Spooked businessman flees 'haunted' mansion
Alastair Jamieston – Telegraph.co.uk September 21, 2008
Anwar Rashid and his wife Nabila spent £3.6 million on Clifton Hall in Nottinghamshire but a year later were so desperate to get rid of it that they gave it back to their mortgage provider.
The couple moved in with their three daughters aged seven, five and three, and baby son in January 2007, and it was not long before they were spooked by the sound of screams from the mansion's corridors.
During their eight months in the former school, the couple also saw mysterious figures which took the form of their children.
Mr Rashid, 32, who is worth £25 million and made his money through a chain of nursing homes and a hotel in Dubai, compared his experience to the 2001 film The Others, starring Kidman, in which a family is forced out of their home by ghosts.
Mr Rashid said: "Clifton Hall is a beautiful property.
"I fell for its beauty but behind the facade it is haunted.
"We were like the family in The Others. The ghosts didn't want us to be there and we could not fight them because we couldn't see them."
He added: "The day we moved in we had our first experience. We sat down in the evening to relax and there was a knock on the wall. We heard this, 'Hello, is anyone there'?
"We ignored it the first time but two minutes later we heard the man's voice again. I got up to have a look but the doors were locked and the windows were closed."
He said on another occasion his wife went downstairs to make milk for the baby at 5am and she saw their eldest daughter watching television.
"She said her name but she wouldn't respond," he said.
"My wife realised something was up, so she went back upstairs to check on her and found her fast asleep in her bed.
"When we found red blood spots on the baby's quilt, that was the day my wife said she'd had enough.
We didn't even stay that night. It was the last straw, we felt that they had come to attack us. It was really emotional."
As well as having 17 bedrooms, Clifton Hall, which dates back to the Norman conquest, also has ten reception rooms, ten bathrooms, a gym and a cinema.
Mr Rashid, who also shared the house with his parents and brother, said his decision to stop paying the mortgage was the last resort. Mr Rashid moved his family out in August last year before he stopped paying the mortgage on the property to the Yorkshire Bank in January. The bank was yesterday unable to confirm the status of the property.
A website featuring Clifton Hall advertises the property as a wedding venue, but ceremonies and functions were prohibited by the local council in May last year because of a lack of planning permission.
Mr Rashid now lives in the Wollaton area of Nottingham. He said: "When people used to tell me about ghosts, I would never believe them and would say 'whatever'.
"But I would have to tell any new owner that it was haunted having experienced it. I couldn't sleep knowing that I have kept something so serious from them.
Last updated 26/09/2008