"HERE was a holy well or spring in the village of Holwell, on the borders of Bedford and Hertfordshire; unfortunately both history and site have been forgotten by the villagers at Holywell.”—A. C. G. Cameron, H.M. Geological Survey. [The Legendary Lore of the Holy Wells of England by Robert Charles Hope (1893)]
Country and County: Hertfordshire
In ‘Haunted Churches’ (1939), Elliott O’Donnell (27 February 1872 – 8 May 1965) refers to ‘Gill Hill, the scene of the horrible Weare murder, and said to be still haunted by the ghosts of Weare and his murderers, Thurtell and Probert’. The Radlett or Elstree murder took place around Gills Hill Lane in Radlett on 24 October 1823.
The Parish Church of St Giles dates from the 13th and 15th century. In Haunted Churches (1939), Elliott O’Donnell (27 February 1872 – 8 May 1965) refers to the churchyard and surrounding area being haunted.
The following story from ‘English Fairy and Other Folk Tales (1890)’ by Edwin Sidney Hartland concerns a Black Dog that haunted the site of a gibbet in which the body of a witch killer was displayed.
The great author and investigator Peter Underwood gave the following answer to what inspired him to get involved in the paranormal field.
Protecting the names of witnesses and the identity of a haunted location is a good and ethical practice for investigators to adhere to, however, sometimes it does make identifying historic cases difficult. The following account is taken from ‘The Haunted Homes and Family Traditions of Great Britain’ by John Ingram (1897).
Two Haunted Counties – A Ghost Hunter’s Companion to Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire by Tony Broughall & Paul Adams
As it says on the back cover of the book, a twelfth century Gilbertine priory, a Chrysler car factory, a de-sanctified church and a Georgian period lavatory are just a few of the haunted localities from the case files of 1970s ghost buster Tony Broughall.
The Rose and Crown in Hemel Hempstead was originally a butchers shop. In 1537 the owner is recorded as brewing mead for his workers. The ale business grew until it took over and the oldest ale house in the Old High Street, Hemel Hempstead began.
St Albans has a multitude of ghosts and strange stories, many of which are attached to the magnificent abbey. St Albans has been occupied from very early in its history, the Roman town of Verulamium once stood in the valley, in the area where the public park now lies.
Minsden Chapel is now nothing more than a ruin, standing isolated amidst trees in the Hertfordshire countryside. The site is very atmospheric, given its isolated position and long history. The haunting of the chapel is one of the best known in Hertfordshire, mainly because it has been widely investigated.