Feature article – Hauntings and History of Clifton Hall

Clifton Hall – Hauntings and History

Clifton hall has been in the Clifton family line for 700+ years, and a history going back to the 11th century. It certainly has a past. It was Anwar Rashid the last owner of the infamous Clifton Hall, a self made millionaire in the field of property and investment. Gave up the property to the bank, after claiming the house is extremely haunted the Evening post headline was “Ghosts forced family out of mansion”

We decided to delve into the archives of Clifton Hall, with a rich history steeped in folklore, the occult, myths and urban legends. 

NPN haven’t been to Clifton Hall yet, but are making progress to doing so. The Evening Post contacted Nottinghamshire Paranormal Network in  regards to what we know of the property and its paranormal history. This was prior to the story going public. Anwar reported spectres, screams and mysterious blood splattering around the house. The house has been investigated by Ashfield Paranormal group who tried and failed to move on the presence in the house – they made a statement that “Clifton Hall is the only place I’ve ever been really scared, Even in daylight this place has an eerie feeling.”

During the stories peak in the press, which made national newspapers and the fortean times website  www.forteantimes.com, NPN started gathering information on the paranormal history of the location. In the Nottingham City Library archives there is a number of reports from the location in the 1970s Tracy Collins a pupil during the period, when Clifton Hall was used as a grammar school “I never saw anything, but everyone spoke about it. There was a tale of a baby crying behind a bricked up doorway upstairs. A distinct painting you cannot fail to miss of Cornel Clifton upon a horse had an unsettling feeling to it. Strange noises, bumps and bangs.

The strange painting Tracy talks about has a story to tell, there is a girls foot instead of Colonel Cliftons on the stirrup as the painting began as a painting of his daughter, who unfortunately died during a horse riding accident. The painting then was changed to portray the Colonel on the horse – the young girls’ foot however remains as it was originally painted.

Donna Bailey says “Everyone knows in Clifton, it [the hall] was used for devil worship, I worked in the stables in the grounds. There was once a large circle drawn in blood was on [stable] floor, along with broken mirrors.” “In the downstairs area there was frequently the odour of spicy tobacco.” The area has one of those eerie atmosphere which really doesn’t want you around.

A first hand account from Brian Cawkwell, who had been in the Clifton Hall area during a fishing trip, was making his way back towards the city. He was passing a thatched cottage with an elderly lady at the gate, whom he spoke to for a good 10-15 minutes of time. He remarked she was a pleasant person to speak to. They said their goodbyes and off Brian went. Just before he reached the end of the lane, he turned back to give the elderly lady a wave – but alas she along with the cottage had completely disappeared!

Clifton Hall even has its history with a fortean tale to tell. Superstition and a mysterious water bound creature come together in this urban legend. The river Trent that comes up to the hall, by way of an inlet estuary the legend goes that this creature swims upstream to the hall, stays and splashes about in the inlet for 3 days and is said to foretell impending doom to the owners of the house. The description of the creature is that of a large fish similar to a Sturgeon but as large as a Dolphin.

The atmosphere in and around the area is heavy and solemn, NPN will approach the bank and other groups to perhaps arrange an overnight vigil and investigation of Clifton Hall. For those interested or have further information please get in contact with NPN via the contact page. 

Clifton Hall is on the market with a price of 2.75million pound. If we had 2.75m it would certainly be on our shopping list.

Kristian Lander.

Resources: Nottingham City Library local studies library, Nottingham Evening Post, Local individuals. Hidden Nottinghamshire.

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