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Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England (Famous Haunted Places)

Updated on July 31, 2011
Raynham Hall
Raynham Hall | Source
Most famous spirit photo of all time--The Brown Lady descending the stairs at Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England
Most famous spirit photo of all time--The Brown Lady descending the stairs at Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England | Source


The first reported encounter with “the Brown Lady” of Raynham Hall was in 1835. It was during the Christmas season and there were many guests at the home. Colonel Loftus, one of the guests, reported seeing the figure of a woman wearing a brown satin gown walking down the hall in front of him. As he was watching her, she disappeared. The following week the Colonel saw the Brown Lady again. He saw her face on and noticed that her face had an unearthly glow and that her eye sockets were empty.

Over a hundred years later, in 1936, another visitor to the house took the photo on the left of the Brown Lady descending the staircase. This is the most famous spirit photos ever taken as it has never been disproved.

The Hall was built in 1619 and the Townshend family has owned the home for over 300 years. In 1713 Lord Townshend married Dorothy Walpole, his then second wife. The records show that Lady Dorothy was buried in 1726, but legend indicates that it was a mock funeral. It was rumored that the ill-fated Lady was locked up in the house by her husband and actually perished much later.

Before her marriage to Lord Townshend, Dorothy reportedly was having an affair with the infamous Lord Wharton. When her husband found out about the affair, (after she gave birth to their five children!), he locked her up somewhere in the house and reported her dead.

The Brown Lady is reportedly still haunting the oak staircase of the Hall at twilight, but she has not been seen often since the famous photo was taken. This very probably is a Ghost Residual Image—due to tragic circumstances the atmosphere is actually imprinted by an image that repeats in exactly the same way over and over again, usually induced by a trigger. The Brown Lady is not the only spirit that has been witnessed at the Hall. Visitors have reported seeing the spirit of the Duke of Monmouth, two ghostly children and a ghost of a cocker spaniel, as well.

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    • Christine B. profile imageAUTHOR

      Christine B. 

      7 years ago from Medina, Ohio

      Thanks, again, Wolfyone... I hope to talk to you more. :o)

    • Wolfyone profile image

      Wolfyone 

      7 years ago from Central Maine

      I most certainly will read more. Browsing through them just before I left for work today I didn't have time to read them, but I saw a number that caught my eye right off. Thanks for posting these interesting hubs.

    • Christine B. profile imageAUTHOR

      Christine B. 

      7 years ago from Medina, Ohio

      Thanks, Wolfyone... I hope you have time to read more of my Hubs. :o)

    • Wolfyone profile image

      Wolfyone 

      7 years ago from Central Maine

      Interesting article.

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