The Lumley Castle Hotel History and Hauntings

Lumley Castle

The History of Lumley Castle

Lumley Castle is a magnificent monument and hotel now, but it has had a fascinating past through the years. Some of this verges into the supernatural – but more about that momentarily.

Sir Ralph Lumley converted The original manor house into a castle in the 14th century. Before this, he was involved in wars in Scotland and was eventually executed for his involvement in a plot to depose King Henry IV.

After Lumley’s death, the property was handed over to the Earl of Somerset before being returned to the Lumley family in 1421. Thomas Lumley, the grandson of Sir Ralph Lumley, became the property’s owner during this time.

The Durham University College used the castle during the 19th century before selling it for funds in the 1960s to Lord Scarborough.

Lord Scarborough still owns the castle, but it is in the hands of No Ordinary Hotels, which offer an excellent experience for those looking for a luxury getaway with the potential for paranormal activity.

The stunning location of the hotel has made it a popular destination. Lumley Castle dominates the landscape of County Durham in the middle of spectacular parklands.

The Ghosts of Lumley Castle

The UK has many great haunted houses, pubs, and hotels. The Castle is the latter and offers ghost enthusiasts the opportunity to stay in a lovely hotel that might just be haunted.

While the spooky happenings had been reported for some time, it wasn’t until 2005 that the hotel hit the headlines when the national cricket team of Australia experienced nocturnal activity.

Jimmy Adams of the West Indian cricket team also witnessed something supernatural in 2000. So many cricket stars are involved in these sightings because of the hotel’s location. It is behind the Durham County Cricket Ground.

Lily of Lumley

The most famous ghost of Lumley Castle is known as Lily of Lumley. It is believed she was the lady of the manor in the 14th century before being murdered by two Catholic priests for refusing to convert.

The story goes that the priests threw her down a well. And her spirit has walked the rooms and halls of Lumley Castle ever since.

Black Jack

Another ghost known as Black Jack is also reported to be inhabiting the hotel. This poltergeist is a tricky spirit that loves to play tricks on guests in various ways. These include moving belongings and knocking things off tables.

Other Spooky Goings-on

Other unsubstantiated reports of ghost sightings at Lumley Hotel include a strange, shadowy figure sitting at the bar and children playing on the upper floors. This can be incredibly creepy, especially when there are no kids about.

Another phenomenon that is common at the Castle is the sighting of orbs. If you have any experience with ghost investigations, you will know all about these tiny balls of light.

Orbs are believed to manifest energy and evidence of paranormal activity. They often appear in photos with people only seeing them when they look back over their pictures. Our collection of ghost cameras will prepare you for your visit to Lumley. So you can come back with all the supernatural evidence you need.

Features of Lumley Castle Hotel

As a castle that has stood for more than 600 years, Lumley is nothing short of a magnificent spectacle. It is proudly on the County Durham landscape and set amidst beautiful parklands overlooking the meandering River Wear.

Lumley Castle’s traditional style is perfect for those looking for a relaxing getaway. That is if you don’t see a ghost in the middle of the night!

The dog and family-friendly hotel welcomes all and has many great dining options, including the Black Knight Restaurant and the traditionally styled Library Bar. You might even enjoy some house wine in the dining room with spectral friends…

Another unique activity that ghost enthusiasts will love is the Lily of Lumley-themed escape rooms, where teams work together to solve mysteries. It can be a great way to see more of the hotel.

Nearby Ghost-Busting Activities

Lumley Castle Hotel is located in Chester-le-Street in the North East of England. The excellent location gives visitors a wide range of attractions.

But if you want to explore other paranormal locations and make the most of your ghost-detecting equipment, here are some great options nearby:

  • The Pickled Parson of Sedgefield at Ceddesfeld Hall
  • The Grey Lady of Durham Castle
  • A Victorian girl in the city’s Crossgate area
  • Bobby Shafto of Beamish Hall
  • Betty the Ghost at Manor House Hotel

This combination of public and private locations means anyone can enjoy the spooky goings-on in the local area.


Is Lumley Castle expensive to stay in?

A stay at Lumley is affordable, with rates varying from around £75 to £155 per night. Alternatively, you can visit the castle to eat or participate in the escape room.

The Knights Restaurant is available to book for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and high tea. The dinner menu starts at 6:30 p.m. and offers diners a great range of classic dishes with a modern twist.

What amenities can I expect at Lumley Castle?

Rooms are luxuriously furnished with all the essentials and creature comforts you would expect from a high-quality hotel. This includes:

  • Air conditioning
  • Free on-site parking
  • Flat Screen TV with satellite
  • 24-hour room service
  • Free wireless internet
  • Snooker/Billiards
  • 24-hour reception
  • Radio

Can I take ghost-hunting equipment into Lumley Castle?

You will be able to take unobtrusive ghost-hunting equipment into your room. However, you must be respectful to other guests if you want to look at the entire property.

We recommend contacting the hotel and asking for their advice. They can tell you what is permitted and which areas you can visit during your stay.

How big is Lumley Castle?

It has 73 guest bedrooms: 55 double rooms, 6 singles, and 12 suites. There are several public and private areas in the Grade 1 listed building. There are 10 meeting rooms, with the most enormous, measuring 125 square meters.

What kind of events are held at Lumley?

As well as the excellent escape room, Lumley Hall hosts events that are a great way for people to have fun. The event we like most that might appeal to fellow ghost hunters is the Murder Mystery Dinner.

For around £49 per person, you can enjoy a 3-course meal. And a complimentary glass of Prosecco, a late-night disco, and a classic ‘whodunnit’ mystery.

Are there any more haunted hotels?

Yes, there are many haunted hotels throughout the UK. You can check out the Langham Hotel, and the Adelphi Hotel.

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!