My life as the Osnabrueck Envoy has started off in scary style. I had heard all about the haunted history of Derby before I even arrived, so I was keen to see what all the fuss was about. The experience lived up to my expectations and I had a frightful night!
I joined the group of ghost hunters at The Old Bell Hotel and met our tour guide, Edd Felix. He set the scene with stories of torture and execution, then off we went on a two hour walk to discover Derby’s haunted history.
As light rain started to fall, the cobbles of the fish market shone in the moonlight to show the place where Police Constable Moss had fallen and died – the first ever British police officer to have been shot and killed. A memorial stone marks the spot and everyone nervously looked around for the ghostly figure of a uniformed man with curly moustache who has frequently been seen walking his old beat. He must have been off duty on our night though!
We took shelter in the Tiger Bar and after a drink to settle our nerves, we gathered in the back room which used to be an old stable block. With lights dimmed and warnings to all to tuck our trouser bottoms into our socks in case of any rats, a trap door was lifted in the floor and down we went into the underground tunnels – home to the ghost of a 12 year old boy amongst other frightening surprises. I am sworn to secrecy though, so you must have a nerve to discover these for yourself!
We re-surfaced from the tunnels and made our way to Jorrok’s – one of the most haunted pubs in Derbyshire – and home to a cursed Viking skull! There it was on a shelf behind the bar covered in thick dust. There’s a very good reason for this. If anyone cleans the skull, they drop dead within a fortnight! I didn’t volunteer to give it a polish!
The tour finished back where we started at the Old Bell Hotel and everyone enjoyed a survivor’s supper!
I had a great night despite being terrified most of the time. Edd Felix is a great guide and really brings the stories to life. His jokes help to keep everyone calm and the regular pub drinks certainly helped too!
There are many ghost experiences to enjoy in Derby. This one was the city centre ghost walk, but there is another along Friar Gate where public hangings used to take place. This area is also the home to Derby Gaol and serious ghost hunters can take part in overnight vigils. I think I’ll give that a miss though!
Find out more about Derby’s haunted history and how to book onto a ghost walk at http://www.visitderby.co.uk/whats-on/haunted-derby/ or contact Derby Tourist Information Centre to book your tour – Tel: 01332 643411.