Exeter 'one of most haunted cities'
EXETER is one of the most haunted cities in the country,
according to a new report entitled Supernatural Britain.
Sightings of apparitions range from rose-scented nuns and
sleepy gatekeepers at Exeter Cathedral to executed witches at
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the castle – making the city one of the top spots for ghostly
sightings in the UK.
It is rated as the fourth most haunted city, with nine out
of every 10,000 residents reporting a ghost sighting since
records began, according to the report.
The top three most haunted cities are Derby, Chester and
Ghost tales in Exeter include that of a nun at the
cathedral, which has been seen gliding alongside the south wall
of the nave on July evenings.
Another harks back to the English Civil War between the
Parliamentarians and Royalists. The heavily pregnant Queen
Henrietta Maria took refuge in Exeter in 1644 and, although she
escaped to Falmouth and then fled to France, her ghost has
reportedly been seen in the gardens of Barnfield House.
Richard Dyke, an Exeter Red Coat Guide who runs Ghosts and
Legends tours around the city, said the study's findings were
"excellent". He added: "I'm not surprised because Exeter's had
a very long history and many people have lived and died here in
"A lot of Exeter's buildings are reputed to have ghosts or
poltergeists. The free tours are already very popular and I'm
sure after this wonderful news, we'll get even more people.
"A block in Cathedral Close was built in 1520 and was a
college for monks. One monk met a nun from a convent and,
according to the story, they met many times and she became
"They were both threatened with execution and they had a
suicide pact and jumped down a well together.
"In the courtyard, people have said they smell essence of
rose-water, which nuns wore, and there have been sightings of a
cloaked person and a foot with a sandal on it."
Bryon Jackson, a member of paranormal group Haunted Devon,
said: "Exeter was built on a Roman settlement and there are
several sightings we know of – at Cowick Barton Inn, the Turk's
Head, the cathedral, Exeter Castle and the Barnfield Theatre,
as well as private houses.
He added: "The last witches in Devon were hanged at the
"I've been doing this for 15 years and never come to a
conclusion but it's been very interesting and things have come
up that you can't explain.
"I'd love to have the opportunity to verify the