Yorkshire’s varied and colourful history lends itself to tales of terror and ghostly goings on. I have looked at four historical buildings in our county with an intriguing past that are really worth a visit, but beware – you may get more than you bargained for!
Previously known as the world’s largest woollen mill built in 1788, Armley Mills saw a lot of pain, sickness and death during its years. The original building was destroyed in a fire in 1805 and its replacement is the eerie looking building you see today. Conditions at the mill were terrible for all who worked there, particularly for the children as young as six years old who were forced to work long hours, often resulting in death from exhaustion or machine accidents. Some of the most terrifying reports include the apparition of a Victorian woman searching for her child, the sound of a young boy crying and guests feeling a small child tugging on their clothes, trying to get their attention. Enough to send shivers down your spine!
The land at Temple Newsam has been occupied since at least the Dark Ages. It is written in the Domesday Book as being owned by the powerful De Lacy family until it was given to the Knights Templar who had a Commandery until 1307. From time to time monks have been seen in the grounds wearing brown robes. Many different ghosts have been seen, the most famous being the ‘blue lady’ who is said to still linger in the Blue Room. This ghostly resident is said to be Mary Ingram, granddaughter of Sir Arthur. The story goes that she was ambushed by highway men on her way home and had her precious pearl necklace ripped from her neck. Upon her return home she declined, not eating and searching for her pearls of which she had no recollection of being stolen. She died two weeks later. Also in the house people have reported seeing a small boy climbing out of the cupboard.
Halloween Spooktacular 31st October 5pm – 8pm – Go along to the House and Farm, dressed up in a spooky outfit and collect some ghoulish treats. Tickets: Adult £7, Child £4, Family £20. Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult. To book contact 0113 336 74 60 or visit the courtyard shop.
GO TO THE COMPETITIONS PAGE TO WIN A FAMILY PASS TO THE HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR
Burton Agnes Hall
The legend of the Screaming Skull. Burton Agnes Hall was built during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. The youngest daughter of the family, Anne had been watching the building of the new house and could talk of nothing else other than the most beautiful house ever to be built. Sadly, when it was almost finished she was attacked by robbers. She was so injured that she died at home a few days later. Her dying wish was to have a part of her laid to rest in the new Hall that she would never come to live in. Her sisters refused but after she was buried strange happenings began to take place. A ghost terrified everyone, and seeking the council of the vicar, the sisters finally placed Anne’s head within the Hall. While ever the skull was within the hall, everything remained peaceful but future attempts to remove the skull resulted in more hauntings – moaning and screaming – and eventually it was hidden somewhere within the Hall so that it would be undisturbed.
Spooky Woodland Trail 24 October 2015 – 1 November 2015 – Intrepid visitors are invited in the half term on an eerie hunt round the Hall’s atmospheric woodland, where clues are hidden amidst spooky Halloween scenes of witches, spiders and ghostly figures.
Once the entire puzzle has been solved, a treat awaits in the Gift Shop. Try not to let the haunting sounds and mysterious shadows of the historic woodland walk scare you whilst searching! Admission prices: Adults £7.00, Seniors £6.50, Children £4.00, Under 5s free 11am-4pm
GO TO THE COMPETITIONS PAGE TO WIN A FAMILY PASS TO THE SPOOKY WOODLAND TRAIL
The Golden Fleece Inn
The Golden Fleece Inn at York is supposed to be the most haunted pub in England. It is first recorded in 1503 and has had hundreds of incidents of paranormal activity. Said to have at least 5 resident ghosts, one of the most interesting is a WW2 Canadian airman who was staying at the Inn when he died in 1945 after falling out of a window, and has been seen in uniform in the room he was staying when he died. In the bar, customers have reported a ghost dog that they have felt standing on their feet and brushing past their legs as they are drinking their pint. The upper rooms are mainly haunted by Lady Peckett whose husband John once owned the building and she has been seen walking through walls from room to room. There are also other reported sightings of a 17th century man in typical red coat and wig, a grumpy old man, and a young Victorian boy. As well as sightings, doors slamming, footsteps, and cold patches are also regular occurrences at the Inn.