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Smithills Hall

Reverend George Marsh championed the Protestant faith when Mary Tudor was reintroducing Catholicism, and was brought to the Hall to explain his heresy to Robert Barton, the then owner. Marsh was eventually tried and executed for his adherence to the banned faith. His spectre is said to be seen in the hall in clerical black clothing and a footmark in the stone can be seen which is said to turn "red and sticky" on the anniversary of his death (April 24th); it is said that Marsh was so exasperated at one point in the proceedings that he stamped his foot on the floor and cried out, "If I am true to my faith, God shall leave his mark!" - and, according to the legend, this is what indeed happened. In addition, unexplained sounds (including footsteps, children giggling, cats meowing and horses hooves) and smells, objects moving, barrier ropes swinging as if someone had just brushed past them and people reporting having their bottoms pinched have been noted; other spectres include two phantom children who have been heard playing, a figure dressed in black with "white bushy hair" and staring out from a mirror has been reported three times (one of these was on the stairs), a young maid and a kneeling figure in the chapel (perhaps Reverend Marsh?); it was in this latter location that a member of staff removing some dead flowers was pushed into the wall and received grazes as a result. There are many other stories attached to this building!

Update 3/2/22: I received a reply from David Williams, the chairman of the Friends of Smithills Hall: "Being closed to the public for long periods has, of course, limited visitors and by implication any reports of ghosts recently. We have done two ghost tours this winter with the only reports being of 'orbs' appearing on cameras/phones, which is something often reported and has also happened to me. I have asked colleagues about reports but without anything being noted. The many stories we tell on the tours are things reported over the years including my own experience of seeing a glass fall over and roll around a table (other glasses were unaffected) I tell visitors it was the spirits!"
It should be noted that legitimate researchers do not consider orbs to be anything paranormal, but are simply out of focus dust, insects etc. close to the camera.

Link: Great British Ghosts

Link: Secret Manchester

Link: Northern Life

Link: The Bolton News

Link: Bolton Libraries and Museums


Click here to go to my Ghost Location page