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St Mary's Church
To get to the ruins of St Mary's church, you must drive through Clophill village (coming from the A6 end), On high street. Roughly where the High Street becomes Shefford Lane you will find a small lane on the left. This lane is a public bridleway and just a dirt track, it winds up a slight hill to the church and eventually a farm.
The ruined church of St Mary's and the graveyard on top of the hill, was the scene of a supposed Satanic styled ritual, some say black magic ritual during the 1960's. In March 1963, the tomb of an 18th century apothecary's wife was broken into and the bones arranged ritualistically in the nave of the church. Again, on Midsummer's Eve 1969 graves were broken into and bones arranged. It was never discovered who had carried out these acts and for what purpose although it is thought that the (black mass) was involved.
Some text about the Church claim it is on Dead mans hill, this is not correct. Dead mans hill is on the A6 and was the scene for the infamous A6 murders.
To the locals who live within a 20 mile or so radius of the church ruins, it is well known as a place for Ghosts, Satanists, Witches and paranormal phenomena. As teenagers we would drive up there to spend a period of time trying to scare the living daylights out of ourselves.
In the Summer of 1993 I decided to find out for myself if there was any truth behind the rumours. I spent many nights there, while I will admit there is an almost oppressive atmosphere at the site I can honestly say I never saw anything out of the ordinary, except for one night.......
The time was 23:00, We suddenly saw a car coming up the lane to the church. The car parked in the small parking area outside the gates and a man then began walking towards us, we were sitting on the grass just outside the church to the south. As we got talking to the man and explaining why we were there, he told us he had something in his car that we might find interesting. He walked back to his car and a few minutes later came back to us holding a large wooden box, painted black. He said that he had to go and set something up and would be back in a few minutes. We could hear noises coming from inside the ruins, but within a few minutes the man was back, claiming he had just seen something inside the church. Playing along with him we got up to investigate. As we approached the church, suddenly for a split second there was a bright glow, only a glimpse, one moment there the next gone. After a bit of an investigation and finding nothing, we went back to the area where we were sitting and quizzed the man, trying to find out what the black box was. All he would say was that we would find out sooner or later, that it was something to do with ghost hunting. We found out that the man's name was Richard, he had been coming to this site for years and he'd done masses of research on the church, why it was abandoned and the general history of the site.
He claimed that amongst other things the church was built on the site of an old leper hospital and he had seen a hooded monk like figure walking on the lane. I never did find out the truth about the leper hospital, but we soon found out why the Monk comment was thrown into the conversation.

The time was 00:30, Richard had gone home more than 15 minutes earlier. Another car came up the lane, as the passengers got out of the car we could tell by the noise, it was a bunch of teenagers coming to do exactly what I used to do as a teenager. We decided to hide as we didn't want them to hassle us for the rest of the night. They were running about the ruins, attempting to climb the wall and generally just mucking about. Suddenly we could hear the sound of a hysterical girl, then all of a sudden, the teenagers were running back to the car and drove off in a blaze of gravel, dust and wheel spins down the lane. We came out from behind the hedge where we were hiding and began walking back to the ruins, as we approached we could hear Richard in fits of laughter. He had parked his car in the village and walked back up. We knew he had done something that had scared them, we didn't quite know how ingenious he had been……

It turned out, the Black wooden box was a battery-operated slide projector, he had placed it up in the bell tower and angled it to shine into the ruins of the church. The sheer cunning hadn't finished there, he had rigged the projector to work from a remote control. The remote control allowed him to change the slide, fade the image in and out and turn the whole lot on and off from a distance of more than 100 feet. He had briefly flashed across the wall a hooded monk like figure, this is what had scared the teenagers.
After this we were never to have another serious attempt at a ghost hunt on this site, however we did go back on many occasions to scare brave teenagers.

The ruins are still a place of attraction to many, especially on Halloween when hundreds of people can gather there.

Richard was to become a good friend of ours and over the next few years we were to go on several serious ghost hunts. He still visits the ruins regularly on many weekend nights............ so beware!
To get to the ruins of St Mary's church, you must drive through Clophill village (coming from the A6 end), On high street. Roughly where the High Street becomes Shefford Lane you will find a small lane on the left. This lane is a public bridleway and just a dirt track, it winds up a slight hill to the church and eventually a farm.
The ruined church of St Mary's and the graveyard on top of the hill, was the scene of a supposed Satanic styled ritual, some say black magic ritual during the 1960's. In March 1963, the tomb of an 18th century apothecary's wife was broken into and the bones arranged ritualistically in the nave of the church. Again, on Midsummer's Eve 1969 graves were broken into and bones arranged. It was never discovered who had carried out these acts and for what purpose although it is thought that the (black mass) was involved.
Some text about the Church claim it is on Dead mans hill, this is not correct. Dead mans hill is on the A6 and was the scene for the infamous A6 murders.
To the locals who live within a 20 mile or so radius of the church ruins, it is well known as a place for Ghosts, Satanists, Witches and paranormal phenomena. As teenagers we would drive up there to spend a period of time trying to scare the living daylights out of ourselves.
In the Summer of 1993 I decided to find out for myself if there was any truth behind the rumours. I spent many nights there, while I will admit there is an almost oppressive atmosphere at the site I can honestly say I never saw anything out of the ordinary, except for one night.......
The time was 23:00, We suddenly saw a car coming up the lane to the church. The car parked in the small parking area outside the gates and a man then began walking towards us, we were sitting on the grass just outside the church to the south. As we got talking to the man and explaining why we were there, he told us he had something in his car that we might find interesting. He walked back to his car and a few minutes later came back to us holding a large wooden box, painted black. He said that he had to go and set something up and would be back in a few minutes. We could hear noises coming from inside the ruins, but within a few minutes the man was back, claiming he had just seen something inside the church. Playing along with him we got up to investigate. As we approached the church, suddenly for a split second there was a bright glow, only a glimpse, one moment there the next gone. After a bit of an investigation and finding nothing, we went back to the area where we were sitting and quizzed the man, trying to find out what the black box was. All he would say was that we would find out sooner or later, that it was something to do with ghost hunting. We found out that the man's name was Richard, he had been coming to this site for years and he'd done masses of research on the church, why it was abandoned and the general history of the site.
He claimed that amongst other things the church was built on the site of an old leper hospital and he had seen a hooded monk like figure walking on the lane. I never did find out the truth about the leper hospital, but we soon found out why the Monk comment was thrown into the conversation.

The time was 00:30, Richard had gone home more than 15 minutes earlier. Another car came up the lane, as the passengers got out of the car we could tell by the noise, it was a bunch of teenagers coming to do exactly what I used to do as a teenager. We decided to hide as we didn't want them to hassle us for the rest of the night. They were running about the ruins, attempting to climb the wall and generally just mucking about. Suddenly we could hear the sound of a hysterical girl, then all of a sudden, the teenagers were running back to the car and drove off in a blaze of gravel, dust and wheel spins down the lane. We came out from behind the hedge where we were hiding and began walking back to the ruins, as we approached we could hear Richard in fits of laughter. He had parked his car in the village and walked back up. We knew he had done something that had scared them, we didn't quite know how ingenious he had been……

It turned out, the Black wooden box was a battery-operated slide projector, he had placed it up in the bell tower and angled it to shine into the ruins of the church. The sheer cunning hadn't finished there, he had rigged the projector to work from a remote control. The remote control allowed him to change the slide, fade the image in and out and turn the whole lot on and off from a distance of more than 100 feet. He had briefly flashed across the wall a hooded monk like figure, this is what had scared the teenagers.
After this we were never to have another serious attempt at a ghost hunt on this site, however we did go back on many occasions to scare brave teenagers.

The ruins are still a place of attraction to many, especially on Halloween when hundreds of people can gather there.

Richard was to become a good friend of ours and over the next few years we were to go on several serious ghost hunts. He still visits the ruins regularly on many weekend nights............ so beware!
All contents copyright 2017 Ian Black and paranormal-investigator.uk