Black Monk House: England's Most Violent Poltergeist Haunting

Behind The Black Monk House: The Horrifying History of England’s Most Violent Poltergeist Haunting

blackmonkhouse

Years before sensational tales of Amityville’s blood-dripping walls or the Enfield Poltergeist’s floating toys hit the newspapers, the Black Monk Haunting was terrifying England. What transpired behind the doors of 30 East Drive in the Pontefract would go down in history as one of the most violent instances of poltergeist activity of all time.

resize_Eggs-floated-and-dropped(Photo credit: 30 East Drive

In 1966, Joe Pritchard, his wife Jean and her mother Sarah, and their two children, Diane and Phillip, moved into the little home and almost immediately the family began experiencing a series of strange events that ranged from spontaneously-manifesting wet puddles on the kitchen floor, to a mysterious white powder that could be witnessed falling from mid-air. As time went on, the strange phenomena became more and more pronounced, with the Pritchards even witnessing a heavy chest of drawers regularly sway back and forth.

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2nd-room(Photo credit: 30 East Drive

At first, most of the poltergeist’s antics were almost humorous, if not slightly gross and a bit annoying. Strange green foam would sometimes flow from the bathroom taps, potted plants would pull themselves up by their roots and toss themselves down the stairs, and on more than one occasion, a pair of fur-covered women’s gloves began to float around the home, interacting with people and objects as if an invisible person was wearing them.

The family named the entity Fred, though it was the local press that dubbed him “Mr. Nobody” in 1968. These nicknames would pale in comparison to the sinister name that would be given to the spirit later on.

resize_Fred-often-stands-here(Photo credit: 30 East Drive

Though the activity in the home was often sporadic, sometimes disappearing for months at a time, the family spent their last few years at 30 East Drive battling the entity, which they began to believe was demonic. During those final years, the activity became even more pronounced, with objects that lifted themselves into the air, booming crashes emanating from the floorboards and one now-famous incident that involved a series of upside-down crosses manifesting on the walls.

Though the Pritchards had reached out to the Catholic church and brought in a priest to perform a series of exorcisms on the house, none of their attempts to snuff out the mysterious activity seemed to work. In fact, it seemed as if their efforts were only angering the restless spirit that haunted their home.

resize_Monk-seen(Photo credit: 30 East Drive

Joe and Jean were the first family members to actually come face-to-face with the entity, who appeared to the married couple as a terrifying cloaked shadow floating over their bed. The spirit almost appeared to be dressed in a monk’s robes, and the description stuck. The entity would soon be witnessed by the entire Pritchard family, as well as a handful of paranormal investigators.

Then just as quickly as it started, the activity ceased altogether.

resize_Pools-appeared-on-lino(Photo credit: 30 East Drive

Over the years there have been many theories about what happened behind the doors of 30 East Drive, and most importantly, why these strange events took place. Paranormal investigator Tom Cuniff spent many years researching the strange case, and discovered that between 1090 and 1539 there had been a priory located near the house, and even more interestingly, the town’s gallows had been situated directly across the street from where the house now sits.

resize_Bed-recently-trashed-by-Fred(Photo credit: 30 East Drive

During his digging, Cuniff found that there had been a Cluniac monk who’d been hung after having been convicted of raping and murdering a young girl. Interestingly enough, the murdered girl had been roughly the same age as Diane Pritchard was during the haunting. Cuniff theorized that the entity who had been tormenting the Prichard family, more specifically Diane, had been non-other than the Black Monk himself, which seemed to fit the family’s description.

Nick-Groff-and-Katrina-Weidman-from-Paranormal-Lockdown-Inside-Location-1024x768

Throughout the years, many ghost hunters have visited the Black Monk House to conduct their own paranormal investigations, but none have attempted to spend more than a few days inside the home… until now. This Halloween Paranormal Lockdown’s Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman are heading to 30 East Drive and conducting the world’s longest investigation in television history.  They’ll be sharing their findings on the 2-hour Halloween event airing on TLC this fall.

Maybe the Black Monk will return to show his face one more time.

REVIEW: Paranormal Lockdown’s Black Monk House Special is the scariest episode yet.


Let us know what you think about the upcoming investigation of the Black Monk House. If you’re looking for even more weird news, follow us on Twitter at @WeirdHQ or like us on Facebook!


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Dana Matthews

Dana Matthews

Co-founder, Editor, Writer at Week in Weird / Planet Weird
Managing editor, occult museum curator, and paranormal TV junkie, Dana has been actively investigating the strange and the unexplained for two decades. When she’s not telling ghost stories or penning articles about real haunted places, she's chasing mysteries with Planet Weird. Learn more about Dana.
Dana Matthews

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Come on round and I’ll put the kettle on…..

Went to the house on Sunday for investigation was quite quiet except for a gentleman that passed away in the bathroom

Wait, I’m confused. Did someone in your group die in the bathroom or was there a ghost in the bathroom (presumably a previous resident who died there)?

If the former, sorry for your loss! Very sad.
If the latter, did you get communication? How did you know it was him versus the other entity in the house?

They do realise that the place is not massively haunted don’t they? They would be lucky if they got anything. Someone been watching the fake Most Haunted shop haven’t they.

Creepy

I just want to say something about the picture in the mirror, it looks more like a little girl than it does a monk. Just my opinion.

Well it’s me. So stuff you.

Cool, I read about this place a year or so ago and was intrigued by all the (recent) activity people have experienced. Glad it has been opened up to investigators & I LOVE the fact that “theoretical physicists can visit for free” (per the house owner’s website). I wonder if any theoretical physicists have actually investigated the property? Maybe Nick and Katrina will bring one in with them, or in advance of them, just to compare findings? Just a thought. I’d love for Nick and Katrina to visit Inverness, Scotland (while they are across the pond). I recently read that… Read more »

If you are in contact with Sheldon Cooper, then let him know he can call in for a cuppa. I would love to ask Stephen Hawking, but I just don’t want any skid marks on the carpet.

omg I live cloes to that place raver u than me I love gost hunting but theres places u go and places u just don’t and that’s one god be with u and good lock

It does get a bit inconvenient at times. I was just trying to have a peaceful bath the other week, when the front door was opened and in came a right troop of noisy shites calling out “Is there anybody here? Knock twice for yes and once for no”. I thought are they having a laugh? I’ll give them something to laugh about. Twats.

This is a great show

This is great!!!!!!!!!

hail satan

it’s all shite nothing in there and the people that come are so ignorant takes the piss day in day out cars parked outside fuck off and don’t come back

You’re next.
Love, Monk x

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