The Station Hotel in Dudley is one of The Black Country’s most haunted buildings, RICK HALE reports
The historic Black Country in the West Midlands, was a region in the United Kingdom that was the first to become industrialised in the 19th century. The region received its unique nickname due to the heavy amounts of black soot produced by all the coal mines, brick works and steel mills that once thrived in the Midlands.
At the heart of it all is the town of Dudley, a quiet town known for once being the cultural hub of the Black Country. And the Station Hotel is a place known for its many phantoms.
History of the Station Hotel
In 1850 as more industry began in Dudley, the railway station opened bringing more workers and visitors to the town.
It’s only hotel known locally as “the Castle” was not large enough to accommodate all those arriving in the town.
In 1896, a meeting of the town’s leaders was convened to discuss the fate of the castle and need for a much larger hotel.
It was eventually agreed upon that the old hotel would be torn down and a new more modern hotel would be built.
Construction on the Station Hotel began in earnest and it was partially open in May 1898. The hotel was finally finished in 1910.
Overtime, Dudley began attracting wealthy visitors to the bustling metropolis. They came from all across the country to see stage shows at the Dudley Hippodrome.
The Station Hotel expanded and shared in the town’s success.
It wasn’t uncommon for well known actors and entertainers to be seen among the hotel’s clientele.
Famous names such as George Formby, Bob Hope and the comedy duo, Laurel and Hardy were frequent guests.
Although famous guests may not stay at the hotel anymore, The Station has found fame for something else entirely. The Station Hotel is allegedly very much haunted.
Haunting of the Station Hotel
According to local historians, researching the history and hauntings of the Station Hotel is a difficult task, as most records have either been lost or destroyed.
Nevertheless, that has not stopped staff and guest alike from seeing the ghostly figures said to call this hotel home.
From this point on, I leave it to you the reader to judge for yourself if these tales of the supernatural are real.
The Servant Girl’s Demise
A commonly experienced spectre at the hotel is that of a bloodied and battered young woman walking the halls of the hotel causing a fright in whomever encounters her.
According to Acorah, the ghost was a maid in the early history of the hotel named, Elizabeth Hitches.
Elizabeth and the married owner, George Williams were secret lovers who carried on an affair right under the nose of Williams’ wife.
One day, after one of their meetings in the cellar, Elizabeth demanded that George leave his wife and run away with her.
George, of course, would have none of that. So, he either stabbed or strangled Elizabeth to death and under cover of darkness buried her in an unmarked grave.
Whether or not this story is true, the ghost of a woman believed to be Elizabeth Hitches lurks the hotel’s halls.
Many who have ventured into the cellar have claimed to hear screams, the sounds of choking and then an eerie silence.
The faint image of a figure has been seen in room 214 for many years.
No one knows who the phantom is, but it’s said to forlornly stare out the window as if they are waiting for someone to arrive.
Two Lost Little Souls
When he visited, Derek Acorah, claimed to pick up the identities of two ghost children frequently witnessed playing throughout the hotel.
Catherine, was tragically killed after being run over by a runaway carriage. And the little boy, Richard, died from disease at the age of 4.
Both have been witnessed running through the halls and playing pranks on staff.
What the Hotel Offers
The Station Hotel is the ideal place to stay when visiting this historic region of the West Midlands.
The hotel has 38 comfortable ensuite bedrooms.
Out and About
When staying at the Station Hotel there is no shortage of things to keep you busy.
The Black Country museum is nearby where you can learn about England’s role in industrialisation.
You can spend the day shopping in the many stores at the Merry Hill Centre. The Dudley Zoo is a popular attraction for families.
And lastly the city of Birmingham is but a short journey away.
If you have ever experienced the activity said to happen at the Station Hotel, we invite you to tell us about it in the comment section.
Station Hotel employee tells of hauntings
Guest writer RYAN FOLEY describes working as a porter at The Station Hotel – one of The Black Country’s most haunted buildings. (Originally published on Spooky Isles in May 2012.)
The Station Hotel in Dudley, in the heart of the Black Country, is a Victorian building sitting directly opposite Dudley Castle.
There have been reports of poltergeist activity from guests and staff for many years.
It was once the scene of a brutal murder where George, the landlord and proprietor of the hotel, coaxed Elizabeth, a young maid, down into the cellar.
Here, George attempted to seduce her, however, Elizabeth spurned his advances and threatened to tell his wife about the incident.
Fearing for his marriage and reputation, George stabbed Elizabeth and hid her body in a barrel in the large cellar.
A short time later, he is alleged to have buried her in the waste ground outside the hotel.
Both the waste ground and original cellar still remain and George has been seen and heard wandering up and down the cold cobble pathway.
The ghost of Elizabeth also walks the halls of the ‘Station’ and, in particular, room 214, where TV’s Derek Acorah and the Most Haunted team captured orbs on camera and got footage of movement in the room, an infra red camera was set up and left overnight; the team captured the bed and armchair jump simultaneously.
They described it as “some of the most compelling footage ever to appear on the show”.
Also in room 214, many people have reported waking in the night and seeing a white figure standing over them or sitting in the chair directly opposite the bed.
Guests have also alleged that they have heard young children playing in the hallways, with sounds of both laughter and agonised shrieks.
Derek Acorah claimed the young children were Catherine, who died in a tragic accident when she was ran over by a carriage outside the hotel and Richard, who died of a blood disease, both in the late 1800’s.
Though horrific, it is widely-accepted that the ghosts of Elizabeth and the children are friendly. George, on the other hand, is regarded to be altogether nasty and conniving.
Both staff and guests have witnessed knives flying across tables and plates crashing to the floor with nobody within the vicinity.
Guests have woken with scratches and feelings of someone sitting on top of them.
They’ve also felt strangulation and nausea.
Women, in particular, often complain of getting headaches, when they enter the cellar.
Does George regret killing his young maid?
Or is he still tormenting her in the afterlife?
Is Elizabeth still trying to find his wife to reveal all?
Who knows? Better go and check it out!
Ryan Foley lives in Dudley, West Midlands: “I work as a hotel porter and I’m an aspiring writer, film aficionado and a fan of all things Stephen King.”