WATCH: Paranormal tours of 'UK's most haunted village' are no more
London - For years it has attracted ghost hunters with claims that it is England’s most haunted village.
But now paranormal tours of Prestbury in Gloucestershire have been cancelled after the village vicar allegedly threatened to "sabotage" them.
Locals say Prestbury is well-known for spooky disturbances featuring ghostly spurned lovers, phantom horse sounds at night and chilly breezes in summer.
A mysterious hooded figure called the "Black Abbot" is said to roam a churchyard endlessly. Cotswolds Ghost Tours have run 90-minute guided trips around Prestbury, near Cheltenham, for years.
But the group has now pulled the plug after concerns from St Mary’s Church vicar the Reverend Nick Bromfield, 59.
He said he became fed up with ghost hunters hanging around new graves by the Church of England building and insists the tours are not Christian. He stressed: "Frankly, ghost tours have no part in a place of Christian worship and they don’t belong in a Christian churchyard.
"We don’t want people’s stories about ghosts, spectres, poltergeists. It is not good for families. I was saddened to see our church used as a backdrop to promote ghost tours to children."
Tour operator Mike James accused the vicar of leaving angry voicemails as he tried to book himself on a trip. He claimed Rev Bromfield indicated he may try to sabotage a tour.
James insisted: "I don’t really understand why he’s taken such offence to storytelling.
"Ghost stories take place all over the world. Why is Prestbury different? It felt like a personal vendetta to disrupt my business."
Rev Bromfield said he and Mr James met last year and came to an agreement on the tours. He said: "We’d had enough. Without them knowing, they would be stood near recent graves – which isn’t something a mourning family wants to come across."
He said James "agreed that tours would not happen in the churchyard and to remove some of the more fantastical elements." The vicar claimed some terms were broken with photos of the church used without permission.
He tried to get in touch with the firm before hearing the trips were cancelled.Daily Mail