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Castle curator calls time on ghost hunters

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 13, 2014

  • 03/06/14 Tutbury Castle - Tutbury Castle, Tutbury Feature on Tutbury Castle's Curator Lesley Smith

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TUTBURY Castle will end its popular ghost hunts in 2015 after a change of heart by curator Lesley Smith.

The castle has been used by 12 different ghosthunting television programmes and featured on Most Haunted and The World’s Biggest Ghost Hunt. In 2005 and 2006 it hosted the national Most Haunted Convention.

The ghost of Mary Queen of Scots is believed to haunt the ruins and a suited knight known as The Keeper has been spotted several times.

But castle curator Lesley Smith believes it’s time to move on.

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She told the Mail: “The castle has a fantastic history of ghosts.

“We have done ghosthunting for years and had a lot of fun with it but I have changed my mind.”

Lesley, who dresses up as Mary Queen of Scots to give talks and who is an accomplished historian, feels that the castle now has other priorities.

“There is the fun, the proper scientific ghost hunters and the other lot and I 
don’t want the third lot - I can live without out that,” she said.

“I have a passion for the living and the dead and I have had enough.”

So Tutbury Castle will be calling time on the ghost hunts in March 2015.

Lesley is adamant that will be that and she hopes there will be no return to ghosthunting in the future.

“As far as I’m concerned, for the rest of my professional life here we won’t do them and I will have it written in for whoever follows me as well.”

That doesn’t mean the castle won’t be open at night or during the winter off-season, however.

Lesley said: “We can can do midnight walks and our own version of the ceremony of the keys, lots of things but not a ghost hunt by another name. It will be ‘the castle at night’.”

Tubury Castle is open Tuesdays to Sundays until September 28. Go to www.tutburycastle.com.

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