Zoo House, Bideford, Devon
The following was e-mailed inby a reader:
When I was at school in Bideford, many of the kids would talk about the haunted "zoo house" in Ford House woods, near Devonshire Park. There was formerly an old zoo around these parts, but I am unsure if the house was historically part of it. To reach the house you had to walk up a long drive through ancient woodland, which could be quite eerie in the dark. Several times as a teenager I visited this house, usually with friends after a few pints, and it was very creepy, which was half the fun. It was even a bit creepy in daylight. The house was falling to pieces and there were no doorways, so it was easy to get inside. We really just used to go there to freak each other out, but on one particular occassion, all at the same time, 3 of us felt a spooky presence and heard a strange noise that we couldn't attribute to anything rational. Whether it was our minds playing tricks on us (of course, being in a supposedly haunted house in the middle of the night may well do that!) or something supernatural I cannot say, but we certainly ran very fast back down that drive!
I'm not sure if this house still exists, as when I moved away some years ago I remember there being plans to knock it down. As I can't seem to find anything on it on the internet, I thought it was worth mentioning, if only to preserve a piece of well-known folklore from Bideford.