Haunted Norfolk

Tales from the Underground Street

Super Spooky Norwich

I love a good local Ghost story, I love it, even more, when that ghost story is told in a historical context in a historical location.

Recently I had the privilege of being able to go on the Norwich City Shoebox tour, this guided tour takes you under CastleMeadow in the city centre to an underground street.

A street that while it certainly feels spooky is actually just historically interesting. How it came to be and why it was buried in the way that it was.

Like most things its to do with blood, murder and money.

It’s a cute underdog story involving the king restricting building in Norwich in all places save from a ditch that had been dug years and years ago by men held at spear point that had since been used to house the city’s waste. To force the people of Norwich to clear out this gross sewer he granted permission to build in it.

People cleared it, though it took 80+ years, and built houses and shop fronts. Though it never lost its reputation for being a bit grim and soon became a very poor area with a lot of crime. The rich bigwigs decided they’d build their own street thank you very much and they did, higher up, alongside Castle Ditch Street. They even put up a wall so they wouldn’t have to look at the ditch street.

Naturally, this upset the shop keepers who were now invisible to all reputable customers. So they banded together and went up to the second floor of their shops and homes and laid wooden beams across from their windows to the rich people street and ran their shops from up there. Over timeDitch Street with built over completely and walled off.

Not particularly spooky, but interesting.

There are a few local ghost stories attached to the area, though they are more to do with the Castle and Norwich as a whole than Ditch Street. I intend to share these over the coming letters.

Haunted Norfolk

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse

I did a spooky

Earlier this year one of my other close friends came to me with a proposition, to attend a local(ish) ghost hunt at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse.

Despite being a horror fanatic I’m also sceptical, especially when people want me to believe something and pay them for the privilege. But I pride myself on being as open-minded as I can be, and after the last eighteen months of barely leaving the house, I promised myself I’d take advantage of more opportunities.   

So long ramble short, I attended a ghost hunt last weekend.

It was a unique experience and not one that banished my scepticism. It was, however, good fun despite being bloody freezing (what do you expect wandering around a workhouse at 1am in November) but it was dry and still so bonus points.

We got to explore several areas of the workhouse, including the Laundry, the Cottage, a shop that wasn’t a shop (it looks like a shop now because of museums, but back in the day it was a casual worker dormitory), a boardroom and the chapel.

We also got half an hour to wander around independently and that was great, I got some cool pictures of a place I’d normally only see in daylight hours.

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