Black Monk House: England's Most Violent Poltergeist Haunting

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


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.


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.


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!


Join the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and get awesome perks!

You must be logged in to post a comment Login