Staffordshire is infamous for its creepy castles, spooky houses, bridges, halls and its macabre past. In this connotation, wade through the following most haunted places in Staffordshire and explore the associated malevolent ghouls-
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Croxden Abbey, Staffordshire
The abbey was built in 1179 after the lord manor of Croxden endowed a site. Twelve monks arrived from the mother house in Normandy. The abbey was built over the next 50 years. It was called Abbey of the Vale of St Mary of Croxden. The Abbey was consecrated in 1253.
The Croxden abbey was to last for 350 years until the Dissolution of the Monesteries. The Abbot and the last 12 monks surrendered the abbey in September 1538.
Today the abbey lies in ruins, and the English Heritage takes care of it. Now a road as been built right through the middle of it.
Paranormal activity at the ruins is said to be at its peak during the summer months when both monks and nuns have been seen silently gliding around the site.
Caverswall Castle, Staffordshire
The castle was built in 1275 by Sir William de Caverswall who was a knight of Edward 2nd after he had recieved a licence to crenellate his manor house. It was rebuilt in 1625 in a Jacobean style by the Mayor of Staffordshire, it retained its original turrets Norman Tower, dungeons, bridge and parapet walls. The castle has had different owners and varying uses over the years, it as been privately owned as well as a convent. It is now a home and a B and B. It also opens for tours and is a venue for weddings.
The castle as a reputation of being haunted, one of the ghosts said to roam around is that of a nun, and it is said that the place takes on an entirely different feeling after dark.
Ford Green Hall, Staffordshire
The farmhouse was originally built in 1624 and is the only surviving timber framed yeomans farmers house in Stoke on Trent.It was the home of the Ford family for over 2 centuries. Originally it was surrounded by 36 acres of land, but over the years this as slowly diminished and a comparatively small ground is all thats left.
In the grounds stands an original 18th century dovecote which would of been built to show status.
The house and the dovecote have both been restored as close to their original state as possible. The house is now a museumand is owned by the council, and is a place where various events, and marriage ceremonies are held.
The main reports of paranormal activity here is of 2 female ghosts, also unexplained noises and lights.
Hopton Heath, Staffordshire
The battle of Hopton Heath was a battle in the First English Civil War.
The battle was between Parliamentarian forces led by Sir John Gell and Sir William Berton, and a Royalist force led by Spencer Compton. It was fought on the 19th March 1643. On his way Gell had successfully taken Lichfield, he met with Berton for their projected attack on Stafford. The meeting place was Hopton Heath and there they were attacked by the Royalists.
During the first charge both Gell’s and Breton’s horse fled, during the second charge Compton was unhorsed and after his refusal to surrender was killed. During the night many of the Parliamentarians troop withdrew, leaving a large amount of artillery in the enemy’s hands. Breton then withdrew to Nantwich and Gell to Derby, leaving the royalist to the field and what some consider to be a victory. There were about 400 fatalities due to the battle. Gell took Comptons body with him and tried to hold it to ransom for the return of his artillery, but this was unsuccessful.
Many ghosts of the men that died are said to haunt the battlefield. And sights and sounds connected to the battle have been reported.
Tamworth Castle, Staffordshire
Tamworth is a traditional motte and bailey castle. It is thought to date from the 1180’s. Numerous alterations and additions have been added to the castle over the years by the different owners. It is unsure who was the first Lord of the castle, evidence shows it was both Robert de Despencer and Robert Marmion.
It continued in this family until the last Baron died. In 1423 the castle was passed to Sir Thomas Ferrers, then by marriage to the Shirleys of Chartley in 1688, in 1715 the Earls of Northampton and to the Townshends of Raynham in 1751. The Tamworth Corporation then brought the castle in 1897 for the sum of £3000 and was opened to the public in 1899.
The castle was threatened twice with destruction the first in 1215 when when King John sent in forces in revenge with Sir Robert Marmion having sided against him and again during the cicil war it was held by Royalists, Cromwell ordered the destruction of the castle but the threat was not carried out.
There are said to be many ghosts that haunt the castle, the most popular are the White Lady who was captured and locked in The Tower by Sir Tarquin. She ended up falling in love with Tarquin and now wanders around looking for her love who was slain by Sir Lancelot du Luc who come to rescue her, and the Black Lady who is thought to be Editha the nun whose order of nuns were removed from the nearby convent by Robert de Marmion.
Molly Leigh Witch, Staffordshire
Molly was born in 1685 and lived in a cottage on the edge of the Burslem Moors, for a living she kept cows and sold their milk. She was said to very ugly and a solitary person who kept a blackbird as a pet, people thought of her as rather strange and quick tempered and because of how she was people labeled her as a witch, one such person was the local rector.
When Molly died in 1746 she was buried at Saint Johns in Burslem, and it is reported that when people returned to her cottage afterwards there was a apparition of her sitting in a chair by the fireside knitting. Afterwards her blackbird became a nuisance chirping loudly and attacking people, and her ghost was said to haunt the town.
It was decided that she was to be laid out properly. The rector along with others from Walstanton, Stoke and Newchapel performed the rite of laying her spirit in the churchyard. At midnight they opened up her grave, her blackbird had been caught and placed alive in with her, then they reburied her in the opposite direction than was normal a north to south direction.
Molly’s cottage was demolished in 1894.It is still said that some people still will not go near her grave, but for the others who do some believe that if you dance around her grave and sing “Molly Leigh, Molly Leigh, you can’t catch me” her apparition may appear.
Sinai House, Staffordshire
The house is made up of two buildings and is grade II listed, it is made up of Jacobean, medieval and 1700s building, half of the house now lies derelict but is under the process of being renovated.
The house as been used as different things, there is some circumstantial evidence it was once used as a Roman stronghold, in medieval times it was a court and trails were there, it was then given to the local abbey and the monks used it as a rest home. After the dissolution of the monasteries Henry VIII gave it the Paget family, and in 1605 the two separate buildings were joined to make it look more grand. The Paget family owned the house until the early 1900s when they sold it and it was converted to flats, the building was then condemned and it was used for pigs and hens. It is now a privately owned home.
The house is very well known and is a important historical site, and has it fair share of ghosts, many figures are said to have been seen, things are moved around and noises heard, and rumour has that a monk got a girl pregnant so he murdered her and her ghost is seen walking across the bridge over the moat.
The Ancient high house
The Elizabethan town house was built in 1594 by the Dorrington family from local oak. In 1642 Charles I stayed there enroute to Shrewbury at the beginning of the Civil War. When Stafford was taken over by Parliamentarians it became a prison for Royalist Officers.
Over the years the house as had many owners including The Sneyds throughout the 17th century and the following century Brooke Crutchley. The structure of the house was weakened in the 19th century when work was carried out of the first floor, but in modern times extensive repairs have been carried out. It is now open for the public and as a large collection of period furniture, it also houses the The Yeomanry Museum.
This is known as one of the most haunted houses in Staffordshire, some of the ghosts that have been seen are a young girl and an old lady, The Stuart Room is where a lot of the activity happens and a chair in there if sat on is believed to make people feel frightened and uneasy. Also many noises are heard like voices and the sound of doors opening and/or closing.
Tutbury Castle, Staffordshire
The original castle dates back to 1071, it first belonged to Hugh de Avranches and then to Henry Lord of Ferriers. Following an argument between William Ferriers and King Henry II, the castle was seized and ordered to be demolished. In 1362 further attacks on the castle were made by Prince Edward (future King Edward I). In 1265 Henry III gave it to his son Edmund.
It has remained with the Earls and Dukes of Lancaster. John Gaunt the second Duke of Lancaster added towers, buildings and new walls in 1362. Mary Queen of Scots were kept imprisoned at the castle in the late 16th century. The ruins we see today were left by Parliamentary Forces during the Civil War.
Mary Queen of Scots is said to haunt the castle as well as a man in armour, a little boy, a small child and a french man.
Weetman’s Bridge, Staffordshire
Before the bridge was built, the Trent was forded, the wooden bridge was built in 1830 for pedestrian crossing. Cattle and carriages still had to go through the river. The wooden bridge was replaced by a stone and brick bridge in 1887.
There are a couple of ghosts that have been witnessed at the bridge: a hitch hiking lady in grey and a weeping woman.