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Bournemouth’s Hotel Celebrity has a chilling legacy, serving as a dwelling to both its living guests and the ghostly apparition of a young girl named Nell Hyde.
In the heart of Bournemouth lies the historic Hotel Celebrity, previously known as Durlston Court. This accommodation has gained a reputation, not just for its services but also for the resident apparition believed to inhabit its walls – the ghost of young Nell Hyde.
History of Hotel Celebrity
The saga of this haunting started with James Hyde, a disgraced prodigal son, who returned to England in 1874 with his young wife and two daughters.
They made their home in Swanmore Villa, a site in Dorset that would later become Hotel Celebrity. Tragedy struck in 1892 when James’ wife and elder daughter succumbed to tuberculosis.
However, the more harrowing event took place in 1893 when the younger daughter, Nell, died under frightening circumstances, leading to her restless spirit becoming a permanent occupant of the hotel.
The Haunting of Hotel Celebrity
The infamous story of Nell’s haunting is terrifying.
In the frigid winter of 1893, 12-year-old Nell was locked in the hotel’s basement by a tumbling pile of wood.
Her screams for help muffled by the thick door and concrete ceiling, she spent hours in freezing darkness before being discovered.
Despite her father’s desperate attempts to save her, she met a premature death.
Ghostly sightings of Nell began on the anniversary of her death.
Servants and guests reported seeing her phantom walking the hotel corridors and disappearing into her old bedroom.
Over time, these accounts have given Nell Hyde a significant place in Bournemouth’s spectral folklore.
Numerous ghost hunting groups and mediums have visited Hotel Celebrity to seek evidence of her presence.
Many have identified Nell as a young girl, merely 12 at the time of her untimely death.
The spectral sightings have continued over the years, adding to the eerie reputation of the hotel.
One particular area of the hotel seems to be a focal point for paranormal activity – the old lift shaft.
This space was once a part of the room where Nell died. During its conversion into a lift shaft, several strange accidents and incidents occurred.
Jack Hancock, the father of the famous comedian Tony Hancock and the man who approved the hotel’s renovation plans, fell seriously ill and died just four days after the hotel’s reopening.
Many believe that Nell’s ghost took revenge on those who dared to disturb her space. Several owners of the hotel, including the Hancock family, suffered financial ruin after undertaking renovations, leading many to wonder if Nell’s spirit had cursed the establishment.
Hotel Celebrity Today
Today, Hotel Celebrity stands as a unique amalgamation of history, mystery, and other-worldly tales. Despite the unsettling history and chilling sightings, the hotel continues to draw guests, offering a thrilling glimpse into the paranormal for those brave enough to visit.
Spooky Isles founder and editor David Saunderson has stayed at the Hotel Celebrity twice. “The Hotel Celebrity leaves out leaflets for visitors to learn about the ghost and marks the haunting with a sign near the lift. I didn’t sense anything there, but the hotel has an old world charm – it feels like an old hotel from the 1950s. You could imagine it being haunted more than most.”
The story of Nell Hyde serves as a chilling reminder of the hotel’s dark past, casting an ethereal shadow over the bustling activities within its walls.
The tale of her untimely demise and subsequent haunting adds a unique layer to the charm of Hotel Celebrity, making it a must-visit location for anyone interested in the supernatural.
Whether Nell Hyde’s spirit still wanders the corridors of the hotel remains a mystery.
However, the countless accounts of spectral sightings and eerie occurrences ensure that her memory lives on, echoing through the halls of the Hotel Celebrity and chilling the spines of its guests.
Whether you’re a paranormal enthusiast or simply a curious traveller, a stay at the Hotel Celebrity promises to be an experience like no other.
Have you seen a ghost at the Hotel Celebrity? Tell us about it in the comments section below!