The beau­ti­ful spa town of Har­ro­gate in York­shire is host­ing a ghost walk with a dif­fer­ence this sum­mer… spec­tres and shades, some (but not all) from the dis­tant past. Some are haunt­ing the life of Har­ro­gate now… and some are haunt­ed by the town itself. Haunt: a sto­ry-walk through Har­ro­gate, with music and per­for­mance is by Imove Arts, in part­ner­ship with Har­ro­gate The­atre and the Pump Room Muse­um. It will take audi­ences on a tour around the town in search of spir­its. They will be glimpsed – or heard whis­per­ing – in Val­ley Gar­dens, The Pump Room Muse­um, The Ceno­taph, The The­atre, on the streets, at ASDA and under bridges. Final­ly arriv­ing at a mys­tery loca­tion where an installation/ per­for­mance will ask ‘who are the ghosts? Who are the haunted?’

The Guardian has select­ed the pro­duc­tion as one of its Top Tick­ets for this week.

Through 2015, Imove worked with two estab­lished writ­ers, Stephen Toase and Becky Cher­ri­man (pic­tured below), who were brought up in Har­ro­gate and have expe­ri­enced home­less­ness in the town. The ear­ly part of the project helped home­less peo­ple in Har­ro­gate to tell sto­ries and poems about their lives, their places, their dreams for the future. This work, with images by pho­tog­ra­ph­er Paul Floyd Blake, was pub­lished in an anthol­o­gy, launched with a series of read­ings and includ­ed in an exhi­bi­tion at the Roy­al Pump Rooms Museum.


In a recent sur­vey, 64% of peo­ple in Har­ro­gate believed that home­less­ness was not a sig­nif­i­cant prob­lem in the town. Yet home­less char­i­ties receive hun­dreds of refer­rals each year. Home­less­ness haunts the town’s life, present yet invisible.

Haunt will engage a live audi­ence in see­ing this in a new way, a jour­ney which is unset­tling, spec­tral, fun­ny, beau­ti­ful. The walk­ing audi­ence hear a sound­track over head­phones, sto­ries, poems, char­ac­ters, ambi­ent music/soundscape. A child with polio … an actress… a drag­on… a preg­nant girl in the swing­ing six­ties… the Empress Con­sort of Rus­sia… a head wait­er. Ghosts of a town, past and present.

Music by DJ Kwah

DJ Kwah

Per­for­mances: 30th June till 2nd July, at 2pm, 5pm and 8pm. The 2pm per­for­mances will be suit­able for fam­i­lies, and will include a tour of the Pump Room Muse­um in search of local ghost stories.














HAUNT is part of the Har­ro­gate The­atre ‘2’s Com­pa­ny’ sea­son of the­atre in unex­pect­ed places and uncon­ven­tion­al spaces. It was short­list­ed for the Sabo­teur Awards 2016.

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