Sandringham's ghost worried staff so much that the Queen Mother arranged a religious service to cleanse it

Sandringham's ghost caused the royal residence's staff so much concern that an expert was called on to address the paranormal activity

The Queen and the Queen Mother sit in a carriage as they attend a service at Sandringham Church July 22, 2001 in Norfolk, England. Buckingham Palace announced March 30, 2002 that the Queen Mother has died. She was 101-years-old.
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Sandringham's ghost is said to have caused such a huge ruckus at the royal residence that the Queen Mother felt compelled to act. According to reports, the late royal even organized for a local Parson to hold a service there - which only she attended.


The Royal party at Sandringham. Left to right : King Edward VII (1841 - 1910), Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife (1867 - 1931), Queen Alexandra (1844 - 1925), Princess Victoria of Wales (1868 - 1935), Hon. Mrs Elizabeth Charlotte Knollys, Woman of the Bedchamber to Queen Alexandra, Princess Maud, later Queen of Norway (1869 - 1938), Prince Charles, later King Haakon VII of Norway (1872 - 1957), Mrs Joseph Chamberlain and Joseph Chamberlain.

(Image credit: W & D Downey/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In light of the long history held by the palaces and privately owned homes of the Royal Family, it's no surprise that some come along with tales of paranormal activity. Sandringham House isn't immune to this and according to reports, Sandringham's ghost caused such a stir that the Queen Mother called in the experts.

The story is detailed by veteran newspaper diarist and gossip Kenneth Rose in his personal diaries, which were published following his death in 2014. The diaries were released as books after he died, aged 89, and the second volume, titled Who Wins, Who Loses, included the ghoulish goings-on. Excerpts from the second volume shared in the Daily Mail (opens in new tab), describe the incident that's said to have happened the summer preceding January 2001.

The Queen (later the Queen Mother, 1900 - 2002) leads her family on a tour of Sandringham Park, which has been turned over to agricultural production in aid of the war effort, August 1943. With the queen are (left to right): King George VI (1895 - 1952) and princesses Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and Margaret (1930 - 2002).

(Image credit: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

"Prue Penn [the Queen Mother’s lady-in-waiting] tells me that at Sandringham in the summer, the Queen invited her to attend a little service in one of its rooms conducted by the local parson," reads the diary entry. "The only other person present was the Queen Mother."

Kenneth added that some of the servants had complained about the room, saying it was haunted, and that they refused to work in it. At the Queen Mother's behest, the local parson investigated the rooms of the home. "The parson walked from room to room and did indeed feel some sort of restlessness in one of them."

It transpired that the room in question had been specially adapted into a bedroom for Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's late husband, King George VI, where his final months were spent before he died in 1952, of coronary thrombosis aged 56. 

Left to right: Queen Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, widow of King George VI, and Queen Mary at London King's Cross railway station for the arrival of the special train bringing the coffin of King George VI from Sandringham, 11th February 1952. The king's coffin will be drawn in procession to Westminster Hall, where it is to lie in state for three days before the funeral.

(Image credit: Mirrorpix / Contributor/Getty Images)

Despite the disturbances, it appears that the energy wasn't deemed malevolent as the religious ceremony held wasn't focused on expunging nasty spirits. "The parson held a service there, not exactly of exorcism," explained Kenneth, "which is the driving out of an evil spirit, but of bringing tranquillity. The congregation of three took Holy Communion and special prayers were said, I think for the repose of the King’s soul in the room in which he died."

The Queen Mother died at the age of 101, on March 30 2002, at Royal Lodge, Windsor. The Royal Family has never publicly addressed this story, which is one of many alleged paranormal incidences in the Norfolk home.

Prince Charles arm in arm with Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (1900 - 2002) at Sandringham. Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Margaret, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew all walk behind them.

(Image credit: Fox Photos/Getty Images)

In his book, Britain’s Ghostly Heritage (opens in new tab), author John West discussed the goings on at Sandringham. "Christmas cards move on mantlepieces, doors open on their own, lights turn on and off, and eerie footsteps have been reported at the Queen’s Norfolk retreat."

The author even claimed that King Charles had his own scary experience in his youth when, "he and the footman fled in terror from the library after they felt someone was chasing them."

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is Junior News Editor at woman&home.

She's an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly Aoife was a contributing writer at Bustle and her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica, EVOKE and her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, hot yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.