With Halloween drawing closer, and spooky season approaching full swing, perhaps you’re getting ready to stream a playlist of scary movies or maybe you’d like to visit somewhere closer to home.
The team at 2Chill are exploring some of the spookiest places that the Manchester area has to offer, and they don’t come much more haunting than these locations.
Some of these places are home to tales of tragic accidents and even grisly murders and although it can be hard to sometimes separate fact from urban legend, the common thread is that people have reported many ghostly sightings at each of these spots.
Whether you’re a hardened believer or a curious sceptic, throughout the year guests can participate in ghost tours, so replace the batteries in your torch and sign up- if you dare!
Antwerp Mansion has had many iterations during its long and storied history including being a former nightclub, but the common thread running through its different lifespans seems to be tragedy, and unexplained events.
Originally Antwerp Mansion was built as a private home as part of the Victoria Park estate, the world’s first gated community.
In 1922 the building was bought by the local conservative club and for many years it was one of the most important of its kind in Manchester, visited by Winston Churchill on at least one occasion.
However the home saw its fair share of tragedy, with three generations of family dying in the house.
There’s also a rumour that in the 1960s a child fell through the skylight onto the bottom of the stairs, which is why it remains smashed to this day.
There were even at least two fires during its time.
Traces of the first one can be found under the floor of the red bedroom, where some older beams have scorch marks but were judged sound enough to remain in place.
The other was an arson attack in the late noughties and tore through the servants wing leaving a hollowed out shell.
People have described the place as encountering unexplained flashes of light in dark rooms, as well as the appearance of movement out of the corner of the eye.
The mansion had so many ghostly happenings that our favourite paranormal investigators Most Haunted came to check it out, and claimed to have heard someone running up the stairs, glasses smashing, knocking, tapping and humming.
A once notorious nightclub, the venue had to close in 2018, and is now being renovated into an arts and photography space.
During these renovations, the team found a crawlspace of sorts, when removing a staircase.
In a post to their website the team said: “We uncovered a bricked up entrance to what we initially thought was a storage area.
“However it makes no sense for the only entry to this room be from a tiny doorway above when there are far more convenient places to put a doorway in the cellar.
“It’s about six feet down to floor level from this hatch and the space extends under the floor to both sides of the entrance. It’s also been plastered on the inside. All the other walls in the cellar were whitewashed, not plastered.
“Could this room have been a prison cell? Why would it be in the house? What else could it have been used for?”
If all of this hasn’t scared you silly, you can tour the old mansion, with the next event taking place on Halloween itself.
For more information, visit the website here.
Bramall Hall, Stockport
Bramall Hall in Stockport is a Tudor Manor House which dates back to the Middle Ages, meaning that there’s plenty of history contained between the beautiful black and white timbered walls.
The Paradise Room is said to be the most haunted and is nicknamed ‘The Ghost Room’ due to its priest’s hole.
Many great houses had a priest hole built so that the presence of one could be concealed when searches were made of the building during the time when Catholics were being persecuted.
They were concealed in walls, under floors and other locations and were often successful in concealing their occupants- but make for a creepy addition to a room.
Not only are there plenty of places to hide, the Withdrawing Room in Bramhall is said to be haunted by the figure of a woman and in the chapel on the grounds of the property known as the Lady in White, who was slain alongside her lover in Macclesfield Forest.
There have been numerous reports of paranormal activity in the old hall, including the feeling of being suddenly drenched in ice water.
It also reportedly has a number of resident ghosts such as a serving maid in an old russet gown wandering the halls, and a woman in a nightgown.
Other ghostly sightings are of a red figure on horseback who is rumoured to appear in the courtyard on New Year’s Eve.
For more information about visiting Bramall Hall, visit the website here.
Ryecroft Hall, Audenshaw
Ryecroft Hall has a long history of unexplained paranormal activity, with overnight ghost hunts described as a “truly daunting experience”.
In 1849 the Earl of Stamford and Warrington sold the land to the Buckley family, who owned the cotton mills at Ryecroft.
James Smith Buckley passed the house on in 1885 to his nephew Abel Buckley, who lived there for twenty-two years. He was a Liberal MP and the Mayor of Ashton, and contributed to the cost of building Albion Church.
In 1913 Austin Hopkinson, MP for Mossley, inventor of a coal cutting machine and owner of Delta Engineering Works, lived in the hall.
In the First World War it was a voluntary Red Cross hospital with over 100 beds, with the cellars being used as the morgue- a place many have reported feeling a sense of foreboding when entering.
Some reported activity has included moving objects, shadowy apparitions moving around rooms to room and the sounds of voices. A figure thought to be a child in Victorian clothing is often seen playing on the main staircase and is believed to be the ghost of a little girl that fell to her death.
A young woman, a nurse from the first World War and a woman in a dark dress have all been reported as some of the ghostly figures found roaming the many areas and rooms at Ryecroft.
The building is now the property of the local government and is open to the public, hosting happier events such as concerts in the ground, and a library and community centre in the house.
However, visiting at night can still be a creepy experience, and tours hosted by Paranormal Eye UK can be undertaken, to see the house in a different light.
For more information, visit the website here.