Daring dozen – plus a dog – attempt to sleep in a Banbury haunted South Bar building


The Halloween challenge will take place in a building reputed to be haunted by The Duchess

Staff and customers from the Townhouse Wellbeing Clinic in Banbury’s South Bar are hoping the spirits won’t be stirred this evening.   They’re spending the night sleeping over in the reputed haunted building.

The spooktactular challenge is aiming to raise money for Citizens Advice North Oxfordshire.

12 adults and one dog – unlikely for some 13 in total – will be bedding down to see if the rumours of a ghost called The Duchess are true.    She’s believed to frequent the upstairs area of 37 South Bar.   Amongst those trying to stay calm through the night is the Citizens Advice North Oxfordshire Chief Executive, Pat Coomber-Wood.

Steve Kingsford, the charity’s Community Fundraiser, said: “It’s something they’ve been wanting to do for a number of years and it was thwarted by COVID.

“There’s this sort of longstanding story about a ghost called the Duchess haunting the premises, and they thought it would be a good fundraiser.   Its come entirely out of the staff of the townhouse well-being clinic.”

The challenge will start at 8pm when Steve regales the group with some of the building’s history.   Steve spends some of his spare time researching history.

He said: “I went onto ancestry and looked through the census.   I came across a wealthy solicitor, his young wife, and his even younger governess that lived there from the 1860s to the 1880s.  

“The wife suddenly died and then the master of the House married his governess who was some 20 years younger than him.    Then he died, leaving her a legacy worth two and a half million pounds in today’s money.

“People have experienced things. There’s been a history of sightings and things that go bump in the night there!”

Having left the ghost hunters in the building overnight Steve will return with free coffee in the morning.

Anyone wishing to support the group’s fundraising efforts can do so here.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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