With any historical town comes its fair share of reports of ghostly activity. People who once lived or worked at certain old buildings are said by believers to forever haunt some buildings.
Some ghosts are said to have been spotted by residents leaving them disturbed or fascinated by what they say they have seen. Some ghosts have never been identified, while others are well-known characters with a famous backstory. Some buildings are considered magnets when it comes to supernatural activity and are sought out by paranormal investigators – one such popular destination for this is Gresley Old Hall in South Derbyshire, which said to have a plethora of ghostly inhabitants haunting the corridors.
We have taken a look at the buildings in Burton and the surrounding area which are said to be top ghost-hunting spots. And there are plenty of places in the area which are said to be hotspots for the paranormal, from hotels and pubs to castles.
So here are our top places to spot a ghost yourself:
The castle overlooking Tutbury and beyond has been host to hundreds of paranormal investigations over the years including the Most Haunted TV series and it is believed many ghosts call the castle walls their home. This is hardly a surprise given it is steeped in history dating back centuries and was once where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned by Elizabeth 1 before she was eventually executed.
Ghosts walking the ruins include in the King’s bedroom, and even Mary Queen of Scots herslef. There is also said to be a ghost known as the ‘The Keeper’ seen wearing a full suit of armour and behaving in a manner that might best be described as authoritative. This ghostly figure has been seen stepping out in John of Gaunt’s Gateway and bellowing “Get thee hence!” and has even been spotted in broad daylight at the castle, it is said.
Moira Furnace and woodland
Spirits have been said to have been seen drifting through the woodland around Moira Furnace and in the buildings themselves. There have been many reports of paranormal activity at the furnace and the surrounding area over the years, including the story of a drunk man who lost his footing one night and fell into the canal and drowned. According to Haunted Heritage Paranormal Events, his spirit has been seen floating along the canal, terrifying visitors to this site.
Disembodied voices are also heard throughout the building. The feeling of uneasiness and nausea has been felt when guests have entered in certain areas of the building too.
Shadowy figures have been sighted in the furnace’s workshops, and the ghostly apparitions of former workers have been witnessed in the grounds. The furnace is also the site of ghost walks for paranormal enthusiasts.
Sinai House, Shobnall, Burton
Well known locally for being the site of ghostly activity, visitors to have reported a phantom horse-drawn coach, a hanged witch, and a hooded monk who appears at the foot of the bed in a bedroom at the ancient house.
Lots of people have had ghostly encounters at Sinai House
Sir Henry Paget, who was Wellington’s second in command at the battle of Waterloo, is also said to still roam the grounds. Paget famously lost his leg at Waterloo after being hit by a cannonball. He has been described as having a “stormy” energy and makes himself known in the ground floor living and dining rooms at Sinai.
Visitors have said they have also spotted a grey lady seen on the bridge over the moat who is said to be looking for her lost love. There is also the tale of the cook Isabella Baxter, who scandalously got pregnant by one of the monks. When the terrible news got out, poor Isabella was pushed down the stairs and killed. Her ghost is said to haunt the second attic room and is often seen as a fleeting grey shape at the window. Apparently, during ghost walks, people have been pulled and thrown across the room, electrical items have gone wrong for no reason, and people have also heard the whispering of the dead.
Bretby Business Park
Sometime in the 2000’s a security guard at the park encountered car headlights which vanished without a trace, another guard was have said to have been approached by a mysterious woman in a floral summer dress, but when the CCTV was checked there was no trace of her. After running an article in the Burton Mail newspaper, three readers contacted the paper to report that they had seen the woman in the dress too.
Newton Park Hotel, Newton Solney
The hotel in Newton Solney, South Derbyshire, has previously been on ITV as part of paranormal investigations as it is reportedly haunted. The property dates back to the 18th century and was once home to brewing giants the Ratcliff family.
A group of paranormal investigators said they have seen evidence of a “white lady” at the venue. The team, which is called East Midlands Paranormal, was involved in the investigation. Sarah Goldsmith, who led the group, said people had deliberately avoided a small en-suite bathroom in one of the bedrooms, as they reported feeling like someone was standing behind them.
Gresley Old Hall, Church Gresley
A regular spot for ghost hunters, Gresley Old Hall is believed to be one of the buildings in the area with the most paranormal activity. The 16th century, Grade II listed building is said to have been built in 1556 for Sir Christopher Alleyn out of the materials of the demolished Gresley Priory which date back to the 1100s.
Tales of grisly deaths surround the hall, including children who were abused and abandoned and a man who was stabbed to death on the first floor landing. It is said the blood stains are still visible today, despite several attempts to cover them up.
Legend has it that a derelict room on the second floor houses there are the lost souls of three children who died in a house fire after their maid fell asleep beside the fire. After the accident, the room was boarded up and never used again.
It is said there the ghost of the maid, who does not like her story being told, and tries to scare people by making things move or lights switch out as her story is told. People who lived at the hall allegedly would refuse to go upstairs alone for fear of being terrorised by the ghost of the maid. She is 65 and called Margery and worked as a maid during the Victorian era.
Former Burton Mail newspaper offices, High Street, Burton
Reported in the 1990s, the former Burton Mail office, situated in High Street, Burton, was said to be haunted by the ghost of a printer and by the sound of mysterious feet running down the main staircase. It is also believed that ghosts of a maid and a young boy walk the corridors. Reporters were never keen to stay late on their own and would report feeling like there was someone in the women’s upstairs toilets if they were in there alone.
A bushy bearded man in Abbots Bromley
It is rumoured that, at the Royal Oak Inn, in Abbots Bromley, a cloaked man with a bushy beard was spotted lurking around the attic and in one of the bathrooms. It is not known who the man is. It is also said that a small, blonde girl had been seen at the top of the cellar steps and unearthly notes coming from a non-existent music box have been heard in the bar area.
Smell of old aftershave
Staff at the site of a business park in Barton, on the land of the former RAF Tatenhill site, reported that between 2008 and 2010, that old aftershave could be smelt from a corner of a warehouse. The smell was only ever noticed at around 8.30 in the evenings. It was also reported that young men could be heard talking in disused buildings, even though no-one was in them at the time.