RICK HALE takes a look at the spirits of the Red Lion Hotel – the ancient town of Colchester’s oldest Inn

Red Lion Hotel
43 High St, Colchester, CO1 1DJ

Find out how you can stay at the Red Lion Hotel, Colchester here.

The town of Colchester, Essex is commonly believed to be the oldest recorded town in England.

And with this amount of history, it should come as no surprise that the town has several haunted locations for the paranormal enthusiast to explore.

However, no home or building is quite as haunted as the town’s oldest Inn, the Red Lion Hotel.

History of The Red Lion Hotel

Located on High St, Colchester, the Red Lion Hotel is a Grade I listed historical building constructed in 1465.

The hotel has been at the center of life in Colchester and has retained the charm of its original Tudor features.

Nevertheless, it’s not just the history or the architecture that makes the building so fascinating.

It is in fact that three very active ghosts keeps the guests returning time and time again.

The Active Spirits Of The Red Lion Hotel

As is the case with many ancient inns and hotels throughout England, the Red Lion has its fair share of resident spirits.

one of the oldest known spirits in the Red Lion Hotel is believed to be Alice Catherine Millar. A woman savagely murdered in 1638.

Her restless spirit has been experienced at the hotel since the early 1800s. And has not been quiet since.

Although the spirit of Alice has been encountered throughout the hotel, she appears to be most active in rooms 5, 6, and 10.

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Alice has also shocked a number of kitchen staff who watched with awe as her spirit walks through the wall.

The Red Lion Hotel, seen here in a postcard from 1900, is known as Colchester's oldest pub.
The Red Lion Hotel, seen here in a postcard from 1900, is known as Colchester’s oldest pub.

One assistant manager claims to have been awakened by a sudden jolt of electricity that shot through him as he slept.

When his eyes were fully opened he saw Alice sitting in a chair watching him with concern.

He was astonished when she asked if he was ok and suddenly vanished before his eyes. He was certain this was no dream.

Spend a night at the Red Lion Hotel, ColchesterThe spirits of the hotel don’t just appear in the rooms and wander the corridors unnerving the staff and guests.

The phantom of a monk has been seen watching from the darkened corners of the reception area as people check in and out.

It is believed the monk heroically rescued a group of children from a fire that occurred at the hotel several centuries earlier.

The monk was successful saving the children but fate had a different plan for the him. He tragically perished in the fire.

Phantom monk protects and watches over The Red Lion Hotel

The monk is believed to be a protective spirit, diligently keeping watch over the hotel.

The third and final spirit encountered at this historic hotel is the ghost of a small boy.

No one really knows who this little spirit is, but he has been seen running through the Parliament Room. He has been known to only appear to children.

This playful spirit seems to delight in playing good natured pranks and has appeared in several photographs taken by unsuspecting guests.

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Haunted and a great place to stay

The Red Lion Hotel has a relaxing environment with 20 en-suite rooms.

It has all the amenities of a modern hotel casually mixed with its early days as a Tudor coaching Inn.

You and your family can enjoy a few drinks or a traditional English meal in the Parliament Room located on the grounds of the hotel.

If you should visit Colchester, be sure to take in the sights of this ancient town. Including Epping forest, Beth Chatto Gardens, and Colchester Castle.

And all the ghosts this town and the Red Lion Hotel has to offer.

Find out how you can stay at the Red Lion Hotel, Colchester here.

Tell us in the comments below if you’ve ever had a paranormal experience in the Red Lion Hotel!

RICK HALE is Spooky Isles Deputy Editor (Mysterious Phenomenon). A native of Chicago, Illinois, Rick has had an interest in anomalous phenomena since having a positive encounter with an apparition at an early age. Rick is the author of The Geek's Guide To The Strange And Unusual: Poltergeists, Ghosts & Demons. And the newly released Behold! Shocking True Tales Of Terror... And Some Other Spooky Stuff, both can be found at Amazon.com. Rick has been published by The Supernatural Magazine and Paranormal Underground Magazine. Rick also appeared in Ghost Tapes 2 and several episodes of Ghost Tapes The Series found in YouTube.com.


    • Yes William, it looks like a great haunted hotel – and not too far from London to get to – I’ll have to have a weekend in Colchester soon!

  1. Saw the shape of a person with a hood on our bed when we stayed here 10 years ago . We didn’t know about the various ghost stories at the time. We put it down to having a few drinks in the bar but now am not so sure !!!


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