces.

The old vicarage is still there, I think, but is no longer used for its original purpose.

Whether the residents have experienced any problems of the paranormal kind I do not know, but I have no reason to disbelieve the testimonies of the original witnesses who were sincerely 'spooked' by Frost's regular appearances.

The ghost's two main haunts – if you'll excuse the pun – were the drawing room and also the study.

Perhaps, not coincidentally, these were the two rooms in the vicarage where the Reverend Frost spent most of his time.

Another employee at the residence claimed that on a number of occasions she heard the distinct sound of books being moved in the study and even pages being turned.

However, on entering she would inevitably find no one there.

Maurice Frost was described as a quiet private man. His wife Kathleen passed away in 1948 and her sister, Dorothea then moved to Deddington from Bournemouth to be the vicar's housekeeper. He is buried in Deddington parish church with Kathleen and Dorothea who died after him.

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