Presentation on theme: "Libraries & Archives Underhill House Folkestones own Haunted House of Horrors? A bite sized piece of history."— Presentation transcript:
Libraries & Archives Underhill House Folkestones own Haunted House of Horrors? A bite sized piece of history
Originally built in 1840 on St Martins Plain, Cheriton, Underhill House was a large property, set in 1.46 acres. It comprised 4 bedrooms, 3 reception rooms, 2 bathrooms as well as large servant quarters and outbuildings. Tragedy was soon to fall on one of its earliest residents, Alured Denne: Not long after moving in, his new born baby died and this brought on severe bouts of depression. A broken leg from a hunting accident and financial troubles soon followed and Alured began to feel an evil presence in the house was the cause of his troubles. By 1887, his state of mind had deteriorated to such a point that he took his own life.
Underhill house then became the home of the Camp Brigadier at Shorncliffe Camp, but a succession of tragedies still continued to occur: An army officer, heavily in debt from gambling, committed suicide by shooting himself just inside the entrance hall. An army padre became so convinced that something unholy had possessed the house that he attempted an exorcism. He was later found dead, hanging in the airing cupboard. Later still, another suicide victim is said to have been found, hanging in the stable block.
In 1934, the strangled body of May Hiett, who worked as a maid at the house, was found in one of the bedrooms. In another room, the Brigadiers valet, Charles Jay was found, barely alive, suffering from gunshot wounds. At the inquest it appears Jay murdered the maid in a fit of jealousy after hearing rumours that she had been seen with another man. He then turned the gun on himself and died soon afterwards.
The army eventually sold the property. At one point it became a hostel, but this was only the beginning of numerous, inexplicable occurrences: Objects regularly began to disappear, only to reappear inside locked rooms and disembodied voices were regularly heard in the empty kitchen. Several ghostly forms have been reported including that of an old man in a pepper and salt suit and the vacant form of a man in an army officers great coat.
In 1978 the house was finally destroyed by fire. According to military sources this was due to an electrical fault, despite the house being empty for many years with no power connected. Today, all that remains standing is part of the stable block, but mysterious events are still regularly experienced. In 2008, the spectre of a white horse was seen in the area, staring with what was reported as a malevolent intensity at the unwelcome visitor.