The ‘Most Haunted Village In England’ Cancels Ghost Tours After Local Minister Complains

Prestbury has everything an amateur ghost hunter could want, including spooky cemeteries and plenty of ghost legends.

black and white photo of two ancient tombstones
hurk / Pixabay

Prestbury has everything an amateur ghost hunter could want, including spooky cemeteries and plenty of ghost legends.

A village in England has been forced to cancel its ghost tours and other spooky goings-on after the local minister complained about disrespectful tourists and the general un-Christian-ness of it all, Yahoo News U.K. reports.

Prestbury, Gloucestershire, which is about 100 miles northwest of London, has everything a fan of the paranormal loves. There are spooky, decaying cemeteries, an imposing, ancient church, and of course, all kinds of ghostly legends, such as “The Black Abbot,” an ancient cleric whose spirit is said to roam St. Mary’s church yard.

Not surprisingly, the town attracts ghost tours, plus the odd group of tourists who come on their own.

And Reverend Nick Bromfield, the vicar of the local church, has had it. His complaints have forced the operator of a ghost tour to shut down visits to the town.

According to Bromfield, the tours are disrespectful and heretical.

For example, he explained, there’s the disrespect that some of the tourists show to the church and graveyard. Tourists have posed for pictures in the cemetery, at times standing on the graves of the recently-departed.

“…Without them knowing they would be stood near recent graves – which isn’t something a mourning family wants to come across,” he said of the photo-seekers.

The St. Mary's Churchyard In Prestbury
  Steve Daniels / Geograph.org.uk (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Then there was the time he discovered that a bachelorette party was taking place in the parking lot.

Beyond the practical implications of having ghost tours run through town and take place largely in and around his church and the graveyard next door, Reverend Bromfield has a larger issue with the ghost tours: they’re not Christian, he said.

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“Frankly, ghost tours have no part in a place of Christian worship and they don’t belong in a Christian churchyard. We don’t want people’s stories about ghosts, spectres, poltergeists. It is not good for families, nor is it good for the many children we are blessed to welcome every week,” he said.

Now, Bromfield and the tour operator, Mike James, have gotten into a public war of words. Bromfield said that he and James reached an agreement to tone down some of the more “fantastical” elements of the tours, and to keep the tours away from the church and graveyard, and then went ahead and broke the agreement. James said that Bromfield has left him angry voicemail messages, at one time even threatening to sign up as a guest on a tour simply so he could disrupt it.

Now, however, it seems that James has canceled the tours completely.

In a statement via GloucestershireLive, Cotswold Ghost Tours said there’s new ghost activity elsewhere and that, as of November 30, there will be no more ghost tours in England‘s most haunted village.