MYSTERIOUS ghostly footprints were discovered at Ham House on Saturday. The unidentified prints materialised on the wooden floor of the inner hall at the 17th century stately home, which has witnessed strange phenomena in the past.

Victoria Bradley, house steward at the National Turst property, noticed the two prints of what appears to be a left and a right foot. They can be seen clearly marked on the polished surface in the middle of the room.

Sightings of what appear to be unexplainable footprints have been reported before at Ham House. In November 2003 a pair of barefoot prints appeared on the steps of the great staircase. Just before Christmas, three prints were noticed in the duchess's bedchamber.

Anne Partington-Omar, the property's manager who lives at the house, said: "Once again we are witnessing some very unusual phenomena at Ham House. Over the last few years I have experienced many occurrences in the house that defy all reason. Be it the appearance of mysterious footprints, the opening and closing of doors, ghostly sightings or unexplainable moved objets."

Ham House, former home of the Duke and Duchess of Lauderdale, is under research by a team of members of Britain's longest established ghost investigators' club, which have been spending some nights in the property, conducting a series of experiments designed to establish the reason for these unusual events.

Coincidentally, the house is currently taking bookings for its popular ghost tours, which take place every Monday at 7.30pm between November 8 and December 6.

There will also be two special Halloween ghost tours on October 30 and 31 at 7.30pm. These are not suitable for children.

Ham House organises family ghost tours for the younger ones on October 18, 19, 25 and 26 at noon.

For information and bookings, ring 01494 755 572.