Ghosts of the Grandstand

Published on 31 October 2020

As the oldest Racecourse in the land, it’s no surprise that there have been many reports of ghostly appearances over the years here at Chester Racecourse.

There are four reccuring sightings in the County Grandstand boxes which have led to the infamous ‘ghosts of the grandstand’. Read on, if you dare to find out more about the frightful four.

The first is an unpleasent spirit, known as ‘the nasty old man’. He is said to live in the photo finish box and many people have reported seeing him wearing a hat looking out over the Roodee. He opens and shuts doors with a bang, door handles have been seen to turn, and he has even been known to open the sliding balcony doors to box number four. He used to become more active when there was cigarette smoke about – especially cigars – but this is less relevant nowadays with the no smoking policy. He’s been known to pinch passers-by and to cause people to cry. In recent years, it has been noticeable how he gets very active and agitated when there’s an English Civil War re-enactment on the Roodee – this leads one to speculate that he was a local victim of the Civil War and/or someone who suffered badly during Cromwell’s long siege of Chester when the locals were effectively starved into submission.

By contrast, the second ghost is nicknamed ‘the nice old man’. He lives in the Directors’ Box and has been seen many times sitting in an armchair peering out of the window over the Racecourse. Perhaps a late Director or Chairman keeping an eye on things?

The third ghost is another man but pretty quiet and non-intrusive. He frequents the corridor between box 8 and the Directors box when things are very quiet and there’s nothing going on. He disappears when there’s activity or noise from an event.

The most intreaguing of them all is the fourth; ‘the little girl ghost’ who is often seen around boxes four and five. Before you see her, you can smell strong perfume or flowers. Somewhat rebelious she behaves in the opposite way to the old fashioned saying ‘children should be seen but not heard’, this little girl can be seen and heard! She sings a lovely but unrecognised song. Many think that perhaps she’s a girl from the old Love Street school which in the mid 1900’s became overcrowded, and certain classes of the girls’ school were held in annexes which included the County Grandstand.

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