Sunday, 19 August 2012

British Ghost Stories

Whilst some of us love the thrill of listening to a good ol' ghost story, others squeam at the thought. Anyone who knows me knows that it's these little horrors that fascinate me! I was having a bit of an enlightening 'paranormal' moment and spent some time reading about British ghosts. Here are some cases that I found fascinating- and trust me there's plenty more out there!

The infamous chained tree
Many of us have enjoyed a day out in Alton Towers, but not many are aware of the 'Alton Towers Curse'. There is an actual existing 'Alton Tower' which is riddled in haunted folklore. Back in 1821, the building which was then named as 'Alton Lodge' was home to Charles the Earl of Shrewsbury and his family. The story was that on one winters night, Charles was returning home when he ran into a homeless woman. When Charles rejected her request for some money, the old woman cursed him. She told him that for every branch that fell of the oak tree on his property, one member of his family would die. Ignoring her curse, he went home. However, that night there was a violent storm and a branch of the oak tree fell. A member of his family fell ill mysteriously and ended up dying later that night. Becoming scared of future possible fatalities, Charles ordered his servants to chain up the tree to prevent any more branches falling. If you go and visit the property today, you will still see the tree chained up to this very day.

The legend of Dick Turpin lives to
this very day
Surprisingly Heathrow International Airport has also been riddled with some interesting ghost stories. The most famous ghost being that of highwayman- Dick Turpin. It's not a surprise that his presence is still felt in the airport, as when he was alive he was well known for robbing wealthy families and murdering innocent people, before eventually being hung in 1793. Employees and flight crew have reportedly felt his presence in the main terminal. Stories have included seeing him wearing a hat. Many have heard barking behind them, only to come face to face with nothing when they turn around. Maybe the barking is linked with the livestock Dick also stole when he was alive?

The 'Creaky Cauldron' lives up to its name
Aptly named, 'Creaky Cauldron' on 21 Henley Street in Stratford Upon Avon, is reported to have 40 different ghosts present. It is part of the famous 'White Lion Inn' (formally known as the largest coaching inn in Europe). It is also widely known as one of the most terrifying locations in the UK. Its dark history includes brutal attacks on prostitutes on the upper floor in the 1700s. Parliamentary soldiers who arrived there during the English Civil War have also been known to be roaming around. Extensive paranormal activity has been reported, with people seen running out of the property and vowing never to return. Guests on 'paranormal tours' of the place have been known to not complete the tour after being overcome with a feeling of 'dread' (commonly associated with a paranormal presence)

The events have now been documented
in a book
The last British ghost story that will be featured on my blog is the recent 2005 'South Shields Poltergeist'. It was reported that a young couple Marc and Marianne and their 3 year old son moved into a new house, which presented bizarre and frightening activity over the following months. Apparently, one night when they retired to their bed it became unusually cold. All of a sudden there was a barrage of toys being aimed at them with great force. They didn't see where the toys were coming from and only caught sight of them mid-motion. Soon after that, an invisible hand grabbed the end of their duvet and soon they were involved in a tug of war with the unknown presence.  This event was soon worsened when Marc began screaming in pain over what felt like a heavy claw scratching him on the back. In a split second, 13 large scratches where etched across his back. The next day the scratches had disappeared. The couple have not been formally identified for fears of ridicule in the press.


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