9 Jul 2010
Last hanged woman's ghost haunts Penn, author says
SHE was the last woman ever hanged in Britain and she could still be haunting a churchyard in Penn.
Or so a paranormal researcher believes.
Author and photographer Eddie Brazil, 54, has been researching for his book about haunted churches around England.
His work has led to him to the idea that the ghost of Ruth Ellis – who was executed in 1955 – may be returning to the site where she murdered her lover David Blakely.
The first tale of ghostly apparitions comes from a Penn farm worker who was killed when he fell from his horse in the 18th century.
His ghost was said to appear up in the churchyard.
In 1980s the figure of a woman in white was seen to leave the churchyard by the east gate and walk down the hill which runs by the side of the churchyard.
Hazlemere resident Eddie explained: “Nobody knows the identity of the apparition but the Crown Public House across the road - they have a woman in white.
“We found out that David Blakely, who was murdered by Ruth Ellis, is buried in Penn churchyard, – and they used to drink in the crown pub.
“She told Blakely's parents that she loved him and ghost identification is a weird business.
“We thought could it be the ghost of Ruth Ellis still pining for Blakely?”
Eddie said he is a believer in ghosts and thinks eventually science may prove their existence.
“It's my opinion that ghosts do exist. There's a theory gaining ground on the scientific table in the last few years called non-locality theory which suggests mind and brain are separate, that the mind acts through the brain, but when you have bodily death the mind or consciousness can carry on in some from.
“The analogy would be like a television or radio signal which requires the nuts and bolts of the television to convert the sounds and pictures.
“If you were to destroy the TV or radio i.e have bodily death you wouldn't destroy the signal or consciousness.”
Eddie, who had his first paranormal experience at age of 10 in London, wants to hear from Buckinghamshire residents about their own sightings and stories – not just about churches – but all paranormal activity.
E-mail him at email@example.com.
Eddie's book, including the tale of Ruth Ellis, will be published next year.
Eddie co-wrote recently published The Borley Rectory Companion, the complete guide to the most haunted house in England, with colleague Paul Adams and veteran British ghosthunter, Peter Underwood.