Church of Eternal Light, Bristol

August, 2009 by Ray Bendici
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Courtesy Google Maps

Courtesy Google Maps

The Damned Story: On a quiet street in Bristol sits the small Church of Eternal Light. Although not having any particular violent, tragic or disturbing stories in its century-plus history, it's alleged to be haunted.

The structure was originally erected in 1884 as a schoolhouse, a capacity in which it served for five years before the teacher moved away. It subsequently served the area as a chapel for over 70 years; in 1962, it then became a spiritualist church, eventually being renamed the Church of the Eternal Light in the 1980s. It is now is home to a pagan congregation.

The main structure has remained intact throughout its existence, although the current steeple and bell tower were added in 2000. The bell tower comes into play as a ghostly face has claimed to have been spotted in the windows from time to time. Others have supposedly seen spirit orbs here. We've also seen a story around the intrawebs that "a TV ghost hunter" recorded unusual goings on here, but have been unable to track down any specific mention of what ghost hunter or which TV show -- it appears this story appeared on one website, and has been passed around since.

Speaking of unverified stories and the Church of Eternal Light, there's another popular one that a parishioner had been struck by lightning while standing on the front steps of the church, and that's the spirit who is haunting the grounds. Again, there's no actual record of anyone ever being struck by lightning here, but why let the truth get in the way of a good story, right?

The current owners claim they have never had any issues with spirits as they did a thorough "spiritual cleansing" of the church a few years back.

Our Damned Experience: We have yet to see the eternal light, although we're all bound to some day ... well, except Ray.

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If You Go: The Church of Eternal Light is located at 1199 Hill Street in Bristol. As mentioned, it is now a pagan spiritualist church, with regular services every week.

From the church's website --

Our worshippers gather at 2 PM on Sundays to learn, heal and give thanks to the Mother Goddess and Father God, a.k.a "God/Goddess/All That Is" and our higher powers, guiding spirits, angels, power animals and all who help us on our paths. We welcome all Pagan traditions.

The church also offers classes in magick, scrying, charms and other pagan traditions, and generally sounds like an damned interesting place to worship.

So go for the haunting, stay for the pagan celebration!

View 1199 Hill St in a larger map

Comments

The actual date on the foundation is 1889. I know can verify this, I've been a church member for over 11 years.

Submitted by Cassandra Sessions (not verified) on
I am interested in this church as it is a part of my families history. Any truthful information that can be offered will be appreciated.

Submitted by jacky (not verified) on
We drove by today i am from ct and read on this website about this church and am very interested in finding out more about your church and the pagan congregation and when are services held. ... thank you

Submitted by Kimberly (not verified) on
I have read about this Church numerous times and find it very interesting. I would love to attend the pagan services but I am not sure where to go for more onfo....If anyone can help me, feel free to contact me at [email protected] Thanks!

I have been a member of the church for almost 10 years now, and have served on its board of directors for the past 7 years. There is spiritual activity connected with the church, and we do acknowledge it. I won't go into details here, but we're always willing to share stories to anyone who comes up. We hold regular services every Sunday at 2 pm and are open to the public. Our calendar of speakers and events can be found on our web site.

Submitted by Heather S. (not verified) on
I am a local, lived in Bristol for almost 20 years. I've visited and driven by the church on a few occasions. Never been inside, but would love to attend service sometime. The place doesn't seem to have anything "creepy" going on, but you do sense energy there, kind of a positive, energizing vibe. I would recommend visiting to anyone interested, as long as you are respectful, it is a residential neighborhood mind you. come visit and have a Blessed day! :)

I would like to see the inside. Who do I go thru to get permission to film part of my movie inside of it?

Submitted by Joe (not verified) on
The church is closed for the winter right now. It will reopen for regular Sunday services the first weekend of February 2013. If you would like info about seeing the inside, contact me directly and I will give more details. my email is [email protected]

Submitted by Joe (not verified) on
The labyrinth was constructed by one of our reverends over a decade ago as a method of old Native American meditation. When you walk a labyrinth, you meander back and forth, turning 180 degrees each time you enter a different circuit. As you shift your direction you also shift your awareness from right brain to left brain. This is one of the reasons the labyrinth can induce receptive states of consciousness. It can also help to balance the chakras.

Submitted by josh (not verified) on
I would like info youhave on the labyrinth.Where it came from,etc.. Josh

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