In honour of spooky season, it is time to go on a little ghost hunt through all the haunted places in Leicestershire that have been home to many paranormal activities.
- Leicester Guildhall
With its timber frames, creaky wooden flooring and ghostly whitewashed walls, the Leicester Guildhall is a place where ghosts would feel right at home.
The Leicester Guildhall has been in use since 1390, serving the city of Leicester as a town hall, courtroom, theatre and best of all, a prison. Consequently, the place has seen many disagreeable guests, some of which continue to haunt its halls today…
One of these guests happens to be a ghostly figure that is believed to be a monk dressed in grey who is presumably a visitor from ??the Old Grey Friars Monastery only 300 yards away from the Guildhall. A mysterious white lady has also been seen pacing in the library, looking at row after row of gold-gilded books. She is known to often leave a closed copy of the Bible turned to Deuteronomy 18:10, a page that concerns itself with witchcraft.
Other people have heard footsteps, felt the quick scurry of disappearing animals, and sighted a phantom policeman haunting the staircases of the Guildhall. A witness even reported seeing a pair of legs manifest from the portrait of Henry Earl of Huntington hanging in the Major’s Parlour. In 2006, Ghost Scene Investigations and Leicester City Museums released a CCTV clip showing what appeared to be a ghostly figure crawling across the floor in one room.
2. Leicester Cathedral
With stained glass windows, pointed arches and a dramatic turret, the Leicester Cathedral is hauntingly beautiful.
In 2015, the remains of King Richard III were reburied in Leicester Cathedral after being found underneath a car park in 2012.
After many church-goers reported feeling a ‘presence’ in the Cathedral, a psychic visited the site in 2012. After taking multiple pictures of the Cathedral’s breathtaking Gothic architecture, Christine Hamlett found herself staring into the eyes of King Richard III, whose blurry face appeared in one of the stone slabs she had been photographing that evening.
Following this incident, in 2015, ITV News Central named Leicester Cathedral as one of the top five most haunted places in the Midlands.
3. Bradgate Park
The ghost of Lady Jane Grey, the Queen of England whose reign lasted only 9 days, is said to haunt Bradgate Park, which was once her family home before she was imprisoned and then executed alongside her husband in 1554.
The ruins of Lady Jane Grey’s old house add a ghostly touch to the otherwise green and serene park.
Around Christmas eve, people have heard the sound of neighing horses, trotting hooves and the rattle of a carriage following them as they walked between the old church and the Bradgate House ruins in Bradgate Park. Upon turning around, some said they spotted a carriage being pulled by four headless horses at a distance.
4. Three Swans Hotel
Once, a guest had checked in to one of the rooms in The Three Swans Hotel in Market Harborough. Whilst washing himself, he was handed a sponge by a helpful hand. Except it wasn’t so helpful because…he had checked in alone.
Such similar activities have occurred frequently in The Three Swans Hotel. The poltergeist responsible for terrorising the staff and guests is believed to be John Fothergill, a former landlord of the property. A portrait of Fothergill is frequently found in different positions, either tilted slightly or unfastened completely.
Alongside WiFi and a four-poster bed, rooms in this hotel come with shadowy figures, inexplicable temperature drops, ethereal voices and furniture that moves on its own.
5. Abbey Pumping Station
In 1896, Robert Richardson, a tireless industrial worker, was working after hours at the Abbey Pumping Station, when he suddenly slipped off the roof and fell 45 feet down before cracking his head on the ground. Although Richardson died two days later, his presence did not leave the world.
The ghost of Robert Richardson is now said to haunt the Abbey Pumping Station Museum, often switching the lights on and off and rattling the pipes at the museum.
To this date, there is a cross marking where Richardson fell to his death that you can go and see for yourselves.
6. The Talbot Inn
Imagine walking into a pub and seeing a lost innocent-looking boy sitting all by himself, legs swinging, on one of the bar stools. Then, when you call for the bar owner to alert them about the boy, he suddenly disappears, never to be seen again. This is the story of many of the customers at The Talbot Inn, at 4 Thurcaston Road in Leicester.
Established in 1480, The Talbot Inn was a pub that served many prisoners their last meal before they were either hanged or staked at the Execution Hill. Their bodies were then brought back to the Inn for medical research.
The Inn’s strong association with death has made it a site for paranormal entities such as the lost little boy, a man with a heavy purse and cape and a former owner named Mary Dawson, who are all frequent visitors of the Inn. Looks like a few ghosts like some pub crawling too!
7. Bosworth Hall
Bosworth Hall was once a stately home which belonged to the once wealthy Dixie family. Sir Wolstan Dixie was the 13th and last Baronet of Bosworth Hall in 1975. He had a reputation of being arrogant and cruel.
Once, Sir Wolstan heard that his daughter, Annie, was in love with the gardener’s son. Being an upper-class tyrant, he set up vicious traps throughout the estate to catch the boy. However, one of the traps caught his own daughter, Annie, as she was trying to make her way across the estate to visit the gardener’s boy. Sir Wolstan had no choice but to watch his own daughter writhe in pain, as she eventually lost to her fatal injuries.
Annie’s ghost is said to walk the halls of Bosworth Hall till this date, in search of her lost lover. People have reported seeing blood flow from under her room, whilst also having heard footsteps behind the bedroom door.
In a place with such rich history, every now and then there are bound to be a few guests that come by and refuse to leave this amazing city. So the next time you need a little Halloween scare, don’t look too far – it’s right under our noses! Happy Halloween!
By Priyan Majumdar