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Ghosts of Northern England


Milnthorpe Road
Near Kendal
Evolved from Pele tower and Hall into sixteenth century country residence, Levens Hall and its ghosts have received a lot of publicity over the last few years. In 1976 I had the pleasure of speaking to Mrs. Bagot, the owner's wife and she confirmed that a phantom black dog still occasionally rushes down the staircase much to the surprise of visitors about to ascend. The animal was also seen by Don Stonor when he met Mrs. Bagot in the village in the 1950`s. He thought it was a normal creature until asking about it later in the afternoon when having tea at Levens Hall.

During a visit by two groups of visitors in 1973 the ghostly `Pink Lady` made her appearance. She is often seen gliding across the hall and occasionally walking in the garden. Last witnessed in 1972 was the better-known ghost of the `Grey Lady` who frequents Levens Bridge. A year earlier she was standing on a narrow bridge leading to the house. She suddenly moved into the road and an astonished motorist was nearly involved in a fatal accident trying to avoid her.
© Andrew Green

See Also:

[ Stone Circles in Cumbria ]


Near Skipton
North Yorkshire
Standing among soft green meadows bordered by woods and the River Wharfe and its delightful waterfalls, this picturesque twelfth century ruin provides a perfect setting for any artist. Many have captured the charming scene but no so effectively as Landseer. The nave of the priory was repaired and lengthened in 1864 to form the local parish church bit it is the old grounds of the abbey and the area near the current rectory which is haunted. The Reverend F.G. Griffiths confirmed in 1975 that the apparition of an Augustinian monk in a brown hassock has been seen walking through the wall of the rectory towards the ruined abbey. The figure of the monk has also been witnessed on a number of occasions near the rectory by visitors to the ruins.
© Andrew Green

Studley Royal
Near Ripon
North Yorkshire
Here among the beautiful and somewhat romantic ruins of what was once the wealthiest Cistercian house in the country the occasional evening visitor is, it seems, likely to hear the melodious chanting of a male choir.
© Andrew Green

Marston Moor
North Yorkshire
A group of tourists lost in their search for the road to Hessay had found themselves on an unidentified road between the A59 and B1224. Comment among the friends was made regarding a number of tramps stumbling silently along the ditch. The driver of the car slowed down to take a closer look and he and his passengers were puzzled by the clothing of the `five or six men` that they could see, for they appeared to be dressed in a seventeenth century style. Having passed the staggering troupe the tourists turned round to watch their progress only to be astonished to realise that the road was empty. This incident occurred in 1968 but a similar experience was reported by two other travellers on the same road five years later. The site of the famous Battle of Marston Moor is a short walk away from where the ghosts were witnessed.
© Andrew Green

North Yorkshire
There are dozens of long-distance lorry drivers and some motorists who are happy to admit seeing `Nance` during their journey from Malton to York. She is a youngish woman who appears just on the edge of their headlights and travels with them practically all the way to the city, but only during fog. The legend concerning the ghost, if that is what the mysterious figure is, tell of how she became engaged to the driver of a mail coach, but was lured away by romantic stories of a local highway man. Eventually the thief deserted her with a baby, and her former lover found the couple standing on the side of the road. Despite his care and tenderness, Nance and the child died.
© Andrew Green

Near Harrogate
North Yorkshire
Haunted by an indistinguishable ` half human` shape this ruined fortified manor was originally the home of the Percy family who arrived in this country in 1069. The apparition, if that is what the figure can be called, is bluish-white in colour, and is seen `standing` on the tiny parapet at the top of the eighteenth century tower for a few seconds and then falling rapidly to the grass path below. A group of schoolchildren and their teacher saw the phenomena in 1969 and two picnickers also witnessed `the ghostly suicide` in 1973.
© Andrew Green

St Leonard's Place
North Yorkshire
Although the ghost that haunts the eighteenth century Theatre Royal has not been seen since 1975 there is no suggestion that she has moved on to pleasanter pastures and could well return. According to Christina Hole, a renowned folk-lore expert, in her brilliant work, 'Haunted England' the inexplicable sound of organ music was heard coming from the theatre at 2.20 one morning in the 1930`s. The melody was repeated about an hour later but never heard again. Whether this was in any way connected with the far more modern haunting is difficult now to establish. The building incorporates many portions of St Leonard's Hospital, established at the time of King Stephen in the twelfth century. The social centre and club room of the theatre are actually sectors of the original crypt. Tradition has it that one of the nuns that served the hospital as a nurse was walled up alive in a tiny cell behind a dressing room, near the dress circle. However, legend tells of dozens of monks and nuns being imprisoned in this fashion but few, if any actually suffered this fate. John Mitchell, author of 'Ghosts of an Ancient City' states that many occupants of the affected dressing room have mentioned the strange but intense feeling of being watched. A leading actress, Marjorie Rowland, when standing at the back of the dress circle saw the figure ` Dressed in a grey robe with a white cuff, leaning over the edge of the stage box`. This description is rather that of a novice, a trainee nun who is unlikely so early to have undergone immurement unless carrying it out as part of an initiation act.

In 1965 the 'Daily Sketch' published a letter from Harry Bennett who whilst playing at the theatre, was given permission to `try and lay the ghost`. `Several of us occupied the dressing room` he says ` and soon we heard footsteps. The atmosphere became eerie and cold. Then, to out astonishment. the figure of a tall woman appeared, hooded and in a grey gown. She entered the room through the closed door and as one of the company screamed the main lights were put on. With that the apparition vanished.` The group who saw the nun in 1975 were members of the cast of 'Dear Octopus'. At one point in the play, they suddenly noticed a light developing slowly in the circle. As they watched it increased in brilliance and finally took the appearance of the head and shoulders of a woman, surrounded by `some form of hood or cowl`. A few seconds later the phantom slowly faded away, After a few minutes discussion, the cast resumed rehearsals only to be given a repeat performance a few moments later, though with less intensity.
© Andrew Green

Manchester Road
West Yorkshire
Many popular radio and television personalities, including two famous disc-jockeys, gained their early training and expertise through stage or film work. Pete Murray appeared in films, David Hamilton was once on the stage, Both have experienced phenomena but here, at the Alhambra, it was `young David`, who was to have his first personal knowledge of a ghost. David was sitting in his dressing-room one evening and suddenly saw `quite clearly` a mans face in the mirror. He swung round but there was no-one to be seen. On glancing at the glass the image was till visible `But fading rapidly. After a brief smile in a very friendly fashion the man completely disappeared`. Later David was shown photographs of a former actor at the theatre and it was identical to that of the face he had seen in the mirror. The Disc-jockey is not the only occupier of the particular dressing-room to have witnessed the ghost in the mirror. Two cleaners reported seeing the man's face smiling at them whilst working in the room shortly before a performance.
© Andrew Green

Near Batley
West Yorkshire
The headquarters of this club was, at one time, a farmhouse belonging to the now ruined sixteenth century hall built by Sir John Savile. The main portion was destroyed in 1643 by the Duke of Newcastle and what remained was let to various families, one being the famous Villiers. One afternoon in 1972 Mr. and Mrs. Bunney of Leeds were walking near the ruins of the old hall and noticed a woman whose appearance was unusual, walking towards them. `She had a long dress with a dark top and a curious red mantilla veil over her face and shoulders`. Mrs. Bunney said, `but it just as I commented on this to my husband the figure faded and vanished`. A couple of years later Mr. Gomershall, a mill worker, saw two men and a woman in the same area`. I thought they were golfers` he said, ` but when my dog barked and growled at then they just vanished`. The figures had appeared in `dark loose clothing of an early period`.
© Andrew Green