A FEW HAUNTED PLACES IN DEVON
by Barry Van-Asten
by Barry Van-Asten
Shaftsbury Theatre, Dawlish Warren
The theatre is said to be haunted by the ghost of a long dead thespian who still walks the stage, turning lights on and off.
Mount Pleasant Inn, Dawlish Warren
This old Inn was once frequented by smugglers and now it is reputedly the home of disruptive poltergeists who like nothing better of an evening than to have a 'smashing time'! Also not too far away is the Smugglers Inn where it is said a murder took place in one of the rooms and now a nasty entity likes to strangle people in their sleep in that room.
White Hart Hotel, Okehampton
The White Hart is a 17th century coaching Inn which was licensed in 1623. There have been reported poltergeist activity by an entity named 'Peter' by staff and locals and even the supposed ghost of Judge Jeffrey's 'hanging' around!
White Hart Hotel (corridor)
There have also been sightings of a woman in a long black cloak!
The cathedral is known to be haunted by the spirit of a nun who has been seen quite regularly walking near the south wall of the nave. Her manifestations seem to occur in the evenings at seven o'clock.
There have also been sightings of phantom monks in the cloister area of the cathedral.
The Cathedral Green outside the cathedral was once the main graveyard for the city in the 17th century and it's not surprising the area has had many manifestations from a three-headed entity and a disembodied hand touching passers by to dark shadow figures in the nearby alleyway from South Street to the cathedral. In 1283, a cathedral choir leader named Walter Lechdale, by all reports an 'unpleasant and dishonest man' was murdered as he walked to his lodgings nearby. His ghost has been seen in the top vestry of the cathedral.
Royal Clarence Hotel, Exeter
The Royal Clarence Hotel in Exeter's Cathedral Yard was built in 1769 with some parts of the house dating to 1500's. The house was built on the site of Sir Walter Raleigh's father's house and spectral sounds of coughing may well be old Walter, enjoying a pipe of tobacco or two!
Two haunted locations, Exeter
Number 46 (Thorntons) and number 47 (L'Occitane) the High Street, Exeter have both reported disturbances by poltergeist activity with stock being re-arranged and thrown about!
The Ship Inn, Exeter
The Old Ship Inn, Martin's Lane off the High Street was once the favoured haunt of Sir Francis Drake who lodged there in the 16th century and was 'banned' for his obnoxious, drunken behaviour! Apparently, he still likes to pop in now and then!
The Ship Inn
Martins Lane is also said to be haunted by the ghost of a weeping woman.
View of Royal Clarence Hotel with Well House Tavern to the left
The Well House Tavern at numbers 16 and 17 Cathedral Yard is owned by the Royal Clarence Hotel. There are reports of classic poltergeist behaviour such as turning lights on and off and a ghostly figure of a woman in a long flowing dress known as 'Alice' seen gliding past the serving hatches and the strong lingering smell of perfume.
The well at the Well House Tavern
The Well House was built in the 15th century and the well from which it gets its name is either Roman or Norman. The three top floors were added in the 17th century.
Skeleton at the Well House Tavern
The legend is that the skeletal remains which are on display in the cellar are that of a nun and a monk who threw themselves down into the well so that they may be together in death!
Okehampton Castle on the Northern edge of Dartmoor dates from around 1086 and it is the largest castle ruins in Devon. It is certainly an eerie sight to come across in the twilight when no-one is around and it is reputedly haunted by the ghost of Lady Mary Howard. She is said to appear at midnight and walk, or some say ride in a carriage constructed of human bones driven by a headless rider, which travels from the castle to Tavistock, following a great black dog with burning red eyes. Lady Howard, legend says murdered her four husbands and she did indeed marry four times. She was born in 1596 and her father, Sir John Fitz killed two men and later took his own life by stabbing himself in 1605. Mary married Sir Alan Percy, who died; then she married Thomas Darcy, who also died before marrying Sir John Howard in 1612. Sir John died in 1622 and Mary married once more around 1628 to Sir Richard Grenville, who presumably died also! Mary died at the age of 75 in 1671!
all images Copyright Barry Van-Asten