Steeped in history, Cambridge (and its 800 year old University) have seen its fair share on spooky goings on. This Halloween we delve into Cambridge’s dark past: plague pits and pet cemeteries, to ghostly ghouls and exorcism, we find out why Cambridge is a contender for England’s most haunted location.
Christ’s own spectre
Here at our very own Christ’s College it is said that if you linger by the Mulberry Tree, at midnight on a full moon you might be surprised by the ghoulish figure who distinctively wears a beaver hat.
Mr Christopher Round was involved in a love affair with a Lady Mary Clifford, unfortunately for Mr Round, so was a fellow Scholar, Philip Collier. One evening after the two gentleman had been heavily drinking Collier fell into the open-air swimming pool situated in the College grounds, instead of helping his colleague Mr Round ignored Collier’s cries for help and left him to drown.
It is now said that Mr Round takes regularly moon lit walks around the grounds, carrying the guilt of his actions.
Now lush green open space Midsummer Common has its own dark past. During the Black Death in the 14th century and the Great Plague 200 years later, pits were dug here to bury those dying of the disease. As ancient common land was an ideal location to lay to rest the decaying corpses outside the city walls.
Magdalene Pet Cemetery
It not only humans that have been buried in Cambridge in a small corner of the Fellows’ Garden at Magdalene College can be found the Victorian Pet cemetery said to be the remains of former Master’s furry friends.
Stone lions sit proudly at the Fitzwilliam Museum but it’s said that if you are ever passing by at midnight you might see the 2 Lion statues step down from the plinths and drink from nearby Hobson’s Conduit
The Peterhouse Exorcisms
Peterhouse has a history of multiple exorcisms, and remains wary of its haunted past. One of its ghosts made such a fuss that its exorcism was reported on the BBC News Website in December 1997, as six people were thought to have seen the apparition that year.
The ghost was identified as Mr Dawes, a former bursar of the college, who hanged himself after the controversial election of the new master Francis Barnes in the 18th century. College staff refused to enter the combination room where two butlers had reported to have seen the apparition gliding across the floor, disappearing over the point his body had been found.
The Eagle Pub
A few hundred years ago, a fire raged through the top floor of the Eagle Pub in Bene’t Street and a young child trapped, unable to open the window burnt to death. Ever since then a window has always been kept open on the top floor, on occasions that it has been closed it has said to have brought bad luck or has mysteriously opened itself.
On your next visit to Cambridge you can experience these tails for yourself on one of the various Ghost tours that take place around City. Over Halloween, special events take place including Halloween Punts where you can float down the chilly eeriness of the River Cam at night.