1952


29
YEARS

ST DUNSTAN’S MONKS

“The day after I met Sax for the first time I heard about a haunted church…”

“…where the rector and others were reported…”

“…to encounter...

columns of ghostly figures!”

“The Rev. Hugh Anton-Stevens invited me to

...hear the full story...”

“St Dunstan’s Church, East Acton, was built about a hundred years ago…”

“Anton-Stevens told me he believed the monks belonged in some past age…”

“…and they were attracted to the nearest consecrated building…”

“During the Middle Ages a chapter of St Bartholomew’s the Great existed here…”

“...and in those days monks,

singly and in procession…”

St Bartholomew the Great in the City of London - founded as an Augustinian priory in 1123.

“...would in all probability have walked…”

“...where the new church of St Dunstan’s now stands...”

“…he told me he…saw the ghost monks that a former curate, the Rev. Philip Bousted...”

“...had seen many times in the 1930s...”

‘There is no doubt’, he told me,

‘that on many evenings up to a dozen monks can be seen walking in procession…’

‘...up the central aisle and into the chancel of St Dunstan’s…’

“When seen from the corner of the eye they were quite clear…”

“...but they seemed to disappear when looked at directly…”

A reporter named Kenneth Mason from The Daily Sketch learned of these sightings.

“When he heard about the procession…

he thought he would visit the church and see for himself…”

“...and perhaps find a story.”

“It was a cold and wet November evening…”

“...he reached the deserted church and sat down in a pew on the left-hand side of the nave to keep watch…”

“…and unlike so many who watch for ghosts,

he saw them...”

“After a time he dozed,

but suddenly he found himself wide awake…”

“...and there, walking slowly towards him,

he saw a procession of six or eight hooded figures...”

“... their heads bowed,

moving silently up the aisle towards the altar...”

Slowly they came towards me...

‘I took my courage in both hands and,

facing them, I barred their way…’

‘...then I quickly had to turn

and look back at them…’

‘...they had passed right through me!’

“The vicar came to believe that he was able to converse with one of the ghost monks…”

“...but after he had published an article

in his parish magazine

which he claimed was dictated to him…”

“...by this monk,

he became distressed

he became distressed by the resulting publicity…”

“I subsequently discovered that Harry Price knew about the ghost monks and had collected many reports over the years…”

“...[and] he came to the conclusion that the phenomena occurred in four-year cycles…”

“...but my investigations did not bear out this interesting theory…”

“...although there is no doubt that psychic happenings were reported from the church

over a period exceeding forty years...”

No Common Task
pp.87-89