Ghost myths quashed at former Prestbury House Hotel
A LANDMARK former hotel once said to be the home of ghosts has gone on the market for more than £1.5 million, but its owners are insisting that it is not haunted.
Linda Gardner and David Miller have refurbished the Prestbury House Hotel and debunked one of the site's great myths in the process.
A 'secret room' behind a boarded-up window has been revealed as nothing more than a hallway lost in an 18th century renovation.
And the couple say the hotel's "haunted past" was merely a myth devised by its former managers to drum up business.
Ms Gardner, 59, said: "It was just a marketing ploy by them to drum up business and nothing unusual has happened since we moved in.
"Anybody who has been in a genuinely haunted house will be able to sense it and this certainly isn't.
"I have had properties cleansed before for that very reason, but there's no ghost here at all."
Ms Gardner said the story derived from a combination of the window and Prestbury's reputation as a haunted village.
The house, in The Burgage, had been built in the early 1700s, but a Georgian renovation had resulted in the window being boarded up.
"The staircase that was put in would have arrived at the next floor at the window, so they blocked it," she said.
The couple have spent £700,000 splitting the hotel into two houses and will continue to live in the smaller section at the rear, which has five bedrooms and five bathrooms.
A six-bedroom and six-bathroom property on three floors is up for sale.
They are just the third owners of the property in its history and have named their home Capel House, after the family that owned it for more than 300 years.
St Mary's Church, Prestbury inherited the hotel from Christopher Capel, who died in 1965.
It was sold on to the Whitbourn family, which ran it as a hotel, before the couple bought it in 2010. The Capel family owned it for 300 years and the last Capel, Christopher, died with no children or family in 1965 and bequeathed it to the church.
The property is on the market with the Cheltenham branch of Savills under the heading 'Queen Anne perfection'.
The company's country house sales specialist Julian Archard, who is handling the sale, said he expected it to fetch the full £1,595,000 asking price.
Mr Archard said: "I wasn't aware of the rumours that it was haunted, although Prestbury is well-known as a haunted place.
"We have already had a good few viewings."
Prestbury has long been home to ghost tours and is reputedly the most haunted place in Britain.
Sightings of a headless horseman are among village folklore.