Playing Host To Ghosts

Cambridge News
Steve Curtis and his partner Lorraine Smith, who have run the the Bell Inn at Kennett for 14 months, did not know they were sharing the building with spirits until they had a visitation . . . from a film crew.
The couple and Lorraine's children, Lee, seven, and Kelly, 16, have not been scared away by the discovery but they say it has explained a few things.
"There was only talk from the locals and I suppose every 16th Century coaching inn has a ghost," said Steve.
"I'm not a great believer in ghosts, but it was quite spooky."
During filming a ghost seemed to pass through Lorraine giving her an eerie chill.
Before the programme team visited the pub, reputed to have been popular with highwayman Dick Turpin, the family had noted at least one unexplained incident.
"We have quite a sophisticated alarm system, but it did not go off when one night Lorraine's daughter was woken by what sounded like someone moving furniture about in the bar downstairs," said Steve, 40.
The medium who came along with the film crew, Lizzie Falconer, established that there were at least four spirits in the building.
One was an artist who haunts the snug bar. One is in the kitchen, which used to be a separate house, and there is also a mother and son in the upstairs of the building, she claims.
"The medium spoke of the one in the snug bar being William or Williams," said Steve.
"Since they made the programme, one of our customers brought us in some paperwork from 1904 which showed that the inn was owned by a William Williams. It was quite spooky because the medium wouldn't have known that."
He said that the medium had assured them that the spirits were not malicious.
Over at the Cross Keys Hotel in Saffron Walden, reports of ghosts have been common among guests.
In one room, a guest took a picture with his mobile phone of the bathroom and discovered a face in it. Visitors have often reported people marching along the corridor in the small hours.
Until Lizzie visited the 550-year-old building with the ITV Anglia crew, staff thought their ghostly goings-on were limited to a single apparition.
However deputy manager Chrissy Vincent said: "We have now been told we have got three or four in different parts of the building. They are mainly soldiers but the woman in room six is supposed to be the mistress of Oliver Cromwell.
"I have been here 18 months and I've never seen a ghost. I did see a glass jump off the top shelf on the same night as a ghost was seen in the kitchen but mostly we just get the odd glass smash against a wall."
In Royston, the camera crews made a beeline for Henrick's Hairdressing after a string of ghostly events.
Staff at the salon have been spooked by radios apparently changing station by themselves, mirrors flying off walls and sudden unexplained chills.
Lizzie said she sensed a spirit there who "greatly resents having his cottage converted into a modern hairdresser's salon" and who made his presence known by playing with the lights. The plot thickened when Lizzie discovered the man may have slit his own throat.
Owner Mark Henrick said: "I don't know what to make of it. We still have things going on, you get goose pimples and your hairs stand on end.
"We have had problems with the electrics too - it will just keep fusing for no reason."
Other enthusiasts have also tried to solve the mystery. Members of the Cambridge Paranormal Society detected a "6ft tall electro-magnetic presence" when they camped out at the salon overnight in February. Weeks later, 83-year-old amateur psychic Peter Foreman checked out the scene and said he picked up on 12 ghosts.
Ghostly Tales of the Unexpected will be broadcast on Fridays at 11pm, starting next month. The Bell Inn will feature on September 17, the Cross Keys on September 24 and the Royston hairdressers on October 22.
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