Friday, 10 October 2008

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: HAUNTED DERBYSHIRE

My home county of Derbyshire is awash with supernatural lore, with the nearby city of Derby renowned as being England's most haunted city. The small market town where I live also has ghostly links with some of the families and characters who lived there many years ago, with tales of Roman soldiers who have been seen walking above the ground and the spirit of Lady Cockayne who can be seen on Winter's evenings walking across a large local pond. Cockayne Hall used to stand approx 200 yards from where we currently live, and the Cockayne family owned land here as early as 1372. One of the transepts in the local church contains a tomb dedicated to this family, and while ghostly figures have been reported on the local churchyard, Lady Cockayne has long been associated with the old Grammar School where her restless spirit has been seen on occasions walking the corridors.
You can find posts on the subject of haunted Derbyshire in the Ghosts section of this blog, but there is another local building which I haven't mentioned until now. Tissington Hall is a Jacobean mansion, built in 1609 by Francis Fitzherbert. In 1862, the hall was the scene of a tragic accident when the nightdress of Mina Fitzherbert caught fire. She died from her injuries a short while after. Her ghost has been seen by many members of the family down the years, and residents and guests have also reported the ghost of a man in black in the cellar, unexplained smells of tobacco and lavender, ghostly apparitions in bedroom 4 where people complain of being touched and of the bed moving, the sound of a woman humming, and a figure ascending the staircase only to suddenly disappear. The current owner is Sir Richard Fitzherbert, and October 31st will see the hall playing host to 11 guests who will each pay £75 to spend the night in a special ghost hunt. The evening will include a tour of the hall accompanied by a medium and there will be seances, vigils and paranormal investigations using state-of-the-art equipment. The ghost hunt takes place between 9.00pm - 5.00am and I only hope it becomes an annual event, as I'd love to take part next year.

2 comments:

  1. That is so awesome. I love ghost stories and things of that nature. Some of the cities and towns in this area are very old (I know not as old as places in Europe though). There have many homes and cemeteries that date back to the 1700's. They are all having ghost walks this Halloween. A city I really love is Charleston, SC. They were founded in like the early 1600's. It has some very old plantations, cemeteries, etc. You can go on a ghost walk there all year long. It's creepily cool.

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  2. Thanks, Keith. Charleston does indeed sound cool. My wife has been telling me about an old mental hospital in her hometown of Pekin, Illinois (sounds a bit Session 9-ish)and various other places. Plenty of ghost walks over here, too, but quite expensive to attend.

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