According to local ghost hunters, two tragic ghosts haunt the charming MacDonald Bear Hotel in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, says RICK HALE
MacDonald Bear Hotel
Park Street, Woodstock
The curiously named, MacDonald Bear Hotel in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, is one of England’s oldest, continually operating 13th century coaching inns.
The hotel has everything you would come to expect from such an ancient inn.
Stone walls, oak beams, an ivy-covered facade and of course, a couple ghosts to add to the atmosphere of this charming hotel.
History Of The MacDonald Bear Hotel
Although not much is known concerning the history of this visually pleasing hotel, it has played an integral part in Woodstock village life.
It gave much needed respite for travellers and been a meeting place for the people of Woodstock for 8 centuries.
Even playing host to two of the 20th centuries most famous actors, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
However, it’s the ghosts that appear to be the real draw to the hotel.
Hauntings Of The MacDonald Bear Hotel
After many years of experiencing psychic turbulence, the staff contacted a local paranormal group to investigate the hotel.
After several investigations, the ghost hunters believe they came into contact with two spirits.
A young woman named Elizabeth, who suffered a horrific punishment at the hands of the locals.
And an eigh-year old boy named, Christopher.
According to local stories, Elizabeth was a young woman who brought some kind of unknown disgrace upon herself and her family.
As punishment for her crime, Elizabeth’s family seized the young woman and bricked her up alive in her room as she struggled and begged to be released.
The tragic spectre of Elizabeth has reportedly manifested by the bedsides of guests in the room where she was bricked up.
She is said to sob uncontrollably as she begs her family not to brick her up in the wall. She then disappears, leaving an eerie silence and a sense of dread.
The story behind the ghost that has come to be known as Christopher is not so easy to pin down, as he has two origin stories.
One story says that, Christopher, was the illegitimate son of Elizabeth. And this was the disgrace that she brought upon her family.
And due to him being illegitimate, the young boy was rejected by the family and was forced to fend for himself on the streets.
The second story of Christopher, places him in the hotel around the time of the English Civil War.
According to this story, Christopher suffered horrific abuse by the hands of his family and died as a result of one of these beatings.
Whichever story is true is up for debate. However, the ghost of a young boy is regularly reported at the hotel.
The ghost of Christopher, has been seen running up and down and playing in the halls of the hotel.
Several children of guests have reported this ghost enticing them into playing a game of hide and go seek.
It’s only when they can’t locate their playmate that they realize they’ve been playing with a ghostly child.
What The Hotel Offers
The MacDonald Bear Hotel, is a refined 13th century coaching Inn that overlooks the Woodstock village square.
All rooms have a traditional decor with all the amenities you would expect from a modern hotel.
The award winning restaurant offers traditional British fare. And cocktails are served in a relaxing lounge.
Out and About
The hotel is ideally located on the village square that has many shops and restaurants.
The Oxfordshire Museum is within a short walking distance from the hotel.
And you can take tours at nearby Blenheim Palace, where Sir Winston Churchill was born and spent most of his childhood.
MacDonald Bear Hotel is a comfortable, and haunted, hotel to stay in when traveling through Oxfordshire.