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Our little black book of enchanting places


Heavenly haunted hotels by Maggie O'Sullivan

Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O' Sullivan

The most haunted hotel in Britain, according to The Poltergeist Society, is The Schooner Hotel in Alnmouth. It claims to have more than 60 spirits, with more than 3,000 sightings over the past few years. But it isn’t only inns and market town hotels where things go bump in the night, there are spooky goings-on at some of Britain’s most luxurious establishments , too. Here’s where we won’t be spending Halloween tomorrow night. 

Dalhousie Castle Hotel, Edinburgh

The ghost at this 800-year-old castle hotel (above) is that of the lovelorn Lady Catherine, who starved herself to death here in the 17th century after her parents forbade her to see her unsuitable lover. Her presence is often felt by guests; some say they have seen her in their rooms, while others claim to have been photo-bombed by her. But Dalhousie is an incredibly romantic hotel and the benign Lady Catherine simply adds to its charm.Lumley Castle Hotel, County Durham

Lumley was built in 1388 by Sir Ralph Lumley and converted into a four-star hotel by the No Ordinary Hotels group in 1976. It’s reputedly haunted by a 14th-century Lady of the Manor, Lily Lumley, who was thrown down a well after she refused to become a catholic. Lily seems to be particularly fond of scaring cricketers (the hotel overlooks Durham County Cricket Club): three members of the West Indies team were so spooked by her in 2000 that they checked out; she also put the wind up the Australian cricket team when they stayed in 2005.Castle Leslie, Co Monaghan

Castle Leslie is an eccentric five-star hotel in Glaslough, popular with celebrities because it’s so private. You won’t have a TV, radio or telephone in your room though you might just get a ghostly member of the Leslie clan – they’ve been popping back from the other side for centuries. In 1914 Lady Marjorie Leslie’s recently dead son appeared in her bedroom and Lady Constance is said to haunt the Mauve Room; a monk has been seen in the banquet hall and a grey man in the cellar. Spooky.The Langham, London

Our new favourite hotel, now that we’ve discovered its award-winning cocktail bar, the five-star Langham is reputed to have the most haunted hotel room in London. Ghosts seen in Room 333 include a Victorian doctor who murdered his wife then killed himself while they were staying here on honeymoon, a German prince who threw himself out of the window, and a spectre of unknown origin who shakes the bed. You might also spot Napolean III in the basement and a man with a gaping wound wandering the hallways.Lord Crewe Arms, County Durham

This gorgeous medieval inn in Blanchland is said to be haunted by Dorothy Forster. Dorothy was the sister of a Jacobite general called Thomas Forster and not only did she manage to spring him from jail four days before his trial, she hid him at the Lord Crewe Arms before he escaped to France. Her ghost is said to mope about the hotel, forever awaiting her brother’s return. Actually, this is one haunted hotel I would stay in at Halloween – I spent the night in one of the rooms Dorothy’s ghost is said to visit earlier this year and the only spooky thing about it was that it overlooked the graveyard nextdoor.

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