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The Ghostly Brown Lady on the Stairs

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The Brown Lady is one of the most famous ghosts in England – and yes I know in the photo she’s black and white!

Many claim to have seen the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England. Even royalty have seen this upmarket ghost.

King George IV, for example, while staying at the Hall, is said to have woken during the night to see a woman in brown. He was so shaken – though not stirred – that he refused to stay another hour in the house.

So who is this ghost? It is believed to be Lady Dorothy Townsend, sister to England’s prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole, and wife of the second Marquess of Townshend.

The story goes that at the age of 26 Dorothy married Lord Charles Townshend. But not all was good within the marriage as Charles discovered that Dorothy had in fact been the mistress of Lord Wharton.

As punishment Dorothy was locked in her apartment until she died from a broken heart, though some say the cause of death was smallpox.

Until 1904 there was a portrait of Lady Dorothy dressed in brown in the hall – thus the ghosts name.

In the portrait Dorothy had large sparkling eyes. It was said that the portrait looked normal during the day, but at night the face would become evil looking.

Now we come to the photo. In 1936 Lord Townshend hired a professional photographer to take photos of the Hall.

The photographer noticed a shadowy figure, dressed in white, on the stairs. On an impulse a photo was taken and when developed was seen to be the outline of a ghostly lady wearing a wedding style dress.

The photo was published in Country Life magazine on December 1st, 1936 and caused quite a sensation. The photo was said to be genuine at the time.

Over the years several people have seen the Brown Lady including a Colonel Loftus and Captain Frederick Marryat who encountered the ghost grinning at him. He was so scared he shot at the figure. The bullet went right through the ghost and lodged in a door behind where the Brown Lady appeared.

Other Ghostly Stories:
The Ghost Who Wanted Sex With Kate
The Grey Ghost Who Walks Into A Doorway That Is No Longer There
The Ghostly Woman In A 19th Century White Dress

For more interesting and unusual stories like this go to 67 Not Out – coincidences, synchronicity, UFOs, reincarnation and many other mysteries.


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