IF ever you’re passing the White Hart Hotel in the middle of Gainsborough and see a couple of women beckoning to you from a first floor window, you might want to take a closer look.
Word has it that these are ‘ladies of the night’ looking for business.
But there’s no modern-day scandal here, these are allegedly the ghosts of women who earnt their living from the oldest profession generations ago.
They are among several spirits which have been seen, heard, or ‘felt’ at the Lord Street hotel, which dates back to the early 1800s.
Spooky goings-on were much in evidence at an event with psychic medium Stuart Dawson.
White Hart manager Amanda Smith, who has worked there for 22 years, said: “We had glasses shattering, one of them was in a barmaid’s hand, and people’s mobile phones suddenly stopped working.”
“Over the years that I’ve worked here there have been lots of cases of people experiencing something strange. We had a lady in the restaurant saying she felt something round her throat, as though she was being strangled, which could be linked to the fact that somebody is supposed to have hanged themselves in one of the bedrooms.”
“In another of the bedrooms we had people saying they couldn’t breathe and we discovered there was a false wall. When this was removed there was a small room behind with an old typewriter in it and lots of cobwebs, but we don’t know why it was bricked up or what it was used for. Perhaps it was someone’s study.”
Stuart, 40, and his wife Rosey, 45, run the Doncaster-based company Simply Ghost Nights and will be holding a ghost hunting event at the White Hart on Friday 17th June.
Stuart said: “While I was doing psychic readings at the hotel I was aware of the sound of horses galloping through, which I couldn’t explain. It turns out the hotel used to be a coaching inn and there was a cobbled street in the middle of it where the coaches used to come in.”
“When Rosey and I were walking towards the hotel we saw a couple of figures in a first floor window which could have been the ladies of the night.”
During the ghost hunt they will take guests on a tour of the hotel’s haunted rooms, including one where a pipe-smoking misogynist called either George or Tom used to stay. He is also said to haunt the Gainsborough Standard office.
Amanda said: “This ghost is supposed to hate women and we’ve had women staying in that room who have asked to be moved. People have smelt pipe smoke in there too.”
When Stuart went into the room he picked up a vibe from a man who was a naval sailor, at least 50 and with a haggard face, but he was unable to confirm whether it was Tom.
Just inside the entrance of the hotel, covered by carpet, is a trap door leading down to tunnels which connect the White Hart to Gainsborough Old Hall and the River Trent.
Amanda said: “People used to be smuggled from the Trent along the tunnels to the hotel. It’s also said that the grey lady who haunts the Old Hall travels through them to haunt the White Hart as well.”
To book a place on the ghost hunt, which includes visits to two other locations, go to www.simplyghostnights.co.uk.
If you have ever experienced any ghostly happenings at the White Hart get in touch and let us know.