A PARANORMAL investigator has listed the top 13 places that you could encounter a ghost this Halloween.
Although this year it is coronavirus measures rather that restless spirits that will keep visitors away during “Spooky Season”, and it is important to remember that some of these properties are closed to the public, there are many buildings in Flintshire, Wrexham and Denbighshire associated with ghostly sightings and paranormal activity.
Nathan Head, who hosts the five episode first series of Apparitions on Amazon Prime, says North Wales has more than its fair share of spooky stories associated with its castles, pubs and large houses.
Paranormal investigator Nathan Head. Photo: Don Jackson-Wyatt
Nathan, who is currently researching the second series of Apparitions says the show has familiarised him with old buildings and their associated ghost stories.
He said: “The show – five episodes, covering witchcraft, ghosts, hauntings, poltergeists, alien abductions, crop circles, angels, and premonitions.
“In one episode I explore the old crypt of a long-dead saint and in another I spend time in a haunted cellar, and encounter bizarre sounds.”
He said that Plas Teg, an imposing house on the road that links Wrexham and Mold, alone is believed to have 15 ghosts.
And Abergele’s Gwrych Castle, soon to play host to I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here also has a history of strange sightings.
Nathan, who has appeared in Doctor Who and most recently in the film Bill & Ted Face the Music, said of the castle: “I’ve heard lots of stories about paranormal activity happening in the Countess’s Tower there, and people have claimed to have actually see the Countess herself roaming the gardens like a lost phantom.
“There’s also been many reports of the ghost of a game keeper in the old Coachhouse there as well as the mournful spirit of a Dairy Maid.
CL Raven hunting for ghosts at Ruthin Gaol
Horror writers Cat and Lynx Davies, known by the pen name CL Raven have visited Ruthin Gaol, one of the locations on Nathan’s list, describing the building as atmospheric and full of stories from history that have become the basis for tales of ghosts.
The prison has many reported ghosts, such as convicted murderer William Hughes, cruel warder William Kerr, and mischievous Josie Walmsley.
But the writers were most taken with the story of an inmate John Jones, or Coch Bach y Bala (the little redhead from Bala), nicknamed the Welsh Houdini, who loved his notoriety and escaped jail at least four times.
They said: “A reward of £5 was offered for his capture. He was shot in the leg after spending a week living rough in the Nantclwyd Estate several miles away and died. 19 year old Reginald Jones-Bateman, who shot him, was charged with manslaughter, but the charges were dropped. John Jones was so popular, postcards of his funeral were made. Surprisingly, modern celebrities haven’t started doing that yet. Rumours have it that he haunts the gaol, which would be ironic – the place he escaped from in life, is where he’s now imprisoned in death.”
The 13 most haunted places in North East Wales:
13. The Hand Hotel, Chirk
An old coaching inn that’s situated in the stunning views of the edge of the Ceiriog Valley, The Hand Hotel is said to house the ghost of a lady who haunts a room where she nursed her dieing brother in his last moments of life. There are few reports of different sightings and encounters in the various rooms at The Hand, but don’t let that put you off your stay, their restaurant does a nice Gammon & chips.
12. Denbigh Asylum
Ysbyty Gogledd Cymru is an abandoned Grade II listed building, originally opened in 1848 to house patients with psychiatric illnesses. The institution itself closed in the mid-nineties with plans for eventual redevelopment. There have been reports of footsteps being heard from within the walls, with chilling screams and loud banging occasionally heard.
11. Pas Newydd, Llangollen
Llangollen is better known for being a beautiful tourist attraction filled with cafés and bars as well as its stunning canals and rivers, but it’s also the location of Plas Newydd, an 18th Century Historic house which is now run as a museum. Visitors have encountered loud bangs while on the upper floors as well as unexplained shadows that are said to move of their own accord.
10. Pool Parc, Ruthin
Another of North Wales’s abandonned asylums, Pool Parc is located in Clawddnewydd and began life in 1862 as a deer park for the nearby Ruthin Castle. Unexplained sounds and shadows have been witnessed at Pool Parc, but like any derelict buildings, the site has been deemed too dangerous for a detailed Paranormal investigation.
9. Wepre Park/Ewloe Woods
If you go down to Connah’s Quay today, you’re sure of a big surprise, or possibly the sighting of a ghostly Nun. Fondly known locally as “Nora the Nun”, she is said to wander the area and has even allowed herself to be photographed. Wepre Park was written about in the Domesday book and the nearby woodland and Ewloe Castle are packed with legends and tales of the Supernatural dating as far back as written record exists.
8. Valle Crucis Abbey, Llangollen
Located in Llantysilio, this 13th Century Abbey is the home of ghostly apparitions and supernatural echoes, with witnesses reporting unexplained sights and sounds including golden humanoid shapes and bizarre lights. Originally occupied by the Order of Cistercians, Valle Crucis Abbey is also the resting place of it’s creator, Madog ap Gruffydd.
7. Ruthin Gaol
Even though it ceased operating as a detention centre in 1916, Ruthin Goal remains an Earthly prison for the terrorising Poltergeists that are said to disturb the building. With unexplained temperature drops and eerie sounds heard, a visit to Ruthin Gaol isn’t for those who are easily spooked.
6. The Tivoli, Buckley
In 1925 the Tivoli Theatre was built in Buckley on the very same site as a 19th Century hall of the same name that was originally a silent-film picturehouse until its demolition in 1920. Tales of many friendly ghosts haunting the stage and cellar as well as the dressing rooms. Staff past and present have all had their own experiences of the supernatural while working there, but there has yet to be a frightening or unfriendly encounter reported.
5. Nantclwyd y Dre, Ruthin
Nantclwyd y Dre is situated in Ruthin and has been house to the acclaimed “most haunted item in the UK”, a creepy talking doll that has terrorised the innocent by speaking sinister threats. The building is said to be haunted by the spirit of a 17th century Witch, is it possible she is communicating to our World via inanimate objects? Who can say.
4. Chirk Castle
Castell y Waun is a 13th Century Medieval castle near the English border, originally built by the uncle of the 1st Earl of March. The most famous ghost which haunted Chirk Castle is the apparition of a lady dressed in green, however sighting of ghostly soldiers carrying an injured comrade on a stretcher have also been noted. This site is listed among the top five on this list purely for the volume of reports of tiny invisible hands, said to grab and touch unexpecting passers-by.
3. Gwrych CastleTeg, Abergele
Situated in Abergele, Gwrych is a 200-year-old Castle with over 250 acres of gardens and grounds where the ghost of a Countess is said to roam, with the most haunted area is said to be the Countess’s Tower.
There will be activity of a different kind in 2020 as the castle plays host to this year’s I’m a Celebrity….Get Me Out of Here.
2. Ruthin Castle
On the sandstone ridge overlooking the Valley lies an enchanting Medieval castle that could be straight out of a Fairy Tale, but the characters lurking in the corridors and Banquetting hall of Ruthin Castle are a far cry from anything you’d find in a child’s bedtime storybook. The ghost of “Lady Grey”, said to have been executed following the vengeful murder of her unfaithful husband, is the most infamous of the Spirits of Ruthin Castle, however the premises date back to the 13th Century and the land occupied by the Castle itself has a history that predates this. Originally the land was the site of an Iron Age fort, and with this being region steeped in Human history, it’s no wonder that so many varied sightings have been reported in Ruthin.
1. Plas Teg, Pontblyddyn
Plas Teg is a Grade I listed Jacobean house near the village of Pontblyddyn, Flintshire, on the road between Wrexham and Mold. Originally built by Sir John Trevor I in the early 17th Century, but was left uninhabited following his death in 1629, mostly due to the Civil War breaking out. The house was inherited by a number of descendants and even survived two seperate raids by Parliamentarian Roundheads. During WWII the building was requisitioned by the War Office for Soldiers and was later privatly sold to an auctioneer, who used it as storage. It wasn’t until the late 1970’s that the house itself once again became a place of private residence, but the ghost of a 17th Century builder is said to haunt the corridors of Plas Teg, and there have been many tales of sightings, as well as a number of supposed photographs of the phantom labourer himself. It is claimed there are as many as fifteen spectres that dwell within the walls of Plas Teg, including various Cavalier soldiers who died in battle as well as Sir Trevor’s daughter Dorothy and a teenager called Elizabeth Trevor-Roper, who was murdered on site in the early 19th Century. Elizabeth’s ghost can supposedly be seen running from her unseen killer and Dorothy’s ghost is said to bring on accidents, with numerous records indicating car accidents following witness sightings of Dorothy.