Cedar House, formally the “Old Rectory”, in Caterham-on-the-Hill and is cited to be the most haunted house in the district.
Hauntings have been reported here since the beginning of the 19th Century when the Reverend Alick St John Heard and his wife moved in to the rectory. Stories include the Rector conducting his own experiment whereby he locked every door in the house and he and his wife left the house with the keys. When they returned an hour later every door was wide open.
Other sightings include a young boy waking in the night to see the Reverend Heards’ deceased father rummaging through some paperwork at the end of his bed, the sounds of footsteps through the empty house and doors being locked a sighting of a hooded man resembling a monk, a mother waking to find a ghostly figure standing over her, reports of visitors feeling such an air of depression when entering the house they have needed to leave, door handles rattling, footsteps in the hallways, fruit falling from a static fruit bowl, the back of the house being constantly cold, shoes walking by themselves across a room and other small articles such as hair brushes etc moving of their own accord.
Mediums have visited the house and declared the front of the building to be possessed by the spirits of good and those at the back to be evil. It is reported that a skeleton was recovered from a shallow grave near to the back door which could have been a child’s grave as there are reports of seeing the figure of a Victorian child following one of the residents around the house.
Neighbours also have their own stories to tell including one of a young lady that was a brilliant pianist. She became unexpectedly ill and died leaving her fiancé so distraught that he committed suicide in the building. Since then haunting music has been heard drifting across the gardens when the house was unoccupied.
There is an old oak door studded with nails, in one of the downstairs rooms. The nails are said to stand for one for every person who died when the Plague hit Caterham. Mists have been seen to swirl around the ancient apple tree and occupiers are said to have felt the damp chill rise from the cellar. It is also said that if you talk beneath the old Cedar Tree in the garden a curse will be put upon you.
Since Cedar House has been occupied by Buxton there have been other sightings by people working here. Even last week voices were heard! Others have said to be sitting in the board room and a cupboard door has flown open and one single stapler fallen across the room, small articles have been said to move or fall of their own accord and anyone requested to retrieve something from the archives in the cellar do not go down there alone. Grown men are known to have left the building in haste being the last one in the office and having such an over bearing feeling of foreboding that they have had to leave.