Derby

Ghost of boy 'seen at Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire'

Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire Image copyright English Heritage Trust/PA
Image caption English Heritage staff said they saw a ghost of a little boy at Bolsover Castle

A castle where the ghost of a boy was apparently seen holding visitors' hands without them noticing has been voted England's spookiest.

English Heritage (EH) staff gave the verdict on Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire, which is built on an ancient burial ground.

The 1,800 EH employees rated the site they work at on a "spooky scale".

Other events at the ex-home of William Cavendish, include strange footsteps and slamming doors, EH reports.

People also said they had felt like they were being pushed, had cold sensations and heard muffled voices.

EH looks after 400 castles, abbeys and historic houses nationwide.

More in this story and others from the East Midlands

Image copyright English Heritage Trust/PA
Image caption William Cavendish, the first Duke of Newcastle, inherited the Derbyshire castle

Security guards said they have seen unexplained lights at the castle and one woman claims she heard a scream as she was locking up, only to find no-one there.

Image copyright Nigel Wallace-Iles/English Heritage Trust/PA
Image caption Kenilworth Castle was rated second in the "spooky poll"

The 900-year-old Kenilworth Castle, in Warwickshire, came a close second in the "spooky poll".

Staff said they have encountered ghostly figures, an antique cot rocking by itself and the smell of pipe smoke.

Image copyright Andrew Maybury/English Heritage Trust/PA
Image caption A young girl drowned in a well at Carisbrooke Castle

Carisbrooke Castle, on the Isle of Wight, whose deep well was the site of a young girl's drowning, is believed to be haunted by several figures.

Employees said they often heard the sound of children laughing in rooms.

Image copyright English Heritage Trust/PA
Image caption Down House was the home of the scientist Charles Darwin

Lucy Hutchings, of EH, said: "Our sites are soaked in history and from bloody battles to dark deeds, not all of their stories are sweetness and light.

"Our castles and palaces... can be eerie places and some of our team have seen and heard things they can't easily explain."

Top 10 spookiest sites

Image copyright Nigel Wallace-Iles/English Heritage Trust/PA
Image caption Whitby Abbey boasts Gothic architecture
  • Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire
  • Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire
  • Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight
  • Pendennis Castle, Cornwall
  • Whitby Abbey, North Yorkshire
  • Beeston Castle and Woodland Park, Cheshire
  • Dover Castle, Kent
  • Framlingham Castle, Suffolk
  • Clifford's Tower, North Yorkshire
  • Home of Charles Darwin - Down House, Kent

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