Norwich is an area which has a rich history linked to the throne and the Kett rebellion. This has left its mark in the form of some spooky happenings.
Check out the 7 most haunted places in Norwich:
7 - Blickling Hall
Blickling Hall is a stunning Jacobean mansion which sits in the 4000 acre Blickling Estate. The Estate is full of gorgeous buildings, landscaped parks and beautiful gardens, but what it is most famous for is allegedly being haunted by the ghost of Anne Boleyn!
There have been numerous reports of Anne Boleyn’s spirit wandering around Blickling Hall dressed in white and carrying her own severed head still dripping with blood! As if that wasn’t gruesome enough, there have also been reports of her arriving in a coach driven by a headless horseman and four headless horses! She is not the only apparition that is said to haunt the building. Another deceased resident is said to be Anne Boleyn’s father Thomas Boelyn. It was he who arranged for his daughter to be married to King Henry VIII. He lost not only his daughter but also his son through his own actions and now in death, he is serving penance. He is required to cross a dozen bridges before cockcrow every morning for a thousand years. He takes the route from Blickling to Burg, on to Buxton, Coltishall, then Meyton, followed by Oxnead and finally ending up in Wroxham. He too was beheaded and he carries his head under his arm. Some say that flame pours from his mouth instead of blood!
Aside from the two headless members of the Boleyn family, Blickling Hall is also said to be haunted by Sir John Fastolfe – a 15th-century knight who was said to be the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Falstaff character. Some visitors have also reported seeing a grey lady walking through walls.
6 - The Adam And Eve Pub
The Adam and Eve Public House in Norwich dates back to 1249, which makes it the oldest pub in Norwich. It is probably to be expected then that it is also one of the most haunted places in Norwich. In the past, the monks from the great hospital nearby used the building as a brewhouse, but today it is a popular pub – one which has a couple of resident Norwich ghosts to boast about!
The most commonly sighted ghost at The Adam and Eve is affectionately known as ‘Sam’. However, it is believed that he is actually the restless spirit of Lord Sheffield who died in the building during Robert Ketts rebellion. He had actually surrendered, but Ketts’ men were unaware of this development and he was hit with a cleaver. He was taken straight to The Adam and Eve where he later died. However, he still makes his presence there felt whenever possible in the form of hot and cold spots, footsteps and poltergeist activity. The pub bell often rings by itself, ashtrays and tankards are moved, items in the cellar get moved around when no-one is down there and customers have reported being tapped on their shoulder or having unseen fingers run through their hair!
5 - Elm Hill
Elm Hill is a Norwich street that can be traced back to around 1200AD. However, the oldest properties that stand on the cobbled street today only date back to 1507 or later since a fire that swept through Norwich previously destroyed as many as 700 homes including most of Elm Hill. In the past, there have been sixteen mayors and sheriffs who have lived on the street at some point.
One of the ghost stories associated with Elm Hill relates to a monastery founded on the street by Father Ignatius in the 1800s. It is said that he cursed all those who opposed him with their eternal damnation. It was not long before locals ran him out of town, but it seems that he returned after his death because his spirit has been seen walking along Elm Hill carrying a bible and cursing those who pass. There are also unexplained footsteps heard around the area of the monastery among other odd noises!
Another spooky tale comes from The Strangers Club which was built in the 1400s by Mayor Augustine Steward. In the 1507 fire of Norwich, one family were trapped upstairs and although the man of the house was able to rescue his wife and children, he himself perished in the flames. These days his footsteps are still heard in the upper floors even although nobody is there.
4 - Lollards Pit Public House
Lollards Pit Public House can be found on Riverside and is linked back to the chalk pit from which the Cathedral foundations were dug. It was built sometime between 1620 and 1670 and during the 15th and 16th centuries it was the site of execution for a number of convicted heretics and other offenders. It is no surprise given this history that Lollards Pit is one of the most haunted places in Norwich.
The cellar of the building was at one time a holding cell where offenders were placed before being brought out to be burned at the stake. The bodies were then put into the pit that is located in what is now the pub’s garden! There are also two tunnels in the cellar one which leads to the cow tower and the other which leads to the river. The prisoners would have been made to walk the streets which would have been lined with hundreds of people across Bishopgate Bridge until they reached Lollards Pit and their eventual death. Today, customers and staff members have reported hearing the screams of prisoners coming from the basement and it is also common for witches and other criminals to be seen crossing the bridge outside.
3 - The Maddermarket Theatre
Maddermarket Theatre was actually a Roman Catholic Chapel originally when it was built in 1794. However, it was opened as the theatre in 1921. It actually stands on the site of the medieval market where one of the chief items for sale would have been ‘madder’ the scarlet dye used in the wool trade, which is where it gets its name! Aside from all of that, like so many other theatres, The Maddermarket Theatre is also reputed to be haunted by several Norwich ghosts.
One of the ghosts in residence at The Maddermarket Theatre is a monk. He has been seen several times around the building with one sighting in particular reported by a director who saw a monk walk across the stage from a confession box during a rehearsal. The box was checked immediately and there was nobody in there at the time! The ghostly monk has also been accused of moving costumes around, hiding the actors’ wigs and even opening and closing doors. On one occasion, an actor forgot his lines and then felt the monk hug him reassuringly. On another occasion, he is also said to have knocked a young actress out of the way of some falling lights which saved her life.
2 - Norwich Castle
Norwich Castle was built by William the Conqueror following the Norman invasion and today it is a listed heritage site and a museum. Staff at the museum have reported seeing the apparition of an old lady floating off the ground.
They were not the first to report such a sight. Castle records show that in 1820 terrified prisoners being held at the castle saw a ghostly lady dressed in black!
There have also been reports of an apparition of the rotting corpse of rebel leader Robert Kett hanging outside the castle!
1 - The Maids Head HotelBOOK NOW
The Maids Head dates back to the 13th century and is actually made up of around 6 different buildings. Some of the most prominent guests who are said to have visited the hotel over the years include the Black Prince in 1359, Cardinal Wolsey and Catherine of Aragon in 1520 and even Queen Elizabeth I in 1587! One of the bar areas still features the original Jacobean Oak panels and The Maids Head Hotel also has the distinction of serving as the first Masonic lodge in the Norwich area, and of course, it is also haunted!
One of the ghosts that are often seen moving around the hotel is a former maid, still cleaning in death as she did in life. She is said to dress in grey and is usually accompanied by the aroma of musty lavender. There is also a male spirit that is regularly reported. This is an elderly man who is believed to have been a former Mayor. He is seen in the courtyard, walking around shaking his head.