Discover the ghosts of St Albans this Halloween

St Albans is the ancient city that is considered by many as the most haunted in the entire country. This Halloween, the city celebrates the theme of ghosts and lost souls with a book on the subject written by Paul Adams being published on 1st of October. According to the author, the city is second to none when it comes to sightings of ghosts and his book contains narrations of such sightings in the last 25 years.

“St Albans is such an old city with many long-standing, centuries-old buildings,” says Paul. “There have been several violent battles here in the past, I think that this goes some way to explaining why many of its buildings have the reputation of being haunted in some way.”

For the first time ever, the city’s museums have undertaken a Hauntings Project, which has encouraged local people to research local stories and develop them into a format for a public event on the night of Halloween.

This event will be the Lost Souls of St Albans trail, which will take visitors on a walk through the city stopping off at a selection of haunted buildings where groups of actors and storytellers will be enacting or sharing different spooky tales from St Albans’ history.

This walk will complement the existing guided tours, run by St Albans Tour Guides, including the Ghosts and Ghouls tours. The tours cost £4 per person, and I have included some information on the background on St Albans ghosts.

They can be booked here – www.stalbanstourguides.co.uk/guided/tours/projects/st-albans-city-walks/

For those who are keen to really get into the Halloween spirit, a stay at the White Hart Hotel on Halloween night is guaranteed to send tingles down their spine. The White Hart Hotel is located on Holywell Hill, just opposite the cathedral. The hotel was built back in the 1500s, and apparently there are a number of ghosts inhabiting the hotel, which have been seen by lots of staff over the years. The hotel will be hosting ghost tours and dinner on Halloween.  More details at www.whiteharthotelstalbans.co.uk

A number of child-friendly attractions near the city will also be hosting Halloween-themed events. (I have included more information below on this along with information on the St Albans).

The city also puts on the largest public fireworks display in the south of England, which is organised by St Albans Cathedral and will take place on November 2.
Attractions and Halloween activities
Willows Farm Village, St Albans

Willows has a fun-packed programme of farmyard animals adventure play, fun fair rides, children’s shows, etc.

To mark Halloween, every child will get a free pumpkin throughout the farm’s Pumpkin Festival. There’s a pumpkin carving area with daily prizes for the best pumpkin plus a programme of Halloween-themed activities. There’s also the Pumpkin Olympics, Pumpkin Hunts and a Zootacular Animal Show.

Butterfly World

Butterfly World is a pioneering conservation project. It’s a dedicated centre of learning for the preservation of this fragile and beautiful species. The attraction has a number of tropical houses that accommodate butterflies from all over the world as well as a number of other insects and bugs. The tropical houses are set in a 26-acre site of landscaped gardens.

During half-term Halloween week, there will be pumpkin carving, Halloween-themed storytelling, Conker Creatures, Insects Extravaganza, Ugly Bug Ball drama session, Make a Creepy Crawly, Mask Making, Glow Bugs, Make a Bird feeder and Big Draw art sessions.

There will also be a firework display on Sunday 3 November at Butterfly World.

Hauntings at The White Hart Hotel

TV programme Most Haunted spent five days in the hotel recording ghostly activity, including the ghost of a woman who was beheaded when she failed to duck as a coach went through the hotel’s low entrance to the courtyard in 1820.

She haunts the place, dressed apparently in the travelling clothes of the 1820s period, and wanders around looking a bit forlorn.

Charles Dickens got hold of this story and tells it in Pickwick Papers.

There is also a ghost of a 12-year-old girl on the back stairs who told the TV team she died in a fire on the back stairs in 1832.

These are just two of the many stories about ghostly sightings in the White Hart Hotel.

The Ghost and Ghouls Tours take place a number of times every month. The start at 8pm and cost £4 per person.

St Albans – fascinating facts, old and new

St Albans Cathedral is the oldest place of continual Christian worship in the UK – and has the longest nave of any Cathedral, including St Paul’s and Westminster Abbey.

St Albans has the only medieval clock tower in the country.

St Albans has the oldest public school in Britain where Pope Adrian IV, the only Englishman to occupy the papal chair, and scientist Stephen Hawking were educated.

The Roman city of Verulamium (now the site of St Albans’ Verulamium park) was the second-largest town in Roman Britain after Londinium and was burned and destroyed by Queen Boudicca and her army (St Albans) in AD60

St Albans’ pub Ye Olde Fighting Cocks is in the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest pub in the country.

St Albans Abbey (now Cathedral) was at one time the principal Abbey in England and was the location of the first meeting (in 1213) which ultimately led to the sealing of the Magna Carta (in 1215).

World-famous heavy rock group Enter Shakari are from St Albans, and still play the odd gig in the city.

St Albans has more pubs per square mile than any other town in the country.

Legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick lived and worked in the area and produced The Shining here.

Getting to St Albans

It’s easy to get here too.  Just 22 minutes from London St Pancras, a short hop off the M1 and M25 motorways, within easy reach of London Luton and Heathrow airports. Come and visit to discover St Albans for yourself – you’ll be sure of a warm welcome.