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Newstead Abbey

Location of the haunted place: Nottinghamshire

Origin of the haunting: Unknown

Background: The abbey was built in the 12th century as a priory for black Augustine monks. It fell to King Henry VIII's dissolution in 1539 and was bought in 1540 by Sir John Byron. It remained in the family for three hundred years. The ghost of the Black Friar tells the story.

Ghost Story: This was my home and they destroyed it. We monks had lived here for about four hundred years until King Henry decided to change everything. He sold my beloved home to the Byron family. They used stones from the abbey to build their adjoining home. They left the abbey without a roof. I wanted revenge. I did not have to wait long. Things did not go well for the family; they all had money troubles. Some of them did not have children and those that did often only had one. These were penalties for being sacrilegious.

I played my part. When one of the family died I would turn up and laugh. If ever they dared to have a good time, I would come and be miserable. I even went to Lord Byron's wedding, I enjoyed that because I knew he wouldn't be happy.... and I was right. Apparently he mentions me in Don Juan:

"His form you may trace but not his face

Tis shadowed by a cowl:

but his eyes may be seen from the folds in between

And they seem of a parted soul"

Don Juan by Lord Byron

I must have got to him then.

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