Book Haunted Inns and Hotels in Tendring

Thorn Hotel

1 High St, Mistley, Essex

It is a fine centre pub in the village. It exhibits ghostly manifestations. These include the phantom of a serving girl of many years ago. She appears to walk the along corridors. The ghost of a young groom appears at the rear of the hotel, where the stables once stood. The unfortunate youth was trampled to death. He had been fighting with another boy when he was pushed under a horse that stamped on him. This hotel stands on the site of an earlier inn. The Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins either owned, or used it as a central office to plan his investigations and hear evidence against suspects. Matthew Hopkins was a lawyer whose career flourished during the English Civil War. He appointed himself Witchfinder General. With his colleague, John Stearne, he was responsible for the deaths of 300 women accused of witchcraft. One of the first documented cases was against Elizabeth Clarke, an elderly one-legged widow. She was questioned because she had several cats and goats, familiars of the devil. After torture, the authorities hanger her. Her screaming phantom now appears on the shoreline of Seafield Bay. The ghost of Hopkins also manifests on numerous occasions at the Thorn Hotel. Witnesses saw a coach driven by a headless man. He has frequently, along The Walls, Mistley. He carried the body of an unknown man inside. Another phantom at Hopping Bridge, dressed in 17th century clothing, leaps out at passing cars, causing them to swerve. Legend has it that this is the ghost of Matthew Hopkins.