The county’s links to monarchy, establishment, abundant wealth and abject poverty have resulted in a vast range of paranormal experiences by those visiting or living in the county. Phantom steam trains, ghostly factory whistles and a very haunted bridge with sightings of contemporary ghosts are just some of the spooky experiences that Nottinghamshire has to offer.
Read on to find out what ghosts haunt the 14 most haunted places in Nottinghamshire.
1. Wollaton Hall, Nottingham
Wollaton Hall is an Elizabethan mansion that sits in the very heart of Nottingham and is one of the area’s most haunted buildings.
It was built by Sir Francis Willoughby and remained the ancestral home of the Willoughby Family until 1925 when the council took it over.
According to local legend, the property is haunted by Lady Middleton. In life, she was paralysed following a fall, and in death, she is said to haunt the rear of the property, particularly room 19.
On a non-paranormal note, you may recognise Wollaton Hall as Wayne Manor from The Dark Knight Rises movie. The property sits about 5 miles north of Gotham, Nottinghamshire, where the fictional Gotham City got its name!
2. St Mary’s Church, Colston Bassett
The bells of St. Marys Church have long since been removed, yet visitors to the site of its ruins have reported the sound of ringing bells and hymns being sung.
Candlelight has been seen in the ruins of the church, but when investigated, the remains of the building are empty and unlit.
Some of those visiting the site have reported the sound of moaning coming from underground, and it is suspected there may be a hidden tunnel underneath.
3. The City of Caves, Nottingham
One of the most surprisingly haunted places in Nottingham has to be The City of Caves. This dark network of medieval era caves lies underneath the Broadmarsh Shopping Centre.
The caves were used as bomb shelters during the Second World War, and this seems to have left a mark on the area since visitors have claimed to hear what sounds like explosions going off above them when they visit the caves. They also report being showered with stones, as though they have been shaken loose by bombs dropping overhead.
Aside from these unexplained events, there have been many other reports of alleged paranormal activity in the caves, including disembodied voices, misty apparitions and dark shadows. There are also reports of the ghost of a crying woman in Victorian style clothing.
4. The National Justice Museum, Nottingham
Of all of the haunted places in Nottingham, the most famous is the Galleries of Justice. This building was used for law-related purposes for over 600 years, even in more modern times since it was a police station from 1905 until 1985, and there were active courtrooms in the building as recently as 1986.
It is believed that the Galleries of Justice is still haunted by the spirits of criminals who stood trial here before being executed. The main entrance of the building is probably one of the most active spots within the building.
The cleaners working in the building now point blank refuse to work in the hall on their own in case they encounter a ghost. There are at least three spirits in the entrance hall, including s soldier, an old lady and a Victorian man dressed in fine clothing.
The courtroom is also a very active location with frequent light anomalies, strange shadows, groans, disembodied screaming, and even knocking in response to questions asked of the spirits, which suggests an intelligent haunting.
Poltergeist activity is common, and items are often thrown around the chapel area of the building. A cross that sits here is frequently thrown across the room, and visitors find themselves being hit with small stones thrown at them. People also feel themselves being touched by unseen hands.
Learn more about the ghosts of the National Justice Museum
5. Rolleston Station, Rolleston
Haunted railway stations are reported up and down the length and breadth of the UK, but perhaps this is the one you are most likely to have a ghostly encounter.
There have been various reports at this ghostly site, and it has earned itself the title of the most haunted station in Nottinghamshire.
Several people have heard the sound of a steam train approaching on the disused section of the railway, the engine slowing down as if to stop at the station. Even the smell of coal and steam has been said to be present during these manifestations.
The phantom of a lorry driver who was killed at the junction has also been spotted at the site where he died and other witnesses have seen a man with a newspaper standing on the platform.
6. Hermeston Hall, Hodstock
Built in 1100 AD Hermeston Hall has connections with notable Elizabethan socialite Bess of Hardwick.
Over the years, the 16th-century abbey area to the rear has been built upon, with various owners adding new wings, eventually forming a square shape with some 50 rooms!
With evidence of a Roman Villa within the grounds, the building has gained a reputation for being haunted by several manifestations. The ghosts of Roman soldiers have been seen marching along the driveway, and a woman said to resemble Bess of Hardwick, with red hair and black clothing, has also been spotted in the grounds.
Ghosts of Victorian children and servants walk the corridors and stairs. Other phenomenon includes the smell of tobacco, hearing low voices, a handprint on a window, a boy playing piano and children screaming.
There have been several investigations into the happenings with unexplained orbs and red mists being caught on camera.
7. Clifton Hall, Nottingham
Mentioned in the Doomsday Book, Clifton Hall was originally a fortified tower house designed for both defence and as habitation. In the Georgian style, it was remodelled in the 18th century and remained in the same family from the 13th century until the mid 20th century.
The hall made tabloid news a few years ago following the departure of its then-owner, owing to the paranormal activity experienced by him and his family from the day they moved in.
The family bought the hall in 2007 for £3.6m as a family home. It is said that they experienced paranormal activity, including hearing knocking coming from the walls and a voice asking, “Is anyone there?”.
The man’s wife also saw her eldest daughter watching television downstairs at 5am, but when she checked her daughter’s room, she was still in bed, fast asleep.
Over time, friends and family refused to go to the house owing to hauntings. The family invited a group of paranormal investigators to visit the house. One of the group members said that it was the only place they had investigated where they felt terrified.
When blood was found on the youngest child’s bedclothes, that was when the family decided that enough was enough and left the property for good.
8. Annesley Hall, Annesley
Annesley Hall in Annesley, Nottinghamshire, is a Grade II listed manor house that dates back to the mid-13th century.
The most well-known ghost to haunt Annesley Hal is that of the White Lady, seen by many witnesses.
The mistress of a former owner walks the walls, having died during childbirth. Another apparition has been spotted (although it has not been confirmed if it’s the same lady), crossing the road outside the hall, the car passing straight through her.
Investigators who have visited the site have recorded laughter in the stable area of the grounds, which was empty. The stables are said to be where a young serving girl hanged herself.
9. Stonebridge Road, Nottingham
Stonebridge Road is a hive of strange phenomena. Phantom sounds have been reported – the sound of a factory siren has been heard by many people, despite the building no longer standing. In the same area, a woman can be heard screaming hysterically in the early hours of the morning.
There have been visual manifestations in this area, too, with reports of a phantom man, but no further description has been offered as to what he looks like or any idea who it might be.
10. Trent Bridge, Nottingham
If you are seeking variety in one spot, then Trent Bridge is the place to head to, by all accounts. Reports from this area include the ghost of a man wearing a green jacket who looks over the edge of the bridge and then disappears.
People crossing the bridge have reported phantom voices and the ghostly apparition of a jogger. Others have reported seeing people leap from the bridge but vanishing before hitting the water.
A man paddling a canoe has also been seen to be travelling along the river but suddenly vanishing as it passes under the bridge.
11. Calverton Village, Gedling
This village celebrates its haunted locations, including houses, its Folk Museum, and village pub.
The most intriguing is the area of Georges Hill where it is said that some taxi drivers avoid after dark and will only enter the village from the Woodborough direction.
Over the years, there have been numerous sightings of a phantom dressed in black. One witness claimed that it stepped out of the shadows wearing a large hat, bearing a large hooked nose and wore a large silver chain around its neck. The figure followed the witness, gliding along the road when the witness began to run, with the figure effortlessly keeping up with him. The witness was said to be ill for several days following his encounter.
On another occasion, a woman driving down Georges Hill at night looked in her rearview mirror to see a black-hatted figure sitting in the back of her car, remaining there for several seconds before disappearing, causing the woman to almost crash.
A young couple driving in the same area has also reported the same figure. Again, Georges Hill was the location of a sighting by a couple who, when driving up the hill, saw what appeared to be just a pair of legs, wearing riding breeches, running across the road.
12. Nottingham Castle, Nottingham
Located in a commanding position upon a rock overlooking the city, there are some quite eerie and sinister stories linked to Nottingham Castle.
While King Richard I (Richard the Lionheart) was on his Third Crusade, the castle was occupied by the Sherriff of Nottingham and is the location of the final showdown between the Sherriff and Robin Hood.
It is said that prisoner Roger Mortimer who in 1330 was dragged to his execution from the cells in the castle, can often be heard pacing around the cells.
Queen Isabella, his lover, has been heard screaming in response to her lover being put to death.
It is said that if you witness the spirit of the Countess of Nottingham, you should be very fearful as she only appears to people who are to die within the year.
13. Mapperley Hospital, Nottingham
Mapperley Hospital closed in 1994, but the building now serves as the home of Nottingham Healthcare NHS Trust.
Ever since the hospital closed down, the admin staff who now work in the building have been reporting several strange occurrences.
Staff often hear their names being called by an unknown, disembodied voice, and the spirit of a female has been seen gliding down the corridors. The former ITV drama series ‘Staying Alive’ was filmed in the building, and shooting was disrupted several times by the ghostly shrieking.
14. Bestwood Lodge Hotel, NottinghamSTAY HERE
This stunning residence, now a hotel, was once the love nest of King Charles II and his mistress, the infamous actress and orange seller, Nell Gwynn. The famous diarist Samuel Pepys dubbed the actress ‘pretty, witty, Nell’ due to her beauty and intellect.
Gwyn had two sons by Charles, and many people have reported ghostly encounters while staying at the hotel. People have reported the smell of oranges in the family room whenever children stay in that room.
The hotel was once used as a military barracks, and staff at the lodge during that time frequently reported ghostly apparitions walking around the corridors of this beautiful building.
Read more about the haunted Bestwood Lodge Hotel.
15. Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Nottingham
Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem is a location intertwined with much of Nottingham’s history. It’s believed to be the oldest pub in England, having been built in 1189, and is home to many stories of murder and hauntings.
Connected via the basement to a network of caves that run under the city, the inn was believed to have been used as an overflow for jail inmates. This history has led many to believe a negative residual haunting remains.
Perhaps a surprising claim here relates to a haunted object rather than a ghost. Upstairs is a small wooden galleon that hasn’t been cleaned in centuries. The legend goes that the ship was used as a payment for a bar tab hundreds of years ago, and if anybody touches the small ship, they die shortly after.
It now resides behind a glass box, after previous owners put it there before selling. Strangely enough, they died just a few weeks after moving out.
16. Holme Pierrepont Hall, Nottingham
Holme Pierrepont Hall was built in 1500 by Sir William Pierrepont, a member of the Pierreponts, a Norman family that arrived with William the Conqueror in 1066 and settled in Holme Pierrepont in 1280. The hall is currently the ancestral home of the Brackenbury family, direct descendants of the Pierreponts.
But it’s not just the living members of the family that roam these halls. Over the years, countless ghostly experiences have been reported, with stories passed down from both family and staff members.
One of the most common sightings is a female spirit, bearing an uncanny resemblance to a woman in one of the Pierrepont family portraits, seen wandering through the many rooms of the hall.
The spirits of past servants are also known to frequent the hall, seemingly going about their daily duties, oblivious to the life around them.
Another apparition, a lady, is often seen in the dead of night, rushing from the courtyard to the churchyard of St Edmund’s, located directly behind the property.