From 'The Lenton Listener' Issue 47
August - September 1987
An Undesirable Residence
Arundel Street - Lenton
The cover of Len Moakes' book Haunted Nottinghamshire shows the eerie scene of Newstead Abbey casting shadows in the moonlight and a cowled phantom figure standing beneath a tree. The cover illustration is typical of the subject matter - weird scenes, unexplained phenomena, and spine-chilling episodes from the paranormal. All these are very much the province of the author who founded the Nottingham Psychical Research Group six years ago and, with a select band of followers, makes it his business to collect stories such as these and investigate them. Mr. Moakes and his team will spend a night or even several nights in a place that is reputed to be haunted, accompanied by tape recorders and temperature measuring equipment. "Most 'hauntings' have a perfectly logical explanation," says Mr. Moakes "but there are the few that do not." It is these few that have provided him with enough material for his book, which shows that we have a wealth of mysterious happenings inside our own county.
One of the tales he tells is a strange account of a haunting in Arundel Street, Lenton, experienced by a young office girl. In this account we do not learn her name. All we know is that she is a friend of 'Barbara', the person who told Len Moakes the story.
Barbara's friend had just moved with her parents and brother into a house on the street, and not long after moving in, the family noticed that they were not the only inhabitants of the place. Often, while watching television in the evening, the living room door would slowly open, the dog would sit bolt upright and its eyes would follow something apparently moving from the door to the sofa, which would sink a little as if something had sat on it.
Since the ghost, or whatever it was, seemed fairly harmless, the family decided to leave it alone; but shortly afterwards it began to exhibit more antisocial behaviour, and the family would get up in the morning to find ornaments moved or the gas on the cooker turned on. Then one night the brother was awakened by what felt like something blowing on his neck. Opening his eyes, he saw a shadowy figure 'dressed like an old fashioned coachman' drift onto the landing. A few weeks later another relative had a similar experience. Things came to a head, however, when Barbara and some of her fellow workmates were taken to Arundel Street one lunchtime in order to be shown over the house.
They started on the attics, which had not been decorated and which had hardly been looked at since the family moved in. All the girls remarked on what an air of disquiet there was up there. Barbara's friend pointed out an old bloodstain on the floor, which no amount of scrubbing would remove. Then later in the kitchen, despite the fact that it was a warm afternoon, all the girls felt suddenly cold. Lunchtime over, they returned to work, but when Barbara's friend came back to the house that evening, she went to her room, kicked off her shoes and noticed that the carpet felt wet. Looking down she saw what looked like fresh blood on the floor, and going into the bathroom she was met with the sight of blood smeared all over the towels. Shocked and afraid, she ran out of the house and telephoned her parents from a call box. They returned to find the house as she had described it. Since it seemed that the ghost was disturbed by their presence, the family made hasty arrangements to leave. They reported what happened to the police, who could find no signs of a break in, and forensic tests subsequently found the blood to be that of a corpse prior to rigor mortis.
We learn no more of any further happenings in this unidentified house on Arundel Street and in fact, this is the only Lenton haunting in the book. Readers may know of others. If so, then both Len Moakes and ourselves would be very interested to hear about them. If you are aware of any or know of someone who has been 'haunted', drop us a line and we will pass the information on to Mr. Moakes.
Haunted Nottinghamshire by Len Moakes is priced £2.40 and is available in most City Centre bookshops.