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Haunted: Colchester Castle, Colchester, Essex

Haunted: Colchester Castle, Colchester, Essex

| 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.

 
Bibliography
Carmel King (2009) Haunted Essex. The History Press
Jason Day (2011) Paranormal Essex. The History Press

 


THE RED LION HOTEL: One of the Most Haunted Places in Essex!

The 15th century Grade I listed Red Lion Hotel situated along Colchester’s High Street is probably the most infamous hotel in the town.

It’s said to be haunted by not one but three ghosts!

The ghost of a small boy, a monk and a lady called Alice Catherine Millar are said to haunt the Red Lion…

Terrified witnesses have been reporting seeing the ghostly apparition of Alice Catherine Millar as far back as the 1800s.

Alice was believed to been a chambermaid who worked at the Red Lion.

In 1638, she was said to have been brutally murdered by her lover in the hotel.

One of the past owners of the Red Lion was so frightened that the stories of the hotel being haunted by Alice’s ghost would affect trade that he bricked up her old room to try and stop her haunting the building.

Unfortunately for him it didn’t work…

Her ghost is still seen to this very day in the hotel!

Both guests and members of staff have witnessed her ghostly apparition in the hotel’s kitchen and in Rooms 5, 6 and 10.

Her ghost has even been seen by terrified witnesses to disappearing through one of the walls where the old bricked up doorway to her room was once situated.

The assistant manager of the hotel on one occasion even saw her sitting in an old rocking chair rocking backwards and forwards before disappearing.

Other hotel members of staff have been frightened by hearing Alice whispering or even talking to them.

Having their hair pulled by an unseen entity is regularly reported by scared guests staying at the Red Lion.

An unknown woman’s voice was once mysteriously recorded on a video tape shot in one of the hotels rooms by a shocked guest.

Another ghostly apparition seen at the Red Lion is that of a hooded monk…

He’s often witnessed in the early hours of the morning walking along the hotel’s corridors.

Sometimes he magically appears in the Red Lion’s reception area.

He’s sad story dates back a few centuries.

It’s said that he was in charge of some children when a bad fire broke out in the hotel.

He perished in the fire whilst trying to save the children!

And last but by no means least, the final ghost believed to haunt this historic hotel is that of a small boy…

It’s normally children who witness the ghostly apparition of this little boy.

They often see him in the Parliament Restaurant which was once the old Banqueting Hall.

The little boy’s ghost has even been caught on camera by shocked guest when they have taken photos in the Parliament Restaurant!

Click Here to Stay at the Red Lion