EXITING the cellar of the Ye Olde Salutation Inn was the most chilling part of the Nottingham Ghost Tour. As we climbed up the stairs, we discovered small, moth-eaten toys left for Rosie, the Inn’s resident child ghost.
Many of the stories on the Nottingham Ghost Tour were historic tales of mischief, murder and mayhem from the East Midland town’s bloodied part. I have mentioned some of the stories in a previous blog “Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, a jaunt back in time” but the eeriest happened at the start and ending point of the walking tour.
London Haunts and Horror’s cabal arrived at the Ye Olde Salutation Inn just before 7pm a few weeks ago to take part of what was clearly a very popular ghost walk. People were spilling onto the street from the ancient pub and we became concerned it might the tour might be too crowded to be considered a quiet and creepy walk.
Fortunately, the tour was split into two groups and our top hat-donning and cane-waving guide Stefan led us into the unknown.
First we were brought to a small graveyard where in near darkness, Stefan told us about the tour and what to expect. Then it was about a 90 minute saunter around Nottingham’s most historic area, where we learn about the town’s violent past. (We also learned the first celery planted in the UK was in Nottingham! An interesting yet spooky-less fact.)
If criticism could be levelled at the tour would be that it was more history than ghostery. Stefan was clearly a gifted
storyteller but the paranormal seemed to take a backseat to tales of the ghastly events that lead to them. Each yarn was also quite lengthy so there were only four sites visited.
Having said that, the tales were good and gruesome and enjoyable listening.
We returned to the Ye Olde Salutation Inn on Maid Marian Way where we journeyed down the cellar to visit one of Nottingham’s myriad tunnels and caverns. (Nottingham is built on soft stone so over the millennia, its locals have carved intricate cave systems linking the area underground.)
It was here that were told about Ye Old Salutation Inn’s ghost.
Next to the door leading to the cellar was the sign: “Rosie is a ghost who roams the Salutation. She is a 4 or 5 year old urchin from Victorian times.”
The death of children is always tragic so the thought of a small girl being left toys to play with in the afterlife was unsettling.