Updated: Jan 20
“Some places speak distinctly. Certain dark gardens cry aloud for a murder; certain old houses demand to be haunted; certain coasts are set apart for shipwreck.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson
Why is it that we are fascinated and intrigued with the paranormal? Is it the spine-tingling, hair-raising unknown entwined with some WTF moments when you encounter a ghost for the first time?
Natalie here: Growing up in a haunted house still scares the “shyte” out of me. Our home, built in 1888, was haunted by two known ghosts. Part of me thinks there were more...
Many nights we would hear voices, music in the walls, pots and pans clanging in the kitchen. One morning my sisters and I found all the artwork hanging upside down. Our mom was the most terrorized. She recounted one evening where she had a tug of war with her quilt while trying to sleep. Can you even imagine?
It was my many experiences at a very young age, that piqued my fascination with ghosts and hauntings. My bookshelves are lined with books about hauntings, ghosts, the most spirit-filled cemeteries, you name it. I love reading about the paranormal.
Even Connie has had her own experiences with the paranormal. She remembers a time staying in an old plantation house in Atlanta. The house had a creepy feeling, the doors wouldn’t stay locked (after you checked it twice), lights flickered and you could hear the cries of children coming from the corners of the room. While she was sleeping she had the sensation of being pressed down and unable to move. She remembers trying to scream but couldn’t.
Our experiences and fascination with ghosts is why we are starting a series of The Most Haunted… we begin in England.
It would be rude of us to forget our manners, so in each section you will get to “meet” the ghosts that haunt the hotels. Most of the ghosts listed below are named but some are not, so we took the creative liberty in naming some of the apparitions. A “cheeky” nod to England and our dark humor.
1. Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
This castle has been named as Britain’s Most Haunted Castle but from our research, it seems that most places we have seen have taken on that coveted title. You decide when you stay in this “13th century.. stronghold in Northumberland, famed for action and battles. With its fine rooms, gardens, lakes, fountains and tea rooms, the castle has an extraordinary ownership bloodline which runs back to the 1200s.”
MEET THE GHOSTS
The Dehydrated Lady
Historically, the silver was originally stored in the “Inner Pantry”, and a footman had a bed in the pantry and slept there guarding it. It is said that the footman was finishing for the evening and getting ready to go to bed. When he turned around, there was a very thin woman standing by him in a white dress. She kept begging him for water. He at first thought it was a castle guest then realized that the building was locked and no one could have entered. The lady in white is still seen to this day by visitors and still begs for water. Some believe that the begging for water symbolizes that she was poisoned. #imthirsty
The Unseen Ghostly Presence
This ghost makes its presence known by changes in temperature or just a gut feeling. Hair on the back of your necks stands straight and you get a creepy sensation that you are not alone. #iceicebaby
The Gossips in the Chapel
The voices of two men can be heard chatting in the chapel. If you try and listen to what they are saying, it comes out garbled and if you really lean in to listen, the chatter stops.
Are your eyes playing tricks on you or are you seeing what most have seen. When the light shines just right at night, the shadows come to life in the courtyard!
2. Elvey Farm, Pluckley, Kent
“Elvey Farm is a medieval farmstead. The Hall House was built in 1406, and little has changed about it since then. The house has a more colourful history than you might expect – French prisoners were believed to have been kept there during the Napoleonic wars, Lord Dering was believed to have been hidden there before his capture during the Civil War, and during World War 2, a Spitfire crashed into the paddock at the back of the farm during the Battle of Britain.”
MEET THE GHOSTS
The “weeping wanderer” is said to haunt here.
Robert du Bois
The highwayman: Robert Du Bois who was speared to a tree at Fright Corner.
The “Icabod Crane” Ghost
There is also a phantom horse and carriage that appear on Maltman’s Hill.
The “Whispering” Farmer
A ghost of a farmer, Edward Brett, who gave his wife 15 shillings and his children a penny, then went into the barn and shot himself. People have reported hearing him whisper, “I will do it.” Others have seen him wandering the halls and laying in beds. #imouttahere
3. Langham Hotel, London
“The Langham was .. built between 1863 and 1865.. It was then the largest and most modern hotel in the city, featuring a hundred water closets, thirty-six bathrooms and the first hydraulic lifts in England. The opening ceremony on 10 June 1865 was performed by the Prince of Wales.”
MEET THE GHOSTS
The murderous Victorian doctor and his newlywed
(Room 333 is the most haunted room in London according to Huffpost.)
Your wedding day: what does your husband give you as a gift? A death sentence! A doctor murdered his wife then killed himself while on their honeymoon. You will know you are staring at a ghost, not by his Victorian cloak, cravat and flowing silver hair but by his blank staring eyes. Make your reservation in October because word on the street is that this is his month for making his grand appearance!
The German Prince
Another spectre of Room 333 is a German prince who jumped out of a fourth-floor window. A BBC announcer, Ray Moore, described this price as "beefy, with cropped hair, sporting a military-style jacket that buttoned up to the neck." Just be aware that when you are having your morning coffee, try not to freak out when the price walks through the closed door in your room. You may see him more than once as he’s one of the most active spectres. He’s a prince, do we bow to him? Just wondering.. A man with a gaping wound on his face. (Tends to stick to the hallways.)
Emperor Napoleon III
The most fabulous Napoleon III whose spirits are often seen in the hotel's basement. Emperor Louis Napoleon III spent much of his last enforced exile from France at the Langham. He has a tendency to hang out in the basement So, you know who to blame for the strange loud noises or missing equipment (clepto, I guess).
The Bed Hogger Ghost
Nothing like waking up to an earthquake in your bed. This ghost tends to shake the bed so hard, you go flying! Shook one lady out of her bed that she left the hotel in the middle of the night. Ghost = 1; Guest = 0
With all the ghostly maids, you would think one would help out this butler seen wandering the corridors in his holey socks. That’s just darn-right appalling!
The Powdery Wig Footman
A footman in pale blue livery and powdered wig. When you see him, maybe you could ask for his wig to keep your head warm, because, with him around, the temperature drops. Chilled to the bone!
4. The Black Swan Hotel, York
“The pub .. dates back to the 15th century, when it was a private house, with alterations and additions been made in the following two centuries. Prior to the present building, a medieval inn had stood on the site and remains may well still be beneath the pub..It was built for William Bowes, a merchant and Sheriff of York in 1417, who also became Lord Mayor in 1428.”
MEET THE GHOSTS
The Impatient Ghost
While sitting at the bar, you may notice a man in a bowler hat impatiently waiting for his drink, a friend, or someone else on the other side! Don’t look away long because he’s known to evaporate into the smoky bar air!
The Jilted Bride
While you are in the bar, take a look around. If you see a beautiful woman sitting and staring in to the fire, whatever you do, DON’T stare into her eyes. She is a stunning woman who is thought to be a jilted bride. It is said that if a man stares in her face, he will die in ecstasy.
The staff named this apparition to a young boy who appears regularly to us (alive) patrons.He is dressed in Victorian period clothes, but don’t let this little cherub fool you, he’s known to be a slick pickpocket. Many items have been found behind the bar!
Late at night, take a listen. Do you hear Irish folk songs coming from the corner of the bar late at night? It is rumoued a highwayman, known as Jack, appears regularly in the kitchen, dressed in riding boots and a long black cloak, singing these long lost songs.
A less frequent ghostly visitor is a large black cat wandering around the pub. This ghost causes confusion among staff and frequent customers alike as it bears a strong resemblance to Salem, the pubs resident feline. #meow
The Cursed Chair
You may want to find another chair… or just stand. The chair by the fire is reputedly cursed and it is said that should anyone sit in it a curse will fall upon them.
5. Ye Olde King’s Head, Chester
“A Tudor style property built in 1622 ...but erected on the foundations from the 13th century. Paranormal teams have carried out studies within the Inn for a number of years and they believe that there are up to thirteen spirits trapped within the walls…”
MEET THE GHOSTS
The Silent Man
Man dressed in black silently watched a woman back in 1982 for about 15 minutes while she engaged in conversation.. He just stared. Wow! Wonder who hogged the conversation?!
Wardrobe doors bang
Children running up and down the corridors
6. Tudor House Hotel, Tewkesbury
"The original foundations of the Tudor House, were laid in 1540, however main building was built sometime in the 17th century. Front elevations were added in 1701, and restoration was carried out in 1897. An interesting thing to note, is that the door leading to the garden has axe marks, believed to made by Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers. The Tudor House was turned into a hotel in 1926."
A rich history and it also has a number of spirits lurking its corridors.
MEET THE GHOSTS
The ghost of a black Labrador. Catch a glimpse of Fido at the top of the main staircase.
The Vanishing Ghost
The “grey” lady is a one time maid who likes to tuck people into bed, who vanishes when she reaches a doorway. Rumor has it this young woman committed suicide by leaping out of a top floor window.
Little Drummer Boy
The young lad has been known to wake guests in the middle of the night beating on his kettle drum.
7. Brook Red Lion Hotel, Colchester, Essex
“The Red Lion Hotel, is a stunning 15th century Grade I listed coaching inn in Colchester, the UK’s oldest recorded town. With the vast amount of history this building has, it’s very little wonder there are a number of spirits that have decided to stay behind..”
MEET THE GHOSTS
Alice Catherine Millar
One of the oldest known spirits on record is Alice who was horribly murdered in 1638. The first documented sighting was from the early 1800s. She seems to haunt rooms 5, 6, and 10. So book those rooms and you may get to meet Alice! She has freaked out the kitchen staff by walking through walls. She also woke one of the managers when he was sleeping. They made eye contact. One moment she is sitting in a chair staring at him and the next, she vanishes.
When you are checking in and out at reception, take a look in the darkened corners and you may spot someone watching you. A monk perhaps? Not to worry as he is a protective spirit. He successfully rescued children from a fire there but ended up dying.
The Prankster Lad
Ghost of a small boy running through the Parliament Room and is only known to appear to children. He plays pranks and has appeared in several of the guests’ photographs.
8. The Angel and Blue Pig, Lymington
An old coaching inn, dating back to the 13th Century, is now a boutique-y hotel with 12 stylish rooms.
MEET THE GHOSTS
A ghostly coachman, wrapped in bulky flowing clothes, peers through kitchen windows in the early morning. Maybe he’s cold. Maybe he’s hungry. But that is extra creepy to have some random phantom man laser-eyeing you while you prepare breakfast.
The Naval Officer
There is also an “old sea dog”, dressed in a sea-going coat with brass buttons. As legend goes, this particular apparition was an officer awaiting a disciplinary meeting but instead he shot himself in his bedroom.
The Girl in the White Dress
It is believed that this particular spirit, wears a long white dress, sits in a chair. Then disappears. Apparently, this former maid died quite sadly. (Don’t know the full story).
The Piano Room
Even though there is no longer a piano in the room and was broken up years ago, expect it to sound like a full-on party is happening in here in the middle of the night. Look for the piano, it’s not there! There is no piano in the hotel! How’s that for weird!
The Revenue Men
When you are a smuggler back in the 18th and 19th Centuries, you learn quickly how to remain unseen. You wear wide soled shoes and you are familiar with what path is safe and which ones are not! However, the Revenue men weren’t so lucky, as you can imagine. The ghosts of these dead officers often appear as black figures surrounded by a sea mist.
9. The Mermaid Inn, Sussex
“The Mermaid Inn is a historical inn which is located in Mermaid Street in the town of Rye in Southern England. It is one of the best known inns in the UK today. The inn was established in the 12th century and it has a long history. The main building dates back to 1420 and the additions were built in the 16th century. Only the cellars of the original building survived. The inn has a strong connection to a group of smugglers known as Hawkhurst Gang, who made use of the inns many secret passages and Rye’s history as a port in the 18th century.”
MEET THE GHOSTS
The Lady by the Fireplace
Room 1 (James) is said to be haunted by a lady in white or grey who sits in the chair by the fireplace.
Room 10 (Fleur de Lys): is said to be haunted by the ghost of a man who has terrified guests by walking through the bathroom wall into the main room.
The Dueling Ghosts
Room 16 (Elizabethan): 2 men at some point in history, got into a knock-down-drag-out duel. One was killed and the other dragged the dead man to the room next door then threw him through a trap door to the dungeon below.
One of the employees was cleaning the fireplace when, across the room, the entire case of bottles on a shelf fell to the floor. He quit (can you blame him?).
The Murdered Maid
A maid, girlfriend of one of the smugglers in the Hawkhurst Gang, was murdered by another gang member because he thought she knew too much and would rat him out.
George Gray’s Wife
Room 17 (Kingsmill) is named after Thomas Kingsmill, a Hawkhurst smuggler who inhabited the inn. Don’t get too close to a rocking chair in the room. It is said to be haunted by another smuggler in the Hawkhurst gang, George Gray’s, wife. The wife has an affinity to this earthly possession, and I thought I was a hoarder!
10. Oatlands Park Hotel
“Oatlands Park Hotel is steeped in royal history. The magnificent grounds were originally the site of a grand Tudor palace built by Henry VIII in 1538. Other monarchs, including Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I, also resided at Oatlands during their reign. ... Oatlands Park opened as a hotel for the first time in 1856.”
MEET THE GHOSTS
Regally she glides across the floor in her crinoline dress and scares the bejesus out of the kitchen staff. She has standards, you know, she waits til guests have left for the evening until she glides through the wall. Hope the chef is yielding a big knife!
The Jilted Maidservant in Room 1313
Room 1313 has the most paranormal occurrences.. Back in the 19th century, a maidservant and her lover got in a heated argument. She fled to the tower (above room 1313) like the damsel in distress. She then barricaded herself in the tower and afterwards, jumped to her death. Guests have felt an unseen presence and incidence of the temperature changing in certain spots in the room.