WITH so many historic buildings in the town it is no surprise there are so many ghost stories in Colchester.

We’ve had a look through our archives and used Paul Lee’s ghost website to share some of the tales.

Here is a look at some of the most haunted buildings in our town.

St Leonards Church, the Hythe


The church of St. Leonards at the Hythe, according to a popular story, is supposed to have the ghosts of five men who died in the parvise room, located above the entrance porch.

Colchester historian Alice Goss says this room was once used as a gaol in medieval times and according to the story, it’s where four men were once imprisoned for trying to steal items of church plate.

A local baker took pity on them and gave them bread to eat and for his kindly act he too was imprisoned there and left to die with the others.

Although there is no documented evidence of this particular story being true, faces have been seen at the window, and are reported to be those of the five men.

The Red Lion Hotel, High Street, Colchester


A hooded monk, a ghostly chambermaid?

As one of the oldest inns in Colchester it’s no wonder the Red Lion is said to be home to all of these spirits.

The ghost said to be most often encountered by guests and staff at the Grade I listed building is that of Alice Miller.

Miller was a former chambermaid at the hotel and she was murdered by her lover in 1638. Guests and staff has reported seeing Alice’s apparition mostly in room’s 5, 6, and 10.

She’s also been seen in the kitchen and walking to her old room and through the blocked wall where her door once stood.

In addition, the figure of a hooded monk has been seen, mostly during the early hours. Often witnessed around reception and the corridors. He’s believed to be the ghost of a monk who died in a fire at the inn several hundred years ago while trying to save some children.

The Shoulder of Mutton, Fordham


Perhaps the most recent addition owners of the The Shoulder of Mutton have called in a ghost hunter after a series of spooky situations.

It follows rumours the historic Grade II listed village pub is haunted by the spirit of an old barmaid.

Last year businessman Jonathan Neill and his wife Jacqui purchased the premises, setting about on renovation works to bring it back to its former glory.

They hope to turn the business into a new licensed tearoom and antiques centre.

But since renovation works began, Jonathan said strange things have been happening at the premises, and a few hidden secrets have been uncovered.

Lights began switching themselves on and off, glasses on the top of the bar started flipping upside down overnight.

He said: "A former resident was briefly questioned and confirmed suspicions of ghost activity.

"She said that one of the ghosts had been nicknamed 'the green lady'.

"She was reluctant to say much more but it is believed this ghost is an old barmaid."

Colchester Castle


The rumours of a ghost stem from the death of James Parnell, the Quaker, who died at the castle on 10th April 1656.

James died in cruel circumstances at the hands of an evil gaoler and his wife, with his ghost said to haunt the castle, often seen in the area

near to where he died within the eastern wall.

The only truth to this story is; that we know James did die there, so perhaps the story was invented to keep James's memory alive, if so then the story has worked.

East Lodge


According to Mr Lee’s website this building is haunted by a spectral woman described as being of slight build with a grey bonnet and a crinoline dress.

Doors opening, items being moved, a smell of perfume, lights being turned on and off and a scratching noise have been encountered too.

St Botolph's Priory


Mr Lee’s website says a dark figure was once reported to smile at a lady and has been seen in the ruins and the surrounding area

Founded about 1100, St Botolph's was one of the first Augustinian priories in England .

An impressive example of early Norman architecture, built in flint and reused Roman brick, the church displays massive circular pillars, round arches and an elaborate west front.

It was badly damaged by cannon fire during the Civil War siege of 1648.