Haunted: Colchester Castle, Colchester, Essex
Stewart | On 21, Jun 2017
The Hauntings at Colchester Castle
The Grade I listed Colchester Castle is a fine example of a complete Norman castle.
The castle was ordered to be constructed by William the Conqueror in 1069.
It’s built on the foundations of the Roman temple of Claudius which dates back to AD 60!
Now, you would think with its Norman and Roman roots, that the castle’s ghostly tale would be from one of those eras…
In fact, the castle’s ghost story involves a Quaker!
In 1656 a Quaker called James Parnell was arrested and imprisoned in Colchester Castle for an incident which happened in Coggleshall Church…
You see at this time in history Colchester Castle was used as a county prison.
Well, the story goes that James was praying in Coggleshall Church when a commotion ensued resulting in him being arrested for blasphemy and other offences.
He was acquitted of the charges but the Magistrate still fined him £40.
Now, this is where it starts to turn from bad to worse for poor James.
He refused to pay the fine which resulted in him being returned to the prison at Colchester Castle.
Nicholas Roberts was the gaoler at the castle at the time and he was a nasty piece of work.
He was infamous for his cruelty to the prisoners put in his care.
And poor James was no exception!
He forced him to climb a rope to get his food.
Well, one day the inevitable happen.
James fell from the rope and was badly injured.
For then on he couldn’t climb the rope to get his food resulting in his health deteriorating quickly.
On 10th April 1656 he tragically died.
It’s now said that his poor tormented ghost haunts the castle to this very day!
In the 1930s a local man took on a foolish bet for £200 that he couldn’t stay the whole night locked in the haunted Colchester Castle…
The bet was that he would be locked in the castle from 8.00pm until 8.00am the next morning.
At 8.00pm he was locked in the castle and left alone to spend the night there.
A couple of hours later a passer-by noticed a distressed man running around on top of the castle’s roof trying to get attention.
The fire brigade were called and the man was brought down in one piece.
The poor man was a total gibbering wreck!
In fact, he was in such a distressed state that a doctor was quickly called to sedate him.
He was taken to Severalls psychiatric hospital where he sadly died a few months later.
Carmel King (2009) Haunted Essex. The History Press
Jason Day (2011) Paranormal Essex. The History Press
FEATURED HAUNTED HOTEL: The Queen Hotel, Chester
The Queen Hotel is said to be haunted by the ghost of a little girl.
She’s said to haunt the area of a former nursery which was once situated on the second floor of the hotel.
Women guests have reported the little girl ghost has sneaked up behind them and pulled their hair before making her escape!