Things that go bump in the night... 12 haunted places in Norwich
- Credit: Archant Image Curators
A woman in grey seen floating through walls, objects moved with no explanation and names whispered when no one is there - just some of the ghostly goings-on which have been reported in Norwich down the years.
With its cobbled streets, Tudor architecture, castle and cathedral, Norwich is a city steeped in history.
But when visitors return to their homes, businesses lockup and the lights go out, eerie echoes of its past have often been reported.
Here are 12 haunted locations in Norwich:
Chantry Place (formerly Chapelfield)
Some say the video is definitive proof that ghosts exist, as many said it looked as though the balloon was being held by an invisible hand. But others say it could have been a draft?
After research, it was discovered that some of the stores within Chantry Place were on the site of a well where 17 bodies were uncovered when the area was redeveloped as a shopping mall in 2004.
Martha Alden at Norwich Castle
Martha Alden who was publicly executed at the castle for murdering her husband. Her spirit is said to still wonder through the museum galleries and was seen on the mound soon after her death.
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Nun at Mann Egerton on Prince of Wales Road
At the former Mann Egerton headquarters on Prince of Wales Road a former engineer told of a reoccurring visit from the ghost of a nun – who preferred to appear in the daylight, when the lights were on.
In the EDP of December 9, 1960 the engineer told a reporter that he had seen the ghost of a nun in the basement and then the boiler room of Mann Egerton three times in one year and once before World War Two.
“I know when she is about to appear because I get a feeling of being cold,” said the engineer.
Edinburgh Woolen Mill
In 1997, the Norwich Evening News reported a possible haunting at the building, which was then Farnworths, after speaking to the manage.
She said “Once every couple of weeks I hear men's voices coming from the corridor when I'm sitting in my office on the floor below. At first, I thought it was the offices next door but they were empty at that time of the morning."
After a chance conversation with a customer, the manager discovered that the man had worked in the building for almost 30 years until the 1980s.
“We talked a bit about the history and after a while I asked if anything strange had happened here,” she said.
He replied: “So you've met him have you?”.
The ghost of a young girl is said to haunt this area of Tombland and Tombland Alley behind Augustine Steward House where the graveyard of St George's church had to be raised in order to cram the victims of the plague into a series of graves.
She always appears in ragged grey clothes and many of those who have lived or worked in this area have either seen the girl or felt her presence – particularly when she moves objects around in the night or opens and closes doors, two of her favourite pastimes.
It is believed she was locked into a room with her plague victim parents and ate them to stay alive until she met her end by choking on their flesh.
“I saw him perfectly clearly, and to my horror his face was terribly swelled, and a rope was drawn tight around his neck. Protruding from his breast was a knife, such as formerly used by executioners for dismembering the bodies of criminals.
“I could not think why his lineaments seemed so familiar to me, and then there suddenly flashed across my mind the portrait in my bedchamber at the inn.
“For some moments I gazed with the utmost horror, not unmixed with fear, at this awful sight. Then I heard a kind of deep sigh - a groan - and he disappeared.”
Built more than 300 years ago, the shop has a rich history which has served many businesses.
But in 1860, number 19 was where drink was taken downstairs and, to put it delicately, adult pleasures enjoyed upstairs.
It is unknown whether resident ghost Sara was a 'working girl' or if she was coerced into the attic by an aggressive customer, but the encounter led to a violent struggle and her death by strangulation.
Some stories say her murderer was brought to justice and hanged, others that he walked away from the scene of the crime leaving Sara caught between two worlds.
Taken after opening hours in the deserted cloisters of Norwich Cathedral it was only after the photograph was developed that Rachel Burch spotted something strange.
The shot was part of Rachel’s GCSE art project in 1990 and was taken at the Cathedral when it was virtually deserted: but in the photograph she had developed, there were two clear figures, one clad in black, the other in white.
Staff members have reported glimpses of figures they cannot explain, objects being moved and in one case a jug “exploding” on a shelf – and hearing their names called and responding… before realising they are working alone.
Mousehold Street poltergeist
Norwich City Council's housing department was used to receiving requests from its tenants to move to another area, but the very unusual reason for wanting to leave caused a few eyebrows to raise: there was, claimed the family in question, an unwanted lodger at the city property – a resident poltergeist.
Panes of glass were broken, stones and bricks flung across rooms; a tin of polish came through the ceiling and clocks and watches found in unusual places.
The church stands in parkland and is a peaceful place: but before German bombs, it was persistent rumours of unquiet spirits at St Bartholomew's that made it infamous in Heigham: some claimed they had spotted a ghost in the churchyard.
It's the little-known story of a Phantom of the Office that haunts one of Norwich's most ancient streets.
Michelle Sparkes was first alerted to the unexplained presence when she felt the temperature in the building plummet: she froze as she saw a woman with long black hair and wearing a black dress float past her, through the studio and towards the fire exit.