Spooky stories from The College of Psychic Studies' resident ghosts

As a centre for mediumship training, it's little surprise that spirits are drawn to The College of Psychic Studies. We share our spookiest stories about our sweet but occasionally cheeky haunters.

By: The College of Psychic Studies.   Posted

Visitors to The College of Psychic Studies often comment on how peaceful it is. This calming quality is perhaps unsurprising, considering the decades of meditation and healing that have taken place within these walls. However, staff members will tell you there is an additional reason for the College's good vibes. That is, the resident ghosts are a very considerate and sweet bunch who do their best to maintain the peace... but they do have a sense of humour and a penchant for a practical joke. Here are our favourite spooky stories from 16 Queensberry Place's invisible residents.

The College of Psychic Studies entrance and library

A humorously haunted library

"We often receive donations for our archives. These include books, artworks, photographs, journals. One dark, wintery afternoon, we received a donation of cassette tapes containing recordings of seances from the 1970s. We couldn't wait to listen. We picked a cassette at random and popped it in the old cassette player. We all settled in the library for a listen. It was enthralling – as the medium spoke, she was accompanied by eerie, gutteral sounds. Suddenly the lights in the library switched off and we were immersed in total darkness. There was a sharp intake of breath from all of us, as the recording continued playing, the orange light from the cassette player glowing ghoulishly. A few moments later, the lights were back on again. That was our cue – we stopped the tape and swiftly went back about our business!"

The portrait of Etta Wriedt

"All who visit the College notice the immense portrait of medium Etta Wriedt (1859-1942) on the first-floor landing. Etta was one of the most prominent and influential mediums of her day, and had a close relationship with The College of Psychic Studies. Naturally, she has a say in the day-to-day running of events at the College. She shows her approval – or disapproval! – through this portrait, and we always check in with her when we're on our way up or down the stairs. Most of the time, she'll be gazing down with a soft smile. Occasionally, however, you'll see her wearing her spectacles and looking rather stern. These are the moments you need to check in with yourself, as Etta doesn't look kindly upon those who rush or are distracted! When Ms Wriedt wears her specs, it's definitely a reminder to pause and take stock!"

Spooky stories portrait of Etta Wriedt

Etta says hello

"Once someone brought a sound meter into the College. We thought it would be interesting to see what came up, so we walked around the College, listening hard for unusual activity. Not much happened as we wandered through the library and up the stairs. That is, until we got to the aforementioned portrait of Etta. We stood beneath it and said, 'Hello Etta!' There was a moment's silence. And then there was a fizz of white noise in the meter. And then came an unmistakeable 'Hello,' enunciated in a perfectly clipped American accent."

Spooky stories from the admin office

"Recently, I arrived at the College in the morning and was the first one in. I made my way through the library as usual and sat in the back office at my computer. As I was reading my emails, I heard the unmistakeable sound of someone entering the office with a creak of the door. I remember thinking that the person coming in was walking quite slowly, almost shuffling. A wall blocks my view, so I naturally called out 'Cadanse? Gill?'. However, I heard no response. I got up to check, and there was no one there. I walked out into the College shop and library to check – no one. Then I looked up on the CCTV screen. Gill and Cadanse were both outside, arriving at the same time. I was completely alone in the building - well, apart from our invisible colleague!"

The wild card

"There were quite a few people browsing in the College shop. I was standing by the reception desk, when a sudden movement caught my eye. It was the card stand, rotating on its own. There was no one standing near it, and no one else seemed to notice! Once I had gotten over being spooked, I spent a while trying to figure out how it had moved. The puzzling thing is that the card stand is quite stiff and creaky usually, and takes quite a bit of force to move it. I just wonder which of the cards our ghostly customer was looking at!"

Ethel Le Rossignol art

Could it be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? 

"A friend came along to a previous art exhibition at the College, and I took her through all the rooms to show her around. It was late in the day, and all the visitors had left. We were standing in the room of Ethel Le Rossignol's paintings, and my friend told me there was an old man sitting in one of the chairs. It's not the first time he has been spotted! There have been quite a few reports of a kindly gent wandering through the College. We wonder if it's our former President, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle... a spooky mystery we're sure Sherlock Holmes could solve!"

The woman in the green dress

"Pre-pandemic, one autumn weekend, I was working alone and we had one of our mediumship tutors in the building. She came down to say goodbye. It was getting dark by this point and she casually said to me that 'there's a lady upstairs on the fourth floor wearing a green dress – I can't see her whole body, just her lower half, but don't worry, she's fine.' The tutor left, and I realised I still had to lock up the whole building, including the fourth floor! I have never locked up so quickly and practically bolted down the fourth floor stairs! 😃"

A quick hello & goodbye

"When we step into the College at the start of the day, we always say a quiet 'hello'. All of us do it when we come in! We also say a quiet 'thank you' and 'goodbye' on our way out. It's our way of honouring and thanking the 'team' for holding such a lovely, kind and gentle space for us!"

Got any spooky stories from your visits to The College of Psychic Studies? We'd love to hear them! Email them to us at admin@collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk