Ghostly Goings On V

Haunted Houses

I've stayed in a few places that are supposed to be haunted so I thought I'd tell you the tales. 

First there was Beamish Hall:
It is now a hotel, looks nice if you are ever in the North East of England it is worth checking out there and Beamish museum - Link

I stayed there twice while I was at college.  It was an optional part of our English course and was great fun, groups of 16 to 18 year olds away from home in a haunted house!  The house at that time wasn't a hotel but hosted residential courses, it was quite basic with a lot of the house unmodernised.  At might it was very spooky and there were a lot of unexplained noises but nothing to prove haunting.

Beamish Hall allegedly has a few ghosts, the most famous is the Grey Lady:
"Legend has it that the grey lady was in love with Mr Shafto, but was promised to another by her father.  On the day of her wedding, she ran to Beamish Hall to escape from her appointed suitor and hid in a casket in the lowest cellars within the hall.  Unfortunately, the lady locked herself in and suffocated to death, being found some months later.  Her restless spirit wanders the hall today, her wedding dress-grey with age, rustling as she moves."

Others include a man in a tweed suit patrolling the corridors, this is thought to be Mr Shafto.  A lady in pink sitting in the Eden room with her companions including a cat and a parrot.   Amongst the others are children in the attic and a nasty spirit in the kitchen.   It would seem the kitchen spirit had an adverse effect on the food, it was pretty bad, we ordered pizza.

So we are there for a weekend do lots of interesting team building exercises and bits of drama.  One of the things our artistic English teacher decided we should do was scream.  As in arrrrrrgh.  Just as a release.  So there we are taking turns to scream when a blood curdling scream comes from elsewhere in the building.  The screaming increased from there and that was the end of that session.  No idea if it was an echo, the staff joining in or the sound of a tortured soul.

Years later I stayed in Chillingham Castle:
This is a lovely place to stay, check it out - Link the website includes details of the many ghosts, it is allegedly very very haunted and has been on many TV shows.  I went with a large group of friends for a weekend that included a murder mystery evening hosted in the coaching rooms. 

The group I was part of stayed in the landseer rooms,  I shared my time little room with a gay guy and we had a great laugh.  I woke up the first morning and was reading when he woke up and said "shit, this is like a prison cell."  That was before he knew we were locked in!

The downside of the weekend was that I had just split up with a guy I'd lived with for 7 years, he was there too.  I had a great time but there were some tense moments.  At one point I had to escape a, and crept into the next suite where I say on my own and had a good cry.  Other guest may have heard the wailing and thought it was a ghost, sorry guys just me.

The couple staying upstairs from us had a massive fight one night leading to a lot of bumps and bangs which again other guests could be forgiven for assuming it was the blue boy having a party. 

I had to go and collect my dog before we went home.  I was very naughty and let her have a sniff round.  Little Looby didn't notice anything strange so I'm not convinced by the Chillingham ghosts.  Lovely, interesting place though.

Finally at the suggestion of Dan I have added another haunted place that I have stayed.  Edinburgh is allegedly one of the most haunted cities in the world.  I've been here nearly 10 years so I've obviously visited less tourist attractions than the average American would do in a weekend but let me try to summarise out ghostly residents. 


Looking at my fantastic picture of Edinburgh you can see the castle on top of the volcano.  The streets running down from the castle are the old town and this is where most of our ghosties live.  From the Royal Mile you can take a few different ghost tours.  I've done most of them now, the most famous is Mary Kings Close.  When I first visited this tour was very rough and ready, done by student guides.  It was great.  This is a narrow street (or close) that used to run from the Royal Mile to the Nor Loch.  They built new buildings on the Royal mile but left this street underneath.  The story goes that during a plague they walled it up and left everyone there.  The horrible history aside it is really interesting to visit.  They have now done this up to make it a proper visitors attraction, it had taken away some of the character but is still worth a look.  They just did their first public over night stay for Halloween, wish I'd known I might have joined.

The one I like best is the Vaults, Edinburgh's underground city.  This is basically a bridge where they have built both sides and the arches have been filled with vaults.  A quick pic:
You enter the vaults through various buildings, some of the buildings are using parts of the vaults as store rooms.  Some of the pubs are actually in vaults.  I've been down here a few times and it is always different.  They definitely have a spooky feel, you are under the city so there are strange noises.  They have odd temperatures with hot and cold patches.  In addition there are dark doorways and random little storage areas.  There are definitely rats in the vaults so you do hear them.  It's history is nasty too (a pattern forming here), Edinburgh's poor and criminals used to live in the vaults.  I think the famous Burke and Hare stayed in the vaults at some stage (might be wrong).  I'm sure they were dark, smelly and unpleasant then, they still are.

The first visit I did was with work, it's hard to scare a group of 40+ people so it wasn't very creepy.  The second time I was with 2 friends and the total tour group was 6.  The thing I noticed was the temperature changes, very obvious when you take one step from warm to cold.  The best bit was one of the girls on the tour who claimed to be psychic.  She kept describing the spirits she was seeing.  Old women sitting knitting in one vault.  A man running down the centre corridor shouting at us to get out.  She seemed genuinely scared and wanted to leave.  We had been drinking so we were equally but very differently affected by spirits, I've not often laughed that much while trying hard not too.

One of the bars that backs on to the vaults is Whistle Binkies, very popular as it often has a late licence.  This bar has it's own spirit in the form of a long haired 17th century man who sits at the end of the bar, he's called The Watcher, because he watches (see what they did there).  Apparently he has been mistaken for a tour guide in the vaults, not sure how interesting he would have been as I don't believe he speaks?  A lot of people have seen him.  I'm not one of them, I don't drink much, I'm not sure if there is a connection between these things.  They have a second unseen ghost called The Imp which stops clocks and locks doors, more scary than the Watcher.

There are a huge number of ghosts around Edinburgh's old town.  A lot of the bars, hotels and theatres have ghosts, just have a flick through the list on this interesting paranormal site - Link.  I suppose since history says there has been settlements in Edinburgh since it was a hill fort in the 1st century.  Yep a lot of people must have died here so even if only a tiny, tiny percentage hang around we would have a lot of ghosts.  We've also had a lot of influential and famous residents who may have left a residual influence.  I'm particularly looking forward to the first sitings of Dolly the sheep's ghost, she now lives in the national museum.

I think my favourite ghostie is Deacon Brodie (also a great pub on the Royal Mile) he was the inspiration for the Jekyll and Hyde story, a respected business man by day but a criminal by night.  Apparently he was hung using the gallows he designed.  He is said to still walk around The Royal Miles carrying a lantern, with all the strange things on the Royal Mile I'm surprised anyone notices.  In August all the ghosts in Edinburgh could parade up and down the Royal Mile and no one would bat an eyelid, they'd be lucky to sell any tickets for their show.

5 comments:

Just Plain Tired said...

Those are really neat looking buildings. Spooky tales with a little history make for a good post as well.

DanWins said...

OOOOOOOooooooooOOOOOOOooooooo

Nice Post.

I was going to make a Smart A** remark about seeing something in the vault picture and then decided to really look at it before doing that.

Maybe I shouldn't have done that.

If you click on the pic and just look at it a little bigger and clearer by itself, there might actually be something there.

Look at the railing for the steps at the far end of the hall. You can see the rail completely from the top to the bottom but interrupted from the 3rd step from the bottom to the 2nd step from the bottom. Sort of Odd. Can't quite make it out but it does have an unusual shape for a "stain" on the wall.

Just a tad strange. Mayhap you caught something or whoever took that picture??????

Oh, and have a look at how the Halloween Costume worked out at the site.

French Bean & Coffee Bean said...

I suddenly got the image of a ghostly Miss Havisham. o_O"

-Barb the French Bean

Amber said...

LOVE IT!!

My husband has been all over my ass to stay in a haunted hotel.

I love haunted shit, but THERE IS NO WAY I am staying in a haunted hotel.

Fuck that noise.

ciaraknight said...

Cool. I stayed in a haunted castle once. :)
I went Edinburgh for the first time in August 2009. Loved it!

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