In the year 1885, when I was a schoolboy, we went for our summer holiday to a furnished house between Ventnor and Bonchurch on the Isle of Wight. St Boniface House was modest, possessing one of the most charming small gardens I ever saw.

Ghosts soon declared themselves. The manifestations were pronounced and various. My sisters were visited in the night by a figure walking in their room and, when it came between their beds, they fled shrieking.

A figure passed the housemaids in the corridor, cold hands were laid on hands lying outside the counterpane, bells rang without being pulled.

The village priest came with book and holy water, the spirits were effectually laid and we slept in peace.

Now I have read, in Mrs Stirling’s The Diaries of Dummer (1934), an account of similar manifestations at the same house in 1851. The old house has been pulled down, but I hope its garden still shelters the poor houseless shades that wander by night.

W.S.J.
Country Life, letters page 13th March 1937