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Ettington Park? Spooky? We think so!
Ghostbusting at a haunted hotel
Martin Winch joined BBC Coventry & Warwickshire's Rev Mervyn Roberts and Paul Marriott for an evening of ghostbusting at the very haunted Ettington Park hotel. Did they spot any spooks?
It’s no surprise that there is such a place in South Warwickshire. With so many villages mentioned in the Domesday Book myths and legends are bound to exist with ghosts aplenty having been spotted at this mansion-turned-hotel, owned by the Shirley family, over the years.
Ettington Park is an imposing Victorian mansion, frightening enough to look at without venturing inside. Its scary neo-gothic architecture make it look like the architypal haunted house - so much so it featured in the classic 1963 shocker The Haunting.
Michael Kenny with the haunted book
But it's not just how it looks. There have been scores of reports over the years of mysterious sightings, sounds and experiences. Are there really ghosts at Ettington Park?
One Friday night we took our camera and other recording equipment with us as we explored every nook and cranny of the spooky building. Aided by Michael Kenny, a retired night manager who worked at the hotel for five years from 1997, we went into many of the rooms ……. all of which seemed to have a tale to tell.
Who stuck the playing card to the ceiling?
There have been a number of ghosts and unexplained atmosphere’s experienced. Beginning as we did in the reception area, our guide explained how it was here that he had witnessed the phenomenon of a floating candle above the neo-Elizabethan oak mantelpiece. Kenny also continued with how he believed he had seen the ghost of Edward Shirley.
Once in the library we saw the book which had flown from the shelves one evening. Could it have been evidence of poltergeist activity?
Our guide recounted a couple of tales of oddities in the Great Drawing room. Listen to Kenny talk about the doors and curtains opening and shutting as well as the Edwardian lady found in the bay window.
The stunning gothic towers of Ettington
So taken with this room were we that we spent much of the night there. Sadly, aside from the occasional snores of sleepy members in our ghostbusting team, nothing went bump in the night.
You can hear his ghostly tales by clicking the links below.
After nipping into the restaurant in the Oak Room where the ghost of Mary the servant girl is supposed to reside we went out to the church. It is here that the ghost of a monk has reportedly been spotted.
When we went back inside the main building we were joined by a couple of hotel guests who had changed their rooms the previous night because of noises that they had heard and a general feeling of unease. Previously oblivious to paranormal activity at Ettington, they joined us on the remainder of our ghost hunt which ended in the Long Gallery.
Looking across to Ettington's chapel
It was here that the mansion felt the coldest and the closest to feeling a sense of being watched.
So are spectres real? Well our guide Michael Kenny has his own theories
He said: “If you take a CD what are you doing? Are you not replaying real events and emotions just as they actually happened at sometime in the past and were recorded on basic materials to be replayed time and time again at a future date?
“Is it not also possible that certain events, given the right conditions, can have human events impressed or recorded upon them? Then, at some later date, again given the right conditions or atmosphere, a person walks into that environment and becomes the medium by which the recorded events are replayed.
“The ghostly phenomenon known to us as haunting then occurs”.
Can you spot the spook?
What do you think?
Is Ettington Park haunted? Do ghosts exist? Have you ever experienced a haunting or do you know of a ghostly story? Or do you think it's all rubbish? Let us know on our messageboard below.
last updated: 18/04/2008 at 11:13
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kate and deon
Mary Kay Mahoney
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