Chester's picturesque Stanley Palace is one of the most atmospheric and haunted buildings within the city walls.
The ancient half-timbered, black-and-white, haunted mansion on Watergate Street was once the town house of James Stanley, the 7th Earl of Derby. Following the Parliamentarian's resounding victory in the English Civil War, the outspoken Earl foolishly voiced his Royalist opinions once too often - openly supporting the exiled King Charles II. Predictably, the Earl was arrested in 1651, tried, and convicted of treason. Surrounded by Roundhead troopers, he was then kept under strict house arrest in Stanley Palace before being escorted to Bolton for execution.
His last days were undoubtedly traumatic as he said a final goodbye to his family and friends. Today, his ghost still wanders wearily through the ground floor rooms, dressed forever in his smartest court finery.
Strangest of all, however, is the fact that he appears as if in a photographic negative - with a dark face, black shirt, and white jacket. But quite why that is, no one can explain.
The ghosts experienced at Stanley Palace are seen and heard on regular occasions. There is always a feeling of being watched and visitors being touched. Children have been heard laughing. The spirit of an old man has been seen and heard tapping a stick along the corridor. There are malevolent spirits haunting the building who take delight in pulling the hair of unsuspecting visitors. Poltergeist activity has been witnessed with objects being moved and things being thrown. The ghost of a man dressed in military uniform has been seen in the Gallery. What is really spooky is the sound of the piano being played whilst nobody is there.What spirits or ghosts will you encounter when you join us at Stanley Palace?