Paranormal Northamptonshire: Haunted spots of our county revealed

A new book takes readers on a paranormal tour of stories and legends from villages and towns across Northamptonshire

The Yew Hedge at Rockingham Castle
The Yew Hedge at Rockingham Castle

A spooky tour of Northamptonshire invites readers to meet Oliver Cromwell, Mary Queen of Scots, soldiers, monks, murderers, nuns and animals in every corner of the county. Here, extracts from the new book Paranormal Northamptonshire by Anthony Poulton-Smith, reveal some of the spookiest tales from around the county. You can buy the book, published by Amberley, for £14.99.

Lady Isabel Latimer drowned in the River Ise in the 14thC after a fight between her two love rivals - Hugh Neville and Lord Seagrave. She is said to haunt the river at Barton Seagrave, floating serenely over the surface waters
At 3,000 yards in length, Blisworth is the largest navigable tunnel in the UK and has its fair share of ghost tales. Boaters have reported the screams of men burned to death in a terrible collision between two craft in the mid-19thC.
Drinkers have often heard rustling skirts, giggles and whispers on the original staircase at the former hunting lodge. Cold spots are frequent. A recent publican saw a monk walk through the downstairs bar and rumour has it the place is haunted by a woman weeping for her lost child.
The part-finished Thomas Tresham house is said to be haunted by the ghost of a man who stands at a first-floor window (although the floor was never fitted) and the sounds of the drums of the Black Watch, three of whom were caught by the kingsmen at Lyveden in 1743 and executed in London.
Locals have reported since the earliest coaching days seeing a phantom coach and horses at a steady trot along the Harborough Road, mostly at night,
Charles Dickens, during one of his stays at the Castle, looked to the grounds below where he saw a ghostly figure walk from the Yew Hedge to the wild gardens. He maintained he'd seen a Parliamentarian on the route they took when taking the castle during the English Civil War.
A blacksmith who cannot leave his old shop is said to haunt The Cock in Denford, as well as a lady in white attire who locks the toilet doors and steals vital pieces of equipment from the kitchen.
In February 1996 a blonde woman stepped in front of cleaner Alison Clark's car in Southwood Hill as she was on her way home from work. When Alison stopped, the woman vanished into thin air.
The last Plantagenet king, Richard III died at the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was buried at Greyfriars in Leicester and the story goes that he wasn't taken home to be buried at his birthplace of Fotheringhay because of the reports of unexplained funeral music in the empty St Mary and All Saints Church.
There have been many sightings in the past 30 years of a ghostly monk on the bridge across the A43 between Corby and Kettering. It may be a former resident of the nearby Pipewell Abbey.
Locals have reported seeing the figures of Charles II trying to find a secret spot to meet his famous lover Nell Gwynne, as well as a hooded monk. Others have reported the sound of thundering hooves and the clatter of wheels.
During the 1970s successive landlords reported the actions of 'Nick', a ghost that would move items from around the pub including a pair of glasses, T-shirts and chef's whites. Several customers have also reported seeing the ghost of 'Erica' in the form of a young lady wearing blue trousers and gold buckled shoes.
The Royal has more than its fair share of ghosts. A bluish-grey old woman with a walking stick was spotted in 1992 and the building also has its own 'grey lady', who has been seen, hooded, walking through the theatre's corridors.