"Where trumpets rang and men marched by, none passes but the dragonfly" - Mary Webb

Haunted Shropshire

Down the ages, the county's many bizarre characters have produced an abundance of myths and legends. There are well over five hundred haunted sites in Shropshire and of those which have been passed down through the ages by word of mouth, surviving centuries in the telling and forming a large and fascinating part of the county's heritage.
dun cow pub

The Dun Cow

Close by Shrewsbury's 11th century Benedictine Abbey is the Dun Cow Inn, apparently still a convenient haunt for thirsty clerics, though they be long dead. In 1980, Mrs Hayes, wife of the then landlord, woke suddenly one evening. In the room was a hooded figure. It wore a monk's habit, though dotted with bright colours - and was bent over her infant daughter's cot! Disturbed, the phantom father disappeared, but later visited the child, now aged two again. She woke screaming, frightened by the man in her room. Mr Hayes also saw the monk; guests have glimpsed shadowy figures disappearing through walls and at night... Soft! Are those footsteps in the cellar?

mad jack

Mad Mytton

Stay at the Mytton & Mermaid Hotel at Atcham on September 30th and spend a wild night with John "Mad Jack" Mytton, who gave his name to the hotel. Mad Jack inherited a fortune and devoted his life to daredevilry, risking it at least once a day and his liver more frequently, drinking up to six bottles of port. Eccentric, too. He is reputed to have kept 2,000 dogs and more than 60 finely-costumed cats. A long time ago, mind. The squire of Halston Hall between 1796 and 1834 died in a debtor's prison. His funeral procession stopped at the Mytton, then a coaching inn, on the way to Halston Chapel. And as can't deny a ghost's rights to visit his old haunts on his birthday. Can you?


The Blood-stained Hand

A man stands on the gallows, defiant, and declares: "Before Heaven I am innocent, though my master's son swears me guilty. And as I perish an innocent man, may those who follow my murdered lord be cursed". So it was the butler of Condover Hall met an unjust and pendulous end, condemned by the lies of the son of Knyvett, lord of the manor, who stabbed his father to death, then blamed a poor servant for the murder. As he stumbled, mortally wounded, down the basement stairs, Knyvett reached out his bloodied hand, leaving an imprint upon the wall which defied all attempts to wash it away. No matter how hard the work, it simply reappeared, until finally, the stone upon which it lay had to be chipped clean. A fine Elizabethan house is Condover Hall, built in around 1950 by Judge Owen. Finer no doubt for being rid of the bloodied hand, but blighted still. No heir to Condover has prospered since the hall was cursed by a butler through the noose of rope which was to hang him.

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