Oxford is old. Founded in 912, with university teaching having started by 1096, the city has seen murder, plague, mobs, and war. It’s no surprise then, that Oxford is full of ghosts.
The Oxford Tradition even had a false alarm at the beginning of the program, from two students living in Pembroke. They came running to us after seeing a slow-moving spirit, that turned out to be a sleepy member of staff.
Much like morning dew, (real) ghosts appear only fleetingly. To find them, you need a guide; a guide with props and illusions, who looks rather dashing in their period costume.
Bill Spectre’s Ghost Trail is a five star TripAdvisor activity that has been honoured as one of the top 10 ghost tours in the world, and last night our students found his reputation entirely justified. Stalking across ancient cobbles in the dark Oxford night, Bill gave us corny jokes, anecdotes, and straight out magic.
It seemed that everywhere you looked was haunted. The St John’s College library hosts Archbishop William Laud, beheaded in 1645 whilst burning the midnight oil. University College, which holds claim to being the oldest college, is regularly visited by deceased Catholic master Obadiah Walker. New College is built atop a plague pit, meaning that many Harry Potter scenes were filmed above the resting place of hundreds.
There is no escape from the paranormal in the rest of Oxfordshire country. Those students who went on the Warwick trip last week will have visited Burford, a village known for the apparitions that stalk its streets. Many visitors to the village claim to have been seized by an overwhelming sense of terror the moment they entered. A warning perhaps?
We certainly have a warning for you! If you ever visit Oxford, and don’t attend Bill Spectre’s Ghost Trail, then you will have wasted an opportunity!
Find out more here: http://www.ghosttrail.org/