As Hallowe’en draws closer, I thought today would be a good day to share some local ghost stories. I live near the city of Cambridge in the UK. There has been a settlement here since the Roman period and like with many old cities, Cambridge has its fair share of ghost stories. So, turn off your lights and get comfortable, as today I’m going to share five ghost stories from the Cambridgeshire area…
Corpus Christi Collge ghost.
The first ghost story comes from Corpus Christi college. Althogh this college has a number of ghost stories attached to it, the most famous ghost is Dr. Butts. Dr. Butts was the vice chancellor of the college in 1630 when Cambridge was struck by the plague. Despite many poeple fleeing the city, Dr Butts decided to stay and help prevent the plague from spreading. Unfortunately, in 1632, he took his own life by hanging himself. Some historians today believe that Dr. Butts suffered from some form of depression and no doubt, the things he witnessed during the plague did not help his mental health. Over the following years, students reported seeing an apparition of a long haired man in the Old Lodge, particularly around the room where Dr. Butts died. In 1904, students attempted an exorcism which appeared to have little effect on the ghost, as he continued to be sighted up until the 1960s. If this ghost is indeed Dr. Butts, lets hope he has finally found some peace.
Mr. Barrett in King’s College.
King’s College is one of Cambridge’s most famous colleges and is probably the one, people think of when they think of the university. So, like a lot of the other colleges, King’s College is home to a ghost. In life, Mr Barrett was a rather eccentric man. He kept a coffin in his room, which he was rumoured to have slept in and would often be reported screaming manically at night. Then one night passed with Mr. Barrett not screaming. When members of the college broke into his room, they found Mr. Barrett dead in his coffin with a smile on his face. Since that day, people have reported hearing screaming within the Gibbs building, at night. At one point the college attempted an exorcism, but like at Corpus Christi colege, this appeared to have little effect on the ghostly screaming which can be apparently still be heard to this day.
Mr. Round at Christ’s College.
This next ghostly tale involves a love triangle that would have some deadly consequences. Christopher Round was studying at the college when he fell in love with a woman called Mary Clifford. Unfortunately, for Christopher, another man also loved Mary, a fellow student called Phillip Collier. One night, Christopher was walking near the pond in the Fellow’s garden when he crossed paths with, an apparently intoxicated, Phillip. Phillip slipped into the pond and started to drown. Details on what happened next vary from Christopher just not helping Phillip out of the pond and leaving him to drown; to Christopher hitting Phillip on the head causing Phillip to drown. Either way, by the end of that night, Phillip Collier was dead, Mary Clifford left Cambridge never to return and Christopher Round became an isolated individual consumed by guilt for the rest of his life. It is said that at midnight, on a night of the full moon, you can see Mr. Round near the trees, always avoiding the pond…
Dr Hudson at Woodcroft Castle.
For this next ghost, we are moving out of the city, to Woodcroft Castle near Peterborough. During the English Civil War, Woodcroft Castle was held by the Royalists and was where Dr. Michael Hudson breifly resided. The castle was beseiged by Parliamentarian forces in June 1648, and on the 6th June they managed to fight their way into the castle. Dr. Hudson tried to hide from the Parliamentarians by hanging off the ramparts on the roof. Unfortuantly, he was spotted and the soldiers cut his fingers off, causing him to fall to his death in the moat below. To this day, Dr. Michael Hudson is said to haunt Woodcroft castle and in June, around the anniversary of his death, you can apparently still him scream and beg for mercy on the castle rooftop.
The Eagle Pub and the open window.
The Eagle pub is one of the oldest pubs in Cambridge, it was here that Francis Crick announced the discovery of the structure of DNA, so it won’t surprise you to hear that it also has a ghost story. The story goes that, over three hundred years ago, three children were unable to escape the building when it caught fire and tragically perished. These children are said to haunt the Eagle pub to this day. If you were to visit the Eagle pub and go into the courtyard, you will see an upstairs window open. This window is kept open, whatever the weather, to allow the ghosts of the children to leave the pub whenever they want. According to the stories, if the window is closed, people inside the pub start to feel a suffocating sensation until the window is reopened. I had a look at the Green King’s, the owners of the Eagle pub, website and according to them it is actually written in the lease, that the window must be kept open. So, the next time you visit Cambridge, why not take a look?
And there were five ghost stories from Cambridge. I hope you enjoyed a glimps at the spooky side of the historic city. Why not share some of your own local ghost stories in the comments below? I would love to read them!