SOFA WORKSHOP STAFF SAY GHOST OF YOUNG BOY IS HAUNTING THEIR BUILDING!
There’s a new ghost in Chester – not that we needed any more! The team at Sofa Workshop on Watergate Street have spotted a shadowy figure moving across the building’s 17th Century floors…
Back in 2010, the Watergate Street building was part of a seven-week investigation into paranormal activity and it looks like investigators were on the right track! We spoke to Lizzy Weston, who has worked at the store for more than 21 years. She said:
“Myself and some of the other staff here are absolutely convinced that we’ve got some kind of ghost in the shop.”
“A few of the team have seen a small shadowy figure moving across the upstairs gallery within the shop and we can’t find a logical explanation as to what it may be. On top of that, myself and other staff have felt a presence and having the sensation that we are being watched by something supernatural. We all get the impression that it’s a happy spirit, but it’s still very spooky!”
Lizzy believes the unexplained phenomenon could be the spirit of a young boy, who may have died in the 18th Century when the building was a public house called The Hand and Snake.
The building dates back to 14th Century and was originally home to a man by the name of John Leche, whose family coat of arms – which features a snake and a hand – can still be seen above the fireplace in the building today. During that time one of the rooms in the building was used as a powder room and it’s believed this would have been occupied by young boys, who would sit behind a small hole in the wall powdering the wigs of the gentry that visited.
According to Lizzy, the boys would have been made to use arsenic to kill off any bugs inside the wigs, but the poisonous nature of the substance may have resulted in many of them dying after inhaling the powder.
Lizzy also explained, “One of the former residents that lived above our shop also told me that she used to hear the sound of a small boy from time to time playing with what sounded like wooden toys. She’d been out to check what the sounds were but never found anything to explain them.” Scary stuff!
This year, the history of the building has been brought to life through Chester’s Talking Walls – a history and heritage project created by CH1ChesterBID. Simply find the small plaque that hangs underneath the Leche family crest in the store, scan it with your smartphone – and the wall will call!
For more information about CH1ChesterBID’s Talking Walls project, visit www.talkingwallschester.co.uk.