Paranormal Activity at the Alton Towers Theme Park
Millions of people flock to Alton Towers each year to experience the thrills and spills of the – sometimes terrifying – theme park rides. What many of these visitors do not know, however, is that there is an altogether different kind of scare to be experienced at Britain’s number one tourist attraction… if you know where to look.
Situated within the park is a derelict mansion, the Towers from which the theme park gets its name. The house was once the home of the Talbot family, the Earls of Salisbury, from the mid-15th Century through to the 1920s, and was originally known as Alveton Lodge. The name has been changed throughout the centuries, eventually becoming Alton Towers.
In the 1920s, the building was sold to a group of businessmen, who opened the grounds to the public. The house remained empty for several years, apart from some cafes and toilets, but during World War II, it was opened as an officer training unit. After this, it fell into disrepair, before being stripped out entirely and left as a shell, which it remains today.
It is not just rollercoaster enthusiasts who flock to the park; the history and spooky atmosphere of the Towers makes it a very attractive prospect for ghost hunters. It has already been featured on the popular reality show Most Haunted. Often visited by ghost hunters because of its history, the Towers is home to several spirits, including the ghost of a woman in black, who is accompanied by the smell of perfume, and a male presence said to haunt the former music-room. Visitors and staff have also been pelted with stones.
Part of the Towers is now given over to a ride called Hex, which is based on a local legend. The story goes that, in 1821, the Earl was riding home and was approached by an old woman. She demanded a coin from him, but was refused. In return, she put a curse on the family, stating that for every branch of the old oak tree that fell, a member of the family would die. When a branch dropped off the tree, and a member of the Earl’s family did indeed die, the Earl ordered the oak tree to be chained up to prevent any further branches falling.
The tree can still be seen today, its chains still in place. It is claimed that, at night, a mysterious figure in black can be seen near the tree.
It is easy to see why Alton Towers is a prime location for ghost hunting and paranormal investigations. Curses, spirits and a spooky derelict house? What more could a ghost hunter wish for? Riding “Oblivion” might not seem so scary after that.