The East Midlands is home to many ghosts: CHRISTINE MILLER tells about five of the most haunted locations in one of its most famous cities, Leicester
Leicester is one of the oldest cities in England, having been continuously occupied for more than two millennia. And with that comes a lot of ghost stories! Take a look at our top five haunted places that you can visit in the historic city in Leicestershire.
Paranormal investigators take over Belgrave Hall on many weekends and have reported a variety of activities; spirits are allegedly routinely spotted flitting through solid walls and making their way out into the gardens. A Victorian woman tends to be the most often seen, smiling and visitors before walking through the wall.
An astonishing number of visitors report feeling unnaturally cold in the building, alongside an unusual, offsetting atmosphere almost anywhere throughout the property.
In 1999, CCTV footage caught a pair of mysterious figures on the grounds of the Hall, coupled with a strange swirling mist, with the footage making the national news.
The Towers Asylum opened its door back in 1869 and saw a large footfall of inpatients with a variety of mental )and physical) ailments – many of whom would not have made it out again.
Victorian mental institutions were not seen as favourable places to stay during times of serious mental distress, with patients frequently subjected to ethically-questionable alienist procedures and ‘treatments’.
It probably won’t surprise anyone with even an ounce of interest in the paranormal that these places are usually very haunted, and Towers Asylim is no exception: at least 30 spirits are known to reside here.
An eerie atmosphere awaits those brave enough to venture into the building, alongside intense feelings of being watched, unexplained bangs, mists of unknown origin, heavy objects being hurtled through the air – you name it, it’s happened at Towers.
Many have been so terrified they refuse to spend the night there, and who can blame them.
Known as one of the most haunted buildings in England, The Guildhall has up to five active spirits, with the most often seen being the White Lady.
She frequents the library and has been seen so much that staff have become accustomed to her presence. Furniture is often rearranged with the blame placed on her ghost. She is also said to unlock doors, much to the staff’s annoyance!
There are also a couple of animal ghosts roaming the location; a phantom moggy flits around the Great Hall while a ghostly black dog guards the outside courtyard.
There’s also a phantom policeman and the ghost of a Cavelier, whose disembodied legs have been seen by startled witnesses.
A Grey Lady, known in life as Ann Dixie, haunts Bosworth Hall with her untimely, tragic and grisly demise being the reason her spirit is earth-bound and unable to rest at rest. How she came to be so troubled in the afterlife lies with her father, Sir Wolston Dixie.
Unimpressed with his daughter’s choice of partner (primarily because her lover was the family gardener), Dixie took his heinous vengeance to the extreme.
Wishing to snare (literally) his employee, Dixie laid out a series of traps for the gardener – only for his daughter to fall victim to one. One evening while travelling to meet her lover, Anne’s leg became entrapped in one of the snares, and she died not long after from catastrophic blood loss.
Knocking, particularly in the small hours, is attributed to her tormented ghost as she searches the halls, desperate to find her lost love.
Some even claim blood oozes from the door of her bedroom.
The jewel in Leicester’s crown is undoubtedly its cathedral which is said to be haunted by King Richard lll, whose body was unearthed in a car park nearby in 2012 before being formally interned in the cathedral.
And that’s when things started getting a bit, well, spooky.
The some 650-year dead former monarch has been accused of photobombing tourists’ photos at the cathedral.
In 2015, a medium just happened to visit and snapped a picture of what she believes is the king himself peering back at her.
As well as intriguing psychic tourists, the king is said to be responsible for a lot of odd noises that occur after-hours. Still, at least he’s got company in the afterlife – an elderly monk has also been spotted in recent years floating around.
What’s your favourite haunted spot in Leicester? Let us know in the comments section below!