IT has long been regarded as one of the most haunted places in Hampshire.

Now a mysterious Lady in Blue has been caught on camera at Beaulieu, scene of countless ghostly encounters over the past few centuries.

She appeared at Palace House, ancestral home of Lord Montagu, after visitors had left for the day.

A member of staff had just bought a new mobile phone and decided to test the camera by taking pictures of the historic building.

Hannah Broughton, 40, of Dibden Purlieu, said: “I saw a ball of light that was dancing around and really looked quite pretty. I couldn’t see it with my naked eye – only when I looked through the phone.”

At one point the “enchanting” figure appeared to be someone wearing a cloak.

Hannah added: “It wasn’t a frightening experience – quite the opposite – but if I’d seen a face I’d probably have dropped my phone and run.”

The image has been linked to sightings of Isabella, Countess of Beaulieu, who died in 1786.

There have been several reports of a woman walking through walls and making a lot of noise in what are now the private apartments.

Members of Hampshire Ghost Club are spending tonight – Hallowe’en – at Beaulieu in the hope of recording ghostly goings-on.

Over the years staff and visitors have reported a large number of sightings at Palace House and the neighbouring Beaulieu Abbey ruins. Strange sounds and smells from the past have also been documented.

An ancient building called The Domus – used to host the annual estate dinner and other functions – is said to be haunted by Brother Augustus.

The Rev Robert Frazer Powles, who died in 1939, claimed to know all the ghostly monks by name and even held a candlelit Mass on Christmas Eve for his phantom friends.

Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, was interested in spiritualism and once held a séance at Palace House.

A Hampshire Ghost Club spokesman said: “The strange stories and legends surrounding Beaulieu Abbey have captured the imaginations of people from all walks of life.

“Staff and visitors to Beaulieu report glimpsing ghosts of the abbey’s former inhabitants.”