As yet we have few stories about the supernatural in Burnham and area. Perhaps you can add to our stock? Please comment below.
LAKE HOUSE, EAST BRENT
Colin Loader, of the East Brent Parish History Group tells us:
Lake House Lane/House etc. is a very interesting area. I believe that there was a Monastery on the site as was a Mill Race (so possibly a Mill) and a fish pond. Perhaps a clue to the area is in the name? In my early days with the EB Parish History Group, I had a conversation with Gill Cashman who I believe, owned Lakehouse at the time but lived elsewhere in Lake House Lane. Gill was under the impression that monks did originally live in the Lake House buildings. No mention was or has been made of an apparitions etc..
These were some of her comments:
“When we bought Lake House from George Hill, Peggy told us that there was a tunnel running from Lake House to either the Church or that area. We, like you thought it couldn’t be so with the high water table. However, when we started to renovate the house we found that under the stairs was an area which had been filled in with rubble. The workmen started to dig it out but obviously it went down quite deep and so my husband told them to stop as they didn’t have time to mess about with it, I really would have liked them to – BUT!!! One odd thing about it was that there were metal rungs imbedded into the ‘wall’ of the hole. There has to be something there as there is subsidence in the wall beside it and in the floor of the room on the other side. Also when we get very dry conditions there are areas in the ground outside which show evidence of voids underneath.” Gill Cashman 2014
Several other long-term EB residents have also reported on the Tunnels. They were said to emerge near or within Church Cottage at the end of Church Road in East Brent.
Report from The Bath Chronicle, July 5th 1862:
It is noteworthy that Mrs Dupuis, in describing the residents of Burnham at the time of the Reverend Dupuis‘ arrival in the late 1860’s wrote: “One old woman, called ‘The Witch’ of Burnham was Mrs Winter, who was supposed to ‘overlook’ people.”
Local historian Sam Nash quotes ‘Somerset Folklore’, R.L. Tongue 1965: “I was told by an old fisherman at Weston-super-Mare in 1907 about a Burnham Witch who laid a curse on a boy who had annoyed her, forgetting that he was Sunday born and a first born at that. The curse could not lodge and turned back on the witch herself, who suffered for her incautious ill temper.”
THE RING O’BELLS
A letter from an unidentified newspaper, believed to be from the 1940’s, describes fantastical stories about the tavern, which it claims known locally as ‘the Blood Stain’. No actual nautical associations have been documented. The building, now demolished, was very old and stood at the front of what is now the Lidl supermarket car park.
A HAUNTED HOUSE
David Jones tells us:
“During the 1970s my parents bought one of a number of new houses that had been built in Burnham. Not long after we moved in we noticed noises and the smell of pipe tobacco, it was as if someone had come in the back door and gone up the stairs and into the bathroom, which was the first door on the right at the top of the stairs. We got used to this noise happening, and the tobacco smell so we just carried on as normal.
My parents took in a lodger who worked at the Radio Station. One evening he came home from work and said he was going to have a bath but then came down and told my parents that he heard me come upstairs and go into the bathroom. However my mother told him that I had gone out. He went upstairs again to go into the bathroom but found the door was locked so he came down again to ask my mother if she was sure I was out. My mother went upstairs and found the door was open. We didn’t tell him that it was probably the ghost!
There was another occasion when a friend of mine came to stay one night and was woken up by the sound of somebody coming upstairs in the early hours. He thought it was me so he came into my room but found me fast asleep. He woke me up and told me he was going home, which he did, at 2a.m.!
My parents sold the house about 5 years later. It wasn’t until about 10 years after that we found out that when the houses were being built one of the plumbers or electricians arrived first thing in the morning and saw an old man standing at the top of the stairs. He ran out and would not go back into that house again.”
This is an unusual occurrence of a haunting in a new property. How the ghost came to be there remains a mystery.
Another rather more startling manifestation is related to us, also by David, concerning a property in Regent Street:
“There was a lady’s dress shop in Regent St back in the 1960s and early 70s. My mother worked there occasionally. The people who owned the shop used to go on holiday twice a year and every time they came back their apartment had been trashed. It only happened when they were away, never when they were there. Also they used to hear the sound of barrels rolling in the back, which is George St. They were told that there was a brewery or a pub there many years before.”
We have no record of a pub or brewery in that area but there are records of grocer’s businesses occupying premises here during the early 20th century. It is possible that they moved barrels of dry goods in the back yards