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Stratford upon Avon


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#1 mish_mash

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Posted 19 September 2006 - 01:17 PM

I'm doing a presentation on Shakespeare in English and my parts is where he lived, Stratford upon Avon, and i wanted to liven my project up by adding some ghost stories and photo's if possible.

the tales i know of at the moment are...

a white cow in a pub yard

the ghost of a girl locked in a mortuary with blood coming out her mouth ( romeo and juliet)

and some girl who drowned in a pool ( Othelia (?))

I Know that the Falstaff experience is supposedly haunted but i Don't know what by :?

any photos or investigations?
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#2 Tallulah-Bloggs

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 01:42 PM

Hi, this might be a bit late for your presentation, but I grew up in Stratford so know a few local legends/ghost stories.

The girl in the mortuary, is that Charlotte Clopton? She was supposed to have been buried alive in the family crypt after apparently dying of the plague. The story goes that a week later the family went back to bury another victim (possibly her sister) and found her slumped against the wall. One version states that she had eaten part of her own shoulder in an attempt to stay alive. It's pretty grim isn't it? Apparently the story is apocryphal, but it's a good one none the less. As young whipper-snappers my friends and I spent many happy hours trying to spot Charlotte, never did though.

The girl who drowned - the version I know of that is that a maid (ironically working for the Clopton family) drowned herself in a well at the back of the family's house and still wanders the grounds looking for the lover who deserted her.

Both those stories would have been current in Shakespeare' time and are supposed to have influenced his work.

I'm not sure about the Falstaff Experience ghost. That seems to be a recent development. I had never heard of anything like that before the building converted to it's modern purpose, but maybe that is the key. Perhaps the renovations disturbed something.

The Arden hotel which is very close by is supposed to have a ghost, my mother worked there at one time and said chambermaids often complained of something brushing past them in certain rooms.

There is a hill just outside Stratford on the road to Warwick (the old road, which runs past St. Gregorys church) which is supposed to be the setting for parts of A Midsummer Nights Dream. I'm afraid I can't remember which hill it is though. Anyhow, according to folklore, fairy folk use it.

An actor is supposed to haunt the gardens at the back of the Memorial Theatre (on the Bancroft) but off the top of my head that dates back to the 19th century, 18th at earliest.

The ghost of the Celtic king Arawyn (sp) is said to hunt on nearby Meon Hill accompanied by a pack of white hounds with red ears. That was also the site of a notorious murder linked to witchcraft in 1947, in fact the area is steeped in witchcraft tales. Obviously, Shakespeare wouldn't have known about the murder, but the legend would have been around in his time and I read an article once in which someone suggested that could have been the inspiration for MacBeth's witches and the blasted heath. That area was an influence on Tolkien. It is pretty spooky and I know a few people who have had odd experiences up there.

The Forest of Arden (also Midsummers) is reputed to have a presence - possibly the Green man or an ancient god. I can't remember quite who, sorry.

This is relatively modern too, but about 2 miles out of town, on the main Birmingham road there used to be an old house (it was flats last time I went past) which had been used as a military hospital in WW1. The house and gardens are reputed to be haunted by soldiers who died there.

Just around the corner from there, along a private road there is an old, old graveyard, and as children we told each other there was a vampire in it. With hindsight that may have been due to overactive imaginations LOL But, maybe not . . .

Knights Lane in Tiddington is close to what was once the site of a Roman settlement and people say they have seen a Centurion walking across the road, but instead of being at ground level he is about 5 feet in the air.

I'm sure I have forgotten loads, if I think of anything else I'll post it. Of course, there are umpteen legends about witchcraft, Matthew Hopkins the witch finder is said to have described Warwickshire as being more 'infested' with witches than any other county. Plus, there are loads more stories about spectral black dogs foretelling doom. In fact, the superstition about black dogs was so prevalent, that as a teenager I would often see elderly peole cross the road and avert their eyes when I took our black dog for a walk.

Hope that helps and it's not too late.

#3 earth_spirit

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 05:00 PM

Knights Lane in Tiddington is close to what was once the site of a Roman settlement and people say they have seen a Centurion walking across the road, but instead of being at ground level he is about 5 feet in the air.

Wonderful, Tallulah-Bloggs :Spaz: Thanks for your contribution--especially the part about the Roman centurion. I remember hearing stories simliar to this from my grandfather when I was a child living in Leicestershire.

In one story I heard, an entire phalanx of centurions was seen marching several feet off the ground over what was once an ancient Roman highway. Others have seen Roman soldiers coming out of solid walls in a basement. The explanation for these low-flying apparitions is that they are walking on what was the road surface two thousand years, hence the appearance they are floating above the ground.
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