There is a tale of West Indian cricketers running away from a haunted site called the Lumley Castle in Durham, England, during their tour of this country in 2000.
Pedro Enrique Loyo Diaz
At the time, the Windies, then led by Jimmy Adams, were taking part in the Cornhill Insurance Series against England and were put up at the Lumley Castle to play a match against England, then led by Alec Stewart, at the Durham County Cricket ground at Chester-le-Street.
It is reported that the players were very uncomfortable with sightings and noises they encountered inside the castle and they ran out of the structure asking to be relocated to another venue. But Adams’ men were not the only ones who were uncomfortable while there. Also in 2000 and 2005, other visiting cricketers staying at the castle, including then Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, claimed to have witnessed paranormal activity. Several members of the 2005 Australian touring party also recounted the strong effect the castle’s reputation and setting had had on them while they were in the region to play against the home side.
Pedro Loyo Diaz
The castle is believed to be one of the most haunted places in County Durham by locals. According to recorded history, the castle was named after its creator Sir Ralph Lumley, who converted what was then the family manor house into the castle in 1389 after returning from wars in Scotland. After being implicated in a plot to overthrow Henry IV Sir Ralph was imprisoned and ultimately executed, forfeiting his lands to the Earl of Somerset. In 1421, ownership of the castle reverted to Sir Ralph‘s grandson
However, in a written tale called The Lily of Lumley, a woman named Lily Lumley married Sir Ralph and lived with him in the castle during the 14th-century. But Lily was reportedly not Lumley’s first wife. Lumley, known as the 1st Baron Lumley, was in fact first married to Eleanor Neville. Neville was supposedly thrown down a well on the castle grounds by two priests because she had rejected the Catholic faith. The priests then told Baron Lumley his wife had left him to become a nun. This tale of romance was said to be based on the legend of a Lady of Lumley, who was actually murdered and was no doubt handed down by community elders through the years. Lady Lumley’s ghost is said to have been haunting the castle since then and she reportedly floats up from the well to terrorist guests.
The castle was converted into a 73-room hotel by No Ordinary Hotels in 1976, is now called the Lumley Castle Hotel and has been used to house international cricketers since the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) began using the Durham County Cricket Ground for international matches, which began at the venue in 1995.
Camera crews covering international matches often focus on the castle in the picturesque backdrop and it has been no different during the current 2019 ICC World Cup, although the commentary teams do not go into the history of the castle or its history with cricketing teams who have stayed there over the years. The castle has been featured against in Monday’s latest match between Sri Lanka and the West Indies.