Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Ghostly cries at Upton Court, Slough

The following guest article is by Rupert Matthews, author of the book Haunted Hampshire.

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“Why?  Why?”
By Rupert Matthews

It is a disturbing phantom which haunts Upton Court and the adjacent Upton Court Park. More than one witness to the haunting has come away unable to sleep for some nights afterwards. For not only is this a particularly gruesome ghost, but its plaintive wail seems to penetrate the brain and haunts the mind as surely as the ghost haunts Upton Court Park itself.

If you want to encounter this disturbing ghost, then Friday evenings as the day turns to dusk are said to be the best time to visit. Not that those who see it would want to repeat the experience.

“I was taking the dog for a walk,” one witness told Ghosthunter. "I had covered a fair bit of ground and were coming back up the long walk that runs from the main road past the children’s playground. I saw a woman standing on the grass in a light-coloured coat. At first I took little notice. I thought she was someone else walking the dog or something. Then she turned to me and I saw she had spilled something down the front of her coat or dress. It was bright red and I realised it was blood. Then she started to sob and cry. It was really upsetting. I thought something must be very wrong. She looked off to one side and called out 'Why? Why', then began crying again. She called out 'Why?' one more time, then vanished.”
 
When asked how she vanished, the man said “She seemed to shake to pieces, sort of like if you are looking at something reflected in a pond and then splash the surface, but not quite like that. It was really weird.”
 
The gentleman at the Sough Council Parks Department knew about the ghost and was happy to confirm to Ghosthunter that it was of a lady in a pale dress. But he had not seen it. Instead, he was keen to emphasise the sporting and leisure facilities on offer in the park which are, indeed, impressive.
 
Who this ghost may be is unknown, but it is generally believed that she is connected in some way with Upton Court. She is said to appear most often close to the house and, on occasion, in the house itself. The oldest part of the house dates back to the 15th century when it was the central manor of a large estate owned by Merton Abbey.
 
It was blowing a gale on the Friday when Ghosthunter visited. A cold easterly wind whipped across the bare grassland and moaned in the trees. There were few people out in the park, apart from a couple walking their dog and they slunk off well before dusk. A few cars rumbled slowly down the narrow road towards the Cricket and Rugby Clubs, but these are at the far end of the park from Upton Court itself and far from the haunts of the lady with the bloodstained dress.
 
Suddenly something snatched at Ghosthunter’s shoulder and gripped firmly, but it was only a twig blown loose from a tree in the wind. The pitiful white lady was not walking that Friday night.
  
To find Upton Court and its Park, follow the A4 to the large roundabout where this road crosses the A412. Take the A412 south half a mile to a second roundabout where it turns sharp right and the B376 goes straight on. Upton Court is immediately on your left, set back from the road across a broad lawn. The building is now occupied by private offices and is not open to the public. To reach the Park, turn left at the second roundabout down Upton Court Road and park in the car park situated on the right after about 300 yards. A gate from the car park opens in to Upton Court Park. If using public transport, catch a train to Slough Station. Exit into William Street and walk south to the roundabout which forms a junction with the A4. Turn left and walk about 4 00 yards to the junction with the A412, then proceed as if you were driving. The walk from the station is just over a mile in length.  
  
  
Rupert Matthews is the author of the book Haunted Hampshire which is published by the History Press (ISBN 978-0752448626) and available on Amazon and from all good bookshops. You can find Rupert’s website at www.rupertmatthews.com. He also maintains a blog about the unexplained at www.ghosthunteratlarge.blogspot.com.

If you would like to contribute a guest article for the website please contact Richard Thomas at richard@richardthomas.eu.

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