Raynham Hall Ghost – Lady in Brown

April 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Ghosts, Haunted Houses, Haunted Places

It was very late, the old house was dark and still. The sea Captain was making his way back to his room. As he and two friends proceeded down the hallway they saw a lady wearing a brown dress and carrying a lantern coming towards them. They moved aside to let her pass. As she glided by she turned towards them and gave them an evil grin. It was then that the three men realised they were not looking at a woman at all, they were facing a ghost. The Captain quickly drew his pistol and fired. The woman promptly disappeared and the bullet harmlessly entered the wall behind where she had just been standing.

The ghost? The famous Lady in Brown. The shooter, well known novelist, Captain Frederick Marryat.

The Lady in Brown is believed to be Dorothy Townsend, wife of Lord Townsend and sister to Sir Robert Walpole, the man considered to be the first Prime Minister of England. Why is she still haunting Raynham Hall?

The legend says that Lord Townsend discovered his wife was having an affair and that he decided to punish her. In one version he kills her by pushing her down the stairs. In another version he locks her up in a room and keeps her there until her death. The “official” version is that she contracted small pox and died on the 29th of March 1726.

It is said that she now roams the hallways of Raynham House searching for her children. Her husband had kept them apart either due to her illness, or by locking her up and now she is left searching. Over the years she has been sited by numerous people including a famous account by King George the 4th who woke up to see the spectre standing over his bed.

The most famous sighting of all was in 1936. Country Life Magazine was doing a story about the house and sent over two photographers to take pictures. Captain Provand and Indre Shira were taking pictures when they saw something mysterious coming down the stairs. It looked like some kind of mist. They were able to get one picture, which is now one of the most famous photographs of a ghost ever captured.

What is on the film? No one knows for sure. But according to numerous sources the photo has not been altered or tampered with. Ghost….you decide.

Lady in Brown Ghost

Raynham Hall – History Documentry

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