Nottingham is a city awash with myths and legends. In fact, one could argue folklore is part of its DNA. But sitting alongside Robin Hood in a regional pantheon of iconic tales are those that many find disturbing upon hearing about them. From dazed highwaymen to entities that grab people, Nottingham is home to countless ghosts.
Some of its locations have even been dubbed ‘some of the most haunted in the UK’. But whereabouts are these haunted locations and what histories do they hold? It’s time to explore some of the most supernatural hotspots in this usually lively city.
National Justice Museum
Formerly known as the Galleries of Justice and located in Lace Market, this infamous gem is quite the magnet for ghostly encounters. Containing a former Victorian courtroom, prison cells, sites of executions and a chamber that anarchists were left to die in, it’s no wonder the paranormal is normal here. Visitors and even staff members have reported feeling a presence in the room with them and some have even reported being touched by an invisible force. Sightings of ghostly hands shooing people out of exhibitions and apparitions caught on camera make it a wild place to visit.
Supposedly haunted by a spirit known as Lady Jane Middleton
This country house and its grounds, officially opened in 1588, are adorned by lively deer. But humans who have shuffled off the mortal coil are said to reside here, too. A peculiar orange glow is said to be sometimes visible from Room 19 of the hall and this room is supposedly haunted by a spirit known as Lady Jane Middleton. Popular account claims that after becoming paralysed, she was confined to her room and later died. In the 1970s, a tour guide reported hearing a ‘phantom laugh’ emanating from a recently opened cave. Wollaton Hall and its grounds are free to enter.
The Haunted Museum
It might not be as famous as American ghosthunter Zak Bagans’ museum, but Nottingham’s Haunted Museum feels just as scary. Marie Wesson, owner of the attraction, has reported no end of ghostly goings-on inside it – and it’s no surprise, given the museum is home to thousands of haunted items. There’s Poltergeist-esque clown dolls, voodoo dolls, skulls, an original Victorian funeral cart, cursed puppets and this venue even hosts regular ghost hunts. Entry to the museum costs only £7 and the 47 bus drops you right outside the Mapperley attraction.
One of the most evil-filled places in all of Nottinghamshire
A 52-room building, this manor is the kind of thing you’d expect to see as the setting of a Netflix horror show. It’s elegant with impressive architecture, but many believe it is one of the most evil-filled places in all of Nottinghamshire. In 2007, businessman Anwar Rashid fled the manor with his family, citing seemingly malicious spirits as his reason. Blood spots had appeared on Rashid’s baby’s quilt and his wife had seen their daughter downstairs watching TV in the middle of the night. Except, when she had gone back upstairs, she had seen her daughter asleep in bed. They had also heard ghostly voices that would dissipate once focused on. Clifton Hall isn’t open to the public, but you can check out its interior online.
Ye Olde Salutation Inn
The pub’s title suggests it, but this location has been around for many years. In fact, its walls have been standing since around the 9th century. Sitting down at a booth to drink a glass of beer with friends may turn into a shocking and eventful stay. The ghost of a young girl called Rosie has frequently been sighted here, alongside the spirit of an aggressive and confused highwayman. One man once reported seeing him in the caves beneath the pub. The highwayman ran towards him, as though eager to attack the witness, but he faded away upon collision. One story details how the highwayman had drowned in a well. Maybe he doesn’t know he’s dead and is caught in a miasma of confusion and stress, troubled by his new enigmatic state of existence.
Placed in a glass case by a cleaner who died just a few weeks later
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem
Rumoured to be the oldest pub in England (although this assertion is often challenged), Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is not a place for the faint of heart. A spooky ship model, known as the cursed galleon, sits above the bar, cordoned off to drunken revellers and for good reason. Everyone who has touched it has reportedly become sick and died as a result. It was placed in a glass case by a cleaner who died just a few weeks later. The landlord of the pub, Karl Gibson, told Notts TV: “The Old Trip’s cellars were originally part of the castle’s cellar system. There could have been up to 30 or 40 prisoners at any given time in here and you can still see the marks on the walls where they have scraped their initials”. It seems as though doom and gloom have been large aspects of this pub’s history.
In 1330, the nobleman Roger Mortimer was held in a cell within the castle walls and then dragged to his execution. Supposedly, his spirit haunts the cell he was once imprisoned in and his lover, Queen Isabella, has reportedly been heard screaming. But the one spirit you really don’t want to encounter here is the Countess of Nottingham, for she is said to only appear to people who will die within a year. The castle is currently under renovation but is expected to be open once again in 2021.
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