Royston ghost hunter reveals all about town haunts

Ghost Walk founder Damien O'Dell (centre) and the people on his ghost walk in Royston in front of th

Ghost Walk founder Damien O'Dell (centre) and the people on his ghost walk in Royston in front of the former North Star pub - Credit: Archant

It’s one of the most haunted places in the UK, they say, so it’s only natural that Royston is the stomping ground of seasoned ghost hunter Damien O’Dell.

Damien O'Dell is a historian and ghost hunter.

Damien O'Dell is a historian and ghost hunter. - Credit: Archant

The 65-year-old has had an interest in the paranormal since he was just ten years old, when he saw his first ghost.

He said: “I was with a friend and we were chatting away.

“The conversation stopped and we saw a figure gliding past – then it disappeared.

“We were both looking for reasons. I wanted to know why he disappeared.”

It was this curiosity, mixed with his love for writing that saw him pen his first novel – Ghostly Bedfordshire.

He was working in the county at the time, and so it became the first location he explored.

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He said: “ My contract ended at a charity I was working for and I wanted to do my own thing.

“I built up a lot of contacts, I was doing lots of public speaking. Ever since I wrote my first book, people have been very supportive. I don’t know if it’s because of programmes like Most Haunted, but an interest has been sparked.”

Damien says there are an infinite number of haunts in Royston – Abbot Travel, The Manor House, The Banyers, the Conservative Club, and Royston Museum to name just a few.

He said: “There have been a number of programmes filmed here. Derek Acorah said Royston is one of the most haunted places he has been to.”

Damien is excited one of his next projects – he and his team have been given the go ahead to carry out an investigation of the museum in the new year.

He said: “It’s very haunted. There was a mysterious death in the Victorian era.

“The caretaker’s wife went to prepare dinner for the children. When she failed to reappear, somebody went to look for her and found her dead in the cellar. She’s been seen and heard by several members of staff since. ”

The seasoned spook hunter says his presence isn’t always welcomed by ghosts and ghouls.

He said: “When I go to haunted places, it’s like whatever is there doesn’t want me to investigate.

“Mostly ghosts are friendly, but some are very nasty – that’s quite uncommon though. I’m not frightened of ghosts – you have to remember that they can’t harm you.

“They might scratch or push you, but they can’t harm you.”

Damien will lead a night walk for adults next Wednesday, November 18, meeting at 7.30pm at Royston railway station.

And he will also be hosting a final tour for 2015 on Tuesday, December 29.