Author Rick Hale explores the haunting of Brownsover Hall Hotel and the bizarre circumstances surrounding it.

Brownsover Hall Hotel
Brownsover Lane, Rugby
CV21 1HU, UK

Find out how you can stay at Brownsover Hall Hotel by clicking here.

If ever there was an English hotel that looks like it should be haunted, Rugby’s Brownsover Hall Hotel would be it.

This picturesque masterpiece of Gothic architecture doesn’t just look the part of a haunted building, it very much is haunted.

And it is haunted by an unpleasant wraith with a nasty disposition known as, One-handed Boughton.

History Of Brownsover Hall Hotel

Brownsover Hall Hotel is a Grade II* listed building with a long and troubled history that makes it the perfect setting for a haunting.

The manor of Brownsover was constructed in 1471 by the Boughton family, later known as the Boughton Baronets.

In the 18th century, Sir Theodosius Boughton, was murdered by his brother in law in a fit of rage.

It’s believed this savage murder led to the haunting of Brownsover Hall, and the bizarre circumstances surrounding it.

The Exorcism of One-handed Boughton

Not long after the murder of Sir Theodosius, what was believed to be his spirit began to cause quite the disturbance in the house.

Staff of the manor reported hearing the unmistakable sounds of anguished moaning throughout the house.

They further reported what sounded like running footsteps accompanied by disembodied voices in the corridors of the large house.

However, it was the appearance of a one-handed apparition, believed to be Sir Theodosius back from the grave to wreak vengeance that prompted the family to take peculiar actions to rid the house of the troublesome ghost.

A one-handed apparition is said to have created havoc in the Brownsover Hal Hotel in Rugby over the years.
A one-handed apparition is said to have created havoc in the Brownsover Hal Hotel in Rugby over the years.

Twelve clergymen from the Catholic and Protestant traditions were summoned to the house to rid it of the spirit that was becoming a nuisance.

The clergymen claimed they were able to persuade the spirit to enter a special bottle blessed by the bishop.

Believing they were successful in the strange venture, they took the bottle and discarded it in a nearby lake.

The family was finally rid of the spirit that plagued their house. Or so, they thought.

According to legend, fishermen discovered the bottle one day as they were fishing in the lake.

Curious as to what was in the bottle, the fishermen opened it and unwittingly unleashed the spirit of One-handed Boughton.

Spend a night at Brownsover Hall Hotel, Rugby

One-handed Broughton haunts Brownsover Hall still…

Ever since that fateful day, Brownsover Hall Hotel has been haunted by the sinister presence of One-handed Boughton.

It would be simple to dismiss this strange story as nothing more than a tall tale invented to chill the bones of the listener.

Nevertheless, according to both staff and guests of the Gothic hotel, the spirit of One-handed Boughton is very much real.

And if there is any truth to the stories, he is just as unpleasant as he was well over a century ago.

The scowling apparition of a one handed man in 18th century garb has been encountered throughout the hotel.

This spirit seems to derive a great deal of delight in scaring those unlucky enough to cross his path.

Guests have reported hearing disembodied voices and a cold chill accompanied by the sounds of swiftly moving footsteps in the halls.

Staff have reported the uncomfortable feeling of being watched by an unseen presence as they go about their daily duties. Resulting in several employees promptly quitting their job.

Brownsover Hall Hotel is conveniently located in Rugby, Warwickshire. The hotel has become a popular venue for weddings, formal parties and conferences.

The hotel offers large bedrooms, the Gilbert Scott restaurant and the Warwick bar. Your stay at this Gothic hotel is sure to be a memorable experience.

Especially if you should run into its resident ghost, old One-handed Boughton.

Find out how you can stay at Brownsover Hall Hotel by clicking here.

If you’ve ever stayed at Brownsover Hall Hotel, or held a function there and you had a supernatural experience, please tell us about it in the comment section.


  1. Having worked as a casual night porter there many years ago, there does certainly seem to be some kind of unexplained presence there although I personally never encountered it.
    They say that animals are more susceptible than humans, but back then we had a cat who was happy to sit behind reception all night. And often muntjac dear could be seen grazing on the lawn outside at dawn and with no fear.
    Imagine being the only person there during the dead of night during a thunderstorm.

  2. Stayed there in 1987 while working with GEC. Woke up in the night to 3 ice cold breezes rushing across me. I was under a quilt when it happened. I was in the room near the tower. When I told my colleagues about it at breakfast the staff immediately knew which room I was in.

  3. The history here is very muddled! Two very good stories have been confused. The original Boughton home dating from 1471 was not even on this site. It was Lawford Hall, a mile or two away to the west of Rugby. This is where the murder of young Sir Theodosius by his brother-in-law John Donellan took place – not as a result of ‘a fit of rage’ but in cold blood, to gain his inheritance. Sir Theodosius was buried, exhumed and reburied at Newbold on Avon, not at Brownsover. After the murder, and the subsequent hanging of John Donellan, the old house gained such a fearsome reputation (and such numbers of sightseers) that it was pulled down in 1784 and the family moved to Brownsover. The tale of the ghost in the bottle is a different story; One Handed Boughton died two centuries before the murdered earl. His troublesome spirit is said to have been coaxed into the bottle, which was eventually moved to Brownsover when the family left Lawford Hall. Enraged by the demolition of his home, he became even more of a nuisance and the bottle was supposedly buried somewhere at Brownsover and secured with a layer of concrete.

  4. I stay there sometimes and it’s really not that bad. Not all the spirits are bad, just the one and I haven’t encountered him yet. There are some nice spirits and they won’t ever scare you or hurt you. If you understand spirit you would know.


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