Our guest blogger is Paul Stevenson, editor of Haunted magazine, who shares here his top haunted spots in Notts.
At this time of year every farm, field, forest, man, woman and pumpkin turn their land, their attractions and their properties into what we like to call a “good old scare fest”. Just search the attractions on this website and I bet you that you’ll find something spooky happening there. However, as the editor of Haunted Magazine, I am duly obliged to remind that you that “ghosts are for all year round … and not just for Halloween”.
Bearing this in mind I would like to take you on a small tour of the county of my birth, the county that also gave birth to Byron and D H Lawrence, the county that was home to Robin Hood and the county that created tights and lace. But not just any tour, a tour of things that go bump in the night, a tour of terror, a journey of paranormal jaunts and haunted high jinks.
Now, there are many allegedly haunted locations in Nottinghamshire and if I was to mention everyone then I’d be here until Christmas so I am going to look at some locations that you may have heard of but some that you may have not.
Newstead Abbey, home to not just the infamous Byrons (wicked ones and poetic ones) the White Lady, the Rose Lady, the Goblin Friar and the Black Friar are known to wander the halls and gardens. A scary but beautiful location, inside and out.
Bestwood Lodge Hotel, Arnold was the love nest of Nell Gwynn and Charles II. There’s several spooky happenings at this location. The family room is said to smell of oranges but only whenever children stay in the room too. The staff have also reported that they’ve seen strange figures walking around corridors. Note: if you’re going to investigate her, bring your children with you.
The Galleries of Justice claims to be one of the most haunted locations on the country. Its gruesome past from the Sheriff of Nottingham being judge and jury, resulting in hangings and executions on the steps outside, to the small prison cells and harrowing plight of men and women awaiting transportation to Australia. Screams, knocks and doors slamming have all been heard and there’s rumoured to be twenty five bodies buried in the exercise yard.
Sherwood Forest, or as I like to call it Scarewood Forest, home to Robin Hood, highwaymen, vagabonds and soldiers, this eerie location is best experienced at night. An area called the Bowl is rumoured to have had Witchcraft practiced there, ghostly soldiers have been heard calling out on the “army path” and the mystery, history and legend of this famous place all adds to the spookiness.
Clifton Hall, an 11th century building purchased by a wealthy business man in 2006. Less than a year later work men fled the property after seeing strange shadowy figures. Local Paranormal Investigators were called in and for three nights they experienced footsteps, strange voices, a room full of wasps, disorientation and paranoia. In 2008 the owner contacted the experienced investigators again after seeing scratches on his baby, blood spots on the baby’s head and feathers placed on the baby’s head whilst sleeping. The cleaner fled, the owner’s wife was nearly pushed down the stairs. They spent another three nights there where they broke down in tears, collapsed, saw strange figures and heard voices from empty rooms. They even witnessed tables flying across the Grand Hall and, again, the feeling of paranoia. Not long after the owner and his family left the owner overnight giving the £3.5 million mansion back to the bank, becoming the most expensive repossession in the UK.
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, home to the Cursed Galleon in the Rock Lounge, untouched and uncleaned for years, it is said that if you clean it, you will die within 12 months. Flying glasses, wafts of perfume and ghostly apparitions make this a must visit if your interests are of a paranormal nature.
Colwick Hall, a historic building that was partly ransacked and burnt by rioters in 1831 and the ghost of Mary Chaworth-Musters apparently hides behind trees (as she did to avoid the rioters in 1831). Footsteps, children’s voices and laughter are also reputedly to have been heard inside the Hall. Note: Mary was the childhood love interest of Byron.
There are hundreds of locations in Nottinghamshire that I would love to talk about, pubs, castles, houses, forests, roads, hotels all seeped in local legends, local history and local mystery.
Check out this fantastic website for more information about what’s on your doorstep at Halloween.
Paul Stevenson, Editor of Haunted Magazine.
FREE digital magazine www.haunteddigitalmagazine.com
Issue 15 also available in a limited edition print format.