Haunted tales from close to home . . .

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Today is Halloween, the one day of the year when ghosts and ghouls are said to stalk the world of the living.

In a district such as Daventry, which has hundreds of years of history, there are ghost stories attached to many locations.

In Daventry, many buildings have a spooky past.

Repair work undertaken at First Light Photographic, in the High Street, this year uncovered a secret attic room.

Owner Dawn Brannigan said: “Among the other finds was a vintage Raleigh tricycle, which may have something of a ghoulish past. Wherever it stands in the loft there is a distinct cold spot on the floor immediately below. Several clairvoyants and mediums have visited over the last 10 years and most of them agree there are a minimum of three ghostly inhabitants; a man, a woman and a little boy. Perhaps the boy befell an accident while riding this trike?”

The building that now holds Casey’s Club, on the Market Square, was once part of the town’s monastery. Earlier this year, Yvonne Goodsell and her paranormal investigators took photos there which they say shows several monks in the reflections of mirrors.

Investigations have also been held in the Moot Hall after it was discovered its cellar pre-dated the building, and was originally linked to the neighbouring Plume of Feathers pub.

Legend has it that in 1645, the ghost of Thomas Wentworth 1st Earl of Strafford (who died in 1641) appeared to Charles I for three nights running before the Battle of Naseby at his headquarters in The Wheatsheaf Hotel, in Sheaf Street.

Strafford’s apparition urged the king not to fight the battle at Naseby as a loss for the royalist had been foreseen, and instead head further north. The king paid no attention to this message from beyond the grave and went on to lose the battle.

Further afield in Braunston, The Admiral Nelson pub and neighbouring cottage are supposedly haunted by two figures.

The first is a spectre of a chimney sweep who apparently passes through a locked doorway where a chimney, now blocked up, used to be. The second is that of a woman who moves between the buildings where once a doorway joined them.

One of the more spooky places in the district, even in broad summer sunlight, is the ruins of the Dower House on the Fawsley estate. Built in 1520 and uninhabited since the 1700s, it is home to a huntsman who appears every New Year’s Eve to foretell the imminent death of a person or someone close to them.

In East Haddon, the spirit of Annie Pritchard haunts various locations. Murdered by her lover in 1892, her body was found in a sack on a road near Althorp. It is said if you walk there at night, you can hear her footsteps, and that her face appears on her gravestone in the village.