As Halloween draws near and the veil between the worlds thins here are some spooky but true stories of ghostly encounters in Bolton.
There is an old house on Blackburn Road in Bolton which is a typical large Edwardian house like many others on the road but it has a secret. One of the bedrooms upstairs has more than one ghost and it’s not the only room in the house that does. The owner of the house at the time was surprised to hear voices in deep discussion as she approached one of the front bedrooms. The sound of two different female voices having a conversation could be clearly heard from behind the closed door. She paused for a little while trying to hear what was being said through the door and wondered who these women were. The room should have been empty. No-one else was at home and she hadn’t heard anyone coming in. So, who was in there? A little nervously she opened the door wondering who or what she was going to find in the room. She opened the door and found……..the room completely empty and the voices had stopped. On another occasion crying could be heard from behind the closed door. The sound was soul wrenching and again it immediately stopped when the door to the room was opened. The family lived in this house for a number of years and would often hear voices as they approached a room only to find it empty when they went in. In fact, it happened so often the children thought it was quite normal. It isn’t known who was talking or why there was such intense crying and sadness emanating from the room. It would seem that some tragedy had happened to someone living in the house at some point in the past and this memory was still be played out many years later. It isn’t known if the voices can still be heard in the house today.
There is another house on Blackburn Road where the memory of one its previous occupants still lingers. As you opened the front door of this house you could see up the stairs towards the bathroom. On this particular day, the owner had picked up the children from school and was coming in through the front door. At the time work was being done on the house so she didn’t think much of it when she saw a man come from the bathroom and turn right into one of the bedrooms. When she went into the downstairs room where the builder was, she asked if he was on his own today. His reply was ‘No, I’ve just sent the young lad down the road’. The owner then went upstairs to the bedroom she had just seen the man walk into – and found it empty. The owner can still vividly recall the man’s face today. ‘He had his hair brylcreamed and it looked black – a bit like they used to during the 1940s and he had on a navy overall. I can still see his face’. He was never seen again and nothing else was ever seen or heard in the house. Was he a ghostly memory which had been disturbed by building work being carried out on the house or does he still walk around the house unseen by those who are alive?
The Man and Scythe is well known as the place where the earl of Derby spent his last few hours before being executed in 1651. Perhaps it was his ghost which was captured on camera a couple of years ago. But there is another building not too far away from the pub which is also haunted. No-one has seen it but it has been heard. One night after everyone else had gone home the owner went upstairs to the bathroom at the back of the building. Whilst he was there, he heard a voice calling his name over and over. No wonder he ran as quickly as he could from the building! This presence was not a friendly one. Nobody who worked there wanted to go upstairs alone and whenever they did the feeling of being followed and closely watched didn’t leave them until they went downstairs again. Is this menacing presence still there today, waiting for someone to unwittingly venture upstairs?
And…if you are out on Crompton Way on Saturday night be on the look out for the headless horseman lest he gallops up behind you.