Aston Hall has been named the most haunted site in the UK. The Jacobean mansion has many ghost stories, several of which can be traced back to the 17th century and the actions of the very first resident, Sir Thomas Holte.
Holte had the mansion built between 1618 and 1635. Reputed to have murdered his cook in a violent rage, he was obviously a man to be feared. One of the ghosts reputed to be in the House is Dick the houseboy, who hung himself after being accused of stealing rather than face the wrath of Holte.
The family of Sir Thomas Holte also experienced his anger. He disinherited his son for marrying without his consent, but his daughter is alleged to have faired far worse. She wanted to marry a local man, who her father felt was beneath the family. Holte dragged her to a room and locked her there, where she remained for 16 years until she died. Her “grey ghost” is said to wander the long gallery, waiting for the man she loves.
Visitors have also reported seeing a woman sitting in a chair wearing a distinctive green dress. The “green lady” is said to be the housekeeper of Sir Thomas Holte. She may still be keeping an eye on the cleaning of the house!
This isn’t the end of the stories – who are the other ghosts that some people claim to detect in the house? There are of course so many candidates! Perhaps a Royalist soldier? During the Civil War siege of Aston Hall in 1643, the Parliamentarian troops got into the house and killed several members of the Royalist garrison and household. The cannon hole on the main stair case is a reminder of this fierce fight.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, it is great that these stories have passed down through generations and still entertain people today. We run regular ghost tours at Aston Hall for those people who enjoy a good ghost story and a bit of a fright. Please keep an eye on our What’s On page for future dates.