The Howling House.

High above the town of Macclesfield in the county of Cheshire can be found a small village named Rainow which originally was a farming community before the industrial revolution. It was in this tiny village that an inventive preacher named James Mellor lived at the beginning of the 19th century. James lived in a house known as Hough Hole house which can be found at the bottom of Sugar Lane.

This house was altered extensively by James and also his Father over the years, and no doubt inspired by the advances brought on by the industrial revolution, James built a waterwheel on the side of the house which in turn powered the organ in the Mellor’s private chapel. However it seems that James still needed a further outlet for his inventiveness and went on to construct a stone building in the garden which was to become known as “The Howling House”.howling house 019

It is important to state that the house has no connection to the paranormal, but takes it’s name from the reason that it was constructed by Jame’s. The small building was constructed with a small space where a small stringed instrument known as an “Aeolian Harp” could be inserted in the rear wall, when this had been inserted, and if sufficient wind was blowing, the front doors were opened allowing the wind to pass through the building exiting through the Aeolian Harp, this in turn created an eerie howling noise. Whether this was used in conjunction with religious services held at the chapel is unknown, however what is known is the religious convictions held by the Mellor family as many biblical inscriptions can be found on stone slabs located around the garden.

I found the following information regarding Aeolian Harps on Wikipedia and is as follows:

An Aeolian harp (æolian harp or wind harp) is a musical instrument that is played by the wind. It is named after Aeolus, the ancient Greek god of the wind. The traditional Aeolian harp is essentially a wooden box including a sounding board, with strings stretched lengthwise across two bridges. It is placed in a slightly opened window where the wind can blow across the strings to produce sounds. The strings can be made of different materials (or thicknesses) and all be tuned to the same pitch, or identical strings can be tuned to different pitches. Besides being the only strung instrument played solely by the wind, the Aeolian harp is the only stringed instrument that plays solely harmonic frequencies.

The Aeolian harp – already known in the ancient world – was first described by Athanasius Kircher (1602–1680) in his book Phonurgia nova (1673). It became popular as a household instrument during the Romantic Era, and Aeolian harps are still hand-crafted today. Some are now made in the form of monumental metal sound sculptures located on the roof of a building or a windy hilltop.

The quality of sound depends on many factors, including the lengths, gauges, and types of strings, the character of the wind, and the material of the resonating body. Metal-framed instruments with no sound board produce a music very different from that produced by wind harps with wooden sound boxes and sound boards. There is no percussive aspect to the sound like that produced by a wind chime; rather crescendos and decrescendos of harmonic frequencies are played in rhythm to the winds. Their vibrant timbres produce an ethereal, almost mystical, music that many people find alludes to higher realms


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