From unexplainable paranormal activity to things that go bump in the night, Chester city centre is home to more than its fair share of eerie tales.
The city has often been described as one of the UK’s most haunted, with many of its current shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants said to be plagued by the ghosts of eras gone by.
As part of Talking Walls – the history and heritage project created by CH1ChesterBID – many of these stories have been brought to life through mobile technology, helping to showcase hundreds of years worth of history and highlight some of Chester’s oldest legends and widely proclaimed hauntings.
With Halloween just around the corner, we’ve taken a closer look at some of the city’s spooky buildings and attractions, so here are five to get you started…
THE PIED BULL – Northgate Street
According to the legend, the ghost of a man named John Davies – who fell down the cellar stairs in 1609 and accidentally stabbed himself – haunts the building. With some staff even refusing to even go down there alone, the cellar has been a focal point for many paranormal rumours over the years.
The hotel itself dates back to the 11th century and it is said that two of the bedrooms are haunted by chambermaids that used to work there, although you’ll have to book a room there yourself to find out which rooms.
If that wasn’t enough the ghost of a stableman who fell asleep in the stables attached to the pub and burnt to death in the fire caused by his lit pipe is also known to makes his presence felt in the ground floor rooms.
SOFA WORKSHOP – Watergate Street
A relative newcomer to the list of Chester’s most haunted buildings, staff at Sofa Workshop have recalled various ghostly sightings in recent years.
During the 18th century, the building was a public house called The Hand and Snake and according to legend, young boys used to work within the pub cleaning the powdered wigs of aristocrats that visited.
This was done using arsenic, which caused the death of many of them and rumours have it that the ghost of a little boy can sometimes be heard sobbing and playing with what sounds like a toy car.
Current staff also report black shadows appearing in the shop and the constant feeling of being watched. As one of 26 buildings on the Talking Walls route, pay the shop a visit to scan the heritage-style plaque and hear the stories for yourself.
THORNTONS – Eastgate Street
The ghost of a scorned bride named Sarah is reported to mope through the building, wreaking havoc with shop staff.
It is said she has haunted the building for more than 200 years and takes great pleasure in moving objects around to give both staff and customers the creeps.
Rumours say Sarah hanged herself in the early 19th century after her fiancé jilted her at the altar. Mediums have claimed her ghostly activity is a way of reaching out for help to find him.
BARISTA’S COFFEE SHOP – Watergate Street
Although the Barista’s building appears to be safe from paranormal activity, the coffee shop still has its own gruesome tale to tell. The building was actually home to one of the very few families in Chester who survived the outbreak of the bubonic plague in 1647.
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics to hit the city wiping out over a quarter of its population, but the Barista’s building was one of the only spots to keep its family safe from the grisly death that the plague brought with it. Another hotspot on the Talking Walls route, grab a coffee and listen to the story for yourself.
DEWA ROMAN – Bridge Street
The city attraction that tells the story of the Roman era in Chester has a much more sinister story behind its HQ. The stories here have been giving a new lease of life thanks to Talking Walls, with the building said to be home to three spirits named Nathaniel, Charlotte and Brandon.
The centre was even once visited by famous spirit medium, Derek Acorah, who believed the three ghosts were involved in an unknown tragedy within the building and are particularly active in building’s the cellar.
For more facts, haunted history and information on the activities taking place in Chester this Halloween, visit www.experiencechester.co.uk/
See full story in the Chester Leader