Ian Weightman

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Welcome to Derby's dark side

A trip to Derby could haunt you for a lifetime - if you dare to take one of the spookiest short-breaks in living memory.

Home of the former presenter of TV's Most Haunted, Richard Felix, Derby where visitors today can follow in the footsteps of some chilling episodes of a city famous for being the scene of England's final hanging, drawing and quartering, and the venue for the very last pressing to death in this country.

And it's especially frightening to think that, from just £20.13 per person per night, it's possible to decide for yourself whether Derby really does have more “ghoulies, ghosties, long-leggety beasties, and things that go bump in the night”, than any other city in England!

All of the ingredients for a truly hair-raising visit are available on a stay here.  Take, for example, the chance to join one of Felix's renowned guided ghost walks - featuring a spine-tingling visit to the tunnels and catacombs beneath the Guildhall, which linked the Lock-Up to the Assize Courts and were, at one time, populated by a procession of miserable souls who had just been sentenced to a period of imprisonment, transportation....or death.

Or else, take part in "The Ultimate Ghost" experience, which includes a 'lock-in' at Derby Gaol, complete with ouija board and séance.

Accommodation at a range of city centre hotels is also available….just be prepared  to "share" your room!

Derby, explains Felix, lies at the geographical and historical cross-roads of Britain.  As such, he claims it truly is 'The Dead Centre of England'.

A trip here will introduce visitors to some terrible tales, including that of executioner John Crossland, a criminal who earned a pardon for carrying out the sentence of death on his own father and brother, and whose spirit roams restlessly around the Cathedral.

Or poor Alice Wheeldon who is said to haunt the Guildhall.  Accused, in 1917, of plotting to murder the Prime Minister David Lloyd George, she was actually the victim of a Government fabrication because she had been hiding conscientious objectors.  After being released, she lived as a recluse and was eventually buried in an unmarked grave.

Elsewhere, St Peter's Churchyard was literally filled with the 'undead' in the 14th century, when some of the victims of the Black Death who fell into a coma were buried alive; England's first factory, the Silk Mill, which now houses the Industrial Museum, is 'home' to the ghost of a boy killed after being kicked downstairs for not working hard enough; and the cellar of the oldest pub in Derby, Ye Olde Dolphin Inn - once the site of a doctor's house and dissecting slab - is populated by a (presumably legless) poltergeist.

For further information, visit www.visitderby.co.uk...if you dare!

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