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Unbeknown to many, Britain’s most popular theme park is named after the mansion Alton Towers, which still stands there on the grounds today. The hauntings which occur in the house are also unknown to the many millions that pass through the parks gates each year.
The site that the Alton Towers mansion stands has history dating back to 1000BC. Evidence suggests there was an Iron Age fort here during that time. The site was handed over to the Saxon King Ceolred of Mercia in 700AD. He ruled for just 7 years before he became insane, which adds to the history of the site being cursed.
The belief that this site is cursed was again emphasised in the 19th Century when the legend of the old oak tree began. The building you see today was the brainchild of Charles Talbot who began transforming the building during the early 1800’s, the 15th Earl of Shrewsbury. It is he who this curse centres around.
The story goes that in 1821 Charles was on his way back to the mansion one dark night, when his coach came upon an old beggar woman in the road. She asked for help but he refused. She pointed to an old oak tree nearby and told him that for every branch of the tree that falls a member of the Talbot family shall die.
There was to be a storm that very night, and a member of Charles’ family did indeed die of a sudden illness. Upon hearing about the death, Charles headed out to the oak tree to find a branch had indeed broken off. He was determined not to allow this same fate to happen to anyone else in his family, so he ordered the tree be chained up. If you go to the tree you’ll see the chains are still there to this day.
One of the most active areas of the towers is on the ride ‘Hex’, which is located in the mansions’ old armoury and picture gallery. People that queue for the ride have often reported seeing children dressed in Victorian clothing as well as being hit by objects and stones.
In the main area of the house, the presence of a large man has been felt around the Music Room, often accompanied by footsteps. The footsteps have also been heard around the Banqueting Hall, along with the large dark outline of a person. When Most Haunted investigated this location, their Medium David Wells, picked up on a large hooded male that was constantly angry.
Perhaps the most common paranormal occurrence is the sighting of a lady in a long dark dress strolling through the corridors of the house. When she’s seen you often smell a strong aroma of perfume. She apparently takes on a very lifelike appearance with one member of staff believing her to be a guest who was in the park after hours. She told her she wasn’t allowed in here and needed to leave, the woman did as she was asked, but slowly faded away much to the fright of the staff member.
During Most Haunted’s investigation of the Towers back in 2007, the team came across many of the reports. One of the team members was apparently attacked by an unseen force, leaving him with a scratch to the head. Stones were also thrown throughout the night, and David Wells the teams’ medium, picked up on the woman apparently seen walking the corridors. Leading him to believe she was a past governess and used to be in charge at the mansion.
The venue is now a favourite with ghost hunters from all over the world due to the amount of activity and the frequency which it occurs.