Published On: Fri, Oct 31st, 2014 on 4:36 pm

Top 10 most haunted places in West Yorkshire

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Yorkshire has recently been ranked as the most haunted county in the whole of England. So we decided to take a look at some of the most eerie locations in West Yorkshire and share them for Halloween.

10. Temple Newsam, Leeds

Temple Newsam Leeds

Temple Newsam House is a Tudor-Jacobean mansion situated on the outskirts of Leeds and was the birthplace of Lord Darnley, the notorious husband of Mary Queen of Scots.

The most famous apparition seen here is the “Blue Lady” (believed to be Mary Ingram) who fell victim to thieving highwaymen who stole her necklace. It is said her spirit searches the house for it today.

There have been accounts of the spirit of a child, and strange noises including that of something heavy being dragged across the floor.

A visitor who blogged her experience wrote: “I used to visit the house regularly when I lived in Leeds and, on descending the main staircase, never failed to feel a chill that raised goosebumps on my arms and the hairs on the back of my neck. A feeling of dread – of something evil – would penetrate me, quicken my step and disappear as soon as I reached the ground floor.”

9. Pontefract Castle, Wakefield

Pontefract Castle

Pontefract Castle was host to a series of bloody sieges during the 17th century English Civil War, and hundreds of soldiers were killed. King Richard II may also have been murdered here.

A black monk has often been seen walking from the kitchen towards the Queens Tower in the late afternoon.

Another monk dressed in grey has been sighted as well as a ghostly woman who is sometimes seen holding a lantern. There have also been reports of ghostly children playing near the dungeon.

8. Kershaw House, Halifax

Kershaw House, a house built in the 1600s, is well-known for its paranormal occurances.

One of the many tales that is shared by ghost hunters is that two nuns were hung, beheaded and then drawn and quartered at this location.

There is various video footage of investigations being conducted here.

In another video uploaded on YouTube, loud bangs were heard when investigators requested them, and people felt “tugging” on their clothes. A little dog or child was also said to brush past legs underneath the pool table.

7. The Royal And Ancient, Huddersfield

In the 1800s, it is said that there was a fire at the local Atkinsons Mill, in which 18 children aged 9-18 lost their lives. The disfigured bodies were laid out in the cold cellar of the Royal And Ancient pub, which served as a temporary mortuary.

Visitors have reported glasses shattering, light fixtures being removed from the walls, and furniture being moved around the bar. Some members of staff have supposedly been afraid to work alone in the kitchen.

It has been reported that investigators once held an all-night vigil at the pub. One member of the group suffered scratches to his neck in the cellar from the malevolent “Mr Black” who was thought to be a former landlord who mistreated his staff.

6. The house of the Hassetts, Leeds

Although paranormal activity has ceased, this location had strong unexplained activity for a period of 20 years. It was discovered in a documentary named Haunted Homes.

It belonged to the Hassetts family, who claimed to have reported strange noises, saw hanging pictures falling, and felt cold spots. The dogs also refused to go into the dark cellar.

A black shadow had been seen walking in the house numerous times. It was seen “watching” the couple on the bed-side and even violently shook someone out of bed.

Phil, the man of the house, told Haunted Homes: “I went to bed as normal, went to sleep and I was rudely awaken about 2 o’ clock in the morning by a violent shaking. I lept out of bed and I saw a figure of a man… to be physically shuffled about in bed, that really put me on edge…”

An investigating psychic said the cellar was once a place in which people were chained and murdered, a story that is unconfirmed. Paranormal activity has now ceased at the location.

5. East Riddlesden Hall, Bradford

East Riddlesden Hall was built in the 1600s and was the home of a 17th century cloth merchant named James Murgatroyd.

Through the years that people have worked here, there have been various accounts of paranormal activity. Ghost hunters weren’t allowed to go into the house to investigate, due to fears they would “disturb” what was there.

A volunteer claimed to have seen a shadow on a day no other staff was working, and a house steward found things moved from there places.

One of the most common apparitions is that of the “Grey Lady”, who was seen so frequently that the bedroom where she was often seen was named after her. A “Blue Lady” and a child have also been spotted.

A visitor services manager who spoke to the BBC in 2009 said: “We’ve had school groups who have come through in costumes and at one point the then catering manager thought she saw a little boy in costume who had got lost from the group. She went to speak to him but he didn’t respond to her. She came into the office and said, ‘There’s a little boy out there and I don’t know what’s the matter with him’.

“But we didn’t have any school groups in on that day.”

The location has also appeared on Living TV’s Most Haunted.

4. Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds

The building first opened in 1861 as the purpose-built Leeds Union Workhouse, a harsh home for the poor.

There were cholera outbreaks at the workhouse, one in 1832 and another in 1840. An estimated 2,700 people died from the disease during these years.

By the 1990s, the old building was considered unfit for modern medicine. Parliament then gave permission for it to house the Thackray Medical Museum, which opened in 1997.

There have been sightings of a ghost in 18th century clothing, and the ghost of a man in a white coat within the Victorian street recreation area.

Visitors have also heard mysterious footsteps, often followed by a smell of urine, knocks and bangs, and felt feelings of anxiety and dread in certain parts of the building.

A person who played the ouija board at the museum wrote: “I think that I was the only person in our group who had never before used one and I honestly wish I’d left it that way… Four of us called for a spirit to join the board; fingers placed on the scribing glass. An unanticipated and startling thing soon occurred, the glass began to move and spell out a name.”

3. Bolling Hall, Bradford

With history dating back to 1086 with mentions in the Domesday book, Bolling Hall has attracted ghost hunters from across the UK.

The first apparition was sighted in the 1600s, when the head of the Royalist army, the Earl of Newcastle, felt his bed clothes being pulled away from him and saw the apparition of a lady.

An elderly man is said to have been killed in one of the rooms and some have claimed to have seen him. People have also claimed to have seen a lady in grey and a lady in pink.

Eye-witnesses have reported strong odours, noises of rattling and baby cries, and a sense they were “watched” in the so-called “Blue Room”.

The location also appeared on Living TV’s Most Haunted.

2. Armley Mills, Leeds

The earliest record of Armley Mills dates from the middle of the 16th century when local clothier Richard Booth leased ‘Armley Millnes’ from Henry Saville.

The mill once became the largest woollen mill in the world, but it was also a place of poor working conditions and child labour.

Considered by some investigators as the most haunted building in Leeds, visitors have reported shadowy figures, sounds of children laughing and people coughing, and whispers from ‘Harold’ said to be the main haunter of the location.

A group of ghost hunters from Manchester went to Armley Mills, and said things were being thrown.

One woman described a pain on the side of her head in a room where children occasionally suffered head injuries due to machinery.

1. 30 East Drive, Wakefield

The Black Monk Of Pontefract

Although haunting has ceased here, 30 East Drive was once known as the location of what has been regarded as Europe’s most violent haunting.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, a poltergeist known as the “Black Monk of Pontefract”, terrorised the Pritchard family.

The monk was a mysterious black-robed figure, whose appearances became more and more frequent.

Its presence was first noticed when white powder fell from mid-air to the floor, and when puddles of water began appearing on the kitchen floor with no sign of leakage in the house.

Activity then became so serious that the young girl living in the house, Diane, was dragged up the stairs by a presence “that left lacerations on her neck.”

There were also claims that after holy water was sprinkled in the house, the monk responded by painting upside-down crosses on the living room walls and doors and destroying crucifixes. The Pritchard couple also said that a black-cloaked figure appeared over their bed.

Paranormal investigator Tom Cuniff visited the house after haunting ceased and speculated that the presence was that of a monk who lived during Henry VIII’s reign and was hanged for the rape and murder of a young girl.

The 2012 horror film “When the Lights Went Out” was reportedly fashioned around this haunting.

Image courtesy: Friends of Temple Newsam Park, When the Lights Went Out (2012).

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