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The Ghosts of the Redworth Hall Hotel

This is a guest post from Jack on behalf of the Puma Hotels Collection.

Redworth Hall Hotel – Image from Puma Hotels Collection’s website

From the outside looking in, Durham’s Redworth Hall Hotel looks like any other country house. Sitting in 150 acres of woodlands in the north-east of England, the Jacobean Manor House dates all the way back to 1693 and plays host to tourists and wedding parties all year round.

As is the case with the large majority of “listed” buildings however, Redworth Hall has a history filled with crazy events and old wives’ tales. Perhaps the most famous rumour surrounding Redworth Hall is the fact that the hotel is inhabited by at least two paranormal beings, with numerous sightings being reported over the years.

Folklore suggests that the hotel is indeed haunted, and both tales centre around Lord Robert Surtees, who acquired the hall in 1744 (the Surtees family would go on to occupy the hall up until the death of Henry SB Surtees in 1955).

The first and perhaps most commonly cited apparition is that of a small child who is said to walk the corridors of the hotel. There have been numerous reports of visitors being disturbed in the night by a child’s screams of anguish, and indeed many people also claim to have seen a small child wandering the corridors of the hotel. The child is also reported to have been spotted through the viewfinder of many a digital camera.

The origins of this so-called ghost can be traced back to the 18th century, when the aforementioned Lord Surtees still occupied the hall. The ghost in question was believed to be Lord Surtees “mentally ill” child, who he used to keep chained to the fireplace (hence the screams).

The story behind the second apparition is a little less certain, but reports suggest that she can be found wandering the halls of the hotel searching for her “lost love”. The general consensus is that the ghost is that of Lord Surtees’ scullery maid, with whom he had an illicit affair. This all came to a head when Surtees’ wife found out that the maid was pregnant (presumably with Surtees’ child), and the maid committed suicide by throwing herself down the stairs.

Obviously, the effects and behaviour of the ghosts varies from report to report, however two of the most commonly mentioned rooms when people recall their experiences are numbers 7 and 14. Common complaints include the feeling of bumps and bangs on the bed (as if it was being jumped on), the feeling that the guests are being watched, and in more recent years there have been reports of televisions and other electrical devices switching themselves on and off.

Perhaps the most humorous tale however, is the tale of the Bangladeshi cricket team who stayed at the hotel during their tour of England in 2005. A number of team members heard the sound of a distressed child during the night, and team captain Habibul Bashar plucked up the courage to confront the character who was clad in white.

The ensuing commotion woke up several other hotel guests, who were understandably less than pleased when it turned out that the “ghost” was actually Mashrafe Mortaza – the team’s resident practical joker – armed with a white sheet and a tape recorder! As the saying goes, Bashar was said to “look as though he’d just seen a ghost!”

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Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her on a tennis court somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
http://www.courtneymroch.com

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