Well, with Halloween approaching fast, it seemed rude to not track down one of the UK’s oldest cities and see what delights lay within its ancient walls. For the past few years a small group of friends have hunted down some of the most haunted cities and proceeded to take in the spookiest sights on offer.
After all the fun of Edinburgh in ’10 and York in ’11, Oxford was the destination for this year’s spook-fest. So, last Saturday morning, three of us arrived in time for a hearty breakfast of Apple pie and custard before descending on the bustling streets of Oxford. The city of Oxford is beautiful at the best of times, with the stunning Oxford stone university buildings that sprawl across the city. Students roam around the campuses dressed in gowns and mortarboards and you take pleasure in the knowledge that the stunning buildings are still being used for the purpose they were created for.
We took in the sights as all good tourists should, before heading for a nearby graveyard. I found St Thomas’s church yard to be a peaceful place with an air of sadness to the northern quarter. I felt something and said to my friend that either a squirrel just pooed on me or I just got tapped on the shoulder. After inspecting my back, she concluded that it must have been a ghost. (I prefer to rule out any other scientific explanation as just too dull).
Over a pub lunch we made the decision to save the main part of the castle–or prison for the next day, we opted to just climb the motte and take a look at the well room. I was very disappointed that the room was inaccessible, but managed to take a few pictures of the well through the bars. Although my pictures seemed fine when I took them, when I tried to recall them on my camera, they were both just black.
Another trip to another pub ensued and whilst in deep conversation with my buddies, I saw a bright flicker of light on the wall, just like a fluorescent tube firing up but when I looked up, there was no light source there at all. My friend also ‘saw the light’, so to speak.
The evening was spent on Bill Spectre’s organised ghost tour. As great fun as it was, it was more about theatrics than ghost stories. Although both of my friends saw shadows in the window of a house we were standing by. Again, no scientific explanations are required, thank you!
Afterwards, I couldn’t really recall any good stories that were told. I did, however manage to snap a great ghostly picture. See what you think. I know who I think it looks like, but can you see the likeness?
Maybe a closer look (in the dark section).
On Sunday we visited the main part of the castle and thoroughly enjoyed the guided tour. There is a lot of history to that site and it is well worth a visit. My only disappointment was that the main part of the prison is now being used as a hotel, so is therefore inaccessible to the public.
All in all we had a great, if exhausting weekend. Now we need to figure out where to go next year.