It’s no secret that Manchester is steeped in history, and some of the city’s stories of the past sound pretty darn scary. From devil dogs to roadside apparitions and screaming skulls, the region really does have some terrible tales to tell. So, we figured, what better way to get in the mood for Halloween than explore some of the area’s spookiest sites, and the spine-chilling rumours that surround them.
Located in Cheadle, what could be spookier than an abandoned hospital dating back to 1875? It’s said there has been sightings of phantom nurses, the ghostly cries of past patients, as well as equally mysterious loud bangs. Before it’s recent regeneration the building was guarded by security, who regularly reported seeing eerie figures in the windows and even the fleeting shadows of patients.
Dubbed one of the most haunted places in the UK, this pub in Middleton is rumoured to have seen many a scary situation, and not just thanks to a few too many pints! Reported to be haunted by a gent called the Sad Cavalier, visitors have witnessed moving glasses, items being thrown at the landlord, and some really odd, unexplained noises. The pub, dating back to the 12th Century, is said to be built on the site of a brutal massacre that took place during the English Civil War. With so many bodies being buried and dismembered in its cellar, it’s no surprise it has a reputation!
Also in Middleton (surely it can’t be a coincidence that so many scary locations are in the same area?!) is JW Lee’s home brewery. The team behind Most Haunted visited this site and even they were unnerved by what they found. Workers, past and present, have reported feeling like someone was standing behind them and their equipment being moved, as well as numerous spooky figures who are always noticed in the same areas of the brewery. The scariest occurrence by far though is many of the workers plunging to their deaths in the brewery or even drowning in the beer! Even visitors on the brewery tours have noticed peculiar goings-on.
This early medieval manor house in Worsley is one of the few buildings in our region to get a mention in the Domesday Book. Before it was occupied by Roman Catholic Bishops of Salford, the hall was known as ‘Skull House’ and has been for around 200 years. The story is that the hall is home to an angry skull, which refuses to be buried, and back in the day when it was thrown into the moat, it would cause terrible storms. The skull is believed to have been that of Father Ambrose Barlow who was hung, drawn and quartered there in 1641, and today it is on display for all to see.
Another local building with centuries of haunting history is Ryecroft hall in Audenshaw. Dating back to the 1880’s, visitors have witnessed items being launched across the room, seen apparitions, and even a Victorian child walking around the premises. In particular, the cellar is the scariest cherry on this truly chilling cake. It was used as a mortuary and is now apparently home to many ghosts with reported extreme drops in temperature and unexplained smells. Scary, huh?
Have you visited any of the sites we mentioned? Or have any other Manc myths to share with us? We’d love to hear them, just get in touch via our social channels.