Lee Roberts’ guest column: Newstead Abbey is rich with ghost stories

After years of trying and being knocked back I am honoured and privileged to be able to work and hold events at Newstead Abbey.

It’s taken a long time to win them over, but in December 2011 I hosted the first Psychic and Paranormal Evening at the Abbey, which was the start of many events between them and the company I own, Haunted Events UK.

My passion for wanting to hold such events at Newstead Abbey began many years ago, 30 to be exact when I was around six years old and on a School trip to the Abbey.

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We were led into the old deserted room next to Byron’s bedroom and the guide began to tell us the story of the white lady, one of many spirits that are supposed to roam the rooms and gardens of Newstead Abbey.

From that day onwards I was hooked on the Paranormal and began looking for more ghost stories.

Over the years I have investigated many locations including other local places such as Sherwood Forest, Nottingham Castle and Wollaton Hall, looked and hundreds of pictures and video clips of the unexplained, but the location I always wanted was Newstead. The history, the stories, the grounds and the fact it is right on my doorstep.

Although I am a Paranormal Investigator and run these events, it doesn’t mean I actually believe in all the stories. In a job like mine it is healthy to have an open mind and look at both sides of the spectrum.

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The first question you should ask is ‘If a ghost isn’t causing this then what else can it be?’ if you can’t get an answer then you can look at it more seriously.

The Abbey is rich in ghost stories, not only the white lady, but the monks, the pets including Byron’s dog Boatswain, Lord Byron himself and other strange figures that have been seen roaming the gardens.

There have been hundreds of sightings from the Abbey staff, visitors and gardeners and this isn’t sightings from years gone by. I get workers at the Abbey to this day coming up to me telling me about the experiences they have had while looking up that day, or a guest that may have reported a strange occurrence in the gardens or in one of the rooms while on a tour.

Our events are designed to let you have a go at ghost hunting, use the equipment and have a go at the experiments that let you try and gather evidence as to whether there is life after death.

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What we don’t do is go in search of a particular spirit or focus our investigations around a known fact or individual that is said to haunt the Abbey.

That isn’t to say we haven’t unearthed some strange occurrences along the way. The beauty about the events is you never know what might happen and at Newstead Abbey if there is anything out there we should have a better chance of getting that evidence.

So, next time you are at the Abbey, pay close attention to what is around, who is watching, are you really alone?

Whether you are in the gardens, under the waterfall, around the lake or in the Abbey itself you are never far from a ghostly tale.