The ghosts are active at the Old Bell Hotel in Malmesbury, one of Britain’s oldest hotels, says RICK HALE
The Old Bell Hotel
Abbey Row, Malmesbury, SN16 0BW
Located in the village of Malmesbury, Wiltshire is the Old Bell Hotel, a hotel that is reputed to be the oldest hotel in England.
This charming hotel fits in nicely with the surrounding area of the Cotswolds.
And as with most buildings it’s age, it has a number of ghostly, long term residents.
History Of The Old Bell Hotel
The Old Bell Hotel stands on the foundations of a much earlier inn that was built in 1220, making it one of the oldest hotels in Britain.
Located nearby is an ancient abbey, with parts of the hotel built on the Abbey’s churchyard
Throughout the long and storied history of the hotel several renovations have been done to modernize the hotel giving it an eclectic feel.
Although not much is known concerning the history of this old hotel, one thing is quite clear, the Old Bell is known to be haunted by many ghosts.
The Haunting Of The Old Bell Hotel
Since its very early days, there have always been reports of encounters with the spectral Inhabitants of the hotel.
And these ghosts that call this venerable hostelry home are not known for being friendly. In fact they are known for being downright frightening.
The Grey Lady
The apparition of a young woman in a grey dress has been spotted floating around the halls of the hotel.
The apparition has been described as having a sad, forlorn countenance and has been heard sobbing and muttering unintelligible words.
The grey lady seems to favour the James Ody room, as she is known to frequently manifest there.
It is said that if you say the words “grey lady” three times out loud in the James Ody room, she will appear and haunt you till you leave.
The East Wing
Beneath the bar floor in the East Wing a grisly discovery was made a few decades ago.
While pulling up the floorboards and making improvements, several coffins were found containing human remains.
Rather then removing the coffins and burying them in a churchyard, the owners decided to just keep them where they found them.
They didn’t want to disturb the dead. However, that doesn’t seem to have made much of a difference to the dead.
Staff and guests have reported the sound of mysterious voices in the bar, even when it’s closed.
And sinister shadows are seen in the East Wing and appear and disappear, oftentimes causing a fright in an unsuspecting guest.
Guests who have stayed in the Danvers Room have reported returning to their room to a most unpleasant sight.
Upon entering the room, they discover that some unknown assailant has thrown their clothes and personal belongings haphazardly around the room.
While others have reported being awakened in the middle of the night by some unseen force tearing the bedclothes from the bed and tossing them across the room.
Several guests have reported to the front desk that while trying to gain access to the Foe Room, the door would not budge.
After diligently strong arming their way into the room it was discovered that someone, or something, blocked the door with a heavy wardrobe.
Whatever haunts the Foe Room clearly does not want to share its space with the living.
The Old Bell Hotel, offers 33 en-suite rooms. The rooms at the front may be old, but they offer breathtaking views of the Cotswolds.
The hotel has the room for weddings and conferences. And the restaurant is run by a chef who has studied with the great culinary minds of England.
If you have stayed at the Old Bell Hotel, and had an experience. We invite you to tell us about it in the comments section.
I’ve stayed at the Old Bell several times Anne have seen the Grey Lady. It’s one of my favorite hotels anywhere. And they have excellent food!
I stayed several times in the 90s for company conferences. stayed in the janes ody room 3 times before knowing the history. I always felt someone was there with me. especially when I looked in the bathroom mirror or settled in bed. glad I wasnt aware but it now explains how I felt
Yes Anne, sometimes it’s better not to know what is going on – ignorance is bliss – thanks for sharing your experience
Stayed at the hotel a few years ago and on the Sunday morning I heard horses galloping whilst in my room. I looked out if the window which faced at the front of the hotel and there was nothing outside, I went to check with the staff at reception who confirmed that no horses had gone past. In fact the road was inaccessible to horses. I clearly heard the horses and it wasn’t until later that I found out it was an old coaching inn. I’m not sure I even believe in ghosts but I know what I heard that morning.