[Amy Dodwell | Contributing Writer]
Hatfield is full of history and it is clear that not all of it has disappeared as there have been many ghostly sightings over the years. The most popular tourist destination in the town is Hatfield House; well known for its history with Queen Elizabeth I. Within the grounds is the famous ‘Queen Elizabeth Oak’, which is allegedly where Elizabeth I was sitting when she was told she was Queen following Mary’s death.
Following the first Marchioness’ death in a blazing fire which destroyed the West Wing of Hatfield House, the coach which she used to travel in has been seen haunting the house. It appears with four black horses which stampede along the drive, pass through the doors and continue up the stairway. Then it simply vanishes.
The Old Coach House in Hatfield is home to not one but two ghosts. The first is a young girl who has been seen in one room, and she seems so normal that residents have even spoken to her and she has responded by vanishing. This story feels particularly chilling but it always seems that ghost stories including children are a little more haunting. The second ghost is a tall dark man and rumour has it that he is searching for his lost daughter, but they are doomed never to meet.
Now, while you may be feeling safe and secure spending most of your days at the University of Herts, don’t be so sure! This next story takes place on our very own College Lane campus in Todd Building. Here a misty figure has been spotted by security staff in a darkened, secure building and the lights have turned themselves on and off.
However, you’ll be happy to hear that not all ghosts are menacing! As can be proven in 1894 when a phantom man stepped off of the platform at Hatfield Station into the engine of a Great Northern Railway Train, travelling at 55mph. The driver forced the train to stop just before Hitchin station and noticed something very strange on the track ahead. The track was blocked. If it were not for the perfectly timed appearance of this spirit the train would have crashed into this obstruction.
So while you’re all out around Hatfield this Halloween, keep a look out, as not all of the ghosts you see may be mortal!