The Haunting of the Lawn
There have been many reported sightings of ghostly figures, including those of children, roaming the corridors and grounds of the Lawn. They are said to wander round looking lost dressed in white robes. There are claims that these apparitions seem to be looking for something that the observers cannot see. Some have even reported hearing loud crying and wailing emanating from within its walls. Could these be the sounds of the troubled former inmates? A ghost hunting team spent a night in the building and spoke of seeing a table move on its own and of contacting a spirit called Francesca, apparently a former inmate who was there only because she had given birth to an illegitimate child. The other members of the group experienced crying and feelings of sadness. The group reported electrical problems with their equipment when inside the buildings and also recorded sounds of tapping on the table.
The History of the Lawn
The Lawn was built for the purpose of being a hospital for people who suffer from mental illness. It opened in 1820 when attitudes towards mental illness were improving and understood more. The hospital didn’t use barbaric treatments, nor did it restrain its patients as was thought necessary to keep them under control in previous years. In 1985, the hospital was closed and the buildings were acquired by the City Council and used as a visitor and conference centre. The Lawn is still a tourist attraction today, and has an imitation of the hospital cells with manikins which are quite realistic and can often cause a scare. There is also a building converted into a tropical fish aquarium and in December, it turns into a hive of activity with stalls and fun fare amusements for the Christmas market. There are scheduled ghost hunts for people to attend and spend the night in the former hospital.