Tales of the unexpected

With so many historic hotels in the Warner collection, it’s no surprise that some play host to a few hair-raising ghost stories. Real or imaginary, make of them what you will.

Littlecote House

The present Elizabethan brick mansion was built between 1490 and 1520 by Sir George Darrell and extended by Judge Popham towards the end of the 16th century. It’s the third most haunted house in England with a rumoured 40 ghosts. In the library, it’s not unknown for books to fall off the shelves and the lights to flicker on and off along with sightings of a man with long black hair seated in the red corner armchair. Other ghost stories originate from the curse that was placed on the house by Mother Barnes in 1575 following the murder of a baby boy by ‘Wild’ William Darryl. Sometimes, the newborn still cries in the haunted bedroom, a black dog bounds up and down the staircase to the Tudor long gallery and a phantom horse and carriage pulls up outside. Strange things also happen to cameras in the Brick Parlour.


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Nidd Hall

The mansion in North Yorkshire is thought to be haunted by children. A little girl can sometimes be seen around 5am walking by the church and visitors have commented that they’ve heard little ones laughing and running along the corridors. There’s a story a few years ago about some guests coming to reception to complain of children in their room. They said they had seen two Victorian children and were very annoyed as the hotel is for adults only!


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Holme Lacy House

A brick mansion has been on the site since 1545 with the 2nd Viscount Scudamore remodelling the house in 1673-4. That’s over 450 years of births and deaths. Spooky moments include cups and saucers rattling in the Bremner Scott Restaurant in the middle of the night, plus tapping noises and chuckling.
Guests have heard the footsteps (and laughter) of children running up and down above their rooms in the Old House and a Grey Lady has been spotted wandering the corridors. One live-in team member once felt the weight of someone sitting on her bed but saw no one there when she switched the light on.


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Bodelwyddan Castle

First built in the 15th century as a home for the Humphreys family from Anglesey, today’s folly has more than 500 years of history in its walls. During a period of restoration from 1830 to 1852, the owner at the time, Sir John Hay Williams, discovered a skeleton in the wall near one of the chimneys. It was noted in his diary that he had asked for the bones to be built back into the wall to prevent awakening any spirits. The bones are likely still there – perhaps one of the reasons why the place seems so haunted. There are often reports of dark, shadowy figures walking the corridors and disappearing through walls. The Blue Lady in particular has been seen around the kitchen area and is often heard rattling dishes and pans in the dead of night. The ghost of a soldier in uniform also inhabits one of the galleries. Guests believe they’ve had their hair tugged and have heard unexplained voices throughout the castle, as well as strange sounds and light anomalies. During investigations, EVPs have produced voices and EMF readings have inexplicably risen and dropped suddenly.


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Thoresby Hall

There’s a lot of movement in the Nottinghamshire mansion with multiple sightings of a little boy in the Blue Grill Restaurant, cold spots in the Manvers Bar and bottles flying off the shelves in the basement of the Old House, which is now a bar.


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Sinah Warren

Back when Sinah Warren was a site for a monastery, the story goes that the Sacrist Monk there was stealing treasures. His guilt got the better of him and he confessed, but the shame was too much and he locked himself in the small top attic room, only coming out late at night to pick up scraps of food. Slowly going mad he also began to eat the poisoned dead rats that had overran the abbey and he ultimately died from rat poisoning. Sometimes late at night it goes very cold and you can hear what sounds like a distant Latin chant...


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Alvaston Hall

There are sometimes reports of a ghostly bride who allegedly leapt from a second-floor window and toys being thrown from the main house balcony into reception – a little girl used to live in room 57 of the main house. One story dates from August 2007 with a duty manager hearing the sound of a young child simply saying ‘hello’ followed by a gentle rhythmic humming and crackling from a radio. This happened three times. It then became very cold and he felt what seemed like the tender touch of the tiniest of hands.


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