In Seasonal

It is that time of year again where the supernatural are at their most hair-raising and spine-chilling. Feel your skin crawl as you stand amidst ghostly occupants of Dorset’s spooky pubs, stately homes and historic buildings where paranormal activity haunts the grounds and current residents.

A Ghostly Manor House

Athelhampton House is regarded as one of the ten most haunted houses in England. There have been eleven different ghostly presences recorded in this 15th Century Manor, including Nicholas Martyn’s trapped ape in a secret staircase. The ape is heard by both the current residents of the house (the Cooke family)and visitors, scratching on the wooden panels that line the library walls, desperate to be released from its eternal prison. A ghost named ‘Cooper’ occupies the wine cellar, whilst a pair of dualists have been known to put on a show for visitors in the past.

Athelhampton House

Secrets Taken to the Grave

Shaftesbury Abbey is haunted by a monk who was the sole guardian of the true location of the Abbey’s hidden treasure. He unfortunately died without passing on the information and now haunts the grounds to ensure the treasure remains hidden. Other sightings include a phantom man running around the ruins at night; it is speculated that this is the ghost of King Edward.

The Screaming Skull

Bettiscombe Manor in West Dorset is home to a screaming servant’s skull. The servant’s dying wish was to be returned home but against his wishes was buried in the nearby village cemetery. Ill fortune plagued the village and manor until the villagers could not take much more and the body moved back to the manor house. It is still the belief today that if the skull is removed from the house, screams torment the grounds and whomever commit this discretion will die within the year.

Halloween in Dorset

Fallen Gentry

Sherborne Old Castle was once thought to be cursed as ill fortune befell several of the owners much like Sir Walter Raleigh. Every St Michael’s Eve on 28th September he returns and roams the grounds which he once spent the happiest days of his life until he met numerous spells of bad luck and misfortune. It is said he can be seen near a tree that was named after him.

Ethereal Sightings

Spirits are said to linger at the atmospheric ruins of Knowlton Church. The 12th century ruins are at the centre of a Neolithic ritual henge earthwork (earth and stone circles, like Stonehenge). Sightings of a phantom horse and rider, a weeping nun kneeling outside, a ghostly face peering through the window in the tower and a tall cloaked figure dressed in black have appeared to visitors and then vanished into thin air..

Knowlton Church and Rings © Matt Pinner

A Hotel with a Harrowing Tale

The Crown Hotel in the Old Town area of Poole, is famously host to several spooky goings on, such as lights turning on and off, the ghostly sound of a piano being played and two children crying and yelling. The building is said to have been the home to two children who were locked up by a parent who left them to die and who now haunt the premises with their eerie cries.

The Ill-fated Bride

The Royal Signals Museum is believed to have a supernatural presence called Mary. Small objects have been mysteriously moved, phantom footsteps can be heard and sudden cold spots appear and then vanish. It is thought she was a young, local woman who was due to marry a US serviceman during WW2, but was murdered before she could ever say “I do”.

Wartime Apparition

It is said that Bovington Tank Museum‘s Tiger Tank that is on display is haunted by a former German Commander nicknamed “Herman the German”. Several sightings have seen the shadow of the German commander peer into the tank, as well as moving objects and museum staff have experienced a strange feeling of being watched.

Tank Museum, Dorset

Unexplained Voices

The Bull Inn has been the site of some mysterious and unnerving paranormal activity. Members of the public and staff have repeatedly investigated sounds of a child in the ladies toilet, but no child has ever been found. A lady dressed in tweed is also believed to sit in the reception area.

Doomed Lovers

Ye Olde George Inn in Christchurch boasts an eventful past, including a scene of a fateful love story. Margaret Moore, the daughter of the inn’s landlord, fell in love with a Royalist soldier and became pregnant much to the disgust of her father. Unwilling to taint the family name, he bricked up his daughter and grandson in the cheese pantry leaving them to starve to death. It is said that, in the dead of night, you can hear a newborn child crying in the darkness and Margaret scratching at the bricks in an attempt to get out.

A Haunted Old Fortress

Nothe Fort’s extensive underground passage ways are said to be home to a “Whistling Gunner” amongst other presences many who died during the Second World War. It is voted as one of the spookiest places in Britain and even employees refuse to wonder around the grounds alone. Eerie whistling, steam train horns and air raid sirens have been heard as well as many sighting such as spirits walking up and down the terraces.

Nothe Fort, Weymouth

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