Surgical spirit: Haunted hospital calls in an exorcist

The new Royal Hospital in Derby, Derbyshire, is calling in an exorcist after sightings of a creepy spook.

The figure, which wears a cloak, has been seen stalking the wards and corridors of the hospital.

Many believe it may be the ghost of a Roman soldier as the hospital was, controversially, built over a Roman road.

Derby is said to be Britain's most haunted city, with 315 reports of ghosts, poltergeists, werewolves and vampires since records began, an average of 14 sightings per 10,000 members of its population.

The Supernatural Britain Report has compiled a list of Britain's 10 most haunted cities, which you can see below...

Haunted hospital calls in exorcist

Spooky ... artist's impression of the ghost at Derby hospital

30 Jan 2009

HOSPITAL managers have called in an exorcist after shaken workers complained they are being terrified by a GHOST.

Spooked staff at Derby’s new Royal Hospital claimed a black-clad figure wearing a cloak was stalking wards and corridors.

Now chiefs at the £334million NHS site are to summon a local priest to see off the “spirit”.

Terror ... haunted hospital

Petrified staff were briefed on the spooky goings-on in an email from bosses.

Senior manager Debbie Butler wrote: “I’m not sure how many of you are aware that some members of staff have reported seeing a ghost.

“I’m taking it seriously as the last thing I want is staff feeling uneasy at work.”

Ms Butler sent the message after workers at the new £334million Royal Derby Hospital claimed they had seen a cloaked figure dressed in black roaming wards and corridors.

Imposing ... original City General Hospital building

She added: “I don’t want to scare anyone any more than necessary, but felt it was best I made you all aware of the situation and what we are doing about it.

“I’ve spoken to the Trust’s chaplain and she is going to arrange for someone from the cathedral to exorcise the department.”

Derby was recently named the most haunted place in Britain, with more reports of ghosts, poltergeists, werewolves and other supernatural phenomena than anywhere else in the UK.

The Supernatural Britain Report, conducted by Lionel Fanthorpe an expert on the paranormal, examined ghostly goings-on in 40 cities across the UK and compiled a list of the ten most spooky places in the country.

History ... developers built over road despite demos

Mr Fanthorpe found there had been 315 reports of ghosts, poltergeists, werewolves and vampires in Derby since records began – an average 14 sightings per 10,000 members of its population.

Sources at the Royal – built on the site of the Derby City General Hospital – said the exorcism was expected within days.

One said: “There have been dozens of sightings over recent weeks and people are scared witless.

“Several have seen a male figure cloaked from head to toe in black darting between rooms and through walls – especially in departments near the morgue.

“It’s affected morale so much that bosses decided they had to act.” Exorcisms in England must be pre-approved by a bishop.

A spokesman for the Bishop of Derby said: “Any case such as this is put to the Bishop.

“He would seek proper advice before taking action.”

Experts said the spirit could be the ghost of a Roman soldier killed on the spot where the original hospital was built in the 1920s. Developers ignored protests and covered over part of one of Ancient Britain’s main Roman roads.

Ian Wilce, of the Ghost-finder Paranormal Society, said: “There are lots of sightings on such sites.”

The hospital, still known as the City General, will be officially renamed as the Royal in coming months.

A spokeswoman for Derby Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We take information from staff seriously and are working with the hospital chaplaincy to put people’s minds at ease.”

True tales inspired the films

Scary ... Blair in Exorcist

CLASSIC horror movie The Exorcist was based on a US Jesuit priest’s bid to free a boy of 13 from spirits in 1949.

In the 1973 film, the boy became a girl played by Linda Blair.

Another film, The Amityville Horror, is based on exorcisms in Long Island after a man killed his family in 1974.

Anneliese Michel, 23, died after an exorcism in Leiblfing, Germany, in 1976.

Her parents and two priests were convicted of manslaughter.

Mother Teresa is said to have been exorcised before dying in 1997. The Archbishop of Calcutta ordered it as he thought she was being attacked by the Devil.

Channel 4 broadcast a live exorcism in 2005.
************************************************** *

How the demons are nailed

GHOSTBUSTER Michael Hallowell told how unwanted spirits are said to be removed.

He explained: “Usually the exorcism begins with a prayer and holy water is sprinkled around the infected area. The priest will hold up a crucifix and those attending may sing hymns throughout. Sometimes it needs to be repeated before the demon is cleared.”

Michael, 51, of Newcastle, added: “The Catholic Church only use exorcism as a last resort. Their approach is ritualised, which is necessary with malevolent spirits.

“These entities are real and powerful.”
Last edited by Blackleaf; Feb 1st, 2009 at 12:07 PM..
Britain is often said to be the most haunted country in the world - which is hardly surprising given its long and violent history.

But what are the country's most haunted cities?

A ghost expert has drawn up a list of Britain's spookiest cities, and these include Derby, York, St Albans, Edinburgh and Belfast....

Scream GB

26 Aug 2008
The Sun

Visit if you dare ... spookiest spots

BRITAIN’S spookiest cities have been pinpointed in a new survey of supernatural shenanigans.

Ghost expert Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe looked at how many sightings had been recorded per 10,000 population in each place. Derby’s 14 per 10,000, 315 in total since records began, turned out to be the phantoms’ favourite.

Here we bring you hair-raising highlights from the ten creepiest corners of the country.


Helena Blunden

HELENA BLUNDEN was a promising young singer who was employed at a Belfast linen mill in 1912.

Hard-working and popular, Helena used to sing her way through her 60-hour week.

On Sunday, April 14, 1912, Helena was preoccupied with a concert she was due to attend that evening, so much so that she made a terrible — and fatal — mistake.

At 7pm she finished her shift and went dashing down the stairs to be in time for the performance.

She tripped on a discarded mop and fell over the bannister, crashing all the way to the ground floor. Her dream had always been to escape the mill — but her soul still haunts it today.

The building is now home to a printing company and staff have reported hearing a young girl’s singing turn abruptly to a shriek of terror.


Ghost of Bishop John Hooper

Torched ... Bishop John Hooper

A BISHOP burned at the stake for his beliefs still haunts the historic city.

Bishop John Hooper was put to a horrible death in 1555 in Gloucester’s Westgate, during Catholic Queen Mary’s persecution of Protestants.

Bishop John’s ghost has been reported in the area near his monument. The ghost of Mary, who reigned from 1553 until her death in 1558, has also been seen in the area.

Her ghost — perhaps doing penance for her treatment of the martyred Protestant Bishop — has been reported near a Tudor building close to the martyr’s memorial.


Ghost of Lord Bernard Stewart

ROWTON Moor was one of the many sites to witness mass slaughter during the English Civil War.

The bloody and merciless fighting took place three miles to the south east of Chester on September 24, 1645.

The Royalist Army of King Charles, led by Lord Bernard Stewart and Marmaduke Langdale, were heavily defeated by Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarians under the command of Colonel Michael Jones. More than 600 Royalists were killed, among them Lord Bernard Stewart.

His ghost still rides mournfully across Rowton Moor — particularly on September 24.

Another casualty of the battle was King Charles’s court musician, William Lawes, who had served the King all his life.

There are those who say that the plaintive music sometimes heard across Rowton Moor is the spirit of the musician-turned-soldier shot by a Parliamentarian.


Penny Farthing Ghost

Spotted ... ghost on a penny farthing bicycle

A NETWORK of medieval passages under Exeter city centre were built for the repair of pipes bringing clean water from springs outside the city.

Not surprisingly, these dank underground alleyways have become the setting for many chilling tales.

One such is of a man called Albert, who fell through one of the access manholes to the passages and endured days of despair and agony before dying of his injuries.

His ghost apparently still haunts the passages — and has been seen riding through them on a penny farthing.

Also, rumours abound of treasure hidden in the tunnels — but who would dare look for it?


Ghost of PC Moss

IN 1879 a villain named Gerald Mannering rolled into Derby after arguing with his father, aiming to drown his bitterness in booze.

Police spotting him driving a pony and trap didn’t need a breathalyser to tell he was drunk.

They took him to cells on the site of what is now Derby Fish Market. There the enraged prisoner drew a pistol in the charge room and began to fire wildly, wounding an inspector and killing PC Moss.

Although found guilty of murder, Mannering escaped the death sentence when it was discovered that the jury had been split 50-50 over whether it had been murder or manslaughter, and had drawn lots for the casting vote.

The injustice may have trapped PC Moss’s soul — workers at the fish market have seen a policeman in Victorian-style uniform watching them and have heard phantom footsteps patrolling the yard.


Pipe and Drum

Piper mystery ... Edinburgh Castle

EDINBURGH Castle is one of the most haunted places in Scotland.

The castle is connected to the city’s most famous street, the Royal Mile, by a network of underground tunnels.

Several hundred years ago a piper sent to explore them was told to keep playing so his progress could be tracked.

But halfway down the Royal Mile the music suddenly stopped.

When a rescue party was sent the piper had vanished.

The piper still haunts the Royal Mile and his eerie music can sometimes be heard from within the castle.

St Albans

Phantom Composer

THE magnificent abbey church in St Albans is the scene of many ghostly sightings.

In 1944 wartime fire-watcher Basil Saville saw the organ play on its own and witnessed a procession of ghostly monks.

The music has been heard many times since and finally identified as a piece by Robert Fairfax, who was part of the Abbey’s musical staff and died in 1521.

The music has only recently been rediscovered and linked with that heard by witnesses.


19 Magdalen Street

FOR many years 19 Magdalen Street has been known as the most haunted address in Norwich.

Originally a pub, it is now three separate properties and has been home to Radio Rentals, Oxfam and Stirling Travel. Staff of all three firms have witnessed pheno-mena such as cups falling off tables when there is no one near and typewriters working on their own.

Research found that a teenage barmaid called Sara was murdered in an upstairs room.

The pub’s landlord was a brutal pimp who, furious when Sara refused to sleep with customers, dealt her a fatal blow.

Many people still notice a drop in temperature between the main and back rooms of No19.


Orphans' Screams

THE master of the 19th Century York Industrial Ragged School was paid to round up waifs and strays and put them to work — but spent little on looking after the orphans in his care.

When many died of his maltreatment, the panicking boss locked the corpses in a large cupboard rather than admit his failure.

Orphan ghosts ... York

But the guilt drove him insane and he eventually ran through the school massacring the remaining children with a huge knife.

Anyone stopping in York to listen to distant playing children may find the sound suddenly changes — into screams of terror.


Rosamund the Fair

THE most tragic tale of an Oxford ghost is that of fallen nun Rosamund The Fair.

King Henry II kept her as a concubine in Godstow Nunnery on Trout Island.

The King would meet her in a labyrinth guarded by one of his knights. The knight held the end of a silver thread which led to Rosamund. The Queen, furious with jealousy, killed the knight, found Rosamund and forced her to drink poison.

Now Rosamund haunts The Trout pub in Wolvercote.

The Supernatural Britain report was commissioned by Warner Home Video to mark the release of TV series Supernatural Season Three on DVD.
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