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A gloomy image of King Street, King's Lynn

13 Haunted Locations in and around King’s Lynn

Discover the dark side of King’s Lynn and west Norfolk. There are many haunting myths, legends and folktales tied to the maritime town of King’s...

Discover the dark side of King’s Lynn and west Norfolk. There are many haunting myths, legends and folktales tied to the maritime town of King’s Lynn. With its dark history and gruesome past, it is no surprise that King’s Lynn has received many reports of paranormal activity over the years. We have compiled a list of some of the most haunted locations in and around King’s Lynn – take a look if you dare!

1. True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum | King’s Lynn

A gloomy image of True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum in King's Lynn

Did you know that True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum in King’s Lynn is considered one of the most haunted buildings in Norfolk?

The unique heritage site, which celebrates the fishing community that once dominated the North End of King’s Lynn, is believed to be home to over 37 resident ghosts.

Visitors to the museum have witnessed many unexplainable sights over the years including dark figures staring out of empty windows of the 18th century cottages. Staff have reported witnessing a poltergeist, affectionally known as Henry, knocking paintings off walls and throwing staplers across a room where fisherfolk used to live.

The social history museum, run almost entirely by volunteers, is open to visitors on Tuesday – Saturday.

2. The Witch’s Heart | King’s Lynn

The Witch's Heart engraving in King's Lynn, West Norfolk

The Tuesday Market Place in King’s Lynn is well-known for its colourful festivals and annual funfairs, but did you know that it has a very dark sinister past?

In the 16th and 17th century, the square was the scene of public executions of alleged witches. This included Margaret Read, who was found guilty of witchcraft and sentenced to death by burning on the Tuesday Market Place in 1590. As her body was consumed by flames, it was reported that Margaret’s heart burst from her chest and smashed into the building opposite.

The 16th century building (numbers 15 and 16) still stands in the Tuesday Market Place today. Above one of the windows, you can see an engraving of a heart carved into the red brick. This carving marks the spot where Margaret’s heart allegedly landed over 400 years ago.  

3. The Devil’s Alley | King’s Lynn

Devil's Alley in King's Lynn, West Norfolk

Many believe the Devil himself stepped foot (or hoof!) in King’s Lynn.

A local folktale says that the Devil arrived in King’s Lynn by ship and headed into the market town to steal the souls of the local townsfolk. However, his plan failed when a priest came upon him and cornered him in a cobbled alleyway (now called ‘Devil’s Alley‘). The priest banished him with prayers and holy water, causing the furious Devil to stomp his foot so hard into the cobbles that he left an imprint of his hoof. The Devil was forced back to the ship and never was to be seen again.

Although the Devil’s hoofprint seems to have disappeared, this local folktale still lives on.

4. Purfleet Quay | King’s Lynn

A gloomy image of Purfleet Quay in King's Lynn, West Norfolk

The Purfleet Quay was King’s Lynn’s principal anchorage for ships during medieval times. It is home to the Custom House, a magnificent maritime building which has overlooked the comings and goings of this busy port for over three hundred years.

There have been reports of a ghost wandering around the Purfleet Quay, before screaming and throwing itself into waters below. Ghostly screams of fighting soldiers have also been heard and the water is said to run red with blood.

5. Stories of Lynn Museum | King’s Lynn

A ghostly image of King's Lynn Town Hall

Within the knapped flint walls of King’s Lynn Town Hall, you will find the Stories of Lynn Museum. The fun-filled exhibition opens your eyes to the town’s rich history and tells the story of the notorious criminal, Eugene Aram.

Eugene Aram moved from Yorkshire to King’s Lynn in 1758. Many had speculated that the teacher moved after becoming embroiled in a local scandal in his hometown – a local shoemaker, Daniel Clark, had disappeared. As witnesses claimed Eugene was the last person to have seen Daniel alive, he was considered a suspect.

Shortly after his move down south, a workman uncovered a skeleton thought to be that of Daniel Clark in Yorkshire. The circumstantial evidence was building up against Eugene and as a result, two constables were sent to King’s Lynn to arrest him. He was taken back to Yorkshire and after a three-day trial, was found guilty and hanged in York on 16th August 1759.

234 years after his execution, Eugene’s skull was returned to King’s Lynn and gifted to the museum in 1993 by the Royal College of Surgeons. Visitors can see the skull on display next to a skull fragment believed to be from his victim, Daniel Clark.

6. Duke’s Head Hotel | King’s Lynn

A gloomy image of Dukes Head Hotel in King's Lynn, West Norfolk

The Duke’s Head Hotel was built in 1683 and is reputed to be one of the most haunted buildings in the historic town of King’s Lynn.

The hotel stands on the site of an ancient inn called the Gryffin and the ghost of a maidservant is believed to haunt the local landmark. According to reports, the maid was found guilty of poisoning her mistress and was sentenced to be boiled alive on the Tuesday Market Place.

Dark discoveries have been found in the Duke’s Head Hotel. In 2011, cat remains were found in the ceiling of Room 10. Local historians believe that the cat remains were placed there to deter evil spirits and witches entering the property as this was a popular method in England during the 17th century.

7. The Tudor Rose Hotel | King’s Lynn

A gloomy exterior image of Tudor Rose Hotel in King's Lynn, West Norfolk

A 16th century building in the centre of King’s Lynn, known as the Tudor Rose Hotel, is said to be home to several ghosts.

A short woman wearing a wedding dress has been spotted walking around the historic hotel by visitors. The legend goes that the bride was murdered by her new husband on their wedding day. As a result, her spirit never checked out of the Tudor Rose Hotel.  

Paranormal activities include phantom footsteps, objects moving, doors closing and mysterious shadows passing.

Witnesses have claimed to have seen a strange figure clearing the snow in the yard at Christmastime, and the Grey Lady who makes herself seen in the hotel restaurant.

8. The Exorcist’s House | King’s Lynn

A gloomy image of The Exorcist House in King's Lynn, West Norfolk

Down Chapel Lane in King’s Lynn, you will find the former home of a medieval exorcist – known locally as the ‘Exorcist’s House’.

The last exorcism was carried out in the 16th century and is said to have led to the tragic death of a woman accused of witchcraft, who was burned at the stake on the Tuesday Market Place.

Broadcaster Frank Buckley, who claimed to be a wizard, lived in the Exorcist’s House and kept a large collection of occult objects there.

The building is currently under private residence, so please respect the owners and keep some distance away from the house.

and around King’s Lynn…

9. Castle Rising Castle | Castle Rising

A darkened image of Castle Rising Castle in West Norfolk

If the walls of Castle Rising Castle could talk, they would have quite the story to tell. The upper floor of the 12th century castle is believed to be haunted by the ghost of Queen Isabella, the infamous “She-Wolf of France”.

Queen Isabella, the wife and alleged murderer of Edward II of England, bought Castle Rising Castle in 1330. The castle was one of her main residences until her death in 1358. During the final years of her life, it is believed that she suffered ‘bouts of madness’.

Local residents in the village have reported hearing hysterical laughter and ghostly screams from the castle in the early hours of the morning. Visitors have also mentioned hearing the swishing sound of her dress and reported sightings of the Queen even transforming herself into a wolf!

You are welcome to explore Castle Rising Castle during the day. The castle is an English Heritage site and is owned and managed by Lord Howard of Rising.

10. Oxburgh Hall | Oxborough

A gloomy image of Oxburgh Hall in West Norfolk.

Look out for the Countess of Oxburgh Hall!

Oxburgh Hall is a 15th century moated country house in the heart of Oxborough, Norfolk. A ghost of a jilted lover, the Countess of Italy, is believed to roam around the North Bedroom and North Staircase. The Countess allegedly fell to her untimely death from the North Bedroom window and drowned in the moat below.

Visitors to the National Trust property have reported sights of a woman in Tudor dress walking around the grounds, only later to be told that no costume volunteers were around that day. Environmental systems have also reported sudden unexplained drops in temperature – talk about spine-chilling!

The gardens, estate, tea-room, Pantry Café and ground floor rooms of the house are all open to the public.

11. Holkham Hall | Holkham

Inside Holkham Hall in West Norfolk

The magnificent 18th century country house, Holkham Hall, is famous for its Palladian architectural beauty and is considered one of the finest stately homes in England.

Lady Glenconner, Princess Margaret’s lady in waiting who grew up at Holkham Hall, has written a novel called “A Haunting of Holkham”. The book was inspired by the story of Lady Mary Campbell, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll, who was locked up at Holkham for a whole year after shunning her new husband on their wedding night.

This dark time of her life has led many to believe that she returns to haunt Holkham Hall. Lady Glenconner’s sister said she had seen Lady Mary walk around her room in old fashioned clothes – their mother even had to have the room exorcised!

Holkham Hall offers seasonal tours, talks and experiences to suit all ages and interests all year round.

12. Church of St. Mary the Virgin | Wiggenhall

A ghostly image of St Mary's Church at Wiggenhall St Germans in West Norfolk

In 1986, Norfolk Fair published a spooky story about a haunted Victorian pipe organ found at St. Mary’s Church in Wiggenhall.

The article reported that the organ would play strains of loud music by itself, with no performer in sight. This spectacle has frightened many visitors over the years including a group of workmen who witnessed the organ bursting into song, causing them to flee the church in a panic!

13. Hunstanton Hall  | Hunstanton

A gloomy image of Old Hunstanton, West Norfolk

The ‘Grey Lady of Hunstanton Hall’ also known as the ‘Haunted Carpet of Hunstanton Hall’ is a ghostly tale that took place nearly 300 hundred years.

Dame Armine Le Strange inherited the moated country house in the 1700’s after her brother Henry died childless. Hunstanton Hall was filled with all kinds of treasure and one of her most prized possessions was a beautiful Persian rug, gifted from the Shah of Persia.

On her deathbed, Armine made her son Nicholas – an untrustworthy gambler – promise to not let anything happen to the rug after she died. If he broke this vow, she threatened to come back from beyond the grave and haunt Hunstanton Hall. Nicholas kept his promise until the day he died and placed the rug inside a wooden box which was nailed shut and hidden away in the attic.

Almost 100 years after, Emmeline Le Strange – a new American mistress – moved into the Hall and discovered the wooden box when renovating the property. Emmeline instructed her servants to cut the rug into tiny pieces. After distributing these pieces to the poor in Old Hunstanton, Emmeline was surprised to see an older lady dressed in grey staring at her from one of the first floor windows. This ‘Grey Lady’ was believed to be the deceased Armine Le Strange.

In a furious rage, Armine haunted the Hall which forced Emmeline to recover all the pieces of the rug and sew them back together to make the old carpet complete.

However, many believe that the damage was already done, and that Armine has left an eery presence around the area.

References

Please note that the information provided on this webpage was accurate on the date and time it was updated [18/09/2023 at 12:44]. Details may have changed after this time and date.

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