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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 June, 2005, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Cricketers confront 'hotel ghost'
By Alastair Lawson
BBC News

Redworth Hall Hotel
The hotel is reported to home to numerous ghouls
The Bangladesh cricket team's tour of England has been fraught with testing challenges from pace bowling attacks.

But recently the players experienced perhaps the biggest scare of the tour while staying at a hotel that has a reputation for being haunted.

A ghastly apparition, clothed in white and accompanied by the anguished cries of a child, appeared by their rooms.

In the disturbance that followed, several guests were woken up, the hotel manager told the BBC News website.

Anguished cries

Team captain Habibul Bashar - at the forefront of the brave but futile resistance to the England bowling attack - showed similar resilience when confronted with the ghostly menace.

Habibul Bashar
Habibul Bashar - 'took the ghost on'

"Apparently he rushed out and attacked the ghoul," Paul Mandeir, the general manager of the Redworth Hall hotel in County Durham said.

"In the ensuing melee, he awoke several other guests."

But this time it was not one of the many ghosts fabled to roam the hotel's corridors.

The offending spook was Bangladesh's fast bowler - and practical joker - Mashrafe Mortaza carrying a bed sheet and a tape recorder.

Horror movie

But the Bangladeshi players would have had good reason to be a little nervous about their accommodation.

Redworth Hall Hotel room
The hotel's floorboards are 'ominously creaky'

The hotel is in a remote location surrounded by 40 acres of windswept moor land.

It is a Jacobean mansion which could make the ideal setting for a horror movie.

The hotel's newsletter may well have sent a shiver down the spine of some of the visiting players, who were sleeping three to a room.

It records the cruelty of Redworth's 18th century landowner, Lord Surtees, towards his mentally ill child who was chained to the fireplace and whose cries of anguish can still be heard.

It also tells the story of the peer's affair with his scullery maid, who committed suicide by throwing herself down the staircase when his wife discovered she was pregnant.

"It was not made any easier for the Bangladeshi players because they stayed in an older, quieter part of the hotel where the floorboards creaked ominously," said Mr Mandeir.

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