With a recent surge in paranormal activity occuring at The Lion and Swan Inn, the owners have decided to start a program of paranormal nights to find proof of the ghosts witnessed by many people throughout the building.
The Lion and Swan was built in the 16th century, this half timbered Coaching Inn is at the heart of the historic town of Congleton in Cheshire. There was an earlier building on the site which dates back to 1496 and that also functioned as an Inn. The Lion and Swan is reputed to be one of the most haunted buildings in Cheshire with several resident ghosts.
During the 18th Century the Lion and Swan prospered as stagecoach and canal travel become more popular, and in the early 19th Century it became the penultimate stop in the new London to Manchester stagecoach service. Finally, with the coming of the railways, the Lion and Swan was developed and extended. The way it appears from the outside today is similar to how it would have looked at the end of the 19th Century. While the 20th Century owners have spent £2 million on modernising the interior of the hotel, it has not lost its original features or charm.
One of the strangest and most talked about of features of the Lion and Swan is the main fireplace which features ornate and esoteric carvings of, erotic symbols and demonic figures. It is believed that this wooden surround came from two ends of a bridal bed (used for fertility aid), or from another, non-Christian source.
The fireplace is the focus of one of the hotels most famous ghosts. On many occasions in the early hours of the morning the apparition of a naked young woman with long black hair has appeared and has been seen tending the fire. Many of the locals believe that her ghost is that of a young woman who died during the middle ages after drinking a potion designed to help her conceive. Although her apparition has only been seen by the fireplace it is thought that her spirit appears elsewhere in the building in the form of a brown shadow, which has led to this particular ghost being nicknamed 'The Brown Lady'.
One of the most haunted area's of the Lion and Swan is Room 20 which has more than it's fair share of paranormal activity. Guests have woken in the middle of the night to a bedroom that is so cold they can reportedly see their own breath, before fleeing downstairs to request a transfer due to the 'presence' in room. Guests in the room next door have complained to staff about all of the banging and scratching sounds coming from Room 20. Each time that this has happened there has been no-ne staying in the room and on investigation the room is always empty. A ghostly dog has also been seen and heard by guests and staff alike for many years, and which may explain the odd scratching sounds emanating from the room.
Even long serving members of staff are reluctant to venture into the large cellar below. The sound of a child or a female crying and talking is heard on a regular basis by members of staff. The cellar door has been known to slam shut and the lights switch on and off. Part of the cellar used to function as a nightclub in the 1970's. It was closed after the manager was brutally murdered during a break-in and has remained pretty much untouched since that time. Unsurprisingly this area feels particularly unpleasant and is perhaps the reason why it has never been used for anything other than storage in the past 30 years.