The haunting of...

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IT’S not surprising to feel a chill at this time of the year, writes Sammy Jones.

But if you are in Newport Pagnell it might be harder to distinguish the cold breeze of the weather from a chilling connection with a long lost Newportonian...

A new book, Haunted Places in Newport Pagnell, has been penned by town resident Julie Wilson.

By piecing together 25 first hand accounts and tales from the area, she is hoping to put meat on the bones of the belief that Newport Pagnell is actually the most haunted town in Britain.

Newport certainly boasts a long and colourful history – people have lived and worked here since the Iron Age.

The Court of Assizes for Buckinghamshire was regularly held in the town from the Reign of Henry III to Henry VI where serious crimes were heard.

During the Civil War both royalists and parliamentarians occupied the town, and the bodies of hundreds of plague victims are believed to lay under Bury Field.

Over the centuries, the town has altered with the times, but step out of the shops and look at the architecture around you.

At odds with the concrete and glass of the new city, Newport Pagnell’s High Street is a mash of old buildings standing firm against the ever changing tide of life.

Many have been there for hundreds and hundreds of years. And more than a few of them have ghostly tales to share...

Julie’s own interest in the ghostly side of the town started when she moved into an old property. “I kept feeling that I was being watched, I could feel a presence,” she recalled.

“When I talked to other people around the town they told me stories and the idea grew from there.

“An awful lot of the tales only live on as stories, and I felt they needed to be recorded. It is the imprint of people who walked the streets here over hundreds of years...”

> For stories of ghostly funeral processions, the heroic police officer who died on duty, the brutal murders at Osier Cobb and a macabre monk, take a copy of Haunted Places in Newport Pagnell.

They retail at £7.50 and can be purchased in Newport Pagnell at Doodles, the Post Office or Wyrdos.

Or go online to www.hauntedplaces.org.uk