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Haunted Bath


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Ok Algie ~ fill your boots grin2.gif

'Nash built a fine house, now the Garrick's Head pub, which he paid for by having paying guests who came to Bath to gamble and drink the nights away.

One gentleman spent many such nights, leaving his pretty young wife to amuse herself at Nash's. Gambling one night, he heard a rumour about just how she was keeping herself 'entertained'. He rushed back only to find her 'otherwise engaged' with a young man in the parlour, (now the main bar in the Garrick's Head). The husband challenged the young buck to a duel, but the unfortunate lover did not have his sword to hand. He was run through and killed.

In her distress the unfaithful wife is said to have rushed to the roof and thrown herself to her death on the pavement below. And so starts the legend of the Grey Lady, also known as the Jasmine Lady. In February customers at the Garrick's head will often smell jasmine in the air. It is a precursor to a ghostly visitation.

She is always seen as shades of grey - colourless. She has poured a drink over an grumpy barmaid's head, she has been seen drifting through the wall where the door once was or just standing in the corner where the slot machine now stands, but it is next door at the Theatre Royal where she is most notorious.

The theatre now extends into part of what was Beau Nash's house and in the top box nearest the stage the Grey Lady is often seen standing and staring. The box is situated where her room would have been. More than one usher has been given a fright when they went to confront what they took to be a gatecrasher. Many others have also seen her, drifting through the seats in the stalls, passing through the wall at the back, but most famously appearing on stage beside the actress Dame Anna Neagle in front of a crowded auditorium. People fled the theatre in terror and Dame Anna refused to ever set foot in the theatre again. Yet the epicentre of the hauntings in Bath is the Gravel Walk that runs from below the Royal Crescent to Queens Parade. A swarthy man with coal black eyes is seen descending the stone steps at the city end before disappearing. In the garden of 8 Gay Street, a hazy blue figure flits back and forth, and inside the house. If the parlour doors are locked in the afternoon, the ghost of Mrs Piozzi can be heard pouring tea and giggling as she did when she entertained gentlemen behind similarly locked doors.

But it is the ghost of a young man that is most chilling. He walks across the Gravel Walk holding a sword, then descends some steps and crosses to where the duelling ground once was. He takes a defensive posture, and then disappears. This is a strange and scary place. So many young men met violent deaths here! It is said that if they find a 'living kindred spirit' they will attach themselves to you and become your guardian angel, and will save you from meeting any untimely end, as they themselves did.

There are many more ghosts in Bath, like the Man in the Black Hat who is seen walking in Bennett Street and through the Assembly Rooms. He has even been known to poke anyone who gets in his way with his cane! There is Bunty, the cook at the Beehive who is still seen lifting the lids off pans to check nothing is burning. Outside on Lansdown Hill a group of ghostly soldiers were originally thought to be from the English Civil War, but an investigator who saw them identified them as Roman Legionnaires. What is more they were only visible from the knees up as the original road would have been at a lower level!

There is the Copperplate Clerk who sits at his desk, carefully writing out legal documents decades after his death. Then there's Mrs Pop Joy, the last mistress of Beau Nash who terrified a lone diner at Pop Joy's restaurant by sitting next to him on the couch before turning into an old hag in front of his eyes, then disappearing.

People who have seen these spectres keep saying one thing: "It seemed as real as you or I". You may be a sceptic, or you may simply think you have not seen a ghost in Bath, but take a good look at the people around you - can you really be so sure?'

You can look for more stories and details of the Bath Ghost Walk on this addy:



Hammy x x x

*makes mental note to take Teddy to Bath*

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*makes mental note to take Teddy to Bath*

Won't he get all soggy?.....Ohh, right, `The town, not the bathtub.' rolleyes.gif

That's a great story about Dame Anna Neagle, Hams. I wonder how the unholy trinity of arch sceptics would explain that? Actually, I know. Mass hysteria, blah blah de-blah. tongue.gif

I wonder how many of the ghosts are there for the tourists? Having said that, Bath is so unchanged compared to other towns and cities, maybe the ghostly presences feel more at home.

That area with the duellists is fascinating. Why are no paranormal investigators staking that out?

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Here's a bizarre addition to the hauntings at the Theatre Royal.

A tortoiseshell butterfly is seen there during the pantomime run each year, even though it is not butterfly season. Something to look out for, for anyone who's planning to take the kiddies along.

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