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The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall, Norfolk, is one of the most famous hauntings in Britain because of the strange shape captured by photographers from 'Country Life' magazine in 1936.

The image is said to be that of the Brown Lady, a spirit that has been known to haunt the house. The 'Brown Lady' is so named because of the brown brocade dress it is claimed she wears.

According to legend, the 'Brown Lady of Raynham Hall' is the ghost of Lady Dorothy Walpole (1686-1726), the sister of Robert Walpole, generally regarded as the first Prime Minister of Great Britain. She was the second wife of Charles Townshend, who was notorious for his violent temper. The story says that when Townshend discovered that his wife had committed adultery with Lord Wharton he punished her by locking her in her rooms in the family home, Raynham Hall.

Portrait of Lady Dorothy Walpole

Portrait of Lady Dorothy Walpole

Wikipedia

Lucia C Stone was the first to record a reference to the ghost at Christmas 1835. The ghost was described as "an aristocratic looking lady with one horrific feature, where her eyes should have been, were only empty sockets, highlighted in a face that glowed with an unearthly light."

Raynham Hall, Norfolk

Raynham Hall, Norfolk

Wikipedia

On the 19th September 1936 two professional photographers, Captain Provand and his assistant Indre Shira, were taking photographs of the hall for 'Country Life' magazine. The photographers were photographing the Hall's main staircase when Shira saw a misty form ascending the stairs. He shouted to the captain that there was something on the stairs, and asked if the Captain was ready, he replied "yes" and took the cap off the lens, while Shira pressed the trigger for the flashlight.

The spirit has not been reported at the hall since the photograph was taken, which leads many to believe that this story has been a hoax.

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