Cotswold Ghost Tours stopped in vicar ‘harassment’ row

St Mary's Church, PrestburyImage copyright Philip Halling/Geograph
Image caption People complained the ghost tours are “bordering on the occult”

Ghost tours in what claims to be one of England’s most haunted villages have been stopped amid claims of “harassment” by the local vicar.

Cotswold Ghost Tours said it would stop running tours in Prestbury, Gloucestershire, after complaints from the Reverend Nick Bromfield.

The vicar said he had concerns the tours were “un-Christian” and “bordering on the occult”.

But he denied harassment and said it was the firm’s decision to stop them.

Mike James, who has run the tours since 2015, said he was forced to end them after the vicar repeatedly “left voice messages and sent emails… to the point of harassment”.

In an email, the rector of north Cheltenham Mr Bromfield said he “no longer wished to have St Mary’s [church] associated with the promotion of ghost tours”.

‘No reasoning with him’

Mr Bromfield told the BBC Mr James had not sought permission to use “numerous photographs” of the church on his website.

He was also concerned tour guides may not have the required documentation to work with under-16s.

“Several people spoke to me about their concern that they are unchristian and bordering on the occult,” he said.

“I agree with those concerns.”

Mr James said the claims were “unsubstantiated” and the vicar had “obviously not looked at our website”.

He said images of the church only formed a “small part” of the site and “we make it clear we don’t take unaccompanied minors”.

“There’s no reasoning with him,” he added.

Mr James said he had lodged a complaint to the diocese of Gloucester about the vicar’s behaviour.

He said the last organised tour would be on 30 November as he wished to honour bookings.

Mr Bromfield denied harassing Mr James and said Mr James had failed to respond to various emails and several phone messages.

Prestbury is said to be one of the most haunted villages in England, with the Black Abbot, ghostly horsemen and the spirit of a young girl among supposed regular sightings.

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