Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Norwich Ghost Walks–Such Anticipation!

May 11th, 2010 · No Comments

As a brief interlude before my series of blogs begin: I recognize that I haven’t posted these in a timely fashion, but nevertheless they chronicle my experiences in consecutive order. Enjoy!

Well it’s Thursday, April 8th and I am about to embark on a very interesting tour. A ghost tour in fact, through our beloved Norwich.  To catch everyone up to speed, my paper topic delves into the history and anthropological value that ghost stories have had on the past and how these stories are translated into our modern culture. In my research and experiential learning, I myself was surprised to see how the evolutions of politics, religion, and class distinctions have evolved in such stories throughout the centuries. Therefore, this evening, I’m attempting to find my way to the Adam and Eve pub where my ghost tour begins at 7:30 pm. I have no idea what to expect, though at least I know the mapping of the tour. We begin by meeting at the Adam and Eve pub, (probably Norwich’s oldest pub as we all know) and proceeding up towards Tombland before heading toward The Whiffler Theatre which apparently was the site of many executions at the Castle Gates. We go back through the Cathedral grounds to Bishop’s Bridge and the Cow Tower before returning for “our finale back at the Adam and Eve” pub. The women I spoke to over the phone assured me that it would be a very interesting walk, and “lots of fun”. My initial response to this was one of indignation; “well it better be worth it because I’m paying six quid for this which COULD have been better spent on quite a few cans of vegetable curry.” The website assured me that “on this walk you will hear about cannibalism, wife murder, lots of witches and lollards not to mention the ghosts of plague victims buried in communal graves without name or ceremony (always a good source of spirit behaviour).” Well, I’m always up for hearing about a little cannibalism and hopefully myriad wife murders so I’m thinking that this tour should be very informative and hopefully an entertaining experience.

I myself have never been on a ghost tour, nor do I really believe in ghosts. In fact, the first time that I actually first encountered someone who truly believed in the existence of such spectral badasses was our very own Anya Settle who is convinced that her room here at UEA is haunted. Not to get briefly off topic, but I had a conversation in Starbucks recently about Anya’s ghostly fears, and Andrew Barron just looked at Anya sceptically and said, “Your room is NOT haunted Anya”. Anya hesitated for a moment, and said, “you don’t have to SLEEP there Barron”.  So I guess that puts Barron and I into the “non-believers” category and Anya into the “believers” one…but ultimately it’s not really about truly believing in the existence of ghosts, it’s about what historical value can be discovered from these legends and what hidden cultural significance lies within these oral stories. I’m hoping that this tour will aid in my understanding of Norwich’s history and not simply be some silly tour meant to frighten 6-7 year old girls; I want to extract the deeper essence that brings past societies and ideals back to life. Lastly, if any of you have an interest in watching a brief clip from the tour guide himself without paying the 6 quid, here is a link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1rDNQbo5x8. For now, I’m off to walk the loop around Norwich!

Tags: Maddie · Uncategorized