Fright Night at Capel Manor

P1210837A group of 16-18 year olds in their second year of the Animal Management course are being sponsored to survive an evening in the main hall of the 18th-century house to raise money for the College.

Their efforts are aimed at helping the college raise £1million towards a new animal care centre scheduled to open next year.

The group will be the first to stay overnight in the building since the last owner died there in 1957.

They will sleep in the main hall after a guided ghost tour of the house and grounds by college principal Dr Stephen Dowbiggin.

Dr Dowbiggin, who was appointed principal in 1986, says there has been a lot of paranormal activity in the house, adding: “Often when I work late, footsteps are heard along corridors and the building creaks for no reason.”

The three-storey building which currently houses the college was built in the 1750s, replacing the old manor house which belonged to the Capel family until 1546.

Ghostly sightings include that of an old lady, supposedly a former nanny to the Warren family in the 19th century, lurking on the second floor.

The previous owner, Colonel Medcalf, is also said to be haunting the house, alongside a murdered gardener from 1860 and an officer of the Dragoons who was killed in a sword fight over a lover.

Speaking of the fundraising, Dr Dowbiggin said: “The sleepover will certainly be a challenge for the students and they are deserving of sponsoring.

You can follow the ghostly goings on at Capel Manor during the evening here and on Twitter. If you would like to support the students and raise money for the new animal care project, please email

Head of Animal Care & Saddlery Christine Bianchin, and Animal Co-ordinator at Capel’s Gunnersbury Park centre Hannah Reardon, will also be staying overnight with the students and hoping to get some sleep.

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