The Ghost in the Ladies' Loo, Alton Towers
The following story is reproduced from the book Supernatural England.
The strange story of a ghost at Alton Towers, who seems to disapprove of its modern-day theme park status
Margaret Buckle, known affectionately to everyone on the estate as Mrs B, had worked at Alton Towers for over 12 years before she saw the ghost in 1978.
For four or five weeks she had thought that someone was playing tricks on her as she worked in the toilet building. She would be cleaning the wash basins when she would hear the outside door bang, then one of the toilet cubicle doors would close. Each time, Mrs B would call out 'good morning' but would receive no reply. She decided that one of her colleagues was playing a joke on her, and she was determined to catch them at it.
The next time it happened, as she shouted 'good morning', she whirled round to confront her tormenter. However, as usual there was no one there. Margaret carried on with her cleaning but suddenly she felt extremely cold, even though it was a warm day. She turned again and there before her she saw a figure wearing a black cloak, a floppy, big-brimmed black hat, and pointed toe boots with small black buttons up the side. In her own words, Mrs B 'took one look then ran like mad', nearly knocking over her boss, Mr Noaks.
When she had recovered enough to be able to talk, Margaret told him what she'd seen, and was told not to worry as the ghost wouldn't hurt her. When she saw the ghost again, six weeks later, she shouted at it, ‘Keep away from me. I'm not responsible for turning Alton Towers into what it is today! The events occurred shortly after the stately home had begun to be developed into a leisure theme park with white-knuckle rides, pirate ships and fast-food restaurants. Mrs B believes that the cloaked figure might be a ghost from the past who does not approve of the changes.
Although Mrs B couldn't tell whether her ghostly visitor was male or female, she had a feeling that it was a lady. Other staff have since seen her in the gift shop and near the Swiss Cottage in the gardens, and the ghost is often blamed for moving objects around. Visitors to Alton Towers have seen her by the moat, and some have even felt an invisible hand trying to push them off the low wall that borders the moat.
One theory is that she is the ghost of a young woman of high birth who was planning to run away with a young man of whom her family did not approve. The planned elopement was discovered and her father seized the young couple as they were about to ride off on horseback. He locked the girl in a tower, but she tried to escape by climbing through the tiny window. Tragically, she fell and was drowned in the moat. Most of the staff believe that she is the lady who appears dressed in her 19th century riding clothes, just as she was on the night of her failed elopement.
This story is reproduced from the book, Supernatural England, by Countryside Books, which contains dozens of spooky tales featuring ghosts, poltergeists and hauntings from across the country. To find out more, click here
- Alex Batho