Ghosts of Northampton past come to life this Christmas

Published: Thursday, 17 November 2016

Characters from Northampton’s past are coming to life through augmented reality this Christmas. Families can join the interactive ghost story and hunt for six spirits dotted around the town centre.

A new app, which can be downloaded free of charge, allows you to follow a historical trail on a smartphone or tablet and hear the stories of individuals who have a strong connection with Northampton’s past. Spooky spectres are standing at doors around the town centre that will open into another time when you view them through your smart device.

With Northampton’s long history there are plenty of tales to tell, but for now six individuals are waiting to tell their stories under the Christmas lights. While doing your Christmas shopping this year, you could meet:

  • Footballer, Walter Tull, outside a pub on the market square
  • Shakespeare’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Barnard, outside Ask Italian restaurant on St Giles Street
  • Poet, John Clare, to the right-hand side of All Saints church
  • Former MP for Northampton, Charles Bradlaugh, near Starbucks on the market square
  • Dancer and daughter of James Joyce, Lucia Joyce, hiding behind the Guildhall on Dychurch Lane
  • Founder of Phipps Brewery, Pickering Phipps, on Fish Street

Well-known 21st century Northamptonians, including former Northampton Town player Wayne Baptiste, and Alaric Neville, owner of Phipps Northampton Brewery Company, were enlisted to retell the stories of the ghosts who will be haunting the town.

Councillor Anna King, Northampton Borough Council’s cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “Ghost stories have been a Christmas tradition in the UK for years so I’m really pleased that we’ve been able to embrace that and create something that’s really fun and a little bit spooky.

“Northampton has a fascinating history and it’s great that local people were willing to come on board to help bring these stories to life so I’d like to thank everyone who volunteered to give the ghosts their voices. We’re proud of our incredible heritage all-year round, so we’re hoping that this app is here to stay and not just for Christmas.”

Download the Aurasma app from Apple and Android app stores and follow ‘ghosts of Northampton past’ to pick up the trail. Instructions on how to access the app and a map of the ghostly trail can be found at