Haunted places in Cheshire
It has been speculated that Mary Fitton of Gawsworth was non other than William Shakespeare’s mistress, and it has also been speculated that her grave is outside the back door of Big Fenton, the house written about by Beatrice Tunstall in her novel “The Dark Lady”, and known in the book as Silverpit. There is in fact what appears to be a burial mound outside the door of this house, and the area is said to be haunted by a Grey Lady. However getting back to Gawsworth, Mary’s ghost is said to haunt Gawsworth Hall as well as having been seen in Gawsworth churchyard and also on the road leading from the local pub the Harrington Arms, and last but not least there has been a sighting of her in Gawsworth Rectory. It has been said that on occasions the smell of incense can be smelt in one of the bedrooms of the hall underneath the priests room, perhaps this is connected to Mary as evidence that her spirit is still with us!
Stuart House is an ugly building which can be found on St Edwards street in the town of Macclesfield, it came into use in 1974 and it was not long after that the ghost of a woman was sighted. The building was built on the site of an old foundry, and in a newspaper dated 1857 it was reported that a woman by the name of Margaret Hill was visiting her husband at the foundry and became badly burnt and subsequently died of her injuries. The Grey lady as she became known has been seen by various members of staff including the caretaker on more than one occasion, and in fact BBC journalists along with various members of staff took part in a seance to try to contact the restless spirit, without any luck. However when the caretaker was taking part in a live radio broadcast from Manchester in which he was discussing the haunting, upon playback of the recorded program ghostly laughter could be heard in the background!
An unlikely setting for a haunting would seem to be a modern tyre and exhaust centre, however the staff st Kwik Fit on Davenport street in the town of Macclesfield have reported strange experiences in the cellar of these premises. Many of the staff who have had to go down into the cellar for one reason or another have said that they have felt a presence there. The Manager Alan Sladen had to change a fuse down in the cellar and he returned as a believer having experienced someone behind him, and turning around found no-one there. An Auditor refused to go down into the cellar as did an electrician who was fitting an alarm system, the company’s regional Auditor, Gordon Wright was in the cellar one day when he felt the atmosphere which is normally warm turn decidedly cold, upon turning around he saw a bluish haze dematerialising. The building stands on the site of the Old Royal Oak Hotel, perhaps someone died here in the past and their presence now haunts the Kwik Fit centre, or maybe it has something to do with the area as it was once known as Cuckstoolpit Hill named after the Ducking stool which was used to force confessions from those who had been accused of Witchcraft in the past.
The haunted Kwik Fit centre in Macclesfield.
Supasnaps and Lewis Travel were two adjoining properties that at one time could be found on Mill street in the town of Macclesfield, however like many shops these days they have disappeared and now a McDonalds has taken the place of where they once traded. It was back in 1990 when unexlpained events started to unfold. It started with loud bangs and bumps being heard upstairs in both properties with the result that staff refused to go upstairs on their own, also heavy footfalls could be heard walking about on the upper floor when no one was known to be up there. The situation escalated when staff tried to find a way into an old cellar beneath the property which had once been a pub, various items in the shop went missing and in the end the Institute of Pyschic Research were called in to try to bring about an end to the increasing problems being experienced in the property.
Another haunted building in Macclesfield can be found at 37 Chestergate, these offices used to be occupied by the Macclesfield Express newspaper. Many of the staff and cleaners who worked here have reported someone walking up the stairs, although no one was actually seen. Although no ghost was seen no people that worked here were prepared to work on their own in the building.
Chestergate seems quite popular for those people who have passed on, another building that is said to be haunted is number ten Chestergate. It is said to be haunted by a man who lived at these premises sometime in the 18oos, when he was alive he was known as “Miser Hall” due to the fact that he was careful with his money. A sighting was known to have taken place in the cellar by a former occupant’s maid.
Number 10 Chestergate.
The photograph below is of a property close to the start of Priesty Fields in Congleton, the property has been derelict since the 1960s, and it is believed that the property was or is owned by the Louden family. The reason that the property has not been lived in for around forty years is that poltergeist activity forced the previous family from the house and it has remained unoccupied ever since.
The photograph below shows a listed building that was once a famous surgeons house. The house like the one above is close to Priesty Fields in Congleton. The house consists of three dwellings, the resident of the house closest in the picture reported seeing the ghost of an elderly woman sitting on the end of her bed brushing her hair, she also claims that she was unable to see her reflection in the wardrobe mirror. Also on occasion she has felt a tap on her shoulder when no one has been present. The middle property was for sale, and although the property is locked up, all the windows were found to have been opened one morning, the estate agent had to be called out to close them all and secure the property!
Just off the Clayton by-pass in the town of Congleton is a McDonalds, at the back of this fast food restaurant is a large building known as Dane Mill. Some of the mill has been let as factory units, other parts of it remain empty and deserted. At the back of the mill overlooking a single storey factory unit which is a metal fabrication business, and at the top window of the mill the ghost of a young girl has been seen staring out, she has been seen by many people who work in this area, it feels to those that have seen her as if she is watching them from high above. The mill in question had used to be used as a silk mill, whether or not they used young children to work here is not known, however the ghost of a young boy 9-10 years old has also been seen in the mill. Whether or not these children died here under tragic circumstances is open to speculation. I have actually met someone who works in one of the units of the main mill, she related to me that on one of her breaks she was having a smoke on the stair well, when she claims that she saw the upper torso of a person descending the stairs, she was unable to confirm whether it was male or female!
A haunted site is known to exist on the Congleton to Holmes Chapel road in the county of Cheshire. About a mile and a half from Congleton you come to Somerford Park farm, before you come to the main entrance you pass an old entrance which has been sealed up. This is the old access and carriage way which divides in two, the one way leads to Somerford Hall and the other way leads to Somerford Chapel.
According to legend it was probably around the turn of the century when the local Doctor whose name was Mr Picton was called to Somerford Hall to attend to a sick young girl who was about 11-12 years old. It was when the Doctors horse and carriage entered the old carriage way leading to the hall that the driver stopped the carriage thinking that he had struck a young girl, but after searching for the girl no trace of her could be found. Upon arriving at the hall the Doctor learnt that the young girl had already died of her ailment, could it be that the driver had witnessed the spirit of the girl which moments ago had just left her physical body? As a last note two women sighted the ghost of a young girl at the old carriageway entrance some years ago, so perhaps her spirit still haunts this spot.
The old carriageway entrance at Somerford Park farm.
On the outskirts of the town of Congleton in the county of Cheshire, and along the A34 road close to Little Moreton Hall can be found a small road known as Watery lane. The origin of the name of this road is unknown at the present time, however if you follow it for approximately one mile you will come to a tunnel which runs under a canal which is part of the Cheshire Ring. About 100 yards from the tunnel entrance on the right hand side of the road is a small lay-by, it is more of a passing point as the tunnel is only wide enough to take one car at a time. It was at this lay-by that a person had pulled in with their vehicle one night, it is not known how long they stopped there but presumably it was not just to let another vehicle pass, it was while they were parked here that they experienced poltergeist activity. It started with the vehicle being rocked from side to side with no one and no thing nearby, and it ended with something hammering on the roof of the car again with nothing visible. Having visited the site and photographed it I can attest to the fact that there is a definite atmosphere at this place, whether some sort of accident or tragedy has occurred here is unknown at the present time.
Somerford chapel is a strange isolated place of worship which is only used four or maybe five times a year for certain services. According to a friend of mine who is familiar with the area, he claims to have heard the bell ringing in the tower even though no rope is attached to the bell and the chapel was locked at the time, also it was a Summers night and there was no wind at the time. He also claims to have smelt burning candles in the early hours of the morning when the chapel was not in use. I do not know for sure whether I disturbed a presence when I moved about the graveyard taking photographs of the chapel, however my health went into decline after leaving this strange place, it was another week before I was able to return and make restitution to whatever spirits dwell in this place. By making an offering and reciting certain prayers my health problems disappeared immediately. I blame myself to a certain extent as I usually carry some form of protection but one sometimes becomes lax until you get a wakeup call like this!