Chingle is a small, medieval era house built in 1260 by the Singleton family. It has the reputation of being the “most haunted house in all of England” and by all accounts rightfully deserves this reputation, considering its turbulent history. During the 1600s it belonged to Father John Wall, who was a practicing Catholic Priest in an era where Catholicism was actually outlawed in England.
The house is peppered with all sorts of strange nooks and crannies where priests could hide both themselves and the artifacts needed to practice the Catholic Mass. Father Wall was eventually caught and was offered either his life or his religion. He refused to give up his religion and was drawn and quartered and beheaded for his convictions in 1679. Supposedly his head was buried at Chingle Hall but was never found. It is said that he will continue to haunt the house until his head is discovered and buried with the rest of his body.
One of Chingle’s most interesting features are the wooden beams that support the houses ceiling. These are festooned with numerous runes and symbols carved into them that for many years no one could figure out. It was finally determined that these beams were in fact taken from a Viking longship and repurposed. During the 1970s an event took place where one of the beams caught fire spontaneously, apparently combusting from within. The beam was removed and analyzed, but the cause of the fire was never found or positively determined.
At one point a team of researchers went into the house and made a recording where voices could be heard. Of special interest was the voice of a young girl who could be heard to say “I’m frightened.” The tape was analyzed and enhanced and it was determined that whatever made that sound was not a human voice, due to the structure of the frequencies contained within the sound itself. However-the works “I’m frightened” were apparently quite distinct.
One investigator, as he was changing the batteries in his camera, had a battery explode in his hand inexplicably. This was never explained and was bad enough to the point where he had to be treated for burns. Many guests have also reported seeing processions of hooded monks walking back and forth through the grounds when there is no monastery nearby and has not been for hundreds of years.
There was also an incident where a guest was driving on the long, narrow drive that led from the house to the highway. A large dog bolted out in front of his car and he though he hit it, hearing a distinct thump. He pulled over and looked everywhere for the dog and could find no trace of it. When he went to inspect the front of his car a large truck sped by, right through the spot where he had been when he hit the “dog”. Had he not pulled over the truck would have hit him.
Father John Wall had the courage and conviction to stand by his religion even when threatened with a horrible death. Countless Catholics, unable to practice their religion almost anywhere else in England, found in Father Wall and Chingle Hall a safe haven and sanctuary where they could worship God as they chose. Constructed with materials that date all the way back to the Vikings, the house has a history deeply steeped in spirituality and the supernatural.