As Halloween approaches, it’s time to reveal all the spooky stories and ghostly goings-on in Derbyshire. Here are some of the top haunted places to scare yourself silly in the county.
The remarkable castle may look fantastic, but staff hear regular stories from visitors of their supernatural experiences. The most common reports are the feeling of being pushed and prodded, staff seeing apparitions and items being moved around the castle.
On one occasion, four builders working in the gardens reportedly saw a woman appear to disappear through a wall. One of the most re-occuring sightings is the apparition of a child who is said to be seen holding the hands of young visitors.
The house has had reports of sightings of Bess of Hardwick, who finished constructing her home around 1560. There have also been rumours that Mary Queen of Scots walks where she was once held captive.
The library is haunted by a figure which drifts from shelf to shelf and the bridge on the grounds is rumoured to be haunted by a screaming woman.
Sutton Scarsdale Hall
The hall in the tiny hamlet of Sutton Scarsdale is said to be haunted by its builder, Nicholas Leke, who was the fourth and last Earl of Scarsdale. The mansion had a variety of owners – most famous is the Arkwright family who owned the hall for almost 100 years. The abandoned mansion is now managed by English Heritage. Reports of shadows and footsteps around the building are the most common. It was also rumoured that the ghost of Sir Nicholas has been seen in the church next door and there is a woman in white walking from the church to the hall.
Eyam is famous for the plague that ravaged the tiny village in 1665. A tailor received materials from a London supplier which contained plague-infested fleas. Within one week, the tailor had died and by October, 20 individuals lost their lives.
Villagers decided to make the sacrifice and quarantine themselves so they would not spread the disease around the country. The plague continued to strike for the next 18 months, resulting in the deaths of 273 people, with only 83 reported survivors.
Given its devastating history, it is not unusual for the village to have a number of ghost stories. There are a large amount of sightings and the Miner’s Arms is reported to be one of the most haunted buildings. People have heard footsteps and strange experiences in the bedrooms there. One of the cottages is said to be haunted by a pleasant-faced lady, who is reported to wake people in the middle of the night.
Nestled in the Peak District National Park, Haddon Hall is said to be haunted by the ghost of Dorothy Vernon. Witnesses have reported to see Dorothy appearing on the steps as if she is being chased. Other reports are sightings of a spirit of a boy, a monk and a mysterious blue woman.