Tour Locations | Haunted Chester: A Spooky Stroll around the Roman-Walled City
The Secret Garden
As you walk, look up to your right.
The Secret Garden is up on the second level of The Rows and home to Chester's most contemporary ghost story. Formerly known as the Dutch Houses, a 17th-century building, it made headlines in the local paper when the shop owners caught footage on their CCTV camera of what they described as "as a ball of energy or miasma". This energy was attracted to play with the female owner but violently repulsed by her husband. They had heard strange noises over the years, notably around the steep, winding staircase, and decided to dig deeper. So they went back through the records at the Cheshire Records Office, which we will walk past later, and found an account of a medium called to the premises in the 1930s.
The medium is said to have contacted the spirit and writes it was that of a woman who had met an untimely end after her husband pushed her down the stairs. She broke her neck and died at the bottom of the stairs — now today best to the cash desk. The owners of the Secret Garden believe they have captured genuine footage of this spirit, reflecting the way energy becomes trapped in a building after a tragic event. We call it Stone Tape Theory, the idea being that an event plays over and over — like a tape stuck in an old VHS.
Continue along the left hand side of the street.