Originally the ground which the mansion was built on started out as an Iron Age fort around the year 1000BC. It later became the fortress for the Saxon King Ceolred of Mercia who took over the site in 700AD. He only ruled for seven years before insanity overtook him, inspiring tales that the ground upon which his fortress stood was cursed.
This notion of a curse was reinforced during the 19th Century according to a famous legend. During the first two decades of this century, Charles Talbot, 15th Earl of Shrewsbury, began the transformation of the building into the one we see today. The story goes that in 1821 Charles was returning to the Towers in his coach when an old beggar woman appeared in the road asking for money. Having had her request refused, the old crone pointed to a nearby oak tree and told Charles that 'for every branch of the tree that falls, a member of your family will die'. Allegedly, later that night there was a great storm and in the morning it was discovered that one of Charles' relatives had died, and upon checking, a branch of the tree had indeed fallen (some versions of the story assert that Charles' son was killed while out riding by a branch falling off the tree). Determined not to have the same fate befall any more of his loved ones, Charles ordered the tree to be chained up, and these chains can still be seen to this day.
Although the "Hex Ride" is reportedly to be haunted, the ghostly occurrences at Alton Towers are not confined there. The presence of a large man has been witnessed in and around the Music Room, and the disembodied footsteps heard in this vicinity are usually attributed to him. Other footsteps have been heard in the banqueting room but in this instance they are accompanied by a dark shadowy figure. Interestingly, Most Haunted's psychic medium, David Wells, allegedly picked up on an aggressive, hooded male spirit roaming the building.
But perhaps the most commonly seen ghost of Alton Towers is that of a lady in a long black dress, who has been witnessed wandering the corridors on many an occasion. Her apparition is often accompanied by a strong aroma of perfume. One member of staff believed her to be a guest who was still in the park after hours and asked her to leave. This she did, but by slowly fading away, much to the staff member's surprise! Once the thousands of people have left for the day, the site takes on an ethereal quality which has to be seen to be believed. As dusk falls and darkness descends on the house, it is quite easy to believe you have stepped into one of Henry James' classic ghost stories, complete with derelict gothic mansion. This location is not for the faint-hearted by any means, but we are confident that an Eerie Evening at Alton Towers will be a unique and unforgettable experience.
So as the thrill seekers of Alton Towers make their way home on a dusky night at the ned of the day, Will you be brave enough to come with us as we unearth who and why these ghostly apparitions and poltergiest activity continue at the old mansion in the centre of Alton Towers Theme Park?
# # #
Join the Simply Ghost Nights team, for a night of ghost hunting in the quest for paranormal activity in the most haunted of frightening locations across the U.K, as you become a ghost hunter on a ghost night on a ghost hunt.