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The famous Smithills halls in Bolton are riddled with history and hauntings, some say that this location sits in the top ten most haunted places in Britain. Dating back to 1335 William Radcliffe acquired the manor from the Hultons who held it from the Knights Hospitaller. On Radcliffe's death in 1369 it passed to his son and heir Sir Ralph Radcliffe, the Radciffes lived there until 1485, when the male line failed and Smithills Hall passed to the Bartons, wealthy sheep farmers who lived there for nearly 200 years. The Bartons took great pride in Smithills and extended it's halls and built more living quarters to show off their great home, they would host many feasts with guests coming from all over to visit the great Barton home. In 1553 Queen Mary had taken the throne of England, she was determined to overturn the religious changes made by her father King Henry VIII, many Protestants left the country fearing her intentions. During the early part of Mary's reign a fiercely devout Protestant preacher named George Marsh was teaching in and around the parishes of Bolton, this angered the local authorities and in 1554 local magistrate Robert Barton of Smithills was ordered to arrest George Marsh and examine him on a possible charge of heresy. After interrogating him in one of the upstairs rooms at Smithills Barton ruled that Marsh should be put on trial, Marsh was filled with rage and on the way down the stairs he stamped his foot so hard on one of the flagstones that it left his footprint, this can still be seen today. George Marsh was later burnt outside the walls of Chester however something had stirred within Smithills walls, strange activity had started being reported. Smithills then passed to the Shuttleworth family when Richard Shuttleworth married Margery Barton who had become a widow when Robert died, they spent a lot of time away from Smithills and Richard chose to appoint his younger brother Thomas to manage the estate and prepare for the Spanish invasion in 1588, communities like Smithills began preperations for war, new weapons and armour were ordered. Following the death of Margery Smithills then passed to the next in line in 1592, this was Ralph Barton who was the brother of Margery's first husband Robert. in 1659 Smithills was eventually passed in marriage to the Belasyse family who owned multiple estates across England, they did not need to stay at Smithills so instead leased out much of the land to a variety of tenants, the great hall was turned into a brewery whilst other rooms were used for weaving until eventually in 1723 Smithills was sold to Joseph Byrom a very wealthy man from Manchester. The Byroms owned Smithills for much of the 1700's but paid little attention to it letting it fall into decay whilst they lived in their great town house in Manchester. Smithills fortunes changed in 1870 when Richard Henry Ainsworth known as 'The Colonel' inherited the estate from his uncle, he immediately began work on the existing halls and rooms adding an Elizabethan and Tudor style. It was during this period that Richard took notice of the strange goings on in Smithills, he came to the conclusion that the ghost of George Marsh was haunting the location and had the flagstone of Marshes footprint removed from the building it was this moment which changed Smithills from a family home into a house of horrors as severe paranormal activity began to torment the Ainsworth's, it became so bad that Richard had the flagstone returned to it's original place. The flagstone was misplaced and the footprint of George Marsh was placed backwards, is this why Smithills is still so active today? The hauntings at Smithills are well known with some staff having to leave the building due to being so frightened, objects are known to move during the night and are found in a completely different place the following morning this is common in the Victorian section where Richard Ainsworth spent much of his time, wine glasses have been seen moving by themselves on one of the tables, is this the ghost of Richard? A lady has been seen on many occasions in the Great Hall and a recent wedding photograph shows the full apparition of a man stood behind the bride and groom. The area where George Marshes footprint lies is very active, is this the frightening activity that has been witnessed for hundreds of years? The ghost of George Marsh is known to cause severe poltergeist activity and he has been seen on many occasions by staff and guests. The ghosts of two children are also known to haunt the location and soldiers dressed in Civil War uniform have been seen in the Tudor section. The sound of horses trotting passed the building is also a common occurrence during the middle of the night, people often head out to see what is going on but there are no horses to be seen. Smithills is so haunted that people visit from all over in hope of catching the sight of one the halls famous ghosts, with three different areas of the building to explore including a medieval section, a Tudor section and a Victorian section our investigations at Smithills are enough to test even the most hardened sceptic, with it's dark halls and servants corridors what awaits our guests at this most haunted of houses?
Mill Street Barracks
Chester... One of England's most historic and haunted cities. Stanley Palace is without doubt the most haunted building in Chester and one of our best locations. Stanley Palace formerly known as 'Derby House' is a 16th century building that stands on the site previously occupied by the Dominican Friars (The 'Black Friars') in medieval times. The house was built for a knight called Peter Warburton, a Chester Lawyer who advanced to become a sergeant-at-law and MP for Chester, a county finance manager and a judge. The house was passed to his daughter Elizabeth in 1621, she married Sir Thomas Stanley who gave his name to the house. It is known that Hesketh, a sporting gentleman who held parties for the race-goers, once occupied it before the house deteriorated and became 3 shabby cottages, the cottages were passed from owner to owner and in 1866 the Americans wished to transport the house to the USA. Fortunately the Chester Archaeological Society prevented this. In 1889, Edward Henry Stanley, 15th Earl of Derby, came to the rescue by buying it to have it preserved for the community. In 1911 it was opened as a museum and the three cottages merged to form one house again, tunnels were found under a trap door which led to Chester castle and the Watergate and finally in 1928 the 17th Earl of Derby passed the house over to Chester City Council on a 999-year lease. The Council commenced work to restore and extend the building. Stanley Palace has so much history behind it we are hardly surprised it is Chester's most haunted building. Elizabeth's spirit has been seen on many occasions by guests and still roams the hallways. James the 7th Earl of Derby campaigned for the Royalist cause, but was captured and held in Chester Castle, he was executed in Bolton by Cromwell's followers. It is said that he was betrayed by his trusted manservant, a sympathizer of Oliver Cromwell. The Earl whilst held in Chester Castle, escaped but was recaptured on the riverbank and spent his last few days inside Stanley Palace, the spirit of the servant has been seen on numerous occasions. Victorian Children have been seen running around the house and into different rooms and an old man with a stick has been seen chasing them. The sound of crying, loud footsteps and arguing are frequently heard in the house and white mist has been caught on camera on many occasions flying up the main stairway. Stanley Palace is highly active and is an absolute must for ghost hunters. We rate this location five stars and strongly suggest our guests book their places for this location in advance.
The plan to open an Orphanage in Liverpool for the children of men lost at sea began in 1868 and in 1871 the Seaman's Orphan Institute was constructed on the North East side of Newsham Park over a 7000 square foot plot of land. In 1874 the Orphanage opened it's doors and by 1899, 321 children occupied it. During the second world war the children were evacuated with many of them moving to the Wirral and the Seaman's Orphan Institute began to decline until eventually closing in 1949. Places in various schools were made available for the children who lived in the Orphanage with many of them moving to the Royal Merchant Navy School in Bearwood. In 1951 the Ministry of Health purchased the Orphanage and turned it into a hospital. Newsham Park Hospital opened its doors in 1954 the hospital developed its own psychiatric department and received an influx of patients with severe mental problems. The hospital officially stopped taking new patients in 1988 and in 1992 all remaining patients and staff were relocated. In 1992 with the closure of Rainhill Lunatic Asylum the inmates were moved to Newsham Park Hospital taking up 90% of its space and Newsham Park Asylum now housed some of the most severe mental patients in Britain such as Ian Brady. In 1997 Newsham Park Asylum closed and is now owned by property developers, the location has remained untouched and beds, machines, wheelchairs etc all remain. Without a doubt our largest location, Newsham Park Hospital holds the crown as our most terrifying location and is said to be possibly the most haunted location in England. Our team have exclusive access to some of the most horrific areas of this old Asylum such as the naughty boys corridor, laundry area, autopsy room and patients rooms. Each area of this location is highly active with growls, grunts, laughter and screams all heard from it's dark rooms, tunnels and stairways, poltergeist activity is also said to occur inside certain areas with doors known to open and close by themselves, tables and chairs move and much more. Newsham Park Hospital can be one of the most terrifying experiences of your lives..... do you dare join us inside this Asylum?
To See Pictures From Our Investigations At These Locations Please Click 'Events Gallery' And To See The Evidence Captured At These Locations Please Click 'Evidence Gallery'.
Tatton Old Hall
Built in 1690, this Gothic style country house is situated at the head of a bucolic valley, in the centre of its 500-acre estate, which straddles the English/Welsh border. It is by far our most mysterious location with very little history on the location due to records being 'burnt' in a fire. Pen Y Lan Hall sits on the land previously occupied by a farm house which may have dated back to the 1400's, it is a must visit for anyone interested in the paranormal world. The dining room is an area for some of our best ever evidence and constant results occur here, footsteps and voices can be heard from the empty rooms and hallways and shadows can be seen lurking in the dark. Both the hall and the grounds are very active, full body apparitions have been seen on many occasions and people have been touched by an unseen presence. The hall itself has a very impressive cellar which may have once held prisoners, screams and the sound of a crying baby can be heard from the many dark tunnels in this section of the hall. Many ghosts of children have been seen and even caught on camera around this location and a very negative spirit lurks in the old stable barns of the Pen Y Lan estate. Our investigations at Pen Y Lan Hall are sure to test your nerves to the limit. Are you brave enough?
Pen Y Lan Hall
Exclusive to The Haunted Hunts
Ordsall Hall in Salford, Manchester dates back to the 15th century although the original hall on the site was built in 1251 and owned by David De Hulton. It later passed to the Radclyffe family around 1335 and continued to pass through the family for 300 years. During the 1340s Sir John Radclyffe campaigned with Edward III in France, distinguishing himself at the battles of Caen, Crècy and Calais. As a reward for his service, the king allowed Sir John to take some Flemish weavers back to his Ordsall estate, where he built cottages for them to live in. English weaving skills at that time were poor, and textiles from Manchester were considered to be of particularly poor quality, so the Flemish weavers were employed in instructing the local weavers. They also started up a silk weaving industry, the foundation for Manchester's later cotton industry. Ordsall Hall passed through many different families and rich owners over the years slowly deteriorating until it was purchased by the Earl Egerton of Tatton who restored it in 1896. Salford Corporation purchased Ordsall Hall from the executors of the Baron Egerton of Tatton in 1959 and after major restoration work it was opened to the public in April 1972, as a period house and local history museum. Ordsall Hall is known for William Harrison Ainsworth's 1842 novel Guy Fawkes. It is said the famous gunpowder plot of 1605 was planned in the house. The hauntings of Orsdall Hall make it one of the most haunted halls in Britain and even multiple ghostcams have been installed around the location, these cameras have picked up many sightings including the apparition of a lady dressed in a white dress walking across the great hall and then vanishing. It is said to be the spirit of Lady Margaret Radclyffe who has been seen on many occasions walking around the Great Hall and Star Chamber. Sir John Radclyffe has also been seen in the Star Chamber and is known to appear by the fireplace suddenly and then vanish! Female guests who enter the house are known to attract Sir John and many women have been touched and even pushed by him. The spirit of a young girl named Cecily can be heard and seen running around the house, she is also attracted to female guests and is known to respond to ladies who call our her name, the smell of roses is very strong when she is around. The attic is a hot spot for paranormal activity and the spirits of 2 male servants are known to haunt this section. Guests who are brave enough to attend our investigations at Ordsall Hall should be very wary of this section of the location as people have been pushed violently and had one of the male spirits whisper in their ears and blow in their faces. The old dungeon which is not accessible was known to hold naughty servants during the Radclyffe reign, could these be two of the servants who were held in the dungeon? Ordsall Hall can become a house of horrors during paranormal investigations and although none of the spirits that are grounded in the location are evil, it is clear some of them do not want people in their home and often make it known to people who dare enter at night. Knocks and bangs, disembodied footsteps and voices, people being pushed and made to flee the building. Ask yourself…. Are you brave enough to join us at Ordsall Hall?
Mill Street Barracks was built in 1861 and is steeped in military and local history. It has accommodated many branches of the armed forces throughout its time and was used in numerous wars. The barracks has connections with the local church and a tunnel was found that led to the church, this was believed to be where bodies were blessed before being returned. Mill Street Barracks has been used for many purposes over it's long history, it was used as a morgue and it was even used as an isolation unit for TB patients. However the barracks main purpose was for the Home Guard and soldiers who would depart from these Barracks to leave for war, most of them never returning home to loved ones. With so much history and so many deaths related to the building, Mill Street Barracks is the most haunted building in St Helens and one of the most famous on Merseyside where it is known to have overwhelming paranormal activity. We do not know the exact number of spirits that haunt the barracks but we believe it's possible that there are up to at least 20 spirits that still haunt the building. With so many soldiers passing through as well as nurses, patients and old caretakers, Mill Street Barracks is extremely active and countless accounts of activity has been recorded there. Shadow figures patrol the upper levels, loud screams can be heard from under the building, the spirit of a dog has been seen on many occasions as well as a man in uniform and the sound of painful moans can be heard in the main hall. A truly brilliant place to investigate with so many different spirits attached to the building. Are you brave enough to join us at Mill Street Barracks?
St Helens, Merseyside
Newsham Park Asylum
For 4000 years the land that Tatton Old Hall stands on has been occupied by human settlements. Anglo Saxons and Norman Knights once occupied the land that is now the disappeared village of Tatton. The Great Hall was built at the turn of the 15th century although it is not clear by whom, some say it was the powerful Stanley family who altered the course of history by putting Henry Tudor on the throne of England. Others say it was Sir Richard Brereton who allied himself to the Stanley's through marriage. By 1598 a more comfortable two-storey wing had been added and Sir Thomas Egerton, Lord Chancellor of England, now owned the estate. It was the heart of a very busy working estate and lay on one of the busiest trade routes in England. There have been many battles over the 4000 years on this particular part of land, most recently the Civil War where it is believed Tatton Old Hall was hit by a cannon ball. As the fortunes and status of the building changed it was eventually turned into cottages for estate workers. In the downstairs rooms of the Old Hall you can see life as it would have been for a Victorian gamekeeper and his family before you move on to rooms set in 1958, the last year of Egerton ownership. With so much history dating back over thousands of years Tatton Old Hall is our oldest location and is without a doubt one of our most haunted. At one point there would have been over 20 children staying in the hall and many of them still haunt the building today, there are regular sightings of small children running in and out of rooms. A lady in a dress can also be seen wandering the walkway above The Great Hall. Loud bangs and shadow figures are frequently heard and seen in The Great Hall. A nasty spirit of one of the old gamekeepers likes to make his presence known to guests by pushing them and appearing out of nowhere, the feeling of someone running towards you is often felt before he appears. The most fascinating thing about Tatton Old Hall is that it is known to have a portal in the doorway of one of the rooms, many experts have tried to understand this portal but it still remains a mystery. Pagans from Denmark first discovered the portal while visiting the location and many people feel an electric shock whilst walking into the room where a lady has been seen sat looking out of the window. This room has a very strange feeling to it as soon as you walk in and many people refuse to enter the room due to feeling very uneasy. The caretaker of the building has witnessed strange activity for many years whilst working alone there and many guests who attend the day tours have been touched. Are you brave enough to step into history and venture into one of the most haunted locations in Britain?
Tatton Park, Cheshire
Ruabon, North Wales