England's Most Haunted City
A Musical Ghost?
Chester's ancient city walls on the western edge
of the city is the ornate Victorian Queen's School.
The city walls here take clever advantage of the
steep banks of the old river, and the wall-top walkway
is level with the school.
Few people realise, however, that this upmarket
private girls' school stands on the former site
of the 'City Gaol and House of Correction'. The
jail was one of the first to install a 'drop', or
mechanical gallows. The gallows stood high on the
front of the building where they were used for the
public hangings of Chester criminals. The grisly
scenes of death attracted large, ghoulish crowds.
It's not surprising then, that the school is haunted
today. The narrow stairs and cramped attic rooms
create an atmosphere of foreboding. Former pupils
testify that the music room has a resident ghost.
During lessons, they say, the door would often open,
even if properly closed. Then, after enough time
had elapsed for someone, or something, to leave
the room, it would silently shut again.
Nothing was actually seen or heard by the girls,
but it became common for the whole music class to
respond in unison with a gentle call of 'hello ghost!'.