A famous British haunted house. The story of the mill was reported in an early issue of the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research (vol. 5) in the 1880s. It was owned by a Mr. Proctor, who was quite used to the ghosts. The following extracts give some idea of the manifestations:
"When two of Mrs. Proctor's sisters were staying at the Mill on a visit their bed was suddenly violently shaken, the curtains hoisted up all round to their tester, and then as rapidly let down again, and this again in rapid succession. The curtains were taken off the next night, with the result that they both saw a female figure, of mysterious substance and of a greyish-blue hue, come out of the wall at the head of the bed and lean over them. They both saw it distinctly. They saw it come out of and go back again into the wall…. Mrs. Davidson's sister-in-lawhad a curious experience on one occasion. One evening she was putting one of the bedrooms aright, and, looking towards the dressing table, saw what she supposed was a white towel lying on the ground. She went to pick it up, but imagine her surprise when she found that it rose up, and went behind the dressing table over the top, down on the floor across the room, disappearing under the door, and was heard to descend the stairs with a heavy step! The noise which it made in doing so was distinctly heard by Mr. Proctor and others in the house."
The old mill foreman once saw a bald-headed, luminous figure at a window. The body was brilliant, diffusing radiance, then it turned bluish and gradually faded from the top down. One of the little girls living in the house said on one occasion: "There is a lady sitting on the bed in Mamma's bedroom. She has eyeholes but no eyes, and she looked so hard at me."
It was the opinion of Andrew Lang that the noises and apparitions at Willington Mill were a stimulus to the novelist Edward Bulwer Lytton in writing his famous supernatural story The Haunted and the Haunters.
Armitage, Harold. The Haunted and the Haunters by Lord Lytton, With an Introduction; and an Account of the Haunted House at Willington. London: Simpkin, Marshall, 1925.