The supernatural, the paranormal, the transcendental, whatever you want to call it, the history of mankind is full of incomprehensible and spectral stories that have intrigued the world over ages. Ghosts and haunted stories have not stayed away from cricket also. Cricketers have reported spooky incidents and officials have been asked to shift hotels over years. Cricketers have spent sleepless nights and stories have written around the incidents. From Shane Watson to Stuart Broad to Haris Sohail to MS Dhoni, none have been spared. Sudatta Mukherjee lists some of haunted stories from the world of cricket. Beware of the spectre: this is not for the light-hearted.

Lumley Castle Hotel, Chester-Le-Street, Durham

Lumley Castle Hotel in Chester-Le-Street, Durham © Getty Images
Lumley Castle Hotel in Chester-Le-Street, Durham © Getty Images

It was the summer of 2005, Australia toured England for The Ashes. The 1-1 result is known to everyone, and the videos have gone viral on YouTube. The heartbreak, the incessant pressure, the intensity on and off the field and England’s memorable Ashes win and Australia’s traumatic loss have been re-lived in colleges and offices and pubs. The image of a heartbroken Brett Lee bending over his bat and Andrew Flintoff putting a reassuring hand of comfort on the former’s shoulder has probably been the most celebrated picture of The Ashes and spirit of cricket of recent times. However, there was more to Ashes 2005 than this. Somewhere around June 22, Shane Watson was scared by ghosts in an ancient hotel. Even Australia’s media manager was not left behind in being spooked. “I saw ghosts. I swear I’m telling the truth,” she admitted. Watson was reportedly so terrified after the incident that he slept in Lee’s room.

According to locals, the hotel is supposedly haunted by a 14th century aristocrat who was murdered by Catholic priests. Not only that, the lady of the castle (now a hotel), Lily Lumley, was murdered by two priests after she refused to practise and follow the Catholic church.

However, over the years, scared have cricketers stayed there. In 2000, when West Indies toured England, three West Indian cricketers were apparently scared. They checked out and moved elsewhere. The then captain Jimmy Adams was one of them.

Langham Hotel, London

Langham Hotel, London. Photo Courtesy - Wikipedia.
Langham Hotel, London. Photo Courtesy – Wikipedia.

There is more to Langham Hotel than being just another London hotel. Celebrity sightings are normal. From Lady Gaga to cricketers, Langham hotel is the first choice for many. However, in 2014, Stuart Broad complained and requested that his rooms be shifted when they were staying at the hotel. Not only Broad, Ben Stokes and even the then Indian Test captain was reported of getting scared at the hotel.

“During the Sri Lanka Test I had to move rooms. It was so hot in the room I just couldn’t sleep. All of a sudden the taps in the bathroom came on for no reason. I turned the lights on and the taps turned themselves off. Then when I turned the lights off again the taps came on. It was very weird. It really freaked me out. I ended up asking to move rooms. Bealey [Broad’s girlfriend] was pretty spooked, too, and I know Moeen Ali’s other half won’t stay there because she’s so frightened of the ghosts. I’ve slept okay during the current Test (against India) but the Sri Lanka Test (last month) was not great. One night I woke up in the middle of the night, around 1.30 a.m. and I was convinced there was a presence in the room. It was the weirdest feeling. Ben Stokes has had some problems sleeping as well. He’s on the third floor, which is where a lot of the issues are. I’m telling you, something weird is going on,” Broad was quoted saying by English newspapers.

Langham opened in 1865. They have served Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle, and is one of the most renowned haunted hotels in the world. According to reports, Room No. 333 is the epicentre of everything. The hotel’s website states: “In 1973 a BBC radio announcer James Alexander-Gordon awoke suddenly in the night to see a fluorescent ball which slowly took on the shape of a man wearing Victorian evening wear. The announcer asked the ghost what it wanted and it began to float towards him, with its legs cut off some two feet below the ground, arms outstretched, eyes staring emptily. At this point the announcer got up and fled.”

Rydges Latimer hotel, Christchurch, New Zealand

Rydges Latimer hotel, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Rydges Latimer hotel, Christchurch, New Zealand.

Haris Sohail made headlines earlier this year when he was left shaken after an encounter at Rydges Latimer hotel, Christchurch. Apparently, he felt his bed being shaken by some supernatural phenomenon. He was so scared that he went and slept in the coach’s room. Team manager Naveed Akram Cheeva said that Sohail called a coaching staff and told him about his bed being shaken. When the coach reached Sohail’s room, he  and found Sohail shaken and feverish. Though the hotel does not report of any paranormal activity, Sohail found a place in ESPN’s Olbermann program.

Djinns of Feroz Shah Kotla


Delhi is a beautiful city full of history which dates back to beyond the days of Christ. The Indian capital has been seen a lot of rulers and change of dynasties. They say Delhi has been built seven times. It is a city where mystery lurks around every corner.

In the heart of Old Delhi is Feroz Shah Kotla, famous for Anil Kumble’s 10-wickets haul. Adjacent to the stadium is the old city of Feroz Shah, forming the imposing citadel of Firozabad. Djinns (or genies, or jinns) are creatures who let one’s wishes come true. It is also said that people gather in numbers on Thursdays hoping their wishes come true. It is also said that these creatures can be sometimes seen at the site. Who knows how many young cricketers have walked its way into the place while their way in and out of the cricket stadium?

(Sudatta Mukherjee is a reporter with CricketCountry. Other than writing on cricket, she spends penning random thoughts on her blog. When she is not writing, you will catch her at a movie theatre or watching some English televison show on her laptop. Her Twitter handle is @blackrosegal)