This extraordinary whirlpool of sound ended with a piercing scream which was repeated
several times, growing fainter and fainter and seeming to sink into the floor.
The whole household was now in a state of fear and alarm that Mary determined to tell her
brother, who was expected back at Hinton within a week, what had happened.
This she did. With Captain Jervis was Captain Luttrell, a mutual friend, and when Mary
told them the story they resolved to stay watch all night. They were armed, and with John Jervis
was his personal servant John Bolton. Before they settled down to watch that night, the men
searched every nook and cranny in the house.
The strange rustlings and noises took place that night, the same as before, and were heard
and attested to by both Jervis and Luttrell as well as Bolton. Doors were slammed and banged
unaccountably and John Jervis heard the most fearful groans as well as other weird and strange
The gallant Captain sat up every night for a week to protect his sister from these unknown
forces. During one of the nights she heard a pistol shot, followed by groans of agony, but no one
had been shot at Hinton that night. One afternoon the Captain heard a tremendous noise as
though some great weight had fallen through the ceiling into the room where he sat.
The man who was to rout the Spanish fleet off the Cape of St. Vincent and thus establish
British naval supremacy for a hundred years or more, retreated before the spectral hosts of Hinton
Ampner, and urgently pressed his sister to leave the place.
This she did in the August of 1771. The story of course was the talk of the countryside.
With tenants unobtainable, Lady Hillsborough gave up the struggle with the supernatural
forces and ordered Hinton Ampner Manor to be pulled down. During the demolition the housebreakers
found a small skull under the floor of one of the rooms. It was said to be that of a
monkey. But it was never professionally examined. Nor was any inquiry made into the
circumstances and nature of the find.
It was said to have been found in a box, and near it were papers which had apparently
been hidden under the floor during the Civil War.
The answer to the mystery of the skull of Hinton Ampner will never be known. Once can
only guess. The skull of a newly born baby could have been mistaken for that of a monkey by the
ignorant workmen, and this might fully explain why the restless spirits of the guilty parents
haunted the place. Was that awful scream which so frightened Mary and Elizabeth the unwanted
infant's first cry smothered in death?
At the end of the eighteenth century a new Hinton Ampner House was built about fifty
yards from the old site. But in the new house strange noises were heard-and are still heard-
usually about dawn. It seems that the restless spirits of Lord Stawell and the sad Honoria are still
abroad at Hinton Ampner.