Haunted Chester

The ancient city of Chester has played a large part in the history of both England and Wales, being as it was the focal point of England's defensive (or offensive) system against the Welsh raiders. A might be expected, there is now shortage of tales, legends, reported sightings of extraordinary events, apparitions and other inexplicable occurrences in and around Chester that can be associated with past events.

The Northgate

Northgate Gaol, ChesterThe large medieval Northgate housed the infamous city gaol and with all the human misery it saw over the years it is little wonder that this area is home to many hauntings.The old Northgate

It is said that at very quiet times, moans and cries of despair can be heard coming from underground passages and cells, which are apparently still there beneath our feet although now filled in.

Condemned criminals were housed at the Northgate.On windy nights muffled thumps have been heard which are said to be the corpses of executed criminals, hanging in chains from the gibbets which then banged against the gaol wall.

Condemned prisoners crossed the Bridge of Sighs to be given the Last Rites.Over the nearby Bridge of Sighs, prisoners who had been condemned to death would have been led in chains to the Chapel of St John in the Bluecoat School to receive the last rites and many people have heard mournful cries here.

The City Walls

King Charles TowerKing Charles I watched his army defeated at the Battle of Rowton Moor from the Phoenix Tower (more commonly known today as King Charles' Tower).

From King Charles Tower to Eastgate the walls sometimes resound to the noise of artillery and musketry, the clang of swords and the cries of dying soldiers.

Close by the Water Tower is the buried plague pit, containing the bodies of over 2,000 victims.

A Roman officer has been seen pacing from the Amphitheatre to the Newgate - floating at the height of the original wall.

Cavaliers and their ladies, dressed in their finery, have been seen promenading close to Morgan's Mount, a Civil War battery point.

St John's Church

Coffin in the wall of St. John's Church.On a dark night, with the moon gliding in and out of the clouds and the wind blowing through the trees, the ruins of St. John's are not for the faint hearted.

Peer up through the skeletal arches to see the curious coffin in the wall, inscribed Dust to Dust.

The ghost of this church is reputed to be the cowled silent figure of a monk who emerges from a lost underground tunnel by the Dee, passes beneath the eerie Anchorite's Cell and walks to the ruined West Tower.

He is also said to haunt the narrow and gloomy alley between high walls, leading up from the Groves to the church.

Queens School

Queens School, Chester
With it's narrow rickety staircases and small, secretive attics, the Victorian Queens School stands on the site of the former city gaol and House of Correction, where public hangings took place.

No wonder that former pupils have commented on a general feeling of foreboding with the Music Room a particular favourite for ghostly whisperings.

Old Rectory, St. Mary's Hill

Old Rectory on St. Mary's Hill, Chester
Once the vicarage for nearby St Mary's Church, the Old Rectory has a room at the top of the house that is always icy cold and the door bangs shut even on a still, windless day.

At the bottom of the spooky, cobbled St Mary's Hill stood the home of a cowman who died suddenly, leaving his herd unattended. To this day the sound of the cattle's mournful lowing can be heard here.

Gaumont Cinema

The old Gaumont Cinema, Chester

Now a bingo hall, the Gaumont Cinema is still home to Old George, a ghost accused of causing unexplained bangs and bumps, thumps and crashes and appearing at times up in the gallery, dressed in a brown tweed jacket.

Stanley Palace

Stanley Palace, Watergate Street, Chester

Stanley Palace dates from 1591 and was once the town house of the powerful and wealthy Stanley family. It is one of the most atmospheric and haunted buildings in Chester.

Many of the ghosts are unseen - footsteps and murmuring can be heard together with the sound of children chattering and giggling.

A 17th Century grey lady wanders aimlessly around the gallery and fervent Royalist James Stanley who was beheaded in 1651 can be seen dressed in his Cavalier finery.

A man dressed in World War 2 uniform has also been seen standing by the staircase.

Tudor House

17th Century Tudor House on Lower Bridge Street, Chester.

The 17th century Tudor House on Lower Bridge Street is said to be home to at least 3 ghosts.

One is of a wealthy, fashionably dressed cavalier - but without a head! The others are a grey lady and a mischievous spirit well known for rattling locks and doorknobs.