Haunted Hotels In The Midlands
If you fancy doing a bit of ghost hunting, but don’t fancy spending the night in a dark cellar with a bunch of nutters like me, then there are lots of hotels around that have some rather ghostly guests.
The Station Hotel Dudley
The Station Hotel in Dudley dates from 1936, but there was a hotel here for many years before that.
A particularly strong presence in the hotel is that of a spirit called George who seems happy to respond to “yes or no” questions by occasionally tapping on the walls and ceilings. He is most active in room 214. Be warned though, George is not a friendly chap and has been known to slap and push people, especially women.
It is thought that George is the ghost of a former manager of the hotel. He was having an affair with a maid called Elizabeth. When she threatened to tell his wife he flew into a rage and murdered her. It could be that George’s guilt and anger has kept his spirit imprisoned at the Station Hotel where he takes great pleasure in giving the guests a good fright.
If you decide to visit the Station Hotel remember to pay a visit to Dudley Castle just over the road – you never know who or what you might encounter!
Coombe Abbey Coventry
In Coventry you could spend a sleepless night at Coombe Abbey which has quite a few spectres in residence, including the inevitable ghostly monk.
The monk is thought to be the ghost of Abbott Geoffrey who was murdered in 1345. There are many accounts, stretching back through the centuries, of people being scared witless by a cowled figure that seems to float around the grounds. Poltergeist activity is associated with this ghostly monk. Objects are often flung around the rooms when his apparition is witnessed. It could be that the spirit of Abbott Geoffrey is venting his anger at being murdered.
Back in the 19th Century, the abbey was owned by the wealthy Craven family. A young Romany girl called Matilda was ill treated by one of the men of the house. She died in childbirth after putting a curse on the family. This curse may have worked. The Craven family were to suffer bad luck over the years and many of them were to die young.
A young girl, dressed in rags, has often been seen near the stables. It is thought that this is the ghost of the unfortunate and vengeful gypsy girl Matilda.
There are other ghosts at Coombe Abbey. A mysterious horseman has been seen to gallop through the grounds and a Victorian lady has often been witnessed on the road outside the abbey.
Many people have reported a strange, eerie feeling in some of the rooms as if they are being watched. Doors slam themselves shut and shadows have been seen in the corridors. Some people have been so frightened they have run out of their rooms.
Madeley Court Telford
Scary monks and scared guests are also a regular feature of Madeley Court Hotel in Telford. This place was built in 1553 during the reign of “Bloody Mary”, a particularly gruesome time in British History. Like Coombe Abbey, a hooded monk is sometimes seen to float (rather than walk) around the grounds.
There is even a scarier monkly presence in the great hall. Several of these hooded figures have been witnessed sitting in a row on the wooden roof beams and staring at the guests and staff. Even an experienced ghost hunter like me would find that terrifying.
These monks seem to be aware of their surroundings, which suggests that they possess some kind of intelligence and have a desire to be among the living.
There is another type of haunting which can be witnessed at Madeley Court. This is where the ghost or ghosts do not realise the situation they are in and simply carry on as if they are still living in their own time. Victorian maids have been seen carrying out their duties in the rooms and corridors. These apparitions are said to be so real that they are mistaken for hotel employees in fancy dress.
This sort of ghost may be some sort of “recording” from the past that can manifest in the right conditions. Another example is a row of cottages in the grounds of Madeley Court. These were demolished complete with a smiling old lady in front of them.
These are just three local examples of Britain’s many haunted hotels and this is a subject I’ll return to in the future. (Hopefully I’ll get to visit a few more of these places.)
What better way to experience a haunting than from the comfort of a king sized bed with a handy mini-bar within easy reach?