With Halloween just days away, everyone here at Peels4U Towers is in the mood for some spooky stories. Luckily, our town has years of history, making it the perfect setting for haunted and haunting places. So turn down the lights, grab a cushion and get comfy for our top 6 scary places in Thetford:
6. Thetford Cottage Hospital
Built in the late 1800s and abandoned in 2007, Thetford Cottage Hospital has long been a popular spot for urban explorers. Although it doesn’t have the ultimate spook factor of a lunatic asylum, the sight of a boarded up Victorian hospital is still enough to give anyone the creeps. I’d urge anyone thinking of visiting to not go inside – the site had a fire in 2016 and is incredibly dangerous. To get your chilling thrills, click on this page to see the derelict corridors and decaying medical equipment inside. Unfortunately, as with the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, there are no reports of ghostly activity here yet, but never say never.
5. St. Helen’s Well
Less of a well and more of a spring, St. Helen’s (or Tenant) Well near Two Mile Bottom is located in a chalk pit in the Little Ouse valley. Legend has it that a nearby field worker once became extremely hot, so he headed to the well to quench his thirst. He ignored his friends who tried to stop him drinking the ice-cold water in his condition, so he drank from the well, and died. Now he is said to haunt the pit around the spring, and that’s about all the information I could find on this curious, unfortunate tale.
4. Brandon Country Park
Brandon Country Park lies on the edge of Thetford Forest, and was once part of the Brandon Hall Estate. In the early 19th Century, Edward Bliss bought the estate, and built a Gothic mausoleum for when he died. Although he is no longer buried there, the mausoleum is said to be haunted by the ghost of Bliss’s nephew, the exotically-named Baron Boretto, who can allegedly be spotted in the grounds holding a candlelit human skull. Either that or it’s an actor rehearsing for an outdoor performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet…
3. The Bell Hotel
Dating back to the 15th Century, the Bell Hotel in Thetford town centre is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in Norfolk. One prominent haunting is that of Elizabeth Radcliffe, a landlady at the former inn during the 18th century. She is said to roam the drawing room, leading to classic reports of sudden cold air and the feeling of being watched. The inn has been little altered over the years, and still boasts tunnels and a priest hole, which may explain why the main suite is supposedly haunted by a hooded figure, thought to be a monk. After all, the inn was not too far from our next entry.
2. Thetford Priory
Former monasteries tend to be popular places for a haunting, and Thetford Priory is no exception. Established in the 12th Century and dissolved in the 16th, the Priory is a collection of ruined buildings where ghostly monk activity has been reported. Aside from the usual chanting and wailing, this strange story from 1987 doubles up as a cautionary tale for anyone caught short near a site of historical importance. Dare to wee at the Priory, and you may just spot a cloaked figure descending a set of stairs that are no longer there…
1. Thetford Warren Lodge
Speaking of things that are longer there… A dark figure is often seen on the first floor of Thetford Warren Lodge (pictured), even though the building was gutted by fire in the 20th Century. As recently as 2011, witnesses have reported seeing a faceless man peering from the upper window, with black holes where his mouth and eyes should be. But that’s not all, as the lodge, once the home of warreners who guarded the surrounding fields from rabbit poachers, is now said to be haunted by a ghostly white rabbit with glowing red eyes. To meet its gaze is a terrible omen of forthcoming death…
Thetford Ghost Walks
If this post hasn’t been spooky enough for you, then the Leaping Hare regularly hosts Ghost Walks to show you some of the scary places in Thetford town. If you know any Thetford myths, legends or ghosts nor mentioned here, drop us a line in the comments box. Until then – a Happy Halloween to all!