Spooky Historic House

Published: 04/10/2022 By Allan Fuller

Ham House in Petersham is a National Trust property, but distant dark deeds there are supposed to be seen still stalking its corridors and rooms. There are reputed to be cold areas, sounds of footsteps and the scent of roses when none are there, as well as other apparitions.

 What is known for certain is that Elizabeth Murray, Duchess of Lauderdale lived there when she inherited the property from her father in 1655. She had a reputation as being ambitious and ruthless, somehow managing to be friendly with Charles the second and Oliver Cromwell, certainly a dangerous combination! She even took family members to court. Her first husband died suddenly, and she then married the recently widowed Earl of Lauderdale, there were whisperings that it was a strange coincidence that the two deaths were suspiciously close together. 

After the death of the Earl her luck seemed to run out. Her health deteriorated, and financial woes restricted her to living out the rest of her life in a small ground floor apartment in the house. This is where some people feel an oppressive atmosphere, dogs are reluctant to enter, and an original mirror that apparently people are afraid to look at, the national trust staff are known to say, ‘Good Morning/Good afternoon’ before entering, just to be on the safe side………