Southampton, the largest city in Hampshire, England is known for its port and football club. It boasts of tons of luring destinations to hangout and chill. In this connotation, Southampton has numerous haunted places associated with nerve wrenching ghost stories and urban legends. Having said that, explore this list of top 10 haunted places in Southampton-
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South Western Hotel, Southampton
The hotel dates back to the 1870’s. Famous for hosting the high society passengers for the fateful Titanic journey in 1912. However, the apparition of a man wondering through one particular corridor is often reported by guests and visitors. The figure of the man is seen looking frantic and moving quickly along the corridor near to room 667. A cry of pain is often heard within the vicinity of this area so what could be going on.
November 15th 1931, the hotel porter heard what sounded like muffled gunfire and entered room 667 with his pass key to be confronted to what seemed two dead people within the room. It was later discovered a suicide pact between the pair had been arranged , yet the woman survived , believing that his lover had died instantly Mr Roland Herbert Draper, turned the gun on himself dying instantly, having denied their wishes to be together is Mr Draper frantically looking for his lover Gladys Tressider for one last final reunion.
Terminus Terrace train station
The sound of a child is heard behind the Terminus Terrace train station, located behind the South Western Hotel. A story relates to a time in the late 1800’s a young child was found upon the railway lines , presumed being hit by a train. A local psychic medium who I took to this area picked up on the story, but the young child was it seemed placed upon the lines to give the impression that accidental death had occurred. During the 1920’s it is noted that train drivers believed they had seen someone on the lines approaching the station and came to a shuddering halt to find nothing, who is this young girl? Is she trapped in one specific time or are the sounds of children often heard in this busy commercial area something else. The train drivers who believed they had seen a child on the lines was always early morning as if she had been placed on the spot during the dark hours of the night. I am still researching this story.
East Street, Southampton
At the lower end of The High Street on the corner of East Street, Southampton, once stood All Saint’s Church. Nothing to special about this and I would think not many people remember the church as it was completely destroyed during the Blitz of Southampton during World war Two. So why is this area making people feel a bit uneasy? Is it the length of walk up hill from East Street or is their something else making people feel a bit different. Maybe the answer lies beneath their feet. In 1796 the very first person to be placed in the long forgotten catacomb underneath All Saints occurred. Admiral Philip Carteret was the first of many bodies thrust into brick ampertures, behind wrought iron gates into what was known as the underground street of the dead.
The catacomb had spaces for two hundred bodies , it is un clear how many spaces were left when it became disused in the middle of the 19th century. A narrow long tunnel with its iron gates every two feet both sides. It is unclear of what happened to the catacomb after the church was demolished , some say it was filled in whilst others say that each body was moved to another burial ground. Is the restless souls of the Street of the dead affecting the thousands of people walking over its roof? Well try standing outside of the Oxfam shop at the top of East Street , there is a large metal man hole cover and a plaque noting the spot of the church … Try tapping the man hole cover three times and see what responses you get from the underground Street of The Dead.
The Star Hotel, Southampton
The Star Hotel, located within the lower parts of Southampton High Street, dates back to the late 1700’s. Once a former coaching inn it has to this day had various reports of some ghostly sightings. None quite so unexpected as when a gentleman was very recently sent a second bill to find that he had been charged for a replacement mattress, as the chambermaids who cleaned his room upon his departure found the room intact except the mattress. Usually according to the staff it’s the towels that disappear but a full double mattress!!
Contacting the hotel to question the extra charge he explained that he had not whipped the mattress away in his car but had removed his bedding from his particular room, took it to an empty area of the hotel because he was woken several time during the night by what he said was ghostly figure of lady climbing into bed with him. If only he knew, the story of Abigail Cochrane who took herself to her bed for many years, only getting out consistently during the night looking for her long lost lover, a young Mr Perkins who was shot by her father the hotel owner – did Mr Perkins die of his wounds? , no one knows and that is why 16 year old Abigail is looking constantly out of the window during the night to try and catch a glimpse of her young man. The hotel staff found the mattress and the extra charge was withdrawn.
Haunted George hotel, Southampton
If you walked along the High Street in Southampton during the 1930’s you most probably would have come across a very notable ale house of the day The George Hotel. Owned and run for many years by Mary Quilter who kept the gentleman drinkers under control with a large cane or walking stick some people have said. It is noted that her firm handling and no nonsense approach of running a pub often came with the sound of her cane banging on the floor and walls to keep order.
Take a few steps outside of The George Hotel and the underground vault is often noted by the occasional visitor hearing the sounds of tapping quite loudly , followed by loud bangs and what appears to be the sounds of hustle and bustle, is the vault a place where Mary can still to this day be heard maintaining control with loud bangs on the floor and walls. Today this vault is known as Quilters vault and if you stood next to the entrance today, gentleman are still being entertained in another notable venue , For Your Eyes Only , maybe Mary wants the noise kept down once again !!!
The Marlands, Southampton
Thousands and thousands of people walk through the busy shopping centre each week, some people have felt a bit “queazy” and unbalanced in their footsteps, feeling disorientated so, my research into all strange occurrences got me talking to the staff. I have witnessed first hand behind the scenes of doors opening and closing on their own and kept up to date about the strange feelings and goings on within the building. So what is going on, well one explanation I put forward made the staff feel even more nervous, I was only trying to help.
When Southampton was a fortified city and the Bar gate was the main entrance, in the late 12th century it was common practice to place those affected with leprosy to be kept outside of the main town. Hence the development of St. Mary Magdalen Hospital , a vast area covering todays Marlands shopping centre , the name Magdalen is now corrupt to Marlands. It is documented that those affected would be removed from the city walls and walked to the Marlands area, the sound of a bell and the words unclean chanted over and over again.
So is this the cause of feeling disorientated and unbalanced – after all the symptoms of Leprosy are including: runny nose; dry scalp; eye problems; skin lesions; muscle weakness; reddish skin; smooth shiny diffuse thickening of facial skin, ear, and hand; loss of sensation in fingers and toes; thickening of peripheral nerves; and flat nose due to destruction of nasal cartilage. Surely that is enough to make anyone feel unwell , who knows what happened to the poor souls , were they buried under the current shopping centre? Or are the doors opening and closing for a different reason, maybe those affected are staggering around due to the daily intake ale – or is a gentleman called John Newport who towards the close of Richard 1st reign, it appeared that the priory was not carrying out its obligations, and the Crown granted the wardship to him to keep those affected inside the hospital – is it his rushing around that is making the doors fly open and close for no reason ?
The Dolphin Hotel, Southampton
The Dolphin Hotel at the high street is without doubt one the most haunted locations in Southampton. It is well documented that the venue is haunted by at least six ghosts – hardly surprising when you think that there has been an inn on the site since the Middle Ages, indeed there is a list of landlords going back to 1432 displayed in the hotel today. In the mediaeval vaults under the oldest part of the building C1250 .This area is ‘haunted’ by two ghosts. An older man called ‘Tom’ who is believed to have been a manual worker at the dolphin – maybe a cellar man who looked after the barrels of wine, which would have been stored there throughout the centuries, when Southampton was famed for importing wines from our French neighbours. Sadly a young lad, who remains nameless accompanies Tom – who was he?
On the new ground floor C 1890
This area is haunted by the most famous ghost. Molly – this is the most infamous spirit here. Molly was a chamber maid and as with many servants would have lived in the hotel. She fell in love and was spurned, tragically she took her own life in the old stable block. Molly has been seen by many people over the years, but a notable sighting was made by an American Serviceman in the mid 1990s who saw her top half walk across his room (her lower half being below the floors surface). Investigation showed that the new block which was built in 1890 was built on the site of an old stable block, which presumably had different floor levels – maybe he saw Molly walking to her death.
In the Assembly Rooms on the first floor C 1750
This area is haunted by just one ghost. A portly gentleman in Georgian attire called Beau. Maybe Beau was attending one of the famous assemblies that were held at the Dolphin in the 1700’s and early in the 1800’s – without a doubt the most famous attendee was Jane Austen who danced here on her 18th Birthday. Beau is seen to gaze wistfully out of one of the large bay windows above what is now Bleu Grill on the high street – you may even see him from the street if you look closely.
In the first floor bedroom corridor C1890
Again this is haunted by just one ghost. A Victorian lady – their very own ‘grey lady’ – this is the most seen ghost in recent times and as recently as June 2004 was seen and ‘felt’ by Kerry James, the hotels marketing manager. Flowing dresses and ribbons – maybe she was staying before boarding one of the many ships that left our port in those days.
And that leaves just one ghost, i.e., a mischievous chap who seems to make himself known in more than one place – so if you’re staying and your hear a door slam or you wake up to find a previously closed wardrobe door wide open or maybe a sock goes missing – then you’ve probably been visited by him.
The Duke of Wellington
Built in 1220, The Duke of Wellington is said to be haunted by a resident ghost who likes to refill empty glasses. Many years ago, a young 18 year young man was supposedly attacked outside and press ganged for a merchant vessel. Is this young man returning to the inn or does the Duke of Wellington hold some other ghostly spirits who refuses to leave the area? I have investigated overnight the venue and experienced items moving within the bar area, dark shadows moving in the underground cellars and the room at the top of the front of the building has a cold atmosphere all the time. The pub has some genuine unexplainable paranormal activity occurring , lights flicker for no reason and during my personal overnight vigil during a seance all of the lights went out, it was an eerie experience at The Duke.
The Tudor House, Southampton
Royal ghosts, doors slamming and rooms which staff refuses to enter alone. The Tudor House located in Bugle Street, built in 1492 and recently re opened to the public. Located within a very old part of Southampton. The house lays claim to several ghosts and lots of poltergeist activity. A paranormal investigation recorded doors slamming, unexplained footsteps and voices. The green room is meant to be the most active part of the house, staff and renovation workmen refused to be in the room alone. Dogs have supposedly refused to enter the room, dowsing rods seem to go erratic in the room.
My personal visit to the green room was quite spooky and un nerving. The room is very repressive and certainly has an easy feeling about it. Dark shadows have been reported and an intense feeling of an aggressive entity who has shown himself does not like people in his domain. Other people have reported hearing low whispers. It has been reported that the ghost of Anne Boleyn, who stayed here with Henry when the house was owned by Sir Richard Lyster, Lord Chief Justice of England. It has been reported that sightings of Ann have manifested along the corridors.
My own investigation of Tudor House for the night was indeed a night to remember. Shadows in the upper attic rooms, the sound of footsteps in the vaults and a plastic lantern flying across the café room for no reason. What was interesting, the lantern flying across the room was experienced by about ten people at about 3am.
The Red Lion, Southampton
The Red Lion at the High Street in Southampton is built in 1148. Allegedly the most haunted pub in Southampton, some say it is haunted by 21 ghosts. Staff and regulars have seen an old lady behind the bar floating along. She is supposed to be an ex employee who fell down the stairs and died. The most notable ghost sighting has been a procession of three men leaving the pub. Historical events tell a story of a trial, of three men who plotted to over throw Henry V.
This true event resulted in two of the men being hung drawn and quartered outside the Bargate. The ghostly procession is supposed to be the three condemned men walking to the gallows. The court room is still there, many séances have occurred here with various results. Electrical equipment often switches off and the whole place has a distinct ghostly feel, not surprising for a pub that was built in 1148. I have investigated the Red Lion twice overnight, my encounters with Bruce in the cellar seem a regular occurrence for others who have undertaken investigations.
Liked these haunted places in Southampton? Check out other spooky destinations in the neighbourhood-