Ghost of St Austell, Cornwall
Introduction to St Austell
St Austell is a major town in Cornwall, 10 miles south of Bodmin. It is one of the largest towns in the county and owed its growth to china clay deposits found in the mid 1900’s.
Cornish architect Silvanus Trevail was responsible for the designing of several important buildings in the town including the Thin End and Moorland Road terrace.
Tourists visiting St Austell can travel a short distance to the Eden Project, which lies on a former clay pit. It houses thousands of plant species in artificial biomes, a Tropical Biome and a Mediterranean Biome.
Ghosts in Town
The Queen’s Head stands opposite the Holy Trinity Church and dates from the 17th century, making it one of the oldest alehouses in the town. It is said to be haunted by a young chambermaid who hanged herself after falling pregnant with the landlord’s child.
Chapel Street runs to the South Pier through the town and once had a small orchard along its route. The orchard owner, a lady called Elizabeth, employed a guard to make sure her precious fruit was not stolen. Near harvest time, she went to check on him but he mistook her for a thief and she was shot. Her ghost is seen near the orchard site, at the top of the street, before vanishing through a wall. She wears a bonnet and dark cloak.
Lost Gardens of Heligan
The Lost Gardens of Heligan aren’t actually lost and are one of the most visited botanic gardens in the country. They were designed by the Tremayne family in the 18th century and took until the 20th century to finish completely. The gardens surround Heligan House, which was bought by the family in the 16th century.
Gardeners working on the project have said to feel uneasy, even to the point of being afraid to go to certain areas. Allegedly an exorcism was performed to help staff return to work as normal.
The Hound of St Austell
The story of the House of St Austell comes from Samuel Drew (1765-1833), a metaphysicist. However, his account came from the time when he was an apprentice shoemaker in his youth. He recounted when he and some other boys were poaching near St Austell, and Samuel was on watch in the hedgerow. He heard the sound of horses approaching and warned his companions but the sounds came closer then faded away without anyone being seen.
Samuel was filled with dread and looked around to see what was happening when he saw a large dog. It turned to look at the boys in the hedge, and they were terrified to see it had huge, fiery eyes. It then continued on its way, straight through the gate at the end of the road.
The manor house at Duporth was owned by Charles Rashleigh and has been demolished but before this, it was haunted by a nun who was known locally as ‘Flo’. She was reported to open locked cabinets in the drawing room and be responsible for the sound of someone striking a match in an empty room.
The site was sold and developed into a holiday village in 1933, but Flo seems to have still been around. The old farmhouse is particularly associated with her presence, and there are several reports of children staying there talking to someone. One child said she was talking to a nice old lady in a black dress. Flo likes to move the roundabout in the children’s playground as well, turning it one way then the other. Another report from a member of staff said that a kettle turned itself on but when she told the ghost her services weren’t needed that day, it turned itself off again!
The land has now been developed again into a housing estate of traditional Cornish cottages and is called Two Coves. There are no reports yet as to whether Flo has made the transition or not.
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If you live in St Austell, have stayed there or even just know a story about the history or hauntings of the town, please get in touch! I would love to hear your stories.