Photograph of a Ghost?
In the summer of 2003, while staying at the Abbey, Ross Corby took a photo (left) of his wife sitting in the lobby, near the Cloisters Restaurant; not, incidentally a part of the building associated with any known hauntings. When they got home and downloaded the photograph from the digital camera onto the computer, they discovered that there was a mysterious clouding effect around the room, which was not visible to the naked eye at the time the spooky photo was taken. Apparently, it is not cigarette smoke as there was nobody else around at the time. Does it have any connection with hauntings at the Abbey? Perhaps it could even be a ghostly former resident of the haunted building?
There are a few stories of ghosts and hauntings at Coombe Abbey. One concerns Abbot Geoffrey, murdered at Coombe, probably by one of his own monks, in 1345. There have been reports of a cowled figure floating around the grounds, and of various objects being hurled around in the kitchens, the latter poltergeist type activity being attributed to the restless spirit of the murdered monk. There are also tales of Matilda, a green-eyed gypsy girl betrayed in love by the master of Coombe more than 300 years ago. She put a curse on the family which apparently caused premature death for the eldest sons, and now her ghostly footsteps can be heard on the cobbles near the stables.
Other ghostly legends connected with the Abbey include a mysterious horseman, said to ride past the lodge house at night, and a strange woman in Victorian clothes riding a bike on the road outside the abbey. Today there are frequent reports of mysterious draughts, doors slamming on their own, and a eerie presence. On occasion guests have been so frightened that they have ran out of their rooms.