It’s those hidden extras that separate Wymering Manor from the rest of the property market. After all, how many homes can boast a ghostly choir of nuns who scuttle across the hall, and a host of unseen hands which reach out to touch those passing by?
The manor, said to be one of Britain’s most haunted houses, is up for auction this month and is expected to fetch around £375,000. Prospective buyers should be aware that they will need to spend at least £150,000 to restore it to its former glory. Nerves of steel would also be an advantage.
The eerie Grade II* listed building in Portsmouth is featured in the 1086 Domesday Book and was once home to Edward the Confessor. Its current structure dates back to the 16th century when it was used as a vicarage and monastery.
The building still has two ‘priest holes’ where Catholics hid to escape persecution. Investigators of the paranormal claim to have sensed the presence of between 20 to 30 spirits in the home, including those of children laughing and whispering.
The building has gained a reputation among ghost hunters for high levels of paranormal activity, including sudden drops in temperature and strange apparitions. A former resident, David Scanlan, found the living and the dead got along fine.
He said the spirits ‘seem to be quite nice and quite friendly and it’s almost like we get on with them and they tolerate us’.
The house has proved a draw for numerous groups keen to examine the veracity of paranormal activity
Jeremy Lamb, chartered surveyor at Andrews and Robertson, said: ‘This is a property of some renown for being haunted, so there is a fair chance a future owner may use it as a guest house because of the novelty factor attached to it.
‘It’s certainly a unique selling point and not often that we offer a haunted house. ‘When I surveyed it the security guards told me they feel there is something fairly spooky going on in the house.
‘Although they patrol it on a 24-hour basis because it attracts lots of people who are intrigued by its levels of paranormal activity, they refuse to work alone there at night.’
The manor was bought in the 1960s by Portsmouth City Council, which leased it to the Youth Hostel Association until 2006. It was then sold to a private organisation after the cost of the upkeep became too much for the council.
The purchasers intended to restore the manor and turn it into a hotel and function rooms, trading on the historic and paranormal links after a visit by the Most Haunted Live television programme in May 2006.
However, the development never took place and it was returned to the council. The building will go up for auction at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London on September 21 with a minimum guide price of £350,000.
The manor, which needs major structural work and restoration, boasts being the oldest house in Portsmouth, Hampshire and was mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086. In previous incarnations it has been a 17th century former vicarage, monastery and youth hostel.
Investigators of the paranormal claim to have sensed the presence of 20 spirits including those of children laughing and whispering
The building has gained a reputation among ghost hunters for having high levels of paranormal activity, including sudden drops in temperature and strange apparitions, and has appeared on TV’s Most Haunted.
It has also become a popular hit on YouTube with amateur documentary makers testing one another’s wits against the ghouls.
Tony Nicholas, head of asset management at Portsmouth City Council, says the money from its sale will be reinvested into services for Portsmouth people.
In 2007 Wymering Manor was granted permission for use as a hotel. The successful bidder will need listed building consent in addition to planning permission for any alterations, extensions or demolition works to its interior or exterior.
It will be offered by Andrews & Robertson at auction at London’s Grand Connaught Rooms on September 21.
Paranormal United acted as team leaders on an investigation of Wymering Manor on 1st August 2008 with Phil Whyman & David Wells ( See Photo Album )