Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend the night in a haunted museum?
We are excited (and slightly scared) to announce that we are teaming up with Ghost Hunt UK who will host regular paranormal evening events in the museum. Tickets to each event are limited numbers per evening and the events are guided by the paranormal investigation team who are experienced in hosting nights in museums and heritage buildings throughout the region. Being in a small group ensures a more personal experience and you can be assured that you are in safe hands and never left alone – unless you want to be! Armed with an intriguing variety of equipment to record, monitor and engage with the supernatural, you will be split into smaller groups to spend time in different floors of the museum with time at the end to re-visit a favourite area.
Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, our old, quirky maze of a museum is certainly spooky at times. This is especially true when the museum is closed to the public. Staff, both past and present, report hearing unexplained footsteps and witnessing the room lights go on and off without anything to trigger their sensors. Such activity has prompted calls to the Police in the past but their searches revealed an empty museum. Other recent anecdotes include a lamp spontaneously exploding, a ruler flipping over of it’s own accord, books falling off shelves and phantom smells of both TCP and tobacco – the latter appropriately in the former bar. Visitors have reported sensing a presence in particular parts of the building along with temperature fluctuations.
An inn from the seventeenth century, the museum building resonates with history. In fact, the present building earlier comprised a fish shop and a sweet shop at the front with the Inn occupying the back half of the building. Ghost stories surrounding the building go back to the son of the sweet shop owner who claimed that he met a phantom gentleman with a large plumed hat in one of the attic rooms. It is thought that he was the spectre of a Cavalier and soldiers were indeed billeted to the White Horse Inn during the Civil War. More recently a decorator, painting in the museum shop alone in the evenings, reported seeing ghostly legs disappearing up the stairs to the same attic. Unfazed, the decorator reassured staff that he’d been seeing such things since he was a child and that the presence was nothing to cause alarm.
Embedded in the folklore of the building is the story of the hidden room. It was supposedly discovered (but not documented) in the late forties by curator, Reginald Lambeth, after he saw a window and realised he didn’t know which room it serviced. Investigations revealed a blocked up room, empty, save a chair with a woman’s dress draped over the back, lit only by the small window. Tales abound about the wearer of her dress and her fate. Even today that area of the museum is always feels slightly colder than anywhere else!
We were lucky enough to experience a taster evening with Ghost Hunt UK during which we were advised (via the spirit world) that there were 50 ghosts in the building, so if you attend one of Ghost Hunts you may be in for a busy evening! Perhaps you will bump into our Cavalier or the owner of the discarded dress? Believer or skeptic, it is a fascinating way to spend an evening if you are brave enough!
For further details and tickets for Ghost Hunt events at the Museum, visit Ghost Hunt UK’s website. Events are for adults only, you must be 18 or over.