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Haunted Spots of Derby, England: Bell Hotel

To look at the Bell Hotel of today is to enjoy a peek into the past, as it appears pretty much the same as the original building. The hotel is one of the oldest coaching inns in Derby , built around 1680 for the Meynell family. To this day, it has been a site known to house a variety of ghosts.

The Bell Hotel

For starters, there is a Victorian lady dressed in blue that is said to stand in one of the downstairs bars, appearing in front of staff and guests. Another downstairs room seems to be the stomping grounds for a poltergeist that likes to toss items about the room. One time, a barmaid suffered a blow to the back of her head when a wooden coat hanger was thrown about the room. As she looked around to see who tossed the hanger, no one else was in the room with her.

Travel upstairs in the hotel and there is a room believed to be haunted by the ghost of a serving girl who has appeared on more than one occasion. Fitted in a white mob cap and 18th century clothing, she is thought to have lost her life by the hands of the Jacobites in 1745. This murdered lost soul may appear by herself or sometimes, in the presence of children. There is a tale that during the 1930’s, the landlord of the premises ran into the bedroom of his asthmatic son, who was having a coughing and choking fit. To his surprise, he caught sight of this mysterious vision of a woman dressed in 18th century costume. He claims that she was bending his son over and patting him on the back. As the father ran to his son, the image disappeared.

During the 1950s, the same room was converted into a nursery. Another story involves the ghostly woman, as she appeared during the changing of a baby’s diaper. The landlady and mother of the child saw the 18th century costumed lady appear to stand over the baby. When the mother rushed over to her child to pick her up, the figure faded away.

A theory concerning the ghost is that she may have died trying to protect her child or lost her life during childbirth. Others believe that she was a nursery maid whose soul is unsettled and chooses to watch over the children that come in contact with her former home.

Other buildings in the Derby, England region that hold a haunted history includes:

·    St Helens House: built in 1767, it is believed that St Helens House is one of the finest examples of Georgian town houses in the area. The building also has a reputation for being haunted by several ghosts, including the spirit of a young woman who is seen running down the stairs as if someone was chasing her.

·    Jacobean House: Known as the first brick building in Derby, the Jacobean House was built in 1611 and has seen its fair share of reports regarding an unexplained phantom coach and horses that are sometimes seen parked outside of the house. A headless coachman has also been seen on the premises.