Prestbury is famous for being one of the most haunted villages in England, haunted by ghosts such as the Headless Horseman, The White Lady and the Black Abbot, who roams the local churchyard.
The Black Abbot used to walk the aisle of St. Mary’s Church until the Church was exorcised, since then he has appeared only in the Churchyard. A hooded figure with his head bowed, he is always described as seeming to glide rather then walk. Maintaining the same route every year, this ghost usually appears at Easter, Christmas and All Saints Day, but occassionaly after a funeral, crosses the churchyard and disappears through a wall in the High Street. Sightings of the Abbot have been in many parts of the village including The Plough Inn in Mill Street. The Black Abbot also often visits Reform Cottage in Deep Street, the front garden of which once used to be a burial ground of monks. One of the nearby cottages used to be the vicarage, and it was exorcised by the Church.
A Charging Horseman can be seen on his white horse at Easter and Christmas galloping through Shaw Green Lane and The Burgage, one of the most haunted streets of Prestbury. Killed by a Lancastrian arrow, allegedly on 4th May 1471, on the way to Edward IV's camp at Tewkesbury during the Wars of the Roses, this glowing messenger is doomed to carry his cargo forevermore. During road works carried out in the early part of the 20th century, indeed a skeleton was found with an arrowhead deep between the ribs.
Another ghost rider, this time Headless Horseman, rides through Mill Street and dates back to the Civil War. Story says this royal dispatch rider was riding from Sudeley Castle to Gloucester and was knocked off his horse by a thin wire that was placed across the road. After interrogation, The Roundheads of Prestbury then executed him. A skeleton that is thought to be his was found near by in the 19th Century.
Many other places in Prestbury are haunted. The Sundial Cottage in The Burgage is haunted by a girl playing a spinet. At the end of the 19th century the figure of the girl was seen on several occasions, and her music was heard during the second world war, when a London family took refuge there from the blitz. Prestbury House Hotel has a ghost of a young girl walking in the garden and also sound of horses' hooves can be heard, as the building next to it used to be a stable.
Sound of horses' hooves can be also heard at The Plough Inn. Herdsmen often used to have difficulty getting their sheep past the inn, and dogs and horses have been known to freeze to the spot outside it. A Strangler haunts Cleeves Corner near the church, where visitors reported waking up feeling as if they are being strangled. Research found that a bride was once murdered in her bed there.