St John's Church Ruins 

The Ghosts of St Johns Church Ruins


It is unusual to find so many stories of hauntings in a graveyard, but Boughton has a reputation for being the most haunted burial site in the county. 

Following on from the tale of the doomed newly weds, the most famous ghost is said to be that of a beautiful red haired woman. She entices male passers by, and asks for a kiss. Be warned, for the legend follows that if you receive a kiss from this young woman, you will come to your death exactly a month after. This is said to be the fate of William Parker. He was passing by the churchyard on Christmas Eve in 1875 when he met a beautiful red haired girl. She invited him to sit with her for a while. After saying farewell, the young woman vanished and sure enough, William died exactly one month later, to the day.

Again, on Christmas Eve, a moaning spirit makes his presence known. It is believed to be the spirit of Captain Slash, but why would he haunt the churchyard? Perhaps he is in search of the other members of his gang, ready to patrol the highways once more. 

The spirits of children have been reportedly seen amongst the grave stones. There is evidence that several children are buried on the site. 

A figure of a woman in white robes, and a headless man have also been seen. 

The History of St Johns Church Ruins


On my first attempt to visit the ruins, I couldn't find them and left disappointed. After some further research and a bit more organisation, I found St John's Church, and realised I had previously driven past twice! Tucked away from the road, through some creaky iron gates and down a hill, lie the ruins, surrounded by graves and somewhat overgrown. When stood where was once the inside of the church, it is easy to forget that there is civilisation nearby. The atmosphere suddenly becomes quite eerie and desolate.

St John the Baptist Church stands a mile east of the village of Boughton in Northamptonshire. Built around 1350, it has been in ruins since at least 1757, most certainly when the spire collapsed in 1784. Therefore, it doesn't much resemble a church today. The graveyard, however, is still in use. Built on a sacred spring of St John the Baptist, the ruins are the last remaining evidence of medieval Boughton. 

There are two key pieces of history that may play a part in the hauntings of the site, the first a fact, the second a legend. 

'Captain Slash' the infamous highwayman and protection racketeer was held for a time at Boughton Fayre, which stood on the green to the southwest of the church, just beyond the road. George Catherall was his real name and he was held for highway robbery. He was later hanged on July 21st 1826 at Northampton Heath (now Northampton Racecourse)

The second is a story that is hard to verify. Around two hundred years ago, a young couple had been married only a few hours when the groom dropped dead. Grief stricken and unable to live without her love, the young lady ended her own life next to her husband's grave.