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Where is Bournemouth?

History of Bournemouth

Bournemouth is a seaside town located on the south coast of Dorset. Bournemouth was originally a small, quiet town known for its fishing and agriculture.

In the early 19th century, it began to gain popularity as a seaside resort, thanks in part to the visits of prominent figures such as George III and Mary Shelley (author of the gothic horror novel Frankenstein).

By the mid-19th century, Bournemouth had become a fashionable destination for wealthy tourists, who were attracted to its mild climate and picturesque setting. The town experienced a period of rapid growth and development, with new hotels, villas, and attractions springing up to cater to the influx of visitors.

In the early 20th century, Bournemouth became a hub of cultural and intellectual activity, with famous writers and artists such as J.R.R. Tolkien and Walter Sickert living and working in the town.

During World War II, Bournemouth was heavily bombed by the German Luftwaffe, causing extensive damage to many of its buildings and infrastructure. After the war, the town underwent a period of reconstruction and revitalization, with new residential and commercial developments helping to restore its status as a popular seaside resort.

Today, Bournemouth remains a popular tourist destination, known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant cultural scene, and wide range of attractions and activities. It has a population of around 200,000 people and is one of the largest towns in the region.

Haunted Sites in Bournemouth

Bournemouth is home to several possible haunted locations.

  • The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum: This Victorian-era mansion is now a public museum and art gallery, but it’s also rumored to be haunted by the ghosts of its former owners, Sir Merton and Lady Annie Russell-Cotes. Visitors and staff have reported seeing strange apparitions, hearing unexplained noises, and feeling a sense of unease in certain parts of the building.
  • Bournemouth Pavilion: This historic theatre and entertainment venue first opened in 1929 and has hosted a wide range of performances and events over the years. There are several ghost stories associated with the Bournemouth Pavilion.
  • St. Peter’s Church: This historic church in Bournemouth’s town centre is said to be haunted by the ghost of a former vicar. According to legend, the vicar was murdered in the churchyard and his restless spirit now lingers in the church, making strange noises and moving objects.
  • The Royal Bath Hotel: This grand old hotel has a reputation for being haunted by several different ghosts, including a young woman who allegedly committed suicide in one of the rooms, a ghostly child who has been seen playing in the corridors, and a phantom monk who is said to walk through the hotel walls.
  • The Bournemouth Balloon: This unique attraction is a tethered helium balloon that takes visitors up to a height of 500 feet for panoramic views of the town and coastline. However, some people believe that the balloon is also haunted by the ghost of a former worker who died on the premises. Visitors have reported seeing strange apparitions and feeling a sense of unease while riding in the balloon.
  • The Pier Theatre: This theatre, located on Bournemouth Pier, is rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of a former performer who died on stage. Visitors and staff have reported hearing strange noises and feeling a sense of unease in the theatre, particularly in the dressing rooms.
  • The Bournemouth Natural Science Society Museum: This museum is home to a collection of fossils, minerals, and other scientific specimens, but it’s also rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of a former curator. Visitors and staff have reported seeing strange apparitions and feeling a sense of unease in certain parts of the building.

Ghost Sightings in Bournemouth

There have been many reported ghost sightings and hauntings in Bournemouth over the years. Here are a few examples:

  1. The Grey Lady of Bournemouth Pavilion: The most famous ghost associated with the Pavilion is the Grey Lady, a spectral figure who is said to haunt the theatre’s upper balcony. She is believed to be the ghost of a former performer or stagehand who died at the Pavilion many years ago.
  2. Sir Merton and Lady Annie Russel-Cotes: The former owners of the The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum are said to walk its walls.

Ghost Tours in Bournemouth

There are several ghost tours in Bournemouth that take visitors to some of the town’s most haunted locations and share the stories and legends associated with them. These tours typically run in the evenings and are led by guides who are knowledgeable about the area’s history and folklore.

Some of the most popular ghost tours in Bournemouth include:

  • Bournemouth Ghost Walks: This walking tour takes visitors through the town centre and to several haunted locations, including St. Peter’s Church and the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum.
  • Dark Encounters Ghost Tours: This company offers several different ghost tours in and around Bournemouth, including a haunted pub crawl and a tour of the town’s most famous haunted locations.
  • Dorset Ghost Investigators: This group offers ghost hunts and investigations at various locations around Bournemouth and the wider Dorset area, using equipment such as EMF meters and digital voice recorders to try and capture evidence of paranormal activity.

Image credits

  1. Bournemouth Beach and Pier image by csiziistvan from Pixabay