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Due to the graphic nature of this haunted place, listener discretion is advised this episode includes dramatizations and mentions of violence, assault and murder. We advise extreme caution for children under 13. Neil's mother always told him his head was in the clouds. He examined every fairy ring for a spritz and searched for spirits around every turn.


It wasn't hard to imagine them lurking around a town like Klop Hill.


His favorite story was about the flying horse and unearthly white beast that could be seen on the old church path. Neil had never seen it, but he certainly gave it every opportunity to appear.


Neil didn't have many friends, so he tended to walk around alone a lot. His favorite walk was from High Street up to Old St. Mary's Church.


It wasn't long, maybe 30 minutes if you took your time. And for once the horse was there, a white stallion glittering in the afternoon sun.


There was a strange cold surrounding the animal, the kind that burned your nose and reddened your cheeks. But Neil knew an opportunity. When he saw one, he pulled out his phone to take a selfie with it. He lined up the shot, prepared to prove everyone wrong. His mother, his teachers and even that girl. He asked out.


Once he hit the button, the flash fired the camera, fell to the ground frame empty.


But for old St. Mary's Church looming at the top of the hill, the horse was gone and Neil was, too.


Welcome to The Haunted Places, a podcast original, I'm Greg Polson. Every Thursday, I take you to the scariest, eeriest, most haunted real places on Earth. You can find all episodes of haunted places for free on Spotify and every Tuesday, make sure to check out urban legends. These special episodes of Haunted Places are available exclusively on Spotify this week. Join me on a supernatural journey to old St. Mary's Church in Klop Hill, England. The ruins of this church from the 13th hundreds became a magnet for vandalism and a cult activity in the 1960s and have earned the nickname Black Magic Church.


Discover why to this day it's haunted. We climb up the hill to the old ruins after this high haunted places, listeners. Did you enjoy last year's daily Urban Legends series then? We have good news. Urban Legends has been running as a weekly bonus series exclusively on Spotify. Check the Haunted Places Feed for a new Urban Legends episode every Tuesday hitched a ride on a haunted bus, unravel the ribbon tied around a mysterious woman and be sure to follow haunted places on Spotify to get all new urban legends episodes every week.


Klop Hill, Bedfordshire is a rural town of about 2000 people just over an hour drive north from London. It doesn't get many tourists or at least not tourists the villagers want. If you're visiting Klop Hill, you're likely headed to Britain's Black Magic Church, otherwise known as old St Mary's Church. This sinister locale is a Gothic chapel that dates back to at least the 14th century. Some say the whole town of Klop Hill used to be built around old St.


Mary's High on a hill. Legend has it that the townspeople moved to the valley in order to escape the black death, leaving the city locked in the church to die. St. Mary's is entirely made up of sandstone and was either built or renovated in the Gothic style, though it's not very large. A tall tower stands at the west end of the church, offering a sprawling view of the valley below. In 1848, a new St.. Mary's was built in town to account for the growing size of Klop Hill.


Old St. Mary's was converted to a mortuary chapel while its graveyard remained in use. It was this graveyard that would lead to St.. Mary's infamy when a young man decided to attempt necromancy. The sleepy town of Klop Hill rarely saw a tragedy, but James found that living there was tragic enough. He felt the borders of the village closing in on him on a daily basis. His parents promised that the world would open up after he passed is a level exams, but a year felt like a lifetime away.


Though he was only 15, he was ready to experience the excitement of big city living. He wanted to find out who he was, and he feared he'd never escape the doldrums of Klop Hill. Then Margaret blew into his life like a thunderstorm on a warm summer night.


Her parents moved her from the city to this sleepy town to keep her out of trouble. But Margaret was trouble in white by high boots and a perfect blonde bob the very spirit of 1963. She was the most interesting person to ever enter Klop Hill, and James went out of his way to get in her good graces. He did her homework, drove her everywhere she wanted to go.


It made sure that she never paid for anything. They hadn't kissed yet.


So he was pretty sure he wasn't Margaret's boyfriend. But he had asked her to run away to London and she didn't say no.


So maybe there was hope. James loved the idea of the two of them strutting down Carnaby Street. For once in his life. He'd be one of the interesting ones. But life had other plans. A thunderstorm really was the perfect description for Margaret, her anger would come on suddenly violent and full of bluster, she would rain down insults and accusations.


Then she'd act as if it hadn't happened at all. James couldn't recall what the fight in his car was about, maybe dinner or his bad driving. It was stupid and probably his fault.


The last thing he remembered was Margaret screaming at him as she grabbed the steering wheel midterm.


James woke up in the hospital several days later, he told the police that he'd swerved to avoid hitting a stray cat. They believed him well enough. It helped that he couldn't get through his sentences without crying after they told him the news. Margaret was dead and so was James's hopes for the future. He missed her. He ached for her. He wanted her back. He knew his love alone would not be enough to bring her back to life. But after months of searching, James found a strange old book that promised to do just that.


When the clock struck 11, James headed into the dark cemetery to reclaim Margaret's body. He dug until his arms ached.


His face was streaked with dirt and sweat. Finally, the shovel hit the wood of her coffin. The lid wouldn't give easily. But James dug his fingers in between the seams of the lid and pulled with all of his might with a stiff creep.


The lid came off. Bugs crawled across Margaret's body, and half of her face had been crushed on impact.


But she was still the most beautiful woman he'd ever seen. James lifted her from the coffin, then struggled to carry both her and the shovel as he walked up the hill to old St. Mary's. They wouldn't be disturbed there. More importantly, St. Mary's had the other supplies he needed over 600 years of history, just waiting to be tapped. James left Margaret's body in the entryway. He moved over to the ancient graveyard and brought a shovel down hard on a tombstones covering the shovel bounced back, sending him back to the ground.


James took a deep breath and tried again. The next stone wouldn't give either. He went down the line, failing again and again. But then fate lent him a hand. As he brought his shovel down the very last grave, the stone cracked.


He kept going until he finally hit the coffin. The wood was rotten and he only had a tap on it with a shovel once for the thing to fall in. James thanked Jenny no stone as he collected her bones. She was 22 when she died in 1770, and she looked good for her age. If James is going to draw power from the remnants of someone else's life, he thought using a girl around Margaret's age had a certain poetry to it.


He hoped Jenny was just as spirited as Margaret and her own 1770 way.


James Carey, Jennys bones inside the ruins of the church, parts of the building were crumbled while other areas remained eerily intact. It seemed God wasn't entirely ready to let go of this building, and that was why James needed to be here. He would enlist God to help him, whether he wanted to or not. James arranged the bones in the circle several feet away. He laid out cockerel feathers and planted a small stake in the exposed ground. When he was sure it was stable, he placed Jenny's skull on top of it.


James dug in his backpack to get the white paint. He dipped his hand in a thick, pale liquid and dragged it along the church's stone walls and interlocking lines. While he painted the simple, he told Margaret about everything she'd missed. He couldn't wait to see her again, to hear her wry digs at the small town. This would be the most interesting thing to ever happen here. They would be infamous. He drew a large eye in the wall, eyelashes curled like Margaret's.


It watched him as he continued his preparations and he could feel the air crackle with possibility. He reverently and lifted Margaret from the entry and carried her to the circle of bones. He kissed her mottled forehead and placed her inside the circle. He stepped outside of it and began to chant. The stone walls started to rumble. James heard a soft crack, but he wasn't sure if it was just the wind or if the magic was actually working. But then a storm erupted, lightning cracked, rain poured through the open ceiling.


The ground shook and Margaret stood on. James lost his words as he took in the sight of her bugs, swarmed around her head, skin hung loosely off one side of her face as lightning lit up the crumbling church, Margaret's eyes looked hollow and black. James's voice trembled as he called out her name. Margaret didn't appear to recognize him at all, but he knew that face, the eyebrow quivering, the jaw clenching. It was her angry face.


And while James feared her anger so much in life, now he was thrilled to see it again.


Margaret lurched forward.


James tried to catch her gallantly and return her embrace. But this was no happy reunion, for death had only made her angrier.


Her hands gripped his neck and squeezed. He tried to pull away, but she Dugher fingers further into his flesh. The world started to disappear around him. They stayed locked in the rain for minutes.


Or maybe it was hours. James lost sense of everything. All he saw was a violet tinged world that he was trying desperately to hold on to a world and a memory of the stormy girl he loved. Finally, James gave in to Margaret Sanger, just as he always had the fight left his body, and when she released him, he crumpled into the dirt. Right after that, Margaret fell to change.


The spell had not been built to survive him. The church was still except for the rain which flooded down to turned the ground into a muddy mess.


James and Margaret sank deeper and deeper into the muck, reunited at last and stuck in Cornhill forever. After the new St. Mary's Church in Klop Hill was finished in the mid 1980s, old St. Mary's was used less and less and the property fell into disrepair. The path to reach it was severely damaged by 1988, and a group of thieves stripped, led from the roof in 1956, advancing the decay that had already taken hold on March 16th, 1963, the Bedfordshire police were called to old St.


. Mary's after two young boys discovered the skeleton of Jennie Hummerston arranged in a magic circle. The walls were covered in occult symbols and cockerel feathers were strewn about the place.


The mysterious incident made national headlines, and St.. Mary's became known as Britain's Black Magic Church. This newfound popularity and the difficulties of keeping the church secure resulted in old St.. Mary's being officially closed in 1972. The graveyard was leveled and the markers were taken away and the Bedfordshire County Council acquired it in 1977. But if you think being decommissioned was going to dampen old St Mary's dark spirit, you'd be dead wrong. Up next, Saint Mary's hungers for new blood listeners.


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Church is notable for many reasons, like the black magic that was apparently practiced there after it was abandoned. The church and its run down path became a frequent target for vandals, mischief makers and maybe even some actual cultists. But the locals knew that the necromancy was only the tip of the supernatural iceberg, an old church path. Most ghosts knew they were dead and they wanted you to know it, too. Some were lonely, some were angry, all of them wanted Lucie's attention.


It never stopped. Even when she was relaxing at home with her husband, Thomas, she'd enlisted the assistance of several priests who regularly bless their home. But that didn't shield them from reporters banging at their door inquiring about the Anfield Poltergeist or Amityville or some other spook of the week.


Lucy was a well-respected medium, but she wasn't looking for fame or fortune, she just wanted to help people through what scared them 90 percent of the time she could reassure them that the strange groans in their homes were the result of faulty plumbing. Sometimes it really was something special. But Lucy had never met a spirit she couldn't reason with. Not yet, anyway. Thomas always said Lucy worked too much. He begged you to take a holiday with him. He was a math teacher and neither of them made much money.


So a road trip was the best option. And the small town of Claypoole seemed as good a place as any to stop for a bite.


Lucy was debating with Thomas as to whether he needed to sample every meat pie when the whispers started quiet at first, then more insistent.


Lucy did her best to ignore them, but Thomas could see her distress. He asked her if they should get a room for the night so she could rest. Lucy knew getting out of town would be better, but her headache too much for a drive. Once again, her work was making it impossible for them to spend time together as a couple when they got to a local in. Lucy asked the innkeeper if there were any old buildings around or any tragic events.


He said the old church on the hill was haunted. Thomas winced as he heard this, for he knew what was coming next.


Lucy grasped Thomas's hand and asked if he would go with her to the church in the morning. Maybe someone needed help. His smile turned a bit more genuine. When she looked at him, he said yes, she nuzzled his nose and they headed upstairs. As they settled in for the night, Lucy asked the spirits to be gentle. She could withstand a lot, but Thomas was swallowing his disappointment to visit the old church with her. If they could keep that in mind, she would appreciate it.


In the morning, Lucy and Thomas headed up the hill together, they're held hands walking as they climbed. The ruins of the old church are almost picturesque, even with the roof missing. There was a charm to it. Lucy's hand skimmed the stones, appreciating the centuries old architecture. Some of it had been replaced, but there were glimmers of its past everywhere, glimmers that shifted and moved on their own. Lucy shook her head. It had already begun.


The spirits were impatient. She spoke softly under her breath, reminding them of her ask. Lucy would be more than happy to help them in whatever way she could, as long as they were kind to Thomas. He was walking the length of the church, trailing his fingers on all of the stones. Lucy watched him quietly, reassuring herself that he would be all right. Thomas turned around with a playful smile on his lips. It died as soon as he saw Lucy.


She asked him why he looked so alarmed. He told her that he just felt her hand on his back. But Lucy was on the other side of the room. Lucy jogged to Thomas, her goosebumps rising. He said he felt a chill in the air. Lucy knew something could be hiding there, something that wanted to hurt him. She didn't want to worry him with their thoughts, so she only told Thomas a partial truth. She saw nothing in the corner.


Thomas didn't know that Lucy only saw spirits when they wanted to be seen. It was something that she should have told him years ago. But Lucy feared that if he knew, he'd never feel safe with her again. A strange shape blinked at her from another corner, she tugged Thomas to the other side of the ruins, then bent down to recover the artifact that had called to her so strongly. It was a doll with Xs for eyes and a red ribbon around her throat.


Thomas joked that he wouldn't want to meet the child that owned this doll, Lucy, bitter tongue. He couldn't see that the child was standing in the corner.


The ghostly girl wore the same Victorian outfit as the doll.


Her eyes were hollow and her skin was a sickly grey blood dripped from her hands onto the floor.


Still, the girl smiled and stepped forward. Thomas doubled over in pain, Lucy's stomach clenched with anxiety, too.


It was an old trick, a sign from a ghost that a guest wasn't wanted. Lucy rubbed circles in his back, telling him the girl couldn't hurt them. She heard Thomas's breath catch get a small and confused voice. He said he didn't understand what girl Lucy squeezed his shoulder, vowing to keep the spirits away.


The girl stepped closer and Thomas winced again. Lucy guided Thomas away from the corner to the centre of the room. The little girl in the Victorian clothes followed Lucy trying to introduce herself to bridge the gap. The little spirit just stuck her tongue out at her. Instantly, Thomas collapsed and started to convulse. The Victorian girl stared at Thomas and began to chant with the terrible hungry look in her eyes. Lucy's heart pounded, she never should have brought Thomas, he went stiff as his eyes rolled back in his head, but he still called for Lucy to help.


Lucy gripped his hand tightly, trying to keep her own nausea at bay as his wrist bones jutted out to pierce through his skin. The Victorian girl raised her voice to yell the words coming so quick they were unintelligible. Thomas's body lifted to levitate off the ground, and Lucy tried desperately to pull him back down. She screamed at the girl to stop this. They had an agreement and she would help her. The only thing she needed was for her to leave Thomas alone.


She would give anything for that to happen, anything. The girl closed her mouth and smiled again, satisfied? Thomas fell to the ground, his bones pulled back inside his body, the gashes they left behind closing, he whimpered in distress about the agony seemed to fade with his wounds. Even with all she'd seen, Lucy couldn't believe her eyes. She clutched. Thomas says sunlight hit his ashen face. She looked up to the sky and thanked the ghost for leaving her love alone.


She promised to come back the next day and help her. Thomas eyes fluttered open. Lucy stroked his hair tenderly and told him it was over. But it wasn't quite Lucy who spoke. She heard her own voice, but it was layered with a darker, crueler tone. She tried to warn Thomas, but no words left her lips. As Lucy realised her voice wasn't hers anymore, she heard a girlish laugh echo in the dark recesses of her mind.


The little girl or the thing that had borrowed the face of one, smiled at Lucy's bewildered husband. Her name was Sophie, and she was very pleased to make Thomas's acquaintance.


The villages of Klop Hill claimed to have seen many different spirits in the church ruins and on the old church path leading up to them. These local legends led to various paranormal investigations in the 1970s, a schoolmaster from the town of Dunstable and discovered a cross bound with reeds that was buried beneath where the altar once stood. A doll covered in symbols was also unearthed, along with two skeletons and the coffin nameplate of a woman named Sophia Mendham, who passed in 1893.


This particular credence to the rumor that a ghost called Sophie haunted the church, though until that point, no one could say how they knew her name. The specter of a murdered Victorian girl was reported by various psychic mediums in 2002. They also felt the presence of a man who wanted to follow them home. Visitors to old St. Mary's often report a feeling of being watched. Many have also felt nauseous or pushed away, getting an instinctual feeling they weren't welcome.


Investigator Damian O'Dell describes old St Marys as one of only two instances where I have genuinely felt a presence of evil.


Coming up, a photo shoot at the Black Magic Church goes horribly wrong.


Now back to the story of old St. Mary's Church in Klop Hill became known as the Black Magic Church after evidence of an occult ritual was left there in 1963. The medieval chapel was already in decline and frequent visits from onlookers and would be a cultist didn't help matters. In 1975, more remains were removed from the tombs and scattered around the area, along with the beheaded statue of the Virgin Mary, St.. Mary's reputation made it the perfect set for a rowdy post punk bands album photo shoot, and the spirits were all too eager to get their close up to.


But to Dave's, we're really excited about a photo shoot at the Black Magic Church, but Feighan may weren't so enthused. It was just like our front man and lead guitarist to get excited about an occult chapel while their poor drummer and bass player fretted about poltergeists and unstable Gothic architecture. Dave P. told the women to relax as Dave S. insisted that this place was perfect for their new album covers aesthetic. Dave asked me to picture it. The Red Bleeders Queen's Gothic scrawled across a creepy picture.


Thig laughed and called him a hack, and it seemed another one of the band's legendary fights was brewing in the driver's seat, Thigs girlfriend Peggy sighed. She didn't really want to be there, but she had a camera, a car and an artistic vision for shooting their album cover at Golden Hour. After the band knocked back a few too many pints at a local pub called The Flying Horse, Peggy drove them up the old church path and her beat up Volkswagen Beetle.


They were already losing the light when the Gothic ruins came into view, so Peggy quickly ushered the half drunk band out of the car and into the church.


Peggy had to work fast to capture the last of the chiaroscuro before the clouds took over. She posed pfeg in the middle. She insisted it was because of her height. But really, it was because she was the prettiest Mae stood to fix right while the Daves posed to her left. But no matter how much Peggy adjusted Davis, she couldn't get the shadows off of him.


She turned him to the window again and again. He claimed he wasn't moving. But each time she returned to look through her camera, he looked like a black hole or a chart corpse. Frustrated, Peggy told him to take a break.


She loaded a new roll of film as Mae and the Dade's swig from a flask. Peggy tried not to be too obvious as she watched Fig, who was asking a cigarette against the church walls. Fig was a rebel, but Peggy pounded cute no matter how hard she tried not to. Dissatisfied with the light. Peggy decided to move the band outside the massive empty window frame, but let more light in. The boys helped lift me up onto the ledge while Fig pulled herself up.


They got into positions that screamed cool but aloof. And Peggy began to shoot. But the shadows lingered. She wished for a moment that black leather wasn't considered quite so punk. The group's outfits blended into the raven black darkness behind and above them. The cloud cover wasn't even that heavy. So why did Peggy subjects look so dark through her viewfinder? Peggy s thing to come over and look. But when Fink stepped out of the frame, the shadows were gone.


Peggy wondered if she was seeing things, but then she looked over at her girlfriend. Thig shadow was longer than it should have been. Peggy leapt back and nearly crashed into Dave Peh, who had come over to check on them. She pointed to the shadow. Dave laughed and offered to stand beside fake their shadows for the same height. They switched positions. The shadows stayed the same. A freaked out Mae said they needed to leave. But Davis asked Peggy if she had gotten the shot.


She wanted to say yes, but she was a professional. She confessed that she hadn't and suggested doing another shoot on some other day at some other rural ruin. But Davis was annoyed they'd driven an hour and would have to drive an hour back.


He was about to launch into one of his classic diatribes.


When PFEG vomited, Peggy rushed to her side as thig heaved again and collapsed. She started muttering in some odd language that Peggy had never heard before. Thig hurled Bildad blood between every strange growled word.


Dave said they should let her lie down while Deep s held out his tape recorder to sample thigs Krantz for their next track, Peggy snapped at him and jangled her car keys. They were leaving now.


Peggy drove down the path as quickly as she could, taking care to avoid the rough terrain in the back. Thig sat across Bay and the Dave's laps and alternated between chanting and singing. Peggy had been dragged to enough masses to know the tune of Low. He comes with clouds descending, but Figgs cover of the hem was garbled, reversed.


Peggy pushed down on the accelerator as they reached a relatively straight stretch. Suddenly, a white horse walked onto the road and she slammed on the brakes.


The old beetle rattled and protest, but it managed to stop before colliding with the stunning animal. Peggy didn't know what to do. Even the Dave stopped talking to stare at the pale horse. Peggy whispered softly to Fig that they would be at the doctor soon. But then she realized she didn't hear retching. Big was gaping at the stallion. Eerily still, Peggy asked Big if she was all right to answer. Her vague began to sing, but it was intelligible this time beautiful.


Even the horse locked eyes with Peggy. Then it turned and trotted down the lane.


Big started to reach again, and Peggy made a split second decision. She hit the gas following the horse. Peggy didn't understand exactly how the animal was helping, but she didn't care. The horse rounded a curve in the road. Peggy Rush to follow. As she looped around the trees, she realized they were back in Copperhill proper, far away from the unsettling darkness at old St. Mary's. After leading them to safety, the horse had vanished. But happily, so had Figgs chilling song.


Peggy looked back at me and the Daves in the back seat. They were stunned, but things seemed fine. Healthy colour bloomed across her cheeks as she rustled dinner jacket for a cigarette. Peggy asked Fig if it was OK to go home. Fig nodded and shot her girlfriend, a grateful smile. Then Peggy and the red bleeders sped off into the dark. In 1979, a British post punk band called U.K. Decay traveled to claw pill to shoot a cover for their EP.


The Black 45, they got the shots but were spooked by the experience and reportedly ran back to their car in terror as they made their way back. They came face to face with Pils famous, ghostly white horse, which disappeared as soon as they rounded a bend in the road. The white horse is a common sighting on the roads of Clomp Hill and the Hill above. In fact, he's so well known that a local pub, The Flying Horse, is named after him.


The members of UK Dekay reported several incidents of bad luck in the months that followed their fateful photo shoot.


Still, they use the photo for the cover of the EP when it was released in 1980. There's a marked awkwardness to the picture as the four musicians stand in the now empty casement's that once held the massive Gothic window. They're trying to look cool, but there's a stiffness that one wouldn't expect from these counterculture rebels. Despite their toughness, it's clear they're ready to run. Nowadays, old St. Mary's Church tries to avoid the black magic title. There are eco lodges beside the ruins that tourists can use as a base for hiking, biking and exploring the ample nature that surrounds the small town.


The church has been purged of its graffiti and volunteers lead tours to the top of the tower. But the rumors persist. Paranormal websites abound with reports of mysterious lights, smoke and shadows that old St..


Mary's, a local legend, holds that two reporters fell asleep while staking out the church and discovered photos on their memory cards of them sleeping soundly.


In 1996, a young photographer was alarmed to discover that a strange motorcyclist she'd chatted with at the church bore an eerie resemblance to a biker who had died in an accident near Klop Hill long before they met. Had the so-called Black Magic Churches connections with necromancy trapped spirits who should have moved on? Are the rumors of the rituals true? There's no real way to know. Unless you call on the spirits of St Mary's yourself, you'll have to bring your own skull.


Though Jennys is now buried under eight tons of earth near the church entrance, the spirits at St. Mary's aren't too friendly. But they might take kindly to you if you bring them new bones to play with.


Or maybe they'll just want to play with your bones instead. Thanks again for tuning into haunted places. We'll be back on Thursday with a new episode. And don't forget to come back on Tuesday for our Urban Legends series available only on Spotify. You can find more episodes of Haunted Places and all other podcast originals for free on Spotify, not only to Spotify. Already have all of your favorite music, but now Spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite podcast originals like Haunted Places for free from your phone desktop or smart speaker to stream hard hit places on Spotify.


Just open the app, tap, browse and type haunted places in the search bar. I'll see you next time, Haunted Places was created by Max Cutler and as a podcast studio's original executive producers include Max and Ron Cutler, Sound Design by Kenny Hobbs with production assistance by Ron Shapiro, Carly Madden and Isabella Way. This episode of Haunted Places was written by Little Deridder and Jennifer Rachet with Writing Assistants by Greg Castro. I'm Greg Pulsing. Hey, listeners, don't forget to follow blind dating for a fun twist on a classic set up YouTube and host Tara Michelle can't wait to help Holtville singles meet their match, search blind dating and follow free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.


Don't forget to follow haunted places, ghost stories for the spookiest thrillers ever imagined, collected from all around the world and all throughout time. Murden brings a new story to life every Thursday, follow haunted places, ghost stories free on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.