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You are in: Northamptonshire » Features

Thursday, 17th October, 2002
Haunted Northamptonshire
Image of the Grosvenor Centre
The Grosvenor Centre is haunted by The Monk
Northamptonshire may be a little thin on the ground for celebrities, but we have some world famous ghosts.

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There seems to be plenty of paranormal activity around the county and it's not just in old mansions and hotels.

The Grosvenor Shopping Centre in Northampton is said to be haunted by a monk who roams the corridors when the building is closed.

The shopping centre was built on the site of the Grey Friars Monastery which may explain his presence.

Brian Lawrence, manager of Grosvenor Centre is well aquanted with 'The Monk', he said: "I haven't seen anything myself but I'm fairly broadminded about his presence.

"There were reports in Victorian Newspapers of a hooded figure in this area.

Lots of people who worked here, including myself, have had the feeling they're not alone in the delivery corridors in the north of the site.

"He's also been reported near the Abington Street entrance - I would have thought that in the days of the monastary, that area would have been the gardens where he would have walked.

"But we are very fond of of him, he's a very benign spirit."

Ghosts in the machine

The BBC's Northampton headquarters on Abington Street is also believed to be haunted. In July 1996, local ghost and paranormal author Natalie Osborne-Thomason visited the BBC Radio Northampton to talk about her first book.

Her friends Paul and Sue Hopgood who were mediums came along with her as the story of their particular poltergeist problem was covered in the book.

As usual with guests to the station, there was a phone-in planned for the public.

But the phones went dead and, according to Natalie's second book The Ghost-Hunting Casebook, all she could hear were strange clicks and whistles. Problems persisted for a couple of days.

There's nothing particularly strange about this - phone problems occur on a fairly regular basis. But Willy Gilder who was working on the show at the time remembers the problems to be worse than usual and things were going wrong that really shouldn't have been going wrong.

An explaination for this could be found in the affor-mentioned book. Days later when Natalie was talking to her friend Paul Hopgood about the technical problems, he said that on entering the building he'd felt it to be haunted by the spirit of an elderly lady who used to live there. Paul believes that the topic of the programme coupled with the then presenter's sceptisism somehow angered and activated the spirit.

But no one currently working here has experienced anything to back this up - the phones still play up from time to time though!

Celebrity scares

There are two celebrity ghosts who are reported to do their haunting in this county. The spirit of Guy Fawkes is said to haunt the Manor House in Ashby St Ledger. Fawkes stayed at the house for six weeks before the gunpowder plot to blow-up parliament.

The Talbot Hotel in Oundle, particularly two of the rooms and the staircase, is said to be haunted by Mary, Queen of Scots. Legend has it that the stairs of The Talbot Hotel came from Fotheringay Castle, the same stairs Mary descended on the day she was executed.

Barman at the hotel, Tom Mills said: "I've been here for almost a year and I personally haven't seen anything.

"A few months ago we had a group of pshycics in and they said they'd experience things in different parts of the hotel.

"One of the current house-keeper's mother used to work here and she said she'd seen a few things."

An ancient army

On the site of the famous Battle of Naseby which took place on 14th June, 1645, a convoy of grim-faced men pushing carts down an old drovers road has been seen.

There have also been reports of the battle being re-enacted in the sky above the site on June 14th.

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