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Review of The St Giles Quarter Ghost Walk and The Haunted Theatre Experience from Looking Glass Theatre, Northampton

I am, I need to make immediately clear, a ghost-sceptic. While I may occasionally watch a spooky movie and have watched an episode (just the absolute one) of Most Haunted, I have never truly bought into the whole spectre phenomenon.

Therefore Looking Glass were in for a challenge from the outset, and for the most part they didn't swing my opinion of ghosts and ghoulies during the hour tour/show. Having said that, I did enjoy it in a much different way. Much like the Behind The Curtain tour at Royal & Derngate (review here) earlier in the year, it was fascinating to see behind the scenes at the Northampton Guildhall. Although I have been in the old court hall before, I have never had the chance to see the old cells and the tunnels beneath (now kitted out with the pipes for the heating system as well making them actually rather warm). It was a rare opportunity to see beneath the bowels of the historic and splendid building and learn a few things that I wasn't aware of (including a bit more information about Alfred Rouse and that infamous Hardingstone murder. The internal part had been very interesting (including some theatrical scares) and it was a shame that we didn't make it to Sessions House as I thought was planned.

The rest of the tour became a small circuit of Derngate, St Giles Street and Castilian Street where we were told of various local hauntings, some as a life long resident I was familiar with (including the friary monk at the Grosvenor and the Notre Dame graveyard) and some unfamiliar (I had either forgotten or never knew the Mail Coach story).

After finishing outside the Royal & Derngate, we descended into the Looking Glass and were sent through a well decorated and fun (sorry scary) side corridor where some of the tour had a few scares and got wrapped in spider webs. It was all great fun, in as I already mentioned, a theatrical way. A few successful jumps for the party and we finished (after refreshment opportunity) with a couple of little scenes featuring, rather oddly Sweeney Todd (and a plundered set from the Royal & Derngate's Youth Theatre production (review here) earlier in the year. This was the weakest part of the hour as it was too short to be a proper show and didn't fit in with the local ghost walk theme. Personally I would have liked a touch more tour instead of this.

However for a glorious pocket friendly six pounds this was a fun hour (and superbly supported with 44 on the tour I experienced), performed with gusty by those taking part and very excellently presented. A great deal of work had clearly gone into the organisation and a delightfully large assembled cast was involved. So yes, I would certainly recommend it. A ghost person will lap up the info and absorb the stories, while the less-ghost person (hand up) will gain a nice little bit of historic info and get into that rarely available buildings secret places and also find the humorous fun of watching the rest of the tour jumping out of their skins or getting creeped out by the stories.

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Tour experienced: Wednesday, 29th October 2014 (7pm)

The St Giles Quarter Ghost Walk and The Haunted Theatre Experience runs until Friday, 31st October and details can be found at: https://thelittleboxoffice.com/lgt/event/view/17962

Looking Glass Theatre's website can be found here: http://www.lookingglasstheatre.co.uk/

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