Daniel Stern appeared on Celebrity Ghost Stories in 2010 and told a story about a trip he took with his wife to a haunted town in England. Daniel Stern is best known for the Home Alone movies.
I’m not the kind of guy who believes in the supernatural, but something happened to me and there was no logic to it. When I hear other people’s stories now, I give them a lot more creedence because I’ve got a weird one of my own.
I got married in 1980 and for our honeymoon, my wife and I went England. We spent the first half of our trip in London and for the second half, we rented a car and drove through the English countryside. We spent a couple of days driving around in a little car and mostly what we saw was churches. That seemed to be what England was about.
On the last leg trip, we went to a part of England called the moors. All I knew about the moors was what I had seen in Sherlock Holmes movies, but I wanted to go there because it always seemed like a place of mystery.
My wife had booked a Bed and Breakfast that we were headed for in a little town called Tavistock. As we were driving across the moors, the fog was gorgeous and we were both saying, “Gosh, this really is beautiful”.
We were in the middle of the moors and we came across a little town called Widecombe. It was somewhat isolated. There was nothing else for ten miles around. My wife had the map and she said, “There’s a little church up ahead. Why don’t we stop and take a look?”
We had a little extra time, so we pulled into Widecombe. It was a beautiful little town with a little pub and a town square. There was a church that was the center piece of the town square, so we parked in this spot.
We thought the English countryside was all so charming, so when we got out of the car, we were nothing but optimistic, wide open for another charming experience. Except that this little town had a different feel to the other charming little towns we had stopped in before.
As we were walking through the town, there was a really icky and kind of cold feeling. We were asking each other, “Does this seem strange to you?”
There were about 30 or 40 people milling about. They were all walking at a slow, deliberate pace. The most noticeable thing about them was that none of them were talking and there was a strange lack of eye contact. They looked like extras in the movie, “Night of the Living Dead”.
Then, as we became more aware of our surroundings, we saw that everybody was dressed in black. There was absolutely no color on the street of anybody walking around. Again, no talking. The town was silent. We could see their faces but everybody was staring straight ahead with a blank expression
At this point, my wife and I decided to get out of there, but we didn’t know how to get back on the road to Tavistock. We were in front of the church in Widecombe and we approached a woman who was standing there. She was dressed all in black with a veil over her head.
“Do you know the way to Tavistock?” we asked.
Then she lifted the veil. It was like a moment out of a horror movie. Her eyes were the creepiest, scariest part. There was no colour. She had lost the color in her eyes and they were just a milky white. That was the moment when she started speaking in tongues. She obviously looked possessed and sounded possessed and it felt that way to us. We nearly lost it at that point. We were polite enough to let her finish whatever she was saying and then we made a beeline for the car.
My wife was like, “Oh my God! What just happened to us?”
I was like, “Letâ€™s just get out of the moors and go to Tavistock!”
We hit the road and as I was driving out of the town, I was gripping the steering wheel. About half a mile outside of town, all of a sudden… Kaboom! One of our tires exploded. It really took a turn for the worse when the tire exploded. I couldnâ€™t figure that one out. The logical thing to do was to go back to the town and get the tire fixed.
We were stuck in the middle of nowhere, on the foggy moors with a ghost town behind us. Tavistock was ten miles down the road. I was looking back at the town of Widecombe, looking at the church in the distance.
“We gotta go back?” I said.
“We’re not stopping!” said my wife. “We’re not getting out of the car until we get to the Bed and Breakfast!”
I just drove on the tire. I drove ten miles. I drove on the rim. When we got to the Bed and Breakfast, we were literally shaking. We started blabbing about our story as soon as we checked in. The people at the B&B told us we shouldn’t have gone to Widecombe.
“It’s a haunted town,” they said. “Donâ€™t go there! Nobody goes there! There’s a lot of dead people walking around!”
They told us about an incident that took place in Widecombe in the 1600s. It was a Sunday and the church was filled with people. There was this incredible lightning and incredible thunder. The steeple from the church collapsed and fell down into the church. Then, the building itself came down. It was massive destruction.
Evidently, it was a huge thing that happened to this town. That’s a big wound for the town to absorb and maybe they haven’t managed to absorb it yet. Those people walking around were the spirits of the dead people. They’re in their own purgatory. They can’t go and they can’t stay and they have to relive this tragedy.
When you think of the tragedy that this town had, it was like “Just get out of here!” so we did. That was 30 years ago and it’s still very, very real to my wife and I.