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The Legend of Harwill House

Dan Hyler, UK
August 2003

Legend has it that there is an old abandoned Mental hospital in rural England called Harwill House. It closed down in the 1970's due to local protestors. The nurses and patients may have all moved on although the spirits of this ancient house still remain.

The Harwill House that still stands today was originally built as a small hospital to care for the surrounding villages. However after the second world war is was specially converted into a mental asylum.

The house was built in 1887 but there were many buildings that stood there before it including schools and doctors surgeries. In the medieval times this area was totally covered by dense forest which housed many Satanic cults who often sacrificed one of their children to the devil. Just to finish off this intro underneath there are a maze of secret tunnels which, when the institute was in use was used as a morgue... here is the legend...


In 1960 there lived a young woman in the surrounding village of Hartenfield (Harwill House is on the outskirts of a tiny village named Fernewood) anyway this young woman was just 23 and her name was Marjorie Pickbourne she had just married a local farmer named Ismael.

The couple lived happily for a year but it was later discovered that Marjorie couldn't have children. Ismael pretended that he was O.K with but after a while the pressure of it got to him he needed someone to pass all his farming land onto. So one night in the summer of 1962 Ismael & Marjorie attended the midsummers ball in Fernewood however after about an hour Marjorie complained that she felt too hot and that she would like to go home.

Ismael had planned to discuss business with fellow farmers so he walked his wife back home then returned to the ball alone. After all the farmers had left Ismael decided to have one last pint. The room was clear except for a very good looking young girl aged 21 Ismael had noticed her throughout the night but didn't pay much notice but now he saw her in fact he couldn't take his eyes off her. He approached her he didn't know why but he had an incredible urge to do so. "Hello" he exclaimed as she sat there silent. "Hello" he repeated, again no answer, she seemed to be ignoring him. Until she stood up and said Hello. Immediately Ismael knew that there was something bizarre about this woman. What's your name he asked. Shirley she replied cautiously. Then out of the blue she kissed him. straight away Ismael felt feelings of both excitement & shame. He felt extreme shame about the fact that he was enjoying the kiss but he couldn't stop thinking about poor Marjorie at home. That night Ismael and Shirley had sex in the toilet behind the village hall. When Ismael returned home that night Marjorie was fast asleep.

In the next 2 years Ismael began an affair with Shirley. Shirley loved Ismael but he wanted purely excitement. Shirley begged him to leave Marjorie but he said no a numerous amount of times.

A couple of months later at the 1965 midsummer ball out of a fit of jealousy Shirley told Marjorie everything, Ismael went ballistic and swore revenge on Shirley. The next day Shirley was found dead in a roadside ditch. The top suspect was without a doubt Ismael who proclaimed his innocence strongly.

Ismael was sentenced to life imprisonment for Shirley's murder. 3 months later Marjorie couldn't take being away from Ismael any longer and tried to take her own life but she failed. She was committed to the asylum in 1966 after many failed suicide attempts. In 1967 she escaped from Harwill House only to be captured again. During her stay at the house Marjorie was treated very badly by the cruel nurses. They kept her in a cage with only gruel to eat & water to drink. Legend has it that poor Marjorie starved to death in her isolated cage deep in the basements of Harwill House.

Many years later in 1995 during a tour of the house eerie noises were coming the front basement where Marjorie is said to have perished. But the events of the night of Halloween 2000 scared the living daylights of out of me.

It was 31st October 2000 and I lived in the city of Nottingham in central England roughly 10 kilometers away from the village of Fernewood. Anyway it was Halloween night and my friends and I were looking for a cheap scare. So Mick suggested that we drove up to Harwill House to see if the legends were true. Luckily when we got up there a special Halloween ghost tour of the old building was going on so we each payed ?5 and joined the tour.

There were only about 2 other couples and my friends (a bunch of 6) so about 10 people on the tour.

About a quarter of a way through the tour my friends and I thought it would be funny if we purposefully lost the rest of the tour. So we lagged behind and successfully lost them. The old building is usually well lit but due to the atmosphere of the tour it was very dim. After about 10 minutes we all plucked up the courage to head down the St. Margarets staircase to the back basements. The tour rarely came down here so it was almost pitch black except for a faint eerie glow emitting from the walls. My friend Chris went first as we heading toward the front basement in single file, me at the back. We walked down a very long corridor with about 20 doors leading from it. We then moved into a large hall deep below Harwill House, the words MORGUE were written in black letters on the wall. We quickly exited that room and directly behind the Morgue door was a large room. We immediately knew that this was the front Basement of the house. Nothing here although the room had an eerie feeling there were absolutely no ghosts. Disappointed we left the room.

We closed the big iron front room door... THEN WE HEARD IT... A high pitched scream coming from inside the front basement we all froze in fear and as we ran towards the back basement we realised that there was undoubtedly something chasing us down the corridor. I was at the back and because I love the paranormal so much I just couldn't resist looking behind us... I wish I hadn't, what I saw was a thin evil looking woman floating towards us screaming very loudly. Her eyes were white then all of a sudden she stopped in her tracks and just watched us run away. We ran our of that house so fast.

Where my friends and I really chased by caged Marjorie that night? You decide!

Dan Hyler, UK
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