Whether you believe in the power of the supernatural or not, a mere noise when home alone can drift your thoughts to the unknown. Certain places in the world are said to be haunted with the spirits of wandering souls, made even spookier by the accounts of how their lives ended.
Amongst those very places are a few hotels in the world, infamous for spooky sightings, and here are accounts from cricketers who witnessed something truly “out of this world.”
1. Chills at Christchurch :
The Rydges Latimer Hotel in Christchurch has been a frequent host to cricket teams during series or matches. However, just before the 2015 World Cup, Pakistani cricketer Haris Sohail experienced something that ‘traumatised’ him to the core.
After going to bed in his hotel room, Sohail was abruptly woken up by his bed being rattled. This freaked him out so much that he called a member of the coaching staff, recalls the team manager, Naveed Akram Cheeva. Even though he was found to have a fever, he refused to accept that it was being ill that made him feel the bed shaking.
He also allegedly missed a World Cup match due to the traumatic experience.
2. Looming spirit in London
The Langham Hotel in London is the definition of luxury. Opened in 1865 and patronized by literary greats like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the hotel enjoys a rich history bejeweled by a classy infrastructure and impeccable facilities.
Unfortunately, 6 years ago, the English team, under a definite nine loss streak in Tests, witnessed some sleepless nights due to strange occurrences at the hotel.
The most prominent being Stuart Broad, who admitted on having some eerie experiences one night.
“One night I woke up in the middle of the night, around 1.30am and I was convinced there was a presence in the room,” Broad said
“It was the weirdest feeling. All of a sudden the taps in the bathroom came on for no reason. I turned the lights on and the taps turned themselves off. Then when I turned the lights off again the taps came on. It really freaked me out. I ended up asking to move rooms.”
Ben Stokes too admitted to having sleeping troubles in the hotel, and wives and partners of the English players allegedly declined to stay at the Langham.
3. Disturbance in Durham
Built in the North of England in the 14th century, the Lumley Castle is another hotel that oozes elegance and class.
Nevertheless, it’s haunted tale tells the story of Lily Lumley, the wife of Sir Ralph Lumley, the creator of the castle. She was allegedly pushed into a well by two priests in the castle grounds, as she had refused to accept the Catholic faith. It is said that her spirit floats around the castle, and the many encounters by visitors have made the belief stronger.
In 2005, Australian batsman Shane Watson had to endure an unforgettable experience at the castle. Staying in room 46, which allegedly was the room where Lily was tortured before being thrown into the well, he felt spooked by ghosts in the room. So much so that the man had to curl up for the night on the floor of Brett Lee’s room.
The man was mercilessly mocked by English paceman Darren Gough those Ashes supposedly, as he sledged him by saying “Don’t worry, you can sleep in my bed tonight.”
However, even though the claim was made fun of, even Australia’s media officer, Belinda Dennett, seemed to agree.
“I saw ghosts. I swear I’m telling the truth,” Belinda said.
“Several of the players were uneasy although a lot of them in the morning said they were fine … but maybe they were just trying to be brave.”
Saurav Ganguly, Indian legend too was spooked in the hotel during a series in England, as when he went to sleep after a day of training, he woke up to the sound of tap running water.
“I got up, switched on the lights and went to turn off the water. The taps were already off. I thought I must have dreamt it or heard it from another room.
However, it wasn’t the end for him. He decided to leave on the lights but once again heard the sound of running water. Scared out of his wits that night, Ganguly had to take refuge in Robin Singh’ s room to avoid the ominous happenings.
These are just some of the stories that have trailed behind with a spooky presence in the lives of certain cricketers. Oh, and after reading this, I hope you’re not home alone.