All the ‘haunted’ places in Manchester should be avoided by delicate souls after dark

Manchester and its rich history means it is home to lots of spooky tales.

Many of its famous sites and Victorian streets are linked to horrific stories that will surely send a shiver down your spine.

And even if you do not believe in paranormal activity, some of them may be cruel enough to make you believe it.

The frightening observations have been reported to the Paranormal Database – which is an ongoing project for document places with folkloric and paranormal connections in the United Kingdom, Ireland and the Channel Islands.

The site, which has an entire section on Manchester, has more than 13,000 entries – with some recent stories and others believed to be hundreds of years old.

From a headless cat to the wandering ‘gray lady’, this Halloween we’ve taken a look at some of the ghost stories that are said to haunt pubs, churches and other places in and around Manchester:


Barlow Hall, Chorlton-cum-Hardy

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: Mostly unknown, but earn in clear moonless nights (recurring)

Several ghosts had a reputation for haunting the hall. Saint Ambrose Barlow is said to walk in the upper part of the hall, like a headless woman.

A servant who drowned in the lake after a poorly executed practical joke went wrong sometimes returns to run towards Mersey. A poltergeist-like device carries coal and moves other objects between spaces.

The hall is now owned by Chorlton-cum-Hardy Golf Club, and their website states: “Barlow Hall is of particular importance to the Catholic community as the birthplace of St Ambrose Barlow.

“Sir Edward Barlow was born in Barlow Hall in 1585 and took the name Ambrose when he was ordained a priest by the Order of St. Benedict. He was hanged for his faith in Lancaster Prison in 1641.

“He was later canonized by Pope Paul VI, as one of the 40 martyrs of England and Wales, on October 25, 1970. The ghost of St. Ambrose is said to haunt the upper floors of the hall to this day.”

Bootle Street Police Station (no longer standing)

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: 21st Century

Footsteps have been heard by officers on the night shift, and an old time card machine clinks occasionally as people pass by. A former female prisoner is said to be haunting the corridor outside her cell.

Manchester Cathedral

Manchester Cathedral

Type: Manifestation of crisis

Date time: Late 1840s

A man saw his sister Fanny standing in the ship’s ship – he was quite surprised when he thought his sister was many miles away.

He shouted at the woman, who started walking but suddenly disappeared. The following day, the man was informed that Fanny had died in an accident whose timing matched his view of her in the cathedral.

THE MEN have contacted the cathedral for a comment.

Church Inn, Prestwich

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: Mid-20th century

The phantom who haunts the basement under this public house occasionally shouts “Hello!” to get attention.

THE MEN have asked the pub for a comment on the sight.

Chorlton Park

Chorlton Park in south Manchester

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: Around March, 1979

A witness sitting at the entrance to the park with their cousin watched two young twins in old-fashioned school uniforms whistle and walk towards them.

One of the twins smiled at the witness just before both siblings walked through the railing and disappeared.

The witness screamed and fled the scene even though the cousin did not see the revelations.

Fairfield Railway Station, Audenshaw

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: Varies: Autumn and winter (recurring)

Said to appear around sunset and can be seen from Booth Road, an old looking green train with several carriages disappears if anyone moves too close.

A tunnel that has been filled is said to be home to a disembodied voice calling the name Mary.

Farm (no longer standing) at Boggart Hole Clough

Type: Poltergeist

Date time: Probably before the twentieth century

This device possessed a true split personality – it sometimes helped with washing and cleaning, while other times it threw objects around, pulled bedspreads from people’s beds while they slept, and laughed out loud while knocking around at night.

When the family threatened to move out, the spirit told them it would go with them so they stayed.

Golborne, Castle Hill

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: August 1960

This female form causes problems on the roads as she drifts out in front on oncoming traffic. Some witnesses say the device is more like a monk than a woman, and a cyclist who saw the figure on the road in 1960 said the phantom figure was twice as tall as a normal person.

Mayfield Station

Mayfield train station

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: 1980s and onwards

The footsteps have been heard echoing in the building late at night – it is believed to be footsteps from a suicide (one of several that happened here over the years) that took place in the middle of the 20th century.

Picnic Corner, Broadoak Road

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: Unknown

The white (or gray) lady is the ghost of a woman who fled from a nearby castle but drowned in the pond that once stood here. Another story identifies the woman is a Victorian girl.

Either way, her ghost could be heard after the sun went down. At the time of writing (August 2019), there is a plan application to build homes on the plot.

Private house along Lower Seedley Road, Seedley

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: Around the end of the nineteenth century

For a period of two months, until they finally moved out, a family endured the sound of a cat in terrible pain.

At one point, the lady of the house was found unconscious – she said she had encountered a headless cat that was pawing in her legs.

Private residence in Moston

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: 1950s

Just after a couple had moved in, one could hear footsteps on the stairs, and a child’s voice sounded right outside a door begging to enter. The noises stopped after the couple laid a new blanket.

Get the latest updates from all over Greater Manchester straight to your inbox with the free MEN newsletter

You can sign up very easily by following the instructions here

Private residence in Charlton

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: 1990

Four students quickly moved out of this property after experiencing a large number of strange incidents, including electrical objects being turned on and off, the sound of running water in the bathroom (when the taps were closed), slamming doors and the manifestation of a tall monk-like figure.

Private residence in Elsham Gardens, Gorton

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: 2004-2008

A former resident of this property reported that her son had a female ‘friend’ named Molly who would wait in his room when they left.

She had even seen a dark, high shadow on the landing. Neighbors also told her the former occupants had moved out after meeting the ghost of a young boy.

Samuel Alexander Building, University of Manchester

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: 2008-2012

The ghost of the Australian-born British philosopher Samuel Alexander is said to have been discovered by the teaching staff in the hall, which bears his name.

BUT has contacted the university for a comment.

Shakespeare Hotel, Fountain Street

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: 1970s

Reportedly built on the site where SHC had killed a young maid, the hotel is now home to the ghostly girl. She has been seen standing at the top of a flight of stairs, and once it appeared to be on fire. “

THE MEN have contacted the hotel for a comment.

Palace Theater, Oxford Street

Palace Theater in 1977

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: 1980s

A cleaning assistant who died in the building, this figure has been seen drifting around in a gray fog, and once seen in the ladies’ toilet, sitting in a corner before disappearing.

THE MEN have contacted the theater for a comment on the gray lady.

Wardley Hall

Type: Curse

Date time: Unknown

This building is reported to have had a skull walled up within its walls, to prevent it from being accidentally removed and condemning the occupants of the house to accident or death.

The macabre relic is believed to belong to Edward Barlow, a Catholic executed by Protestants in 1640.

The Wardley Hall website states that there are two theories.

One theory was that it was the skull of Roger Downes who was buried in the family’s vault in Wigan at an early age of 28.

He was described as “one of the wildest knives at Court and an undoubtedly evil character” who, legend has it, was beheaded in a drunken brawl in Epsom Wells.

However, this story has been rejected by most experts and was disproved about a century after his death when the vault was opened and his skeleton was found to be intact, except for the upper part of the skull, which had been sawn off over the eyes.

This was apparently done for some form of autopsy to find out the cause of his death.

The most expert-historical statements favor the second theory – that it is the skull of St. Ambrose Barlow, the fourth son of Sir Alexander Barlow, of Barlow Hall in Didsbury, who was related to the Downes family.

Worsley Old Hall

Type: Joking Manifestation

Date time: Unknown

The lime-colored ghost of this woman is said to recreate her last moments – falling down the stairs and breaking her neck on the final step.

THE MEN have contacted the historic hall for a comment.

Paranormal Database warns that their content should not be considered a ‘paranormal tourism’ site. It said: “Many of these places are private and as such the privacy of the owner should be considered paramount.”

Sign up for the BUT email newsletters to get the latest on sports, news, what’s happening and more by following this link


Leave a Comment