Poltergeists of the Hall family
Victorian folklorist Percy Manning records the story of an unfortunate couple who seems to have been pursued by violent poltergeist activity, despite their attempts to evade it by moving house.
The haunting begins
The supernatural events that hounded blacksmith Thomas Hall and his wife Ann began when they lived at Little Tew, and consisted of inexplicable sounds such as that of a cock crowing, and the sound of cutlery rattling in cupboards.
The couple moved to Hook Norton, but the unexplained noises continued. In one disturbing incident Ann Hall reported that she was in bed when she heard the sound of groaning coming from her pillow. She stabbed the pillow with a pen-knife and blood appeared on the pillow.
An extra place at the table
Next, the Halls moved to Enstone, where Thomas Hall set up a blacksmiths business but was troubled at his work by an invisible force that took control of his hammer and made him miss his stokes.
A neighbour named Jeffries reported witnessing fire-irons moving of their own accord while talking to the Halls in their sitting room.
Jeffries also mentioned that another time he was dining with the Halls when he heard a disembodied voice asking for a plate as well. Ann Hall explained that they were obliged to lay an extra place for the presence 'or there would be no peace'.
The events took an even more sinister turn on another occasion when Jeffries was visiting the Halls. There was a bang as if a gun had gone off and a bullet came through the closed door and hit the table. On inspection, there was no hole or mark on the door.
The Halls ended their days at Enstone, but it is not recorded whether or not their latter years saw a ceasing of the poltergeist activity that had troubled the unfortunate couple for so long.
Find out more
- 'Ghost and Witches of the Cotswolds' by J.A. Brooks (Jarrold Publishing, 1992, ISBN: 0711702330)