You'll get the spooks on this UK ghost walk!
Trying out the many ghost walks on offer in the UK requires the right balance of bravery, humour and scepticism.
With a history of bloody battles, gruesome murders and heinous plagues it's easy to see why England has it's fair share of ghost walks. When Great Walks was walking the UK we swapped mountain peaks for eerie streets and visited England's most haunted town, Shrewsbury.
The first thing you have to appreciate is how old Shrewsbury is. It was first mentioned by the Anglo-Saxons in a charter of 901 AD but the area dates back even further as Roman and Iron-age settlements are found on the outskirts. Shrewsbury, in the county of Shropshire, has over 660 listed buildings and it's likely most of them have been the place of death and drama.
The ghost tour begins in the Victorian Market Square, which was used in the filming of the 1984 version of A Christmas Carol, starring George C Scott. Rumour has it that during filming the director of photography saw the man in a nightshirt disappear through the wall of the hotel he was staying at.
Our guide Martin, standing at over 2m, was accompanied by two ghost experts, Chris and Adam - both mediums and paranormal investigators. One carried an EMF (electrical magnetic field) reader, which gives an indication of paranormal presences... just in case.
“We picked up readings from seven or eight ghosts last night," said Martin. This comment was met with a mixture of scared wide eyes and raised eyebrow scepticism.
We seem to bump into ghosts at every corner, with Chris’ EMF reader hissing and crackling at regular intervals. The Prince Rupert Hotel, built in the 1600s, really does have everything expected of a haunted building: panelled rooms, creaking floorboards, uneven corridors and hidden cellars.
Several past occupants return to this building including a jilted bride, and another teases some ghost hunters by loosening jewellery and banging out his frustration in the hidden cellar.
Another building with an ornate façade had an apparition of a woman whose skin chafes and disintegrates. This area was part of the old town walls and was the spot where witches used to be burnt in the 1300s...
Now a shopping arcade and flats, The Parade used to be the Royal Salop Infirmary. This imposing stone brick building seems to be riddled with ghosts, from old janitors and beggars to the Gray Lady.
We were told when she appeared at the foot of a patient’s bed, the patient would die shortly after. By now, we’re all shivering ghost-believers and eager to learn more.
“The castle is haunted by, amongst others, the ghost of Bloody Jack, who was hanged there. He was so named because after he’d killed his wife, he chopped off her fingers. He did this to his five wives!” bellowed Martin.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the tour is a fascinating blend of local history and intriguing characters, and is an eye-opener for locals and tourists alike. With Chris and Adam running around with the EMF meter and encouraging us to take photos it was an educational and entertaining couple of hours.
For more info click here.
Words by Annie Waddington-Feather