Rougham Poltergeist, 1989


In my reply to Alan Murdie’s comment on my last post I mentioned in passing a case in Rougham, Suffolk, England back in the 1980′s. It hit the Bury Free Press two years after I had moved to Cheltenham to attend university; however I briefly covered it in my book Spectral Suffolk (with Eric Quigley & Nicola Talbot), and I think it might be an interesting case to follow up – I have mentioned it in passing before on this blog.  I will simply repeat the entry from Spectral Suffolk here…

“ROUGHAM: Rougham was the location in 1989 for a severe and interesting poltergeist outbreak which afflicted the Arnold family.  After noticing an uncanny feeling in the cupboard under their stairs the family began to suspect something was seriously wrong with their home.  Shortly after this Mrs Arnold felt herself being pushed by an invisible hand and then the family’s pet Bull Terrier began to act strangely, watching “something” walking around the house.  The family temporarily moved out but eventually returned and then tragedy struck…

fire broke out in the cupboard under the stairs, and although the family escaped Mrs Arnold bravely returned to fetch the dog and the other pet, a parrot.  Sadly the parrot died shortly afterwards of smoke inhalation.  Fire Officers from Bury’s brigade were unable to say how the blaze started.  Then a few days later Sara, 17, heard a strange metallic voice saying “That was funny, wasn’t it?”.  The voice sounded as if doing a poor imitation of Sara’s mother.

She believed the voice was referring to the fire.

A bizarrely similar poltergeist case is developing in Oklahoma, USA, at the time of writing.  An 18 year old girl, her mother and husband are being disturbed by a stone throwing poltergeist who tells lies in a strange metallic voice, scrawls symbols on mirrors in lipstick and terrorises the family parakeets! (this was written in the early to mid-1990′s)”

There may be more facts available, even after 21 years have passed. I would imagine that the East Anglian Daily Times or Eastern Daily Press covered the case, and there was a free paper in Bury at the time – possibly The Suffolk Mercury, plus the accounts in the Bury Free Press. If anyone has time to follow this up, I’d be interested in hearing more.

One thing I wonder is why I classified it as a poltergeist case. We have a sensation of being touched, but as i have remarked before that is not unusual, a disembodied voice, and a sense of presence. Perhaps someone local could look through the 1989 papers in the Raingate Street, Bury St Edmunds, Record Office for us, or see if the Bury Free Press files hold any more?

cj x

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Rougham Poltergeist, 1989

  1. Chris

    Hi, I am very interested in this, as I think I may have lived in (or near) this cottage. Do you have any more details on exactly where this was? I do remember reading about this (in the Mercury, I think) late eighties. Then, in the early ninties, I moved into a cottage in Rougham where lots of strange things happened. I always wondered if this was the same cottage (or near to) the one I’d read about previously, and tried to look up the old newspaper articles in the Record Office, but couldn’t find them there. I don’t want to give the address here, but am happy to discuss via email.

  2. Ian

    The premise that the events occurred in was at Rookery corner which is beside the A14 at Rougham, just outside Bury St. Edmunds.
    Behind this house and the adjoining houses is the Rougham industrial estate, which uses some of the original buildings from the World War two airfield which was very near the house. The U.S. Army Airforce operated out of Rougham. The old control tower is nearby and is reputedly haunted.
    I also remember this story and recall that a Vicar visited the property and left hurriedly, but not before saying that he believed the events were connected to a tree in the garden – possibly something burried under it I seem to recall.
    There were quite a number of car accidents over the years close to this house on the A14, I further remember someone finding occult paraphernalia in a nearby wooded area around the time of these events.
    I have always found it a dark and brooding area, even before hearing of the events of the late eighties.
    A fascinating series of events altogether.

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