Sarah: Angry Ghost of Norwich

The city of Norwich in Norfolk, on the East coast of England, is beautiful and a city rich history. The United Kingdom is a country full ghost stories. Virtually every city in Britain and most of the historical locations outside the cities have tales of the paranormal. From hauntings to poltergeists to malevolent spirits to friendly ghosts, this is a country that has seen it all when it comes to the paranormal. The city of Norwich is no exception. The ghost stories of Norwich have not been explored in depth like some of the better known hauntings of London, but Norwich’s ghosts are no potent and some refuse to be ignored. Which brings us to one of the better known and researched ghost stories of Norwich. This is story of a murder and a spirit who refuses to admit to death.

call spirit guides On Magdalen Street, one of the busiest streets in town is a small,, unassuming shop front. This store front blends in with all the other shops with a wooden facia board that advertises the current name of the company who rents it. This shop has a traditional full glass front, but with a small exception. Above the door of this particular shop the number 19 is set in glass. This address was the home of many merchants as Oxfam, Radio Rentals, and many others. It use to be the address of these firms until the haunting begins. And, with each new merchant, the haunting always begins again. It was originally a public house (a public house is a pub that sometimes offers a sleeping area rented to travelers) and that is where this ghost story begins.

In the late 19th century was a pub called the Key Merchant Arms. It was a popular drinking establishment perfectly located on a busy street. What also made Key Merchant Arms was the prostitution that was on offer upstairs. There are slightly differ stories told as to what happened upstairs one night, but it is basically a grisly tale about a young woman called Sara or Sarah. Sarah got into a fight with someone. Some say it was the resident pimp who was forcing her into prostitute. Others say it was one of the drunk patrons who tried to force himself upon her. But, whoever it was, they would brutally kill Sara for her resistance. Not long after is when the haunting began.

The Key Merchant Arms originally covered the two buildings adjacent to number 19. But it is where that number 19 hangs that has always been the focal point of the haunting. Cups would be pushed off tables; typewriters would begin typing by themselves; at night things would be moved around shop; part of the shop would turn very cold then turn very hot; and in the modern era computers would mysterious turn on and off. Every now and then, over the past 100 years a merchant would move in and the haunting would subside in intensity. But, no sooner would that merchant move out and another one move into number 19 that the paranormal events would begin again.

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Most merchants would move out soon after the haunting began (unable to keep employees willing to work in the shop, not to mention customers who refused to return after experiencing a paranormal event). However, there was always another merchant who didn’t believe in ghosts or wanted to take advantage of the shops prime location.

Most of the merchants didn’t care what was causing the frightening events. Paranormal investigators called it a classic case of a poltergeist but were unable to stop the haunting. A séance was held. That is where the story of Sarah was revealed. An effort was made by spiritualists and mediums to convince Sarah to move on, to enter the after life. This only seem to intensify the haunting. You see, Sarah refused to admit she was dead. She knew she could still interact with the living. And, she was VERY angry about being assaulted. Sarah wants to communicate with the living, she thinks she is entitled to, and when she gets no response from the living she reacts violently. For whatever reason, some merchants please Sarah and she would watch, maybe pull a prank now and then, but basically leave them alone.

Today number 19 shop attracts visitors that are curious to explore the story of Norwich’s best known haunted house. Most visitors (and the occasional paranormal investigator) want to visit the upstairs where Sarah was murdered. The reports of strange happenings have diminished somewhat, but every now and then Sarah will shock the unsuspecting tourist or employ. Perhaps now that Sarah has what she wants, the attention of the living, she is a little less angry. To date, however, she has yet to move on.

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