'Haunted' manor house fails to sell

A manor house that is claimed to be one of the UK's most haunted properties where security guards refuse to work alone at night failed to sell at auction today.

Wymering Manor, believed to be the oldest house in Portsmouth, needs major restoration and structural repairs and had a guide price of £375,000.

A spokesman for auctioneers Andrews & Robertson said the property failed to reach its reserve price when put up for sale at London's Grand Connaught Rooms.

A statement from the owners, Portsmouth City Council, said the authority will speak to the underbidder and other interested parties to try to sell the manor.

The Grade II* building is a 17th century former vicarage, monastery, family home and was a youth hostel from 1960 until 2006. The manor was mentioned in the Doomsday Book in 1086.

It has much documented paranormal activity including sudden drops in temperature, the whispering of children and strange apparitions.

Over the years the building has appeared on You Tube and TV's Most Haunted.

Jeremy Lamb, from Andrews & Robertson, said: "When I surveyed it the security guards told me they feel there is something 'fairly spooky' going on in the house, and though they patrol it on a 24-hour basis because it attracts lots of people who are intrigued by its levels of paranormal activity, they refuse to work alone there at night."

The building has planning permission for use as a hotel.

The council wanted to sell to cut costs.