How to Find Haunted “Outsider” Sites

Often, ghost hunters start with a haunted location, and then try to figure out who haunts the site and why.

Some of the most intense, chilling, and memorable investigations start differently.

That’s one reason my research is different, and always has been. I find sites that others run from in terror.

If you’re ready to try something different, here are some of my best tips.

In a previous article, I talked about the importance of identifying your community’s  “outsider” history, first.

That’s key to finding haunted places that no one else has explored.

First, identify who the outsiders – groups and individuals – were. Then, research their lives and lifestyles.

One place to start: where they lived.

Where Did ‘Outsiders’ Live… and Die?

Outsiders often lived in tight-knit neighborhoods of their own. Often, their homes – if they could be called that – weren’t very nice. Many were shabby tenements, slums, and hovels.

Of course, some of those neighborhoods have changed radically since then.

For example, much of Beacon Hill (Boston, MA) is luxury housing. But, if you take a walking tour of the area, you’ll learn about several waves of immigrants and other outsiders who once lived there.

(I’d expect to find plenty of ghosts around Beacon Hill, but I doubt that many people will mention them. It could be bad for property values.)

Fiona Broome's advice

Sometimes, a local walking tours (like architectural tours, not necessarily ghost tours) will be your best resource. Tour guides often know about today’s buildings, but they also know what used to be on that land… and what happened there.

Also, gentrified neighborhoods are often pure gold for ghost hunters. To locate “gentrified” neighborhoods, ask your local historical society, or at the local library’s reference desk.

(Here are a couple of articles about recent gentrified areas: LA and the other top 10 most gentrified zip codes in the US and The 10 Most Gentrified Cities in the UK. Some of them might have the kind of history you’re looking for.)

Ask local historians about underground dwellings, such as the vaults in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Where did homeless people live during the Depression and other challenging financial times? Did they sleep rough, or did charities take them in, or what?

Those homes – even if they were temporary – may harbor residual energy, or even a few ghosts. Ask local residents if they’ve heard about haunted sites in the area.

Ghostly Workplaces

When we think of immigrants and brutal work conditions, most of us focus on factories. Without a doubt, the Industrial Revolution spawned tragedies that are the root of many of today’s hauntings.

Today, many of those empty factory buildings have been converted to loft apartments, condos, and offices. Without a doubt, some have credible ghost stories.

However, factories weren’t the only sites where terrible things happened. Even a casual study of local child labor practices can be chilling, and highlight places you might find lingering spirits.

(I’m not sure I’d want to research those sites. They could be profoundly sad.)

On a lighter note, take a fresh look at your community and study it for “ghost signs.” Sometimes they name the business that used to occupy that building. That’s a great starting point for your research.

Other “ghost signs” linger, advertising large, nearby businesses. Go to your public library or historical society and ask for “city directories.” (They’re like phone books, but from before phones were in every home and business.)

Find out where those large (but now defunct) businesses once operated.

Tip: While you’re browsing local city directories, look for addresses of funeral homes, too. The ones that served “outsiders” probably didn’t survive past the mid-20th century, and many of those sites are eerily haunted.

Research large-scale disasters – floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and so on – that happened nearby. Some may be well-known. Others may have been lost among bigger, more recent headlines.

Look for weird, out-of-the-blue disasters, such as the Boston Molasses Flood. I’ve often wondered about the lingering molasses odor some Bostonians describe, especially around the anniversary of the flood. Do remnants of the flood remain embedded in the streets, or is the odor paranormal?

Boston Molasses Flood | 100 Wonders | Atlas Obscura

In 1919 a wave of molasses traveling at 35mph destroyed an entire neighborhood – Subscribe for new videos every Wednesday http://bit.ly/1PcJ14b https://facebook.com/atlasobscura …

Evidence of similar disasters and freak accidents may have vanished long ago, but ghosts, EVP, and residual energy can linger.

Also, don’t overlook past brothels, “red light districts,” opium dens, gambling houses, and other sites where people broke the law. A person desperate enough to frequent those places, might also be desperate enough to kill… and that increases the likelihood of ghosts.

I’m reminded of a ghostly area of Ogden, Utah, where brothels once lined the street, and – even today – people describe the sound of coins being tossed from upstairs windows, as prostitutes used them to attract customers’ attention.

By day, that area is ho-hum.

After dark, I’m sure something haunts it.

Haunted Gaols, Prisons, Hospitals, and More

Of course, in some cities and towns, your search might be simple.

Study old maps to find out where the jails (gaols) and prisons were, and where they buried their dead. Look for early workhouse and hospital sites, too.

The buildings may be gone, but the ghosts can remain.

Their graves may be unmarked, but the bodies are still there. In fact, some “outsider” cemeteries are hiding in plain sight. Walk around clearly identified cemeteries. See if a lesser-known cemetery is in the weeds behind it, or off to one side. I’ve found several that way, from Massachusetts to Florida to California. Some are among my favorite haunts.

Wherever you find evidence of “outsiders,” you’re likely to find ghosts – or at least residual energy hauntings – as well.

Reverse-Search to Find Outsider Sites

Book - Ghost Hunting in Haunted Cemeteries
Free to read in Kindle Unlimited.

Sometimes, the fastest way to discover haunted, “outsider” sites is to look for what’s odd. And then explore that site’s history.

For example:

  • Any cemetery that – when it started – was in the middle of nowhere. (Gilson Road Cemetery comes to mind.) Why did they want those graves so far from the community?
  • Pay attention to the perfectly good building site that’s empty, or the prime real estate location that’s a parking lot. (I’m thinking of a parking lot in downtown Austin, Texas. I spent weeks conducting library research to discover its story: the city’s own “Jack the Ripper” had killed a woman there.)
  • Or, learn more about the apartment building or neighborhood that seems fine, but nobody wants to live there… so it’s abandoned. (I’m reminded of a lovely flat we lived in for a couple of years, and then discovered our building was on a powerful ley line of haunted sites. Today, it’s deserted, despite being in an ideal suburban location in a low-crime area.)

Almost any time you look at a site that seems truly out of place, research its history. Chances are, there’s a reason it stands out as “odd.”

That reason is likely to be a connection with a dark (and perhaps hidden) past.

That past can give you useful information for triggering ghost responses. And, exploring related history, you may uncover additional haunts connected with those same outsiders.

Some of the Creepiest Places…

From my research, some of the creepiest, haunted places are the ones no one has investigated yet.

That’s where the raw, ghostly energy is. In those overlooked places, distraught spirits may be frantic to tell their stories and find closure.

Of course, you’ll find memorable ghosts of famous people in elegant homes and well-manicured cemeteries. And, those may be the most reliable sites to research… but not always the most exciting.

Be mindful of personal safety. Don’t linger in bad or dangerous areas, even during the day. If your “gut feeling” tells you to leave any site, do so immediately. No ghost encounter is worth risking your own life.

However, in many communities, the “bad neighborhoods” of the past are among the most upscale areas now. And, if you check history and then ask the right questions, you might discover a terrifyingly haunted site, right in front of you.

Eden Camp Ghosts – Where the Ghosts Make It Personal

Eden Camp - Where the Ghosts Make it PersonalEden Camp (in Malton, England) may be one of the eeriest sites I’ve seen on “Most Haunted.”

It’s certainly one of the best locations for ghost hunting.

If you saw the two-part Most Haunted episode in January 2019, you might wonder why I’m so enthusiastic about Eden Camp’s ghosts.

There are two reasons I can recommend Eden Camp:

First, it’s an ideal site for new and easily startled ghost hunters. Most of the phenomena are “lite.” And, weird things happen more frequently than at many haunted sites.

Second, if you’re an experienced, professional ghost hunter, the personal nature of the hauntings… that’s chilling.

Lots of Ghostly Activity

In my review of the first half of Most Haunted’s Eden Camp Museum investigation, I mentioned the almost steady, low-level phenomena at the site.

Investigators heard clatters, thuds, footsteps, and other unexplained noises. In some locations, like the bungalow (the pre-fab house), Eden Camp’s ghost/s seemed to respond rapidly to what Karl or Stuart said.

But even when the ghosts weren’t reacting to questions or commands, the unpredictable – and usually random – noises continued.

Aside from the bicycle (in the bungalow) falling over multiple times, what happened wasn’t physical. No one seemed at risk.

That regular – but apparently minor – activity is ideal for new paranormal investigators. You’re likely to witness at least one or two “weird” things. You’ll know you’ve had a genuinely odd, ghostly experience. You’ll go home with a smile.

More experienced investigators won’t take Eden Camp so lightly.

Eden Camp’s Ghosts from a Professional View

In my previous review, I mentioned two impressive aspects of Most Haunted’s investigation.

Of course, it’s always a relief when a site has a steady patter of activity. At most locations, ghost hunters sit and stand for hours, waiting for something to happen.

It’s not that the ghosts were entirely obliging at Eden Camp. Yvette gave them many opportunities to manifest – as noises, poltergeists, and so on. But, they seemed less interested in startling her.

However, in the first half of the investigation – Part 1 – I noted two unusual things.

First, when the team were working in pairs of two, unearthly footsteps seemed to come from two distinct areas in one hut.

Mary Beattie impressed me when she quickly realized something was trying to separate – and isolate – team members from one another.  As a professional investigator, that kind of activity is a big red flag. It’s one step away (no pun intended) from being malicious activity.

And, in most cases, it seemed like a deeply personal effort by Eden Camp’s ghost/s.

Then, something about Stuart’s demeanor troubled me. He seemed to internalize what was happening in the bungalow.

In other words, Mary could detach herself, mentally, from what was going on. She saw the “method in the madness” of the moment.

By contrast, Stuart Torevell seemed deeply affected by the ghosts.

If one of my team member’s demeanor was like his, I’d be very concerned. I might even suggest someone stay close to him, in case that investigator needed to leave the area for his own safety.

But Stuart isn’t a ghost hunting novice.  Since 2002, he’s been part of the Most Haunted crew and team. He’s been at the center of some very troubling paranormal activity.

When you see Stuart seem troubled by what’s going on at a haunted site – even if the activity seems minor – pay close attention. That “red flag” may be subtle, but it’s significant. It’s a location that’s more haunted than most.

Remember: Those of us who’ve been investigating haunts for years… well, we get a little jaded. (That may be an understatement.)

  • A plate flies across the room and we yawn, “Yes, it’s another poltergeist.”
  • A team member feels a tap on his shoulder and we sigh, “Okay, it’s another attention-seeking ghost.”
  • Listening to EVP right after we recorded it, if the ghost mumbles, we’ll say, “Aww, c’mon, speak clearly.”

And so on. We’re not as startled or impressed as we once were.

So, when a pro reacts – especially in a dramatic or uncharacteristic way – that’s an anomaly in itself.

At Eden Camp, It’s Not Just Residual Energy

Ghosts of Eden Camp - it's not just residual energy.When I researched Eden Camp’s history, I found many reasons the site could have simple, residual energy hauntings.

It was a POW camp. People were there against their will, and some prisoners were Nazi officers whose political views were both extreme and aggressive. That could explain lingering energy.

In later research, I uncovered Malton’s surprising importance as a Roman fort – and perhaps a hub of Roman occupation – for four centuries.

That’s why, when I started watching Most Haunted’s first episode about Eden Camp – broadcast “as live” – I thought, “Okay, Eden Camp has more than the usual amount of residual energy.”

Soon, I realized something intelligent was behind what’s going on at Eden Camp.

It wasn’t just what Mary said or how Stuart reacted… it was more. It was the consistency of the activity, and who seemed targeted by it.

That seemed… odd.

The clever subtlety of Eden Camp’s paranormal activity impressed me. And its variety.

From my experience, a lot of hauntings are “one-trick ponies.” There may be noises. There might be some poltergeist activity. Or, a “shadow person” might make a fleeting appearance. Or, an investigator might notice an odd odor, usually pipe tobacco or perfume. And so on.

But, when investigators talk in terms of three or four types of anomalies, either the site is profoundly haunted, or some “anomalies” aren’t extraordinary. Either they’re imagined, exaggerated, or – in rare cases – rigged.

In this case, I think Eden Camp is haunted… really, really haunted.

And, Most Haunted’s Eden Camp episodes were among the most authentic ghost hunting broadcasts I’ve seen.

Chicken or the Egg?

Eden Camp Ghosts - which came first, the chicken or the egg?The intensity of the team’s encounters were why I started looking into other weird things in Malton’s history.

I found plenty. The question is, are there layers of turbulent history – or extraordinary energy – beneath what I found?

Or, was there some interesting energy around Malton from earliest times, and more recent events just added to its paranormal activity?

Each piece of weird history added to my general impression of Eden Camp and the Malton area… and its ghosts.

So, by the time I saw Part 2 of Most Haunted’s Eden Camp broadcast,  I had a good idea of what I’d see on the show.

I was not disappointed.

Yes, It’s Personal

There may be residual energy hauntings at Eden Camp. Some noises could be explained that way.

In fact, the team went out of their way to debunk most of the phenomena.

Eden Camp ghosts - personal and scaryIn the first episode, the cat might have been responsible for some noises.

Maybe the bicycle wasn’t solidly propped against the wall, each time it fell.

And maybe there was a technical glitch so the smoke machine kept running, intermittently.

Rapping noises on the ceiling (or roof) and in the walls… sure, maybe they were squirrels or mice.

The swinging doors might have been an odd gust of wind. But then another… and another? Each time that happened, “normal” explanations seemed less likely.

When you put all of these seemingly low-level anomalies together, the picture changes.

The fact is, almost all ghostly phenomena can be explained by a dedicated skeptic.

But… ghost hunters (like me) raise an eyebrow when many odd, “explainable” things happen, one after another.

It’s not the cause/explanation that holds our attention; it’s that these things happen at an anomalous pace, and all at one site.

Also at Eden Camp, some expected things didn’t happen.

Each of those was an anomaly, as well.

For example, at Eden Camp, relatively little seemed to happen around Yvette.

That’s odd. Usually, she’s the one most targeted by ghosts.

(She also recovers quickly when she’s startled. And then she gets straight to the point, challenging ghosts to make themselves – and their interests – known. Is it possible that Eden Camp’s ghosts were intimidated by Yvette?)

Summary: Yes, Eden Camp is Haunted

Adding all of this up, I think Eden Camp isn’t just haunted: It’s intelligently haunted.

The ghost (or ghosts) know exactly what they’re doing, and tailoring each person’s experience to the individual.

Creating anomalies that could be explained/debunked… that’s a great way for ghosts to get you to drop your guard.

And that’s why the two-part Most Haunted investigation of Eden Camp was so compelling: Whether it’s a single entity or multiple ghosts, and whether some activity was poltergeist or residual energy, each investigator had a unique, unsettling experience.

That’s why I can recommend Eden Camp Museum for ghost hunting, even though I haven’t been there yet.

My only warning is: Always remain close to at least one other team member. Even if you’re in the same hut, don’t wander into separate hallways or rooms, individually.

Something intelligent haunts Eden Camp. I don’t know what its motives are.

It’s subtle. It’s clever.

Why to Investigate Eden Camp’s Ghosts

Eden Camp is an ideal site for casual ghost hunters to encounter a “good scare.” I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful visit and vigil.

But, even better, Most Haunted’s investigation barely scratched the surface of what I think Eden Camp’s ghosts can deliver.

So, professional ghost hunters – who know it’s often “the quiet ones” you have to watch out for – may find Eden Camp especially intriguing.

You can go to Eden Camp Museum on your own, but I recommend visiting with Most Haunted’s experts. (And no, they didn’t ask me to say that. I’d go to their events, if I were anywhere near Eden Camp.)

humorous ghost divider

Congratulations to Most Haunted for an excellent investigation, and to the show’s producers for presenting it authentically. From my sofa, I was applauding.

And thank you to the owners of Eden Camp Museum for allowing the show to film an extensive investigation there.  For ghost hunters, Eden Camp is a superb resource.

 

 

Ghosts of Malton, England

Eden Camp is just one of many haunts you can investigate around Malton, England.

The following are some ghost stories and haunted places in Malton, England.

Ghosts of Malton, England

Ghosts of Malton, England - stories and history
Photo © Colin Grice (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The A64’s ghost story is from the late 18th century or early 19th century, when a woman – traveling along the old Roman road – may have been murdered by a highwayman. Today, she is seen on foggy or misty nights, traveling towards Malton. She wears a simple, traditional gown – not torn or bloody, just normal-looking for that era – and she’s

carrying a child.

The ghostly woman glances towards passing cars, but doesn’t seem to see them. She just keeps walking. But the odd thing is, despite her apparently rapid pace, she’s not making much progress. It’s as if she’s suspended just slightly over the ground, and walking towards the town.

The Talbot Hotel in Malton may have a ghost in its cloisters area. At the very least, several people have reported cold spots. (Later in this article, you’ll read why this hotel might have some wonderful residual energy. Expect ghosts from the 18th century through the Regency.)

At or near the Talbot (especially at York House), two more ghosts have been reported more frequently.  Neither sound sinister, just watchful or even nurturing. (They may be Green Ladies, best known in in Scotland, but North Yorkshire may have them, as well.)

Blue Ball Inn at Malton may have a ghost who – according to reports – appears to be a cook. I’m not sure why people associate him with the kitchen. (But, per Chris at the Inn, there’s no known ghostly cook.)

Some have associated the Blue Ball Inn’s ghost with Friar Tuck of Robin Hood fame.

Before you laugh at that idea, Friar Tuck is one of the few Robin Hood characters with a real history… if not quite in the right era. (Not unless his ghost led a band of robbers.)

The following is from a website called The Search for a Real Robin Hood.

“Twice in 1417, royal writs demand the arrest of an outlaw who led a band which robbed, murdered and committed other acts of general mayhem. One report says he “assumed the name of Frere Tuk newly so called in the common parlance.”

The Blue Ball Inn is a great location, in comfortable walking distance of several other haunts.

Nearby, visitors to The Spotted Cow at Malton’s Cattle Market area (near the corner of Middlecave Road and The Mount), have reported ghostly footsteps and some poltergeist activity.

However, those reports are infrequent, so I’m not sure it’s a reliably haunted site.  (I’d go there because the pub has great reviews.)

The Derwent River may have a mischievous ghost.  According to one story from the 1980s, a fisherman was pushed and engaged in a fight with his apparent attacker. However, when the fisherman turned to face his assailant, no one was there… it was a ghost.

(The most credible part of this is the continued connection I’ve seen between poltergeist activity – which includes ghosts that push people – and water.)

If you investigate at the Derwent River, be careful. Frankly, it’s safer to research in the middle of Malton. You’ll have plenty of friendlier haunts to explore there, anyway.

Ghosts Near Malton

Nunnington Hall is the home of several ghosts, including the Lady of Nunnington. (Like the ghostly woman at York House, I wonder if the Lady of Nunnington is a “green lady.”)

Pickering Castle may be the site of a ghostly, robed monk. He wanders with his face concealed and his hands outstretched.

That sounds like an opportunity for pranks, so – if you think you see the ghostly monk – be careful. He might be someone very much alive, and intent on scaring people.  Do not approach him. (I’ve always said that ghost hunters have more to fear from the living than the dead.)

But, if you encounter the ghostly monk, start recording EVP immediately. From my experience, monks were either very chatty in real life, or they kept vows of silence. In both cases, their ghosts are likely to talk, and talk, and talk…

Then there’s the odd dragon on the Malton Road. I didn’t take this seriously until I saw the number of reports of this “mythical” beast.

Dragons are reported along the B1257 (Malton Road, to Hovingham). The Paranormal Database describes it as a ghost of a great lizard, killed by a local man and his dog. (All died of their injuries in the fight.)

However, this story closely matches the story of The Dragon of Loschy Hill, set just a few miles north of dragon sightings along the B1257. The Loschy Hill story has a Nunnington connection, as well… the site of many more hauntings.

So, is the ghostly dragon near Malton an urban legend based on the Loschy Hill story, or does this area still have dragons… or at least their ghosts? Given the volume of reports, cryptozoologists and dragon enthusiasts may want to explore the Malton Road.

Also in the cryptozoology category, Alien Big Cats (ABCs) appear in the Malton area, but – so far – no Black Shucks.

If you’re looking for ABCs… well, they’ve been seen in several locations around Malton. (I even wondered if ABCs might explain some of the odd activity filmed during Most Haunted’s visit to Eden Camp.)

If I were in the Malton area, I’d also investigate Wharram Percy,  and possibly “cursed” Howsham Hall and nearby Kirkham Priory. (The Hall was for sale in 2009, and I’m not sure anyone has been willing to buy it since then.)

Why is Malton So Haunted?

The endearing, eccentric history of Malton,England.
Photo © Paul Buckingham (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Malton is unique for many reasons, including some unusual historical events. Also, Malton has been the home of endearing characters… most likely to return as ghosts.

Other aspects of Malton’s history may explain why the town is so haunted… besides it being in Yorkshire (widely respected for its ghosts) and near Scotland (ditto).

As I continued my Eden Camp ghosts research – looking at the location and its Roman history – I stumbled onto some delightful history.

The Colorful, Independent-Minded Wentworths

The quirky history may start with Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford (1593 – 1641). He served in Parliament and supported King Charles I,  but when Strafford had to choose sides, he aligned with the king and turned firmly against Parliament.

Parliament was not amused. Strafford had to pay the price.

Under some duress from Parliament, Charles I signed Strafford’s death warrant. (After all, the King was still trying to save his own neck.)

So, Strafford – not guilty of any crime – was executed. (Eight years later, when King Charles I was beheaded, his last words were that God was punishing him for allowing Strafford’s death.)

But that’s just the beginning…

Politics and Family Rivalries

Where the family tree gets interesting is when the revived Earl of Strafford title went to Thomas Wentworth (1672-1739), the 2nd Earl, who was impeached for his involvement of the Congress of Utrecht, and was a leading conspirator in the Atterbury Plot of 1720-1722 to restore the Stuarts to the throne. 

Meanwhile, though Thomas Wentworth inherited the Strafford title, the Strafford fortune and the Jacobean house, Wentworth Woodhouse, was left to Thomas Watson (1665 – 1723).

Of course, that sparked a significant rivalry among the relatives.

Note: I’m still sorting the Wentworth family tree, with its multiple William Wentworths, Thomas Watson-Wentworths, and so on. (I apologize for any genealogical errors.)

In receipt of the fortune and the house, Thomas Watson changed his name to Thomas Watson-Wentworth, and – with part of his inherited fortune – bought the Borough of Malton in 1713. When he died, he was buried in York Minster, and memorialized by a lovely monument there.

The Malton Estate website notes that, “From the outset the family invested heavily in Malton as they do to this day.”

Twelve generations later, much of Malton is still owned by descendants of Thomas Watson-Wentworth (the elder). That’s helped Malton retain its unique identity as a community.

By contrast, as the York Press suggests, “Most town centres are now owned by institutions like insurance companies and pension funds, investors from overseas and collective investment schemes.”

That authenticity may contribute to the vivid residual energy and hauntings in the area.

But, Malton has even better reasons to be haunted. One includes an odd little mystery.

Thomas Watson-Wentworth (the younger) and the Gascoigne Papers

Especially in the early 18th century, Malton records are rife with the kinds of events that can spark later hauntings.

The first one that caught my attention was an act of wanton destruction… for no apparent reason.

In 1723, Thomas Watson-Wentworth’s son – also called Thomas Watson-Wentworth (1693-1750) – succeeded as 1st Marquess of Rockingham.

Then, in 1728, he inherited as Baron Malton.

… That’s when – on the advice of his attorney – Thomas Watson-Wentworth (the younger) deliberately burned most of the genealogical records left by his ancestor, Richard Gascoigne.  

What was the secret? I’m trying to understand why those records seemed so dangerous.

So, I tried to reconstruct them.

At least some of those records  were copied by a relative before Watson-Wentworth burned them. They appear in the book, The History of Barwick-in-Elmet (pages 129-132). Additional references are in the History of Barnbow.

Yes, I see that Sir Thomas Gascoigne was accused of conspiracy to murder King Charles II, but he was acquitted.

Also, in 1567, there may have been issues when the Gawthorpe and Harewood estates were passed to the Wentworth family, by marriage. That wasn’t a secret, either.

So, I’m baffled. I don’t see anything to suggest why it was imperative to destroy historical records. (If anyone can explain this, I’m very interested.)

Even More Likely Haunts in Malton

Then there’s Hoober Stand, a folly built by Thomas Watson-Wentworth (the younger), to celebrate the English victory at Culloden.

In light of his cousin’s role in trying to restore the Stuarts to the throne, that probably sparked more controversy within the family.

I’m fairly certain ghost hunters will find EVP around Hoober Stand.

Also, I’m intrigued that, in 1739, Watson-Wentworth acquired the building we now know as the Talbot Hotel. He then turned it into a hotel for people attending the races in Malton.

That sounds like a jolly idea. Though the record-burning is odd, the more I learn about Thomas Watson-Wentworth (the younger), the more I like him.

So, I’m sure there were boisterous parties in Watson-Wentworth’s era, and they could have left residual energy that lingers to this day… including at the Talbot Hotel.

In 1746, Thomas Watson-Wentworth inherited Rockingham Castle (famous for its ghosts), and – sadly – in 1750, he died, “drowned in claret.”

But, Malton’s ghostly history continued.

Ghosts in Malton - Connections with William the Conqueror, Robert the Bruce, and More

Malton Castle and Two Piles of Rocks

Malton Castle had its own astonishing history.

Around the site now known as Castle Gardens, the Romans built a fort – and rebuilt it, repeatedly – starting around 71 AD. It survived until the 1800s. (Its location is in the green rectangle, in the overlayed map, below.)

1926 map of Malton, England - Roman camp

The blue oval on the map shows where Malton Castle was built, possibly in the early 12th century.

When William the Conqueror was King, the Lordship of Malton – and the castle site – was granted to Gilbert de Tyson. Then Henry I owned it, and then Eustace FitzJohn, who gave Malton Castle to David, King of Scotland.

In 1138, in connection with the Battle of the Standard, Archbishop Thurstan of York attacked Malton, burning the town and capturing the castle.

Then, in 1322, Robert the Bruce occupied the castle. (Ghosts are reported at almost every major site connected with Robert the Bruce. Drum Castle is among the more famous, but there are many more… and I’d bet Malton Castle site is among them.)

After Robert the Bruce’s occupation, the castle fell into ruins for two hundred years.

Then, in 1569, Ralph, Lord Eure, built a house on the site.

After that, the Eure family rebuilt the house (I’m not sure how many times), until two sisters – Mary and Margaret Eure – inherited the house, together.

That did not set well with either sister, and an icy cold feud began. Finally – to settle the dispute – in 1674, Henry Marwood, High Sheriff of York, demolished the mansion.

He piled the stones into two equal heaps, one for each sister.

The nearby Lodge and gateways are still original to the Malton Castle estate, but they probably used the stones in many of today’s Malton buildings.

(In other English towns – such as Glastonbury – hauntings have been connected with the re-use of stones from emotionally charged sites.)

And so, Malton has Ghosts

This turbulent history – from family secrets to feuds and fires, and from Roman forts to Eden Camp – makes Malton, England a prime resource for ghost hunters.

As a paranormal researcher, two questions really stood out as I studied Malton’s history.

  1. Why did Watson-Wentworth burn his family records?
  2. Why were forts, castles, and houses built and rebuilt, repeatedly? (I know the Yorkshire winters can be harsh. Fires happen. And time takes its toll on all buildings. But… the frequent rebuilding in Malton suggests something else.)

From haunted hotels to ghostly pubs to Eden Camp Museum, investigated by Most Haunted in January 2019, you’ll find plenty to explore – and ghosts to encounter – in Malton, England.

Visit Malton

For an overview of Malton, this YouTube video is brief and shows various parts of town.

That one-minute video tour of Malton is at https://youtu.be/WFrBmEleeZg

How to Get to Malton

Malton is bypassed by the A64, which runs from Leeds and York to Scarborough, with a junction at the A169 to Pickering and Whitby.

Malton’s bus service is run by Coastliner.

Malton railway station is Grade II Listed, and it’s on the TransPennine Express route.  Fast trains run every hour from Scarborough to York, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. Current fastest train time from Malton to London Kings Cross (with one change at York) is approximately 2 hours 33 minutes.