ESP’s Mikey Clarke checks out the best places for a fright fest this Halloween…
I’ve taken part in the popular ghost walks around the city centre on numerous occasions so this time I was sent to investigate the Priestgate Vaults, historic cellars under Peterborough Museum.
The Vaults reveal 500 years of history from the building and the city and it’s apparently one of the most haunted places in Peterborough
Stepping into the Vaults was pleasantly surreal. Each room is related to a different period in the building’s history. It was literally like transporting yourself into another time.
In each of the rooms, the tour group and I met a different character – brought to life as an apparition from the past using modern technology.
One of the characters I ‘met’ was Abigail, the daughter of the Museum’s caretaker – who is a former documented resident of the building. During the Second World War, The Vaults were used as an air raid shelter for the Museum.
As Abigail talks about the time a bomb was dropped on Priestgate – yes, that really happened – you’ll feel like you were really there. It sent shivers down my spine… as did the rest of the tour.
At one point you’re sat in a room that genuinely used to be a morgue, whilst being told ghost stories that have been said to of happened inside the building at one point or another. Good luck finding a scarier and more atmospheric place in Peterborough to hear spooky tales!
I must confess that I didn’t actually see a ghost myself – the hunt continues. However, my tour guide did tell me that there are regular sightings of two ghosts in The Vaults.
The Vaults are a great place to go to get that spooky fix you’ll no doubt be seeking during the Halloween season but there are regular tours at other times too.
It’s perhaps worth noting that this is a great opportunity for anyone interested in the city’s incredible history, it’s not just for Ghostbusters.
Book now on 01733 864663 for tickets.
Photos: Emma Bothamley
SCARY EVENTS TO TRY…
SPOOKY TOURS AT BURGHLEY HOUSE
Back with a brand new route for 2016, this month sees the return of popular behind-the-scenes torch lit tours of England’s greatest Elizabethan house in Stamford.
From now until October 31, Burghley’s Spooky Tours will once again offer a chance to journey by flickering torchlight into the creepy cellars to explore the forbidding outbuildings and centuries-old cloisters, unearthing the secret history of Burghley House.
Led by local ghostly expert Martin Tempest, the tours will reveal Burghley’s spooky stories across the centuries – and for 2016 there’s a new route, bringing extra scares to the 50-minute trails.
Tickets are £15 each and can be booked at www.burghley.co.uk/events/spooky-tours/.
The Stamford ghost walks also run regularly in the town again led by professional actor Martin Tempest with ghoulish characters waiting to pounce!
They start from Stamford Arts Centre on Friday November 18, Friday December 16 and then in the New Year it’ll be Friday January 13.
Call 01780 763203 to book.
CURSE OF THE EGYPTIAN MUMMY
A mysterious, Ancient Egyptian object has come to Peterborough Museum and someone’s ghastly ghost is not very happy! Will you be the one to brave the creepy corridors, decode hard-to-read hieroglyphics and use all the clues you can find to break the chaotic curse – or will the spooky spirit have you running for your Mummy?!
Events are held up until October 28, 10am – 5pm and there’s no need to book. Admission’s £12 families, £4 adults and £3 children.
CITY CENTRE GHOST WALKS
Explore the spooky side of Peterborough’s past with the most popular guided tour in the city, rated 5 stars on TripAdvisor. We’ve tried them and they’re definitely worth it!
Stalk the streets with their costumed guide to discover the eerie secrets of the spookiest and most haunted locations in Peterborough City Centre. To add to the fun costumed ghosts may appear en route.
Join the Halloween ghost walks from now until October 31 at 7.30pm and 8pm, but they do run frequently throughout the year if these are fully booked so you will get another chance.
Book now on 01733 864663.
HAVE A WIZARD TIME ON THE RAILWAY
Nene Valley Railway invites you to join Harry Spotter and his friends on The Wizard’s Express
Their heated steam hauled, Wizard’s Express takes to the tracks on Friday October 28 from Wansford to Peterborough via Wellwarts. There’ll be spooky goings-on aboard the train with Halloween/wizard characters and a chance to meet Wilma the Witch. You can play The Wizard’s Express Quiz and maybe you’ll spot the friendly ghost in the tunnel which has been haunted since 1845. Look out for Matilda the eight foot witch!
Fancy dress is highly recommended so wear your best Halloween or wizard outfit. There’ll be a buffet car on board plus Halloween goody bags including a glow stick for all children over one year of age.
For more info visit www.nvr.org.uk
PUMPKIN HALF TERM FUN @ SACREWELL
Pumpkin bowling, squash carving and camp fires are part of the daily activities at Sacrewell this October half-term.
From now until October 30, make the most of the British countryside with the visitor centre’s programme of events which will run every day throughout the holiday.
As it’s Halloween they’ll be using pumpkins for additional activities like bowling and carving but the kids can also enjoy mud painting with natural paint brushes, leaf decorated candle jars, bird feeders, kite making and bird watching.
Sacrewell classics such as den building, animal handling and mill tours will also be included in the programme.
For more info visit www.sacrewell.org.uk
PUMPKIN TRAIL @ BURGHLEY HOUSE
Once again the popular Burghley Pumpkin Trail is back until October 30 offering a whole feast of pumpkin fun for families. The grounds of the house look spectacular and you can tread through the crispy autumn leaves to find the hidden pumpkins to receive a treat.
The kids are encouraged to go along in fancy dress and there’ll be tasty seasonal treats in store in the Orangery restaurant, as well as the Garden Café, open daily from 11am to 5pm (last admission at 4.30pm).
For more details visit www.burghley.co.uk