Ghosts, Poltergeists & Archives

Happy Halloween from Manchester Archives!

Here are a few spooktacular images from our Local Image Collection which we’ve dug up relating to a few well known Manchester ‘haunts’, along with some other frightening images from the past.

The Ghost of  Reverend Collier

If you’ve lived in Manchester for any considerable length of time you would’ve no doubt heard about the haunted Branningans bar on Peter Street which was once The Albert Hall (below) and before that a Methodist church where a Reverend Collier (above)  used to preach against the dangers of alcohol in 1910.  Bar staff have reported strange goings on within the building, one claimed that a presence has tried to push them down the stairs and others have reported strange noises, cold spots and smashed glasses.

The Town Hall Corridors

The corridors of the Town Hall are reputedly haunted by the ghost of a Victorian policeman who roams them at night.

The Boggart Hole Clough Poltergeist

The family who lived in the farm house at Boggart Hole Clough told of a strange spirit who would sometimes help out with the washing and cleaning, while other times throw items around, pull bedcovers from people’s beds as they slept, and laugh loudly while banging around at night. When the family threatened to move out, the spirit told them it would go with them, so they stayed.

The White Lady of Ordsall Hall

An apparition of a white lady is often spotted in the Great Hall, and is said to be the ghost of heartbroken Margaret Radclyffe. Locals have also seen this White Lady in the grounds at the front of the Hall. A monk and the figure of another lady has also been seen here.

“There is the occasional smell of roses and lavender in the Great Hall, even when no-one is around. Dragging sounds have been heard coming from area under the stairs of the Entrance Hall. In the Agecroft Gallery, Footsteps have been heard and one night the security camera (activated by movement sensors) kept pointing at the area where portraits of the ladies are. In the temporary exhibition area visitors have heard the sound of a door being opened and closed. In the attic, people have reported feeling uneasy and unwell – the feeling then passes quickly. Dragging sounds are occasionally heard in what used to be the Oak panelled room.” *

Strange Goings on at JW Lees Brewery

“A lady has been spotted sitting in the JW Lees boardroom, facing away from the table, while another woman in a long, brown dress has been glimpsed coming through the staff kitchen door. While walking past the boardroom, a night watchman once claimed that he was hit across the face by something or someone never seen. He was so scared he waited outside the building until more staff arrived at 6am. One staff member claims that while she was sitting eating her lunch, she felt as if someone had come through the door, walk up behind her and then stand next to her. When she turned around, there was no-one there.”*

Other Frightening Images from our Collections

The stereotypical scary graveyard of All Saints Church, Manchester in 1910

Taken on Halloween 1939. Is the lady on the right in normal attire, wearing a fancy dress costume or the evil witch from Snow White? You Decide.



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About Archives+

Archives+ will offer a wonderful, purpose-built showcase and repository for the region's archive and family history. The Archives+ partnership will build on the appetite and demand for accessible community history and personal heritage. This one-stop-shop will make it easier than ever before to find what you're looking for. The main partners in Archives+ are: • Greater Manchester County Record Office (Association of Greater Manchester Authorities) • Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives (Manchester City Council) • North West Film Archive (Manchester Metropolitan University) • Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre & Education Trust (University of Manchester) • Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society • BFI Mediatheque • Manchester Registration Service (Historic Registers) Displays and exhibitions will explore the rich collections to tell the stories of Manchester’s people and communities. You'll find all the local and family history resources you're used to, from books, maps and original materials to self-service digitised items and online resources like Archives+ will bring history to life using interactive exhibits, sound and vision. Its focus will be on telling stories and helping us to identify with our past. Our history isn't just about the great and the good, it's about personal testimony from ordinary people: a child in the cotton mill, the navvy, the land girl.

One thought on “Ghosts, Poltergeists & Archives

  1. Pingback: Spinneyhead | Daily Blog 10/31/2011

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