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The Woooo Factor

Whether or not you believe in ghosts, there’ve been some pretty ghoulish goings on in some Best Western hotels. From the Giggling Girl on the tricycle spotted at the BEST WESTERN PREMIER Queen Hotel in Chester to the Grumpy Serving Girl at the BEST WESTERN Lion Hotel in Worksop there are some star spooks out there. In the first ever ‘Woooo! Factor, we’re bringing a selection of the most talented ghosts to the stage to perform for our discerning judges – you! So who will impress you (our panel) with their ghostly performances and get voted through to the next life?! Read on and cast your votes.

No. 1 Mad Maid

First to the stage we have the Mad Maid from Victorian times, a regular at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Dean Court Hotel in York. Not a bad place for a ghost – the city’s said to be one of the most haunted in the world.

Mediums who visited the hotel came across her in the basement kitchen and she told them she worked as a cleaner in a guesthouse called Vollans, which they later discovered used to be next door but had later become part of the hotel.

There have been a few ghostly goings on at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Dean Court (room 36 on the third floor sees most activity). Doors sometimes slam, things move around, some guests have reported feeling pressure pushing down on their beds at night and cold spots in rooms, even in summer.

No. 2 Giggling Girl

At the BEST WESTERN PREMIER Queen Hotel in Chester you may have come across this pesky little miss. On the second floor – thought to once have been a nursery – she’ll sometimes sneak up on women as they fill up the bath tub, pull their hair playfully, then pedal off on her tricycle, giggling all the way.

The first grand railway hotel to be built in the UK, opened in 1860, it’s said to be one of the most haunted hotels in the country. There’s rumoured to be a banker in the modern part of the hotel (the former HQ of Capital Bank) who makes strange arrangements on the floor with cereal bowls at night, and a host of other spooky characters have been seen or heard around, but it’s the Giggling Girl who’s performing tonight, hoping to win the Woooo! Factor crown. She’s our youngest contestant – does she have what it takes?

No. 3 Grumpy Serving Girl

At the BEST WESTERN Lion Hotel in Worksop you might come across Alice, a 20 year old serving girl, wearing a cloak who lived around 1800. Alice is a bit of a grumpy ghost – she doesn’t like change.

She was first spotted by builders working on the hotel (which dates back from before 1600) and stays in the old part of the building, appearing mainly to female staff and guests. She can be heard walking the floorboards (room 201 is her favourite haunt).

She’s been known to knock things off the bedside cabinet and one male guest said she’d folded his clothes! She moves things around in the kitchen too. The manager, Tina, couldn’t lock her sliding office door until someone told her she should ask Alice’s permission – she did and it locked…

No. 4 Tax Inspector

Onto the stage now we have the Tax Inspector, all the way from BEST WESTERN the Vine Hotel in Skegness. The oldest building in town, the hotel has a fascinating history and was once used by smugglers attempting to keep their bounty hidden.

When work was done to the hotel, a skeleton was found bricked up in one of the walls, with rings and buttons identifying him as a Customs and Excise officer, who possibly came a cropper at the hands of a smuggling gang.

There are often ghostly goings on – particularly in rooms 23 and 8, with things moved around and the radio coming on when nobody’s there. One woman felt as if someone was trying to take her rings off in the night, and there have been photos of smoke-like wisps and strange lights that seem to suggest some spirit action.

No. 5 Lovelorn Teenager

Atmospheric BEST WESTERN Walworth Castle Hotel near Darlington is the perfect place for a ghost and it’s here that the lovelorn teenager resides. The tragic story goes that the daughter of the Lord of the castle fell in love with the stable boy. Forbidden to see each other, they tried to keep the romance hidden, but were discovered and punished…

In the southwest tower, which dates from Norman times, there’s said to be a spiral staircase within the thick walls where the lovesick girl lives. She appears on the hotels first floor, walking along what was once the corridor to the honeymoon suite, and has been spotted sitting in an armchair.

Guests have woken to teacups rattling, some have felt a weight on the bed and chambermaids have had their hair pulled.

No. 6 Wayward Bride

Next up we have a blushing bride, sometimes spied floating around the BEST WESTERN Rose and Crown in Colchester. First seen in the 1950’s by a night porter going up the stairs in reception, she wears a white lace wedding dress, with a red flower on one side, and a gleaming white pearl necklace and earrings. The four-poster honeymoon suite (room 204) has been bolted from the inside when no one’s there and guests occasionally sense a presence.

Her identity is unknown, but it’s rumoured she was the unfaithful bride of a local farmer. The hotel’s history adds to the intrigue, it once housed prisoners and has a tunnel leading to Colchester Castle for spooks to roam.

So now you’ve heard all the performances it’s time to cast your vote in the comments below to decide on our ultimate Woooo! Factor champion!

By Mark Jones, Do Not Disturb (In-hotel Magazine)


  1. Pingback: Ghoulish goings on in the hotel » Blog Best Western Swiss Hotels

  2. Vine Skegness – spooky skeleton – eek

  3. I don’t know about any haunted hotels in Cambridge, but there are plenty of other spooky goings on – for example there’s Mr Round, who haunts Christ’s College, who is said to have killed the only doctor will the skills to save his sick girlfriend.

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