Tragic ghosts haunt MacDonald Bear Hotel in Woodstock


According to local ghost hunters, two tragic ghosts haunt the charming MacDonald Bear Hotel in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, says RICK HALE

The MacDonald Bear Hotel is packed full of spectres and phantoms, witnesses say...
The MacDonald Bear Hotel is packed full of spectres and phantoms, witnesses say…

Where is MacDonald Bear Hotel?

Park Street, Woodstock OX20 1SZ

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.

Elizabeth’s Tale

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.

Christopher’s Ghost

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.

Watch Haunted Macdonald Bear Hotel Video

Have you been to MacDonald Bear Hotel? Tell us in the comment section below!

Did you know that Berkshire actually has a ghost bear? Read about it here!


  1. During the 60s. My husband and I managed the Bear at Woodstock I had a few experiences of it being haunted. In one wing rooms 16, 17 and 18. The rooms were not occupied one night I went up the stars to water some plants and a lady in a hooded cloak walked past me all the hairs on my arms stood up. I ran down the stairs or fell the next night room 16 and 17 were occupied by a couple in 16 and daughter in 17 the father went upstairs early with a headache he was found in 17 dead his daughters room with pills scattered all over. We were also there when Elizabeth TYlor and Richard Burton stayed with us for a month.


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