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Observatory Tower, Lincoln Castle

On 13 April 2004 the following story was published in the Lincolnshire Echo detailing a family's strange experience at Lincoln Castle's Observatory Tower.

A Family got the fright of their lives when they stumbled on what they believe was a malevolent ghost in Lincoln Castle.

Richard Hart (43) and his partner Angela Allen (40) were taking their two children up the observatory tower's stone stairs when they both experienced a chilling feeling.

Mr Hart used his digital camera to take some snaps shots. When he got home and downloaded the pictures he found a ghostly image on one of the shots.

Mr Hart, an engineer from Birchwood, said: "It was Good Friday and we thought we'd take the children out.

"They wanted to go up the tower so we started to follow them up.

"All of a sudden, my partner started feeling really edgy and said she couldn't go up any further.

"I followed the children and although it was quite a warm day, I started to feel cold." He said that the further he went up the colder it got.

"When we went back down there were some people looking after Angela and thinking she had suffered a funny turn," he said. "Angela is into the whole spiritual thing and we have heard before that she could be psychic so we wonder if she sensed something."

Mr Hart said none of the photos taken before or after showed the ghostly figure.

"There really is no explaining it at all," he said. "It was really scary I have to say. I won't be going there again in a hurry."

The couple's two children Victoria (six) and James (four) have been extremely excited by the adventure.

"They have named the ghost Casper and they keep asking me if they can see it. They are loving it," he said.

Miss Allen said she found the experience disturbing.

"We got there just after 10am and were quite happy looking around," she said.

"We were the only one's in the observatory and I suddenly got a bit of a headache and felt quite ill.

"I wasn't that scared because I am into supernatural things and I usually take a crystal with me everywhere.

"But I did feel trapped as though whatever it was didn't want to let us go. It was a weird thing that came over me.

"There was like a breeze that came over my hair and body - I have had a similar feeling before, when I was a little girl and used to see ghosts in our house."

Miss Allen said she did not realise that other members of her family had felt the same way until afterwards.

"My partner felt it first but we didn't realise we'd both experienced the same thing until after we came out," she said.

"My daughter said she felt a bit scared going up the stairs and she kept saying she didn't want to go any further. But my son didn't seem to notice at all."

Most of the current observatory tower dates from the 1300s but an earlier tower was built on the same spot around 1200. It was destroyed during a siege in 1216.

Margaret Green, who runs the Lincoln Ghost Walk, said it was not the first time she had been told about mysterious happenings in the observatory tower.

"About six or seven years ago a couple told me they were heading up the stairs and they saw a couple walking in front of them," she said. "When they reached the top, the couple had vanished and there was nowhere they could have gone.

"Then last year a young woman said as she was walking up the steps she started experiencing unbearable pain and had to be helped by other visitors.

"On the way back down the pain got less and less until it went totally. She asked me if anyone had ever been murdered there because she felt as though that was what was happening to her. It is possible that there is something ghostly there."

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