THE BROWN LADY OF RAYNHAM HALL

This incredible photo was published in British magazine Country Life, on 26th December 1936.
Brown Lady of Raynham Hall
Click image for larger view
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The image reportedly shows a ghost descending a staircase at Raynham Hall. It was captured by photographers Captain Provand and his assistant Indre Shira while photographing the historic Raynham Hall for Country Life Magazine in the late afternoon of 19th September, 1936.

This extremely famous ghost photo has been well covered over the years in magazines and more recently done to death on the Internet :0). In fact it is often classified as the "worlds most famous ghost photo", which may be true!.

To this day there has been no reliable evidence to show whether it was a hoax or it was a true ghost picture. Although it is claimed that various "experts" have looked at the negative and declared that it's genuine and untampered with, I can find no evidence of who these experts where (apparently from Country Life Magazine). It is up to you to decide if it you believe it's real or a very long running hoax.

The two photographers mentioned above reported seeing the ghost as a "misty form" descending the staircase. Having already completed one exposure and fully prepared for another they managed to capture this amazing photograph as they watched the ghost themselves. The full report of the ghostly encounter was reported in Country Life Magazine.

Although the photo appears to be a relatively easy double exposure trick, the question is still asked today. Why would two well known photographers, with an extremely good reputation want to fake a ghost photo? Their reputation alone make it highly improbable that they would do such a thing. But maybe they did, only they know the truth on this matter.
The other unusual thing is that the ghost was seen before the photo was taken, most paranormal photos aren't discovered till after the film has been developed, photographers do not usually get the opportunity to see a ghost, photograph it and have such a perfect image of it appear on film.

THE GHOST OF DOROTHY WALPOLE?

Dorothy WalpoleThe ghost seen in the photo is reportedly that of Lady Dorothy Walpole (Left) who once lived at Raynham Hall.

Born in 1686 she "officially" died of smallpox in 1726.

She was the sister of Sir Robert Walpole who was considered to be Englands first Prime-minister.

Her father refused consent for her to marry her first love, Second Viscount Townshend, however they were married much later on after the death of Townshend's first wife, but by this stage Dorothy had been deeply embroiled in an affair with a very much in debt Lord Wharton. Quite scandalous in those days!

Upon learning of his new wife's previous misconduct he ordered that she be kept locked in her apartments at Raynham Hall. She died at the age of 40, on 29th March, 1726. Her death was officially reported being of smallpox but many believe she died of either a broken heart or a broken neck after being pushed down the grand staircase.

It is thought that her ghost still walks the staircase looking for her 5 children which she was also parted from by her husband after he learned of her affair.

THE BROWN LADY

The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall has been seen quite a few times over the years. She is called the "Brown Lady" due to the brown brocade dress that the ghost has often been seen wearing while wandering the halls and staircase of Raynham Hall.

1849 - Major Loftus and a friend named Hawkins saw the ghost one night after retiring to bed. They both saw the woman and were amazed by the old fashioned clothing that she wore. The following night the Major was lucky enough to see the figure once again, this time he took note of her empty eye-sockets. The incident resulted in several members of staff resigning and a full investigation being done of Raynham Hall involving local detectives.

1926 - Lady Townshend encountered the Brown Lady on the staircase. She had never heard the tales of the resident ghost and swore that it resembled the portrait of Dorothy Walpole.

Cptn. MarryatAuthor Captain Marryat had a close encounter with the Brown Lady in 1936. He asked to stay in the room in which the Brown Lady was said to appear. After talking to two young guests that night and joking about a gun they were carrying protecting them from the Brown Lady, while walking back to their rooms along a corridor. They suddenly came face to face with a ghostly female figure advancing towards them, carrying a lamp. Captain Marryat recognised the woman as the woman in the portrait hung in his room. The three men noted that the woman was wearing a brown brocade dress. She passed by the three men and looks straight at them "in such a diabolical manner" that they became extremely frightened. Captain Marryat then pulled the trigger of the gun firing at the brown lady. The Bullet went straight through the ghostly figure and was later found in a door behind where she had been seen.

George IV also had a ghostly encounter with the Brown Lady, it is said that it frightened him out of his wits when he woke in the middle of the night to see the ghost standing at the foot of his bed. He immediately left with the comments "I will not spend another hour in this accursed house, for tonight I have seen that which I hope to God I never see again".

The Duke of Monmouth, two ghostly children and a ghost of a cocker spaniel are also reported to haunt Raynham Hall.

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