The Haunting of Jew’s House
Despite the rich history of the Jew’s House, there remain few reported sightings of ghosts. That’s not to say though, that the place isn’t haunted! Many people who have ventured through the spooky halls and corridors of the building have reported hearing ‘phantom footsteps’ on the stairs although it is not known who might be patrolling the staircase or why…
One witness also reported hearing phantom voices but when he searched the entire building there was nobody else around. There have been various reports by the kitchen staff of pots and pans having been moved when nobody has been anywhere near the kitchen.
The phantom noises and otherworldly goings on have been reported for many years and, although the latest owners of the house haven’t encountered too much of the haunting, they still believe in the poltergeist and that it’s still lurking around the house…
The chill I got as I walked through the doorway of the Jew’s House was enough to put me on my toes as I entered the building.. This soon disappeared though as I was swept swiftly into the warmth of the restaurant area of the house. The stone walls of the corridor which might once have been dank and dingy, have been scrubbed up to a beautiful cream colour and certainly don’t add the spooky atmosphere which I was hoping for!
The lack of windows made me hope that the restaurant would seem dark and spooky, particularly in the evening when I went. It didn’t. The whole room was lit up and instead of feeling eerie and desolate, the small room felt intimate and friendly and the background noise of the busy restaurant quickly got rid of any fears I’d previously had.
Having been denied access to other parts of the building, I’m afraid that this is all I have to report on this particular house. Oh, apart from the fact that the food was…. To DIE for…!
Jew’s House Restaurant History
Dating back to medieval times, the Jew’s House, located at the bottom of Steep Hill, is thought to be one of Europe’s oldest remaining dwelling houses. It was built in around 1150 when Lincoln was England’s third largest city as well as one of the wealthiest. The Jewish community around the time was also one of the most important in the country. The Jew’s House would have been one of the largest and most lavish houses in the city at the time it was built. The building has changed much since it was first built, however a lot of the Norman facade remains the same. This includes the stone archway over the door, the two double arch windows and the chimney breast over the door arch. The two columns which supported the arch have now gone; taking away some of what would once have added to the building’s charm and grandeur.
The Jew’s House is probably most famous for its involvement in the ‘Libel of Lincoln’. In 1255 a young boy named Hugh was murdered. At the time a young girl who lived in the Jew’s House was getting married and Jews had come from throughout the country to celebrate. The Jews were accused of having kidnapped and murdered Hugh, (a Christian,) in a ritual ceremony and one of the men was convinced to confess to the murder. He was dragged up Steep Hill tied to a horse until he was dead and 18 of the ‘co-conspirators’ were taken to the Tower of London and hanged.
In 1290 the Jew’s House was apparently seized from its Jewish owners when all of England’s Jews were expelled from the country due to the Edict of Expulsion, issued by King Edward the first due to the country’s conflict over usury, (the lending of money with interest which Christian’s were not allowed to partake in).
Little is known about the history of the Jew’s house from this point, however there is an ‘apparently’ Victorian extension to the house. In January 2009 the building was quite badly damaged by fire although, thankfully, nobody was hurt and the Jew’s House has since been restored.