Here are 13 of the most haunted places in Leicestershire. These places are filled with tales of woe and death and create experiences of fright and terror, says CALLUM CAMPBELL.
Abbey Pumping Station Museum, Leicester
Long ago at a little past 5pm on a Tuesday, 26 August, 1896, an industrious and hardworking fellow by the name of Robert Richardson fell off some scaffolding on the roof of the station and flew down 45 feet then cracked his head on the ground.
After battling with his injuries for two days he departed this world but did not go onto the next. He stays at the site of his death and plays with the lights and creates bangs and rattles with the pipes. His friends placed a cross in the ground where he fell and you can still visit it today.
The Guildhall, Leicester
The Guildhall is one of Leicester City’s most iconic buildings, with it’s timber framed and whitewashed walls. This architecture is a remnant from 1876 but the building is much older with the first parts being built around 1390. This long time period means the Guildhall has had many uses, not all of them pleasant; a Civil War outpost and a prison with a gibbet.
This time indicates that the building has collected some ghosts, five so far. It’s residents include a ghost cat and dog, a White Lady in the library, a policeman and a Civil War Cavalier. These spectres get up to many antics such as making footsteps in rooms no one is occupying and turning a closed bible to Deuteronomy 18:10, the passage condemning witchcraft.
Bradgate Park, Newtown Linford
Although Bradgate Park is not very paranormally active most of the year on the 24th of December, Lady Jean Grey, who lived in Bradgate for a while, rides between her old house and the church in a carriage lead by 4 headless black horses. This chilling sight will surely leave an impression you will never forget.
Bosworth Hall, Market Bosworth
Today, Bosworth Hall now functions as a hotel, however, it has a much more interesting past. Once owned by Sir Wolston Dixie, he terrorized the land with his violent temper and arrogant nature until one night in 1758 where his interfering and dictatorship-like attitude lead to a great tragedy to befall him. Having heard news that his daughter, Annie, had a fling with the gardener’s son he set vicious traps throughout the estate hoping to catch the boy.
Unfortunately Annie snuck out at night to meet up with the lad and fell into one of these twisted structures. She suffered grievous wounds but was found and taken back to her room where her father could only watch his daughter writhe in agony and pain then cease to exist. Now her tortured spirit remains at the hall, looking for her lover and causing ghostly phenomena such as flickering lights, footsteps with out a sources and knocking in the night.
Blood is said to flow under the door of Annie’s old room. Occasionally guests will catch a sight of the poor girl, dressed in grey which gave her the moniker of the Grey Lady.
Talbot Inn, 4 Thurcaston Road, Leicester
Just down the road from Bosworth Hall is the Talbot Inn, a pub that has been having customers for around 400 years and in the present not all of those customers are alive. While the Talbot was originally a pub some it’s main customers were prisoners that were being supplied a last meal.
These criminals were given their last meal at the Talbot then took up the execution hill, hanged or burned at the stake then their bodies were taken back to the Talbot to be examined by doctors in an out building for medical research.
This heavy association with death means many spirits have congregated at the Talbot, such as a mysterious man with a heavy purse and a cape, the son of a previous owner who swings his legs at the fireside and a former owner named Mary Dawson, who wears all black and a foul expression. She often stares at the staff before disappearing into a wall.
The Royal Hotel, Station Road, Ashby de la Zouch
Built in the town of Ashby de la Zouch in 1826, The Royal Hotel has quite a few spooks which both clientele and staff have sighted. In the cellar an unknown presence causes the lights to turn on and off and moves around the beer barrels.
The dining room is often visited by a ghostly gentleman who sits alone at the tables and is fond of disappearing and reappearing. The main spirit is a woman who goes to the reception and asks to be taken to her room.
Staff escort her there but after a further look into the room booking they find no one is booked there and when they check on the lady there the room is empty and nothing has been distrubed.
Asda Warehouse, Magna Park, Lutterworth
Our next haunting is situated in an Asda warehouse in the industrial estate of Magna Park. This warehouse reportedly has a stain in the shape of a man in the toilets. The likely creator of this stain is a spectral airman that pops up around the warehouse. Chillingly, the warehouse was built on an old air base.
Asfordby Rectory, Ashforby
A squat yet charming building constructed of red brick sandstone, Asfordby Rectory is an idyllic home, no bumps in the night, no bloody spectres leaning over you in your sleep, no flashing lights. Unfortunately about a century ago that was not the case. The building was plagued by an unknown power that terrorised the staff by making crashes in the night and marching down the halls.
It’s signature trick was violently tugging the covers off the beds of sleeping folk but no matter how powerful the spirit haunting a clergyman’s home is not a great idea. Reverend FA Gage Hall finally had enough and exorcised the spirit in 1913. No boogeyman has bothered the house since then.
Three Swans Hotel, Market Harborough
Another hotel, the Three Swans blends modernity with history having rooms with WiFi and four poster beds. But it excels a little too much with the history section of things as it is plagued by paranormal occurrences.
Items are seen to fly across rooms, dogs bark at thin air and refuse to enter certain rooms, one guest was handed a sponge while bathing alone and shadow figures have been spotted striding through the halls.
Cold spots have been reported in the halls, staff state they felt like they were being watched and one guest said that when she was having a bath the water parted like “the Red Sea”.
The source of these mysteries is said to be a previous landlord, John Fothergill, who now haunts the building. There is a portrait of him within the hotel and if this portrait is moved disaster occurs, such as fires and storms.
The Three Swans is perfect for a visit if you’re fond of ghosts, but don’t touch that portrait!
Beaumanor Hall, Woodhouse
This Victorian hall looks creepy on the outside and certainly is on the inside.
The staff and guests report feeling watched and the entire building has an intense ambience about it. Shadowy silhouettes flit through the hall, people hear whispering right next to their ears, door slam and electrical equipment often malfunctions and drains rapidly.
It has two ghosts that can be picked out, a male in the attic with bad intentions and a female ghost who makes her home on the stairs.
This unassuming priory hosts a truly frightening figure, a ghost or spirit that takes the form of robed man wielding a scythe.
This apparition is often surrounded by heavy mists. Another piece of phenomena, seemingly unrelated, is an occasion on which a couple heard loud tinny music, the kind you may hear on an ice cream van, without an apparent source.
After the music started a second time they decided to leave as they started to become unsettled.
The Old House, Coalville
Situated in Coalville, The Old House is an aptly named manor house dating back to 1290. It has a dark history with murder, sucide and buried remains; all the macabre stuff that we love here. These traumatic events have etched many ghosts and paranormal happenings into the estate, at the chapel visitors witness spectres, ethereal voices and temperature drops.
In the basement the wraith of a dog has been sighted and an unseen presence makes its home there where it chuckles rocks and pushes objects.
A male phantom has been seen shuffling around and anyone who sees him is hit by a truck with an intense feeling of loss and sorrow. One of the most violent examples of phenomena here are spine chilling screams. The explanation for these events could be that a man was alleged to have butchered his kin in a volatile state of wrath and a woman is said to have hung herself in the attic rooms.
Donington le Heath Manor House, Donington le Heath Manor House
Let’s finish this list off with a bang, no, a literal bang for this house is reportedly haunted by one of the Guy Fawkes gunpowder plotters, Sir John Digby.
Although this house has multiple spirits, Digby’s stands out due to his notoriety in life. He appears as a shady, tall figure donning a top hat. The house also has a spectral kitchen maid. Some events reported are cold spots that congregate on people and EVPs.
This house is also said to have been occupied by Richard the second on the night before he was slaughtered on the battlefield.
Spookily, when a ghost hunting organisation, Haunted Heritage, held an EVP session with a ghost when asked its name it replied “Richard”.
As you can see, Leicestershire has many ghostly goings-ons and haunting happenings. Perhaps this list will convince you to take a holiday there!
Have you been to another haunted place in Leicestershire? Tell us about it in the comments section below!