Halloween: Lancashire’s most haunted places
The ghost of a former theme park ride operator, apparitions on horseback and highways robbers roaming around pubs at midnight, Lancashire has a rich past of spooky goings on.
With Halloween approaching we searched through the archives to find some of Lancashire’s most haunted places.
Swan Hotel, Whalley
The ghost of Mary Lane is said to haunt the hotel, which was built in 1781 and where Mary worked as a scullery maid around that time. It’s said that Mary, who had learning difficulties, became pregnant and her child was given away to another family to raise.
Mary became so desperately depressed she killed herself in her workplace and her ghost has been seen there many times since, including by a visiting medium in 1967 and visitors to Whalley’s popular Pickwick Night celebrations.
Cliviger Gorge, Burnley
It is reported that, every Halloween, Lord William Towneley, an ancestor of the area’s leading family, can be seen haunting Eagle’s Crag, Cliviger Gorge. It’s said he appears on horseback, accompanied by his dog, chasing a doe.
However, another version of the tale claims the hunter is one Gabriel Ratchets, while another version says a man and his haunt that spot after he killed her and buried her body there.
Wycoller Hall, near Colne
Once a year, in mid-winter, it’s reported a former resident at the now derelict hall is seen riding around the area, blowing his horn. It’s said the ghost of a man named Simon scared his wife to death by riding his horse up the staircase of the hall, chasing a fox that had escaped the hunt, while she was sleeping.
However, another tale, claims the phantom horseman isn’t Simon but an assassin, who was killed by a servant at the hall before he could murder the master.
Golden Lion pub, Lancaster
There has been a pub on the site since the 15th Century, marking the boundary of the city and used to be the final drinking place of the condemned before being taken up to the neighbouring moors to be hanged, including, it is said, the Lancashire Witches.
The current building, dating from the 17th Century, is said to be haunted by a nun who escorted the condemned to the gallows in the 16th Century and who can be seen wandering the cellars.
Winter Gardens, Morecambe
Built as the Victoria Pavilion Theatre in 1897, it is reputed that Morecambe’s Winter Gardens are home to several ghosts. It is said the stage in the main auditorium is one of the most haunted locations in the building, with people standing at one side being pushed, slapped, poked and harassed by an unseen force. Shadows are seen moving across the stage.
It is said the ghost of a seamstress, who dreamed of being a professional dancer but failed, still haunts one of the dressing rooms and it is said the shadow of a young boy can often be spotted running across the side of the theatre. Footprints have been seen, footsteps, strange sounds and voices heard, including men howling in torment.
Chingle Hall, Goodnargh
Chingle Hall in Goosnargh is a private property which dates back to around 1300.
It was used as a place of worship by Catholics at the time of the Catholic Reformation when it was illegal to practice mass.
John Wall, who was born in the hall in 1620, was executed in 1679 for conducting secret mass and legend has it that his head was buried in the grounds.
Visitors and investigators have reported noises, apparitions and objects being moved in the hall, including the sounds of bricks in the Priest’s Room.
The ancestral home of the de Hoghton family boasts an amazing history with links to visitors like William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and King James I.
There have been so many ghostly experiences at the Grade I listed Hoghton Tower from a Tudor woman wandering across the courtyard to freezing areas in the house.
Eerie activities in the building have even prompted investigations from ghost hunters, which has led to the house earning a ghoulish accolade.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
The Pleasure Beach boasts several ghosts but most famously are Cloggy, the ghost of a former ride operator who is said to have haunted the Ghost Train which closed in 2014, to backstage spooks and a phantom skater which inhabit the ice rink, where the sound of someone skating on the ice has been heard after the venue has closed for the night.
The Eagle and Child, Weeton
This pub in Weeton claims a moaning minnie of a ghost called Murph, a former highway robber who roams after midnight.
Raikes Hall, Blackpool
It is claimed that the Raikes Hall pub on Leamington Road, previously a house and a convent, is haunted by a woman who drowned.