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Day WI cricketers ran from a haunted castle

Piloto, Avion, Aviones
Day WI cricketers ran from a haunted castle

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.

Pedro Loyo

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.