Carlisle Castle

Carlisle Castle

Name: Carlisle Castle (Inner bailey keep)
Locality: Dacre Road, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 8UR
Built: Early 12th century
Owner: English Heritage
Grade I
Website: EH
One sunny day we happened to stumble upon Carlisle castle for the first time, the place was crawling with workmen and riggers setting the scenery up for a TV show.  Feeling like I was getting in the way I continued forward into its dark interior. Wizzy our spaniel was allowed in too. 

I knew the castle was a notorious paranormal hotspot, but I hadn’t read about it in any great detail. I don’t have an iphone or internet while I am away so can’t look it up. Nor do I buy the expensive books that English heritage try and get me to buy on the way in.  As a skeptic I generally believe that people minds run riot in such places. I have spent 10 years visiting allegedly haunted places and I have never witnessed anything. (well only on one occasion) 

The night after I got back, I had a terrible dream that I was being strangled and I was going to die because I couldn’t breath. 

According to a newspaper article by Sarah Newstead that appeared in the News & Star on 28 September 2011 entitled ‘Is Cumbria The Most Haunted?’ Although the “ghosts” at the castle are said to be pretty friendly, Frederick Graham, of Dalegarth Avenue, Harraby, had a different tale to tell. He says: “As a serving soldier of the Border Regiment I was sleeping alone on the ground floor of the Arroyo Billet, Christmas 1954.“During the night I was attacked by a ghost which was intent on strangling me, and it very nearly did.“It was the most horrific night of my life and I remember it to this day.”

Strange breathing echoes around the stone stairs 😉
We wandered through the castle, frantic laboured breathing was echoing off the dark dank walls, Wizzy was excited, considering his sense of smell is 100,000 times greater than mine, the smell of the place would be amazing to him, the wood, the red sandstone, it smelled gorgeously old, if that makes sense. I did take many photos, I just wished I could record the smells. 

No spirits here, just creepy old corridors and underlit rooms. 
The following account was contributed to based on the author’s own real life experience …
An Eventful History 
Dominating the city of Carlisle for 900 years, Carlisle Castle was continually reworked and remodelled as a fortress until well within living memory. Its brooding presence reflects its long and eventful history. The site was an important Roman fortress. Today, the castle still plays a prominent role in Cumbria as one of its best unknown landmarks.
The squat, frowning keep, begun during the 12th century by King Henry I of England and completed by King David I of Scotland, is both the oldest part of the castle and a reminder that Carlisle was a disputed frontier fortress, long commanding the especially turbulent western end of the Anglo-Scottish border. The keep houses displays about the castle’s history, from medieval assaults and the exploits of Elizabethan Border Reivers, to the Civil War siege and Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite Rising of 1745-6.
Carlisle was then the very last English fortress ever to suffer a siege: overwhelmed by Cumberland’s Hanoverian army in December 1745.
Equally famous are the strange and fantastic carvings on the keep’s second floor, cut in about 1480. 
The Warden’s Apartments in D’Ireby’s Tower, the outer gatehouse has also been furnished as it would have been in the 13th century. 
King Richard III, then the Duke of Gloucester became the Warden of the West Marches in 1470 aged just 18 years and by the time of his death at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, he was the Duke of Cumberland. During the 15 or so years that he was the Warden he alternated between The Tile Tower, situated in the city wall on the castle orchard, and Penrith Castle; he seemed to have spent his life accumulating titles and offices.
By the time Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned in Carlisle Castle in 1567-8 by Elizabeth I, Henry, Lord Scrope was then Warden of the West Marches. Henry VIII’s rebuilding of the castle for heavy artillery had left its mark on Carlisle, including the keep’s rounded ‘shot-deflecting’ battlements and the Half Moon Battery defending the Captain’s Tower gateway. The castle’s military history did not end after the Jacobite Rising: Fear of a radical revolution made it a permanently occupied garrison from the 1820s, when the barrack blocks lining the outer ward were begun. Indeed the castle remained the headquarters of the Border Regiment until 1959, and the 300-year history of Cumbria’s famous infantry regiment is vividly told in Cumbria’s Military Museum (Tel 01228 532774) which is housed within the castle grounds. Note: the castle admission charge includes free entry to the museum.
Strange Happenings During the castle’s long and eventful life, things have happened that are bound to leave a mark … now the spooky bit! There are many old stories, some of which are true, some of which have some truth in them and of course some of which have grown with the castle. To the author’s knowledge there are the following:

The apparitions of two medieval soldiers on the top floor of the keep; they keep themselves to themselves but they will sometimes show themselves. 

The ghost of King Stephen which leans against the wall in the upper keep next to the model of the City of Carlisle; strangely if you look from the front of the model you can see his front and if you walk around the model to the rear you can see his back.

The spirit of the old caretaker (there is a picture of him in life sitting at Queen Mary’s Table in the keep) which sits in a chair near the old bell. He will present himself as whatever you wish to see. A black shadowy figure seen by almost anyone who has worked at the castle wanders around in the inner keep and there is also a different shadow on the half moon battery.
A yeoman of an indeterminate era which walks up and down the pathway running in front of the cell block towards the old Regimental Headquarters. A caretaker doing his rounds once met a lost soldier on the stairs in Ypres block and when he told the soldier which way to go he realised he was wearing the wrong uniform for the period.
A sentry which sits on guard just inside the archway of the inner keep. Always there, the eternal sentinel.

Another old story is of the sentry, who saw the lady dressed in white and bayoneted her only to watch her disappear; he subsequently dropped dead later that night from fright. 
Once when locking Ypres block for the night, a Territorial Army Sergeant Major noticed that a light had been left on in the top floor classroom. A Corporal ran back upstairs and opened the classroom door to find it in darkness. Opening a window he shouted down to the Sergeant Major that the light was off, only to be told that it wasn’t; the Corporal was back downstairs in record time. I can confirm this story, I was the Corporal.
In Cumbria’s Military Museum within the castle grounds, several unexplained ‘happenings’ have occurred …
The one about the alarm being set off three nights in a row stopped when an engineer replaced a faulty sensor.
Footsteps can be heard upstairs when the place is empty and on the back stairs a playful ghost pretends to push you down the stairs or pull you back without any malice just having a laugh.
In the lower gallery there seems to be almost constant movement near the Arnhem display; nothing concrete but out of the corner of your eye it’s always ‘What was that?
There are numerous things wandering about Carlisle Castle which makes it well worth a visit but perhaps the best – and one of the best I have seen – is the Cherry Blossom tree outside what is known as Alma Block. When the nights wear on and the dusk comes earlier and earlier at certain times of the year something will play peep-eye around the tree!
None of the above is designed to frighten anyone – these are benign ghosts simply getting on with the jobs they had in life. However, it is fascinating to get a glimpse of a previous age.
SignedScrope’s Pal





RAF Cosford
This week we visited RAF Cosford in Shropshire, in this photo that I took is the Avro Lincoln B2 RF398. Many people have witnessed odd things around this aircraft including myself. I was taking a photo of the plane when I heard clear footsteps behind me, not thinking too much about it as there were a few people milling about; I turned around and no one was there! I mentioned this to my other half. But, I was well aware of the stories I just put it down to suggestion or misinterpretation, but I did hear someone walking right behind me. Initially the haunting of the Lincoln was a hoax, but after, strange things did happen. 

Brian Redfern is one of many visitors to wonder if they’d seen a ghost in the Avro Lincoln After all, it wasn’t merely the insistence of ghost hunters that suggested the aeroplane is haunted. Many staff have experienced strange goings on near and in the aircraft. In 1991, the BBC’s Gwyn Richards investigated the bomber aided by paranormal investigator Ivan Spenceley. As well as listening to archived audio recordings and some of the first hand stories, the pair spent a couple of nights inside the aircraft, armed with recording equipment. They captured a number of mechanical sounds… sounds (it was claimed) that were difficult to attribute to either the building cooling down or the aircraft settling.

In trying to identify some of the strange sounds, Gwyn and Ivan took an ex Lincoln air crew to visit the infamous aircraft and introduced them to a few of the recorded noises. Phil Pritchett, Gareth Lewis and Peter Palma even claimed to be able to identify a few of the individual sounds – attributing them to actions that would be typically carried out by a pilot and his crew in preparation for (and during) flight.

The first known incident involving the plane occurred when, in 1980, a member of the museum’s staff was locking the hangar for the night. Looking back he believed that he saw someone move in the old aircraft and so he switched the lights back on. Having searched all the corners of the aircraft he turned to switch the lights off again when a “cloudy thing” appeared. Later that week a mechanic was working alone on the Lincoln. He felt around in the dark for a spanner which had just fallen, when it felt as if it was thrust into his hand.

Could it be the ghost of ‘Master Pilot’ Hiller who loved the aircraft and was at the controls for its last ever flight in 1963. It’s said that Hiller promised to “haunt his baby”. Hiller was killed near Cosford in an air crash not long after the Lincoln’s last flight. More recently the secretary to the museum society was busy preparing a notice board about the Lincoln when she heard her name being called. Thinking it was one of the museum staff calling her for a cup of tea she looked toward the Lincoln, then towards the door but saw no one. To this day she will not enter the hangar alone.

The story is also told about an electrician working 15 feet above the ground when he suddenly fell. He remembers thinking “this is it” because he had already injured his spine in a similar fall from another aeroplane. But instead of hitting the concrete floor with expected force, he floated to a stop “as if”, he said, “some invisible force had prevented his fall from being fatal”. Very few claim to have seen the ghost, and those who have, say he is in the gun-turret at the rear, or in the navigator’s seat in the cockpit.


RAF Cosford
© WizzyTours


For Sale – Haunted house

 Raynalds Mansion, High Street, Much Wenlock, Shropshire

 Raynalds Mansion – 1682
Raynaulds Mansion - Much Wenlock - Jules Paranormal Tour UK
© WizzyTours

Raynalds Mansion is now for sale, but there is a hefty price tag. This property can be purchased via for £795.000

Much Wenlock is a beautiful, quaint, stereotypical English country village, with some right eye-candy at your every turn and I mean the historical buildings 😉 I snapped this house in particular with its original timbers, I have never seen a house so old.

Image courtesy 

Raynalds house is Much Wenlock’s most important historic residency, it dates back to the 15th century, all the timbers are original, it also has a priest hole. There is a stone extension at the back of the property, it is believed that the stone was added around the 16th century and that the stone was used from Wenlock Abbey after the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539.
People claim that faces appear at the windows and children in Victorian outfits have been seen playing with spinning tops on the balcony.

The Haunted Spar Shop – Much Wenlock

More recently there were reports of a haunted supermarket in Much Wenlock.And when workers began carrying out improvements to the Spar shop, just off The Square in Much Wenlock, things started happening.
“Shopping trolleys began moving on their own, heavy breathing was heard and there were even apparitions.The problems started after the builders dug up ancient pottery and old bones underneath the building.In early 2002,trainee manager Michelle Willis told BBC Midlands Today: “I was sitting over by the computer.“I could hear breathing. I opened the door but nobody was there.“What’s been going on at the moment is enough. It’s enough and I’m frightened of it.”Trolleys in the storeroom appeared to have moved on their own and one member of staff felt a hand on their shoulder.Shop supervisor Jody Anderson also witnessed an unexplained event: “I was going out to the back to wash some cups, when I saw something appear.“It stayed for something like 15 seconds and then it disappeared, totally,” he said.The shop is on the site of a medieval alehouse in the historic town.But when they were digging down, the builders found unexpected remains.“Items of crockery, lots of bones, definitely human bones,” said builder John Todd.“The abbey cemetery was moved here in the 12th Century and we came across all these human bones,” he said.


© WizzyTours
Shrewsbury railway station was once the gateway to Wales and the North, with many routes on which VIP’s would travel. One such VIP, a Shrewsbury Councillor, has made the same journey to platform three since 1887 when he was killed by a falling roof, which also crushed his carriage and injured his horse. The shadowy figure stands or sits near the ramp entrance from Castle St.

Ironbridge Power Station ©WizzyTours

Buildwas Abbey above and below ©WizzyTours

Buildwas Abbey – English Heritage
It would seem that the power station cuts into the old boundaries of Buildwas Abbey – especially the station’s coal bay, where a ghostly monk has been seen. Buildwas Power Station looks at odds with the surrounding countryside – even more so when you see the ruined abbey next door. The Black Monk is said to haunt the abbey ruins, but has more recently scared the pants off people in the power station itself. One worker was loading the great bucket upon his digger with coal when, in the space left by the bucket, he noticed a shape of what he thought was a woman. Thinking he’d stumbled across a murder victim, the worker got down from his cab. But before he even reached the ground, the figure floated toward him before it vanishing, just a few feet in front of him.
He broke all world records getting out of the building!

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This place is OLD very… OLD!!
Bolling Hall was first mentioned in the mediæval period 1086 additional editions were added in the Plantagenet Era (pre-Tudor) it is one of the oldest buildings in the area.

You can get into Bolling hall for FREE in the daylight hours, it’s usually quiet if you pick your times, I had the whole place to myself one day, I was able to amble around at my own leisure. So why pay £55 to walk around in the dark with a load of strangers going ooooahhh what was that…? Doesn’t make sense to me…but that’s just me…

Images from my recent visit.
Bolling Hall, Bradford

Bolling Hall, Bradford

Bolling Hall, Bradford

Bolling Hall, Bradford

Bolling Hall is one of the oldest buildings in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. It is currently used as a museum and education centre. The building is about a mile from the centre of Bradford. Its surroundings are suburban in character.

Before the Industrial Revolution, Bradford was a small town and difficult to defend as it lay in a basin. However, Bolling Hall occupies a commanding position on a hillside. The earliest part of this building, dating from the 14th century, has been interpreted as a pele tower, although Bradford is somewhat outside the typical geographical area for these defensive structures.
Bolling Hall, Bradford

The Manor of Bolling (Bollinc) is first mentioned in Domesday Book and was at that time in the possession of a man named Sindi. The manor then came under the control of Ilbert de Lacy. By 1316 the manor was owned by William Bolling, and Bollings owned the estate until the late 15th century when control went to the Tempests who held the estate until 1649. The estate changed hands several times thereafter until eventually it was let to several tenants until being presented to Bradford Corporation in 1912. It was opened as a museum three years later.

The kitchen of Bolling Hall
During the second siege of Bradford in 1643, during the English Civil War, the house was a Royalist base. On this occasion the Royalists took the town, which had strong Parliamentarian sympathies, and it was thought that the victors would put the inhabitants to the sword. There is a legend that a ghost appeared in the bedroom where the Royalist commander Earl of Newcastle was staying to tell him to “Pity poor Bradford”. There is usually material on display relating to the English Civil War including a death mask of Oliver Cromwell. In the 18th century parts of the house were modernised by the architect John Carr, following a fire.
The Bolling chapel at Bradford parish church, now Bradford Cathedral, was restored by the Tempest family in the 17th century but did not survive the twentieth-century rebuilding of the Chancel. (Wiki)

Telegraph and Argus

Ghost at Bolling Hall, Bradford
Staring out from behind a bed post, surrounded by a yellow glow, is the tiny, pale face of what appears to be a young woman. But is she actually a phantom?
Looks like a kid photobombing to me 😉


The Jamaica Inn is famous for its smuggling history and for being the setting and inspiration behind Daphne du Maurier’s book,making an appearance in a Alfred Hitchcock film

Drinking Sailor

Location: Bolventor – Jamaica Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A sailor who was murdered nearby reportedly returns to the public house to finish his last drink; he has been seen sitting on the wall outside the building. There have also been reports of a ghostly floating cloak, while outside there was a report of a phantom man hanging by his neck from a nearby tree.

Source – Paranormal Database
Photos JPTUK




‘The Ruskington Horror’ is a very well known spontaneous case, if you have not heard the story, it is worth a read. Multiple eye-witness sightings of the same apparition over many years, along a stretch of road (A15) in Lincolnshire. Yet again as I research this story it’s like walking in quicksand. So many accounts, so many theories and the more you go into it, the deeper you get. Everything from the traditional to the romantic. Tragic deaths, witches, a highwayman, hypnopompic hallucinations, and alcohol. 

Witness Kevin Whelan (1998) He had an experience that he will never forget. On a dark and lonely stretch of road in Lincolnshire the A15 near the Ruskington turn off, approximately 2am on a Sunday morning, he describes seeing a white shadow just as he got to the brow of the hill in his car.  Not believing anything supernatural he thought it was car lights and didn’t give it much thought. He got to this white shadow when all of a sudden a face appeared on the drivers side of the car and windscreen, it appeared to have it’s left hand up. He remembers driving a little too fast.  The apparition was not see through, he described a man with dark hair, kind of Greek looking with olive pitted skin. From the neck down it had a fluorescent look to it, he could also see its teeth. Witnessing it no more than 50 seconds.  He continued to drive at 60mph with this form still visible through his window. He had music playing loudly in the car, he pulled out the fascia in earnest.  The apparition seemed to just fade away down the side of the car. 

He quickly shot home, went indoors and locked the house door without locking the car door. He was so shaken by what he had seen, he started to cry, he then woke his wife up and told her what he had seen. The morning after he went to the car wash, as he put it ‘to remove the memory of the event’. The following Sunday he returned to the same spot with a video camera in the hope of seeing it again to convince himself at to what he saw, but nothing happened. Kevin had heard that a friend of his had been told by a police officer that a motorcyclist had been killed on that stretch of road. Lincolnshire is a notorious black spot for motorcycle fatalities. 

One sceptics reaction was –

Certain things about the story stand out for me. Firstly that it was late at night, or rather a Sunday morning in a rural area. Far be it from me to suggest that Kevin had been at a boozer somewhere and was on his way home, but he wouldn’t be the first, I’m sure. Secondly the bit about the cassette player, when I’m on my way home late at night, to stop myself from falling asleep at the wheel. I bet I’m not alone here, right? Hypnapompic hallucinations, to me Kev’s story sounds just like he fell asleep or was falling asleep at the wheel, perhaps after a couple of sherberts, and woke suddenly, befuddled, as he travelled a stretch of road which knows has had at least one recent fatality (he also states that it happened just before “a very very tight bend”). I think his unconscious mind was shaking his conscious mind back into full control before he hit that tight bend when it would have been curtains for both minds!  Anyway, I would imagine you’d get a bloody good look at it, 40 or 50 seconds is a long time – get your stopwatch out and see, more than enough time to be sure of what the hell is going on. Unless, of course you aren’t fully awake. You’d cover a considerable distance at 60+mph as well, can anyone local drive past the scene and estimate how far he’d have gone with this “bin bag” hanging off his wing mirror? 

Kevin wasn’t the only one to have witnessed this apparition. 

Witness: Rob Burkett (1984) 
It was about 8:30pm I had just finished a delivery of day old chickens, it was around October-November time 1984. I used to stay at a bed and breakfast in Ruskington. All of a sudden a thing was on the side of the road with its hand up, he seemed to walk out just as I was going through the speed limit.  

Witness: Sarah Martin (1983)
She had seen a sighting the previous year. She and her boyfriend had been to the cinema in Lincoln and was driving back to Cranwell, when a black silhouette of a man seemed to run out of a ditch straight in front of their car. Her boyfriend who was driving didn’t see anything. She noted that if it had been a person, they would have obviously hit it and described her experience as ‘horrid and frightening’.

First witness: Kevin Whelan (1998)
He noted that first of all it looked like a white bin bag floating in front of him, he didn’t see it of any concern until a face appeared in front of him, staring at him with its mouth wide open and appearing very distressed. His wife remarked on the psychological state of her husbands mind after the event. ‘When he arrived home, he woke me up in a panic and stood there crying and was a white as a sheet’ [sic] She had never seen him like this in their 13 year marriage. ‘I have seen a ghost!!!’

Witness: Sarah (1996)
Sarah had her encounter in 1996 in the exact location that Kevin had seen it, black from head to toe, is all that is described about it.

Witness: School coach driver (1960)
In 1960 a man had been driving a school coach, he believed that he had run someone over, but when he got out of the vehicle to investigate nothing was there. 

Witness: Catherine Stephenson (date unknown)
Catherine was 15 at the time, she had been walking to Ruskington where she had attended school; she had sensed a presence behind her, feeling a cold shiver up her back, she turned around and saw a figure, but only its head and shoulders were visible, the rest of the torso was like a sheet. 

Witness: Jenny Sellars (1988)
Jenny saw a figure in 1988 when she was driving back from Sleaford to Lincoln.  She was driving carefully and slowly along a dark stretch of road when a sheet or a bit of plastic came towards her, like a plastic bin liner. It came down in front of the windscreen, she slammed her breaks on thinking she had hit something, she knew she hadn’t as there had been no impact. There was nothing on the ground, it was just black outside.  

Christine Lee’s father (date unknown)
Christine’s father had worked at RAF Cranwell, one night he and his friends decided to cut through some fields to return to their barracks.  He saw a ghostly white figure ‘coming from above him’ [sic] with it’s hand out as if to say ‘don’t go’, he and his friends decided it would be better to go back the long way around. (Christine assumes that hand out gesture ‘don’t go’ was a warning to her father as the fields may have been boggy and marshy.  Sometime later he had witnessed it again whilst driving, turning off the A15.

Witness: Lynn Gothing from Essex also said she saw the same thing around 1997, recalling that it looked like a monk waving. 

Witness: Helen Carter (date unknown) also sees a figure with its hand raised as if a warning. 

Many believe that this apparition could be a motorcyclist that met his end on the road. People also believe it to be a hermit who was run over by an army lorry back in WW2 (second world war).

The hangman’s haunt also called ‘Dunsbury Hollow’ – is a nickname around this area. In the past a highwayman hid in a hollow (or dyke (ditch) and then held up stage coaches. 

Other apparitions witnessed in this general area – A woman in a pink ball gown. Also, two white cart horses which have been seen on numerous occasions. 

There is much speculation as to what is going on with regards to the Ruskington Horror. Are they just made up stories, altered states of conciousness, reinterpretations, hallucinations, ghost misidentification, coincidence, or something else science cannot explain? Or just a plain old bin liner, they are a bluddy nuisance when they get stuck under your car 😉

The full in-depth version can be found here – UK cases, Lincolnshire.


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THIS GHOST IS A BIT SKETCHY – Spontaneous case, a man allegedly sees ghost of an old man in castle grounds. Ludlow Castle

Ludlow Castle, Shropshire, UK

21 March 2014

Sketch of the ghost he claims to have seen in Ludlow Castle.

ERIC Humphrey and his wife Cath have journeyed back to Ludlow to put a ghost to rest.
The couple from Bradford in West Yorkshire are great fans of Ludlow and have been regular visitors to the town for more than 30 years.
They are great fans of the Ludlow Festival and were at the last night last year when something extraordinary happened.
Eric, aged 81, was in the audience at the back by the wall before the start of the closing show when he could not believe his eyes.
“I saw a very elderly man with a walking stick taking slow steps across the grass,” said Eric.
“He was dressed in ordinary clothes and was shuffling along very slowly but was absolutely clear.
“I watched him for two or three minutes and ran down to the front but was distracted by the sound of an ambulance and he disappeared.”
No one else, including Eric’s wife Cath, aged 71, saw a thing but the artist has no doubt about what he had seen.
“It was as clear as if someone had just been a few yards away and was nothing like people imagine a ghost to be but was very real in the day light.”
Eric, a no-nonsense Yorkshire man, says that he had never seen anything like it before or since and on his return to Ludlow wants to know if anyone else saw the apparition on the last night of the festival last year.

While he says that he did not find the ‘ghost’ disturbing it has shaken him up.
“I just want to know if anyone else saw anything because I know what I saw. It was about 7pm when I saw the man.”
He says that he has since discovered that the unusual walking stick that the ‘man’ had with notches and a ‘pistol’ grip was common in Victorian times.
It is the most unusual thing to have happened to Eric and Cath in all the years that they have been coming to the Ludlow Festival.
“We first came to Ludlow in 1976 and have been back every year since,” said Cath.
“The first time that we came to the Ludlow Festival was in the early 1990s to see The Merchant of Venice.”
Eric, who is an accomplished artist specialising in aviation, had exhibitions of his work at Dinham House in Ludlow in 1992 and 1994.
“We had a Ford Fiesta so it took a lot of journeys to bring the paintings,” added Eric.
Cath says that at best she remembers it took six trips to get all of the paintings to Ludlow.
But Eric’s art skills have come in useful and enabled him to make an accurate drawing of the ‘ghost’ that he saw at the Ludlow Festival last year.
He is hoping that someone else will have seen something or has some information about the elderly man who wanders the grounds of Ludlow Castle and seemingly has a passion for the arts.
It could be yet another attraction for one of the best summer festivals in the country.

The Ludlow Arts Festival, a pretty busy time of year for visitors, why did this ghostly gent stand out so much from the crowds?

An interesting and trustworthy story, from a senior gentleman; a spontaneous account; what did Eric actually see? A normal person or a ghost? ‘just vanished into thin air or just disappeared into the crowd?’. 

“Sometimes you have to stand further back to see the whole picture”. 

This is a relevant example of ‘When ghosts appear’ sporadically and two thirds of sightings happen in the afternoon, witnessed by people going about their daily lives with no thought of the paranormal. My case in point too that, ‘Ghost hunters look for ghosts in the dark’. This case happened at 7pm, assuming it was still daylight -(summer festival).

It is refreshing to read about these types of experiences, this man probably had no interest in the paranormal up until that point. I generally find it mind numbingly boring reading about paranormal type experiences involving the true believers and investigators going out looking for ghosts, (which frequently involves one bias or another) 

I tend to be sceptical about what I read in news articles, due to their sensationalistic nature and their indirect advertising techniques, in this case mentioning the Summer festival and the added irrelevance of his artwork, (apart from the dodgy sketch!) and what the heck has a Ford Fiesta got to do with anything??? Is anyone’s guess!

Why go to the papers about it anyway? He wants anyone else to come forward in regard to the sightings, has anyone else seen it? 

  • Possible misperception
  • a living person (just an old guy with an old walking stick)
  • a ghost/spirit

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Not for the faint of heart!
Ghoulish crimes, punishments and morbid tales
It’s little wonder ghosts still haunt some places, as they still linger and fear to move on to the next world.
Only people who did heinous crimes were subjected to the most horrible of punishments in England.
In the past people craved a decent burial, but if you were tried for murder or any other heinous crime then you could find yourself gibbeted, or hanged drawn and quartered, flogged, burned alive, guillotined or pressed to death.
If you were lucky you would get off with a straight forward hanging from a long drop which brought you a quick death, alternatively if you weren’t so lucky, you would be hung from a short drop where your body would have writhed about for at least and hour, you would choke and vomit yourself to death.  The innocent were also punished too. Gibbeting..hung up from a metal cage, the local blacksmith would measure you up for a gibbet cage and they would cram you in it, hang you 30 foot high off the ground then leave you to die where bits would drop off and what remained of your decomposing flesh the crows would peck off including your eyeballs.
Winter's Gibbet - - 671301
A Northumberland gibbet – stands on the site of one from which the body of William Winter, he was suspended in chains after he had been hanged at The Westgate in Newcastle. Today this grisly relic is called Winter’s Gibbet.
‘Gallows birds’ The gibbet story of a Lincolnshire murderer ‘Tom Otter’ the flesh fell off his jawbone and a blue tit nested inside his mouth and had its young. The poem goes  “nine tongues within one head the tenth went out to seek for bread, to feed the living within the dead” As the old lady walked past his gibbet cage she noticed a nest of starlings in his rib cage. 44 years he was hung up in the gibbet, eventually it blew down in the wind. His bones lie buried beneath the gibbet post.  You can still hear the phantom creaking of the gibbet post and hear the rattling of chains that held up Tom Otter’s gibbet cage.
Resurrectionists by phiz
If you found yourself living rough in the sleazy part of Edinburgh in the 1700’s then it wasn’t a pleasant time for you, you didn’t lay down to sleep without keeping one eye open because a body snatcher might be lurking round the next corner. Body snatching was rife in the area and you could have been their next victim! Body snatching and grave robbing was so bad graveyards had large walls and railings built around them, doctors would pay good money for a good supply of cadavers, they also used executed criminals for anatomical experimentation. But criminals found their own sinister methods of profiteering the business by supplying medical students with fresh bodies, so fresh in-fact they were just barely alive!  Burke and Hare were notorious body snatchers of the era, they had their own form of strangulation by restricting their victims breathing by covering the nose and mouth so as not to damage the body, the method was known as ‘Burking’. Dr Knox paid up to seven pounds seven shillings for the bodies so he could carry out his ‘no questions asked’ work, easy money for the pair. When they did the grave robbing they would remove the body and replace it with tanning bark.  After many years the pair were found out through rumour and Burke was sentence to hang. On January 28th 1829 Burke was hanged, over 25,000 people attended the execution, the crowded cheered ‘Burke him, Burke him!!”  Ironically HIS body also ended up being dissected by medical students who removed sections of his skin and bound a book with it, it is stamped on the front in gold lettering ‘Burke’s Skin 1829’ but before dissection, Burke’s corpse was put on a slab in town, a public exhibition for thousands to see and walk past at a rate of sixty people a minute. His skeleton can still be seen at Surgeon’s Hall in Edinburgh along with his death mask and the life mask of is cohort Hare, but did you know, Hare got off Scot free!!
Mary I Queen of Scots
Mary Queen of Scots ghost wanders many an earthy pile, her life was taken away in 1587 by the executioners axe.
She laid down her head, putting her chin over the block with both her hands she laid there quietly, and stretching out her arms cried, In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum” (“Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit”), she endured two strokes with the axe, making hardly a noise or moving so the executioner cut off her head, although not detaching it accurately, he lifted up her head to the view of all the assembly and bade God save the Queen. Then lifted her wig off her head, her hair appeared as grey as a women’s of threescore and ten years old, cut very short, her face in a moment being so much altered from the form she had when she was alive, as few could remember her by her dead face. Her lips stirred up and a down a quarter of an hour after her head was cut off.

A very ordinary lady by the name of Margaret Clitherow who lived in York in the 1500’s was found guilty of practicing Catholicism which was considered treason in that era.  She held mass in her house knowing that if the authorities found out, there would be hell to pay.  Alas one day her home was searched and chalices and vestments were found and she was arrested.  But the trial couldn’t proceed because she wouldn’t plead, she shouted “I need no trial!” which lead to a very barbaric death by pressing.  Only aged thirty she was laid on the floor with a stone under her back and a door place on top of her she was subjected to having heavier and heavier stones placed upon her chest until a plea was entered, the weight of the stones on  her chest became too great for the condemned lady to breathe, fatal suffocation finally occurred.  Her home is now a shrine.


St Botolph’s Church
Skidbrooke “Demon Church” Saltfleet, Lincolnshire 

Skidbrooke Church or St Botolph’s I known for being one of Lincolnshire’s hotspot haunted places, with a good pedigree and lots written about it on the internet So as we were in the area I thought we would have a gander.

As we drove on the quiet and winding country lanes, I spotted the church in the distance, you can’t miss it really, it’s the only tall building you can see. Lonely and remote stuck in the middle of nowhere on Lincolnshire’s flat marshlands. We pulled up on a side road in the car, Spaniel in tow. Only seconds out of the car I spotted what I thought was a big black dog bounding towards us, it just appeared out of nowhere and was running in our direction with no owner in sight! I shouted ‘Get in the car now!!!’ We all dived in the car like our lives depended on it. How the mind can play tricks, fortunately it wasn’t a barguest with glowing red eyes, but a little stray black terrier dog, quite a tiny thing it was, I could have sworn it was BIG really big, I hate big black dogs, so glad it wasn’t.

The dog continued to mind its own business and walked ahead of us up the long path to the church then disappeared in the long grass. By this point I was a little nervous as to what was around the next corner. Luckily the churchyard was all quiet, only a distant crow could be heard and a pigeon flapping its wings, the sun was shining  and there was no breeze.

“Mysterious Lincolnshire” By Daniel Codd

The 13th century church has stood abandoned for many a year now. It has not been used for Christian worship for 30 years. But its remoteness in marshland and corpse-shrouded eerie setting seem to have made it the focal point for gatherings of a sinister kind. Even before this there was reputed to have been the ghostly figures of hooded monks still haunting the place. A correspondent to the Lincolnshire Echo of 11 February 2006 noted how, late one night, in the hollow, empty shell of the church, he and some friends had clearly heard phantom footsteps crunch on the stone floor. Local lore tells ancient, vague stories of spells and witchcraft and is said that this church has been cursed! Stories first appeared in the 1970’s and 80’s that the empty church had become the haunt of Satanists, so much that it earned the reputation as the so-called Demon Church.

There were persistent reports of fires burning in its grounds and strange activities taking place, by January 2004 locals were so disturbed by the goings-on that they forced a meeting between the church leaders and the churches conservation trust to try and decide what action to take – one sad but extreme option being to demolish the church.

The Bassetlaw Ghost Research Group had set up base camp in one corner of the old church during an all-night investigation. They reported that the gloomy oppressive atmosphere of the place appearing to be almost trying to force them to leave. Strange noises were heard, and ominous flashes in the sky when the weather was calm. Parapsychologist David Wharmby also stated enigmatically to the Louth Leader Newspaper, “We Saw Small Babies among the gravestones and grass!”

In the hamlet of Skidbrooke itself, the dark rumours surrounding the church had forced one woman to have her house blessed by a priest! The woman said ” I felt such bad vibes, the whole place really freaked me out!”

It is stated in this article that Dave Wharmby is a parapsychologist, but he is actually a well known trance medium.

To our surprise the place was a shell, but not in a total state of disrepair. The windows were out, the leading on the windows was all twisted and contorted giving it a rather spooky appearance.

We walked around the graveyard, found some old war graves. I didn’t sense anything eerie, why would I? Maybe at night it would be a different story. I would have gone back at night, but the inclement weather soon put paid to that. Shelter from the rain, but the howling gales would have covered up any sounds of phantom footsteps! 

“Experts claim church is paranormal paradise” Louth leader – Which experts??

A classic stereotype,  local lore, gossip, people up to no good, then the rumours start and before you know it, an innocent old place is crawling with ghosts, demons and ghost hunters. 

From these photos, the church appears to be in the middle of the nowhere, it is in-fact only 1 mile away from Saltfleet which is only a 20 minute walk away and only 5 minutes away on a BMX bike with a tailwind. This area of Lincolnshire is a popular tourist spot with many people passing through it. Ghosts? Personally I would take the story with a pinch of salt. It was probably some bored locals up to no good.

We also have strange goings on in our locality too, youths setting fire to stuff (usually wheely bins) in the local mill ruins and woodland, but I am pretty sure they aren’t satanists.

Legend tripping – The concept of legend tripping is at least as old as Mark Twain‘s 1876 The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which contains several accounts of adolescents visiting allegedly haunted houses and caves said to be the lairs of criminals. Wikipedia.
It only takes one paranormal investigation to go mainstream for a location to get a rating as ‘One of the most haunted…’ EVIDENCE PLEASE!? ? 

The scariest thing was the little black dog! 

It is a picturesque place to visit with your camera if you’re in the area.  

Path up to the church

How the mind can play tricks!!!

LINKSSkidbrooke Church – The History & the Mystery’s_Church,_Skidbrooke



I have been to Levens Hall on a couple of occasions, the first time was when a TV production company called Dreamscope Productions contacted me, they wanted me to help them out with a paranormal documentary they were filming there called ‘Into The Unknown’. Toby my paranormal cohort (who is no longer with us)helped me out with the piece to camera as I couldn’t do it because of a dental problem I was having (lol) but anyway, he was better at it than I was, he would have made a very good tv presenter, which he wanted to be. I much prefer to by behind the camera blending into the background. The second time was when I was with my partner, I remember it being a very nice warm sunny day, everyone was in the garden admiring the topiary carvings, when I heard Susie Bagot’s voice coming around the corner, she owns Levens Hall and she is a very recognizable character, guess what she was talking about? The house is lovely but the garden is really fantastic!

Levens Hall

Location: Cumbria, England

Built: 1694, there has been a dwelling on the site since 1350

Ghostly manifestations: There are several ghosts, The Pink lady, black dog, grey lady (gypsy).

Ghostly anomalies: The ghostly black dog occasionally makes solitary appearances running playfully in-front of visitors as they walk the stairs for it only to disappear without trace, then re-appears close to their feet for them to nearly trip over the dog. Desperate attempts are made to avoid stepping on him then he simply vanishes into thin air once again.

History: The first dwelling at Levens dates from circa 1350, and was built by the de Redman family as defense against the Scottish raiders of the time. It was then a primitive Pele tower, with under-housing for the women and cattle in time of raids, and a large room where smoke from the open fire would escape through a hole in the roof. The medieval structure was built around in Elizabethan times when the Bellingham family created a mansion and beautified it with fine paneling and plasterwork still to be seen today.

The Gypsy of Levens Hall

Levens hall front
Levens Hall on the edge of the Lake District is haunted by a gypsy woman who set a curse on the house, saying that no son should inherit it until the River Kent ceased to flow and a white fawn was born in the park. Levens passed continually through the female line until the birth of Alan Desmond Bagot in 1896, when the river froze over and a white fawn was found in the park. The gypsy woman has been seen quite often on the back drive and the bridge over the river. Besides its resident ghosts, Levens Hall, still home of the Bagot family to this day, is well worth visiting for its gardens, which include the best, the oldest and most extensive topiary garden in the world. Apparitions have been Seen in both the house and the gardens.

IS SMEDLEY’S GOTHIC FOLLY HAUNTED – Riber Castle, Matlock, Derbyshire

Just because it looks spooky doesn’t mean it’s haunted!
Architectural style: Gothic
Built 1882 
Said Waifs: A blue lady and a military figure 

Dead Man’s Shoes – A disaffected soldier (Considine) returns to his hometown to get even with the thugs who brutalized his mentally-challenged brother (Kebbell) years ago. It is a psychological thriller that was filmed at Riber Castle. 

Riber castle in Derbyshire is a 19th century grade II listed Gothic style folly, built by John Smedley. It’s creepiness is more impressive now that it’s in a ruined state. You could be led to believe that the place is haunted, riddled with ghosts in-fact, stereotypically haunted by ‘The blue lady’ and the ghost of ‘A military figure’, witnessed by who? There are a couple of photos going around the internet of ‘ghosts in the window’ taken by some local ghost hunters. If you can be bothered to trawl Google images looking for them, I wouldn’t bother, they aren’t very impressive. Pareidolia is the only thing rearing its ugly head through its darkened windows (seeing human faces in shapes and patterns)also called matrixing in the US. It’s a great place to visit though, very photogenic in the right light.