Haunted Manchester Road Trip: Top Creepy Places To Visit & Their Ghost Stories
Unearth the eerie legends and chilling ghost stories that have captivated generations in Greater Manchester. This mystical journey takes you through historic manor houses, desolate moors, and enchanting woodlands. Whether you have a weekend or several days to explore, our guide will lead you on an unforgettable adventure through the region's most haunted and mysterious locations.
Greater Manchester is steeped in rich history and fascinating folklore. The stories of ghostly apparitions, mythical creatures, and unexplained phenomena have been passed down through generations, capturing the imagination of locals and visitors alike. These supernatural tales offer a unique perspective on the region's past, providing an enthralling experience for those brave enough to explore the mysteries hidden within." says Steven D. Thompson from Betpack.com.
On this weekend itinerary, we will take you through the eerie and spine-tingling destinations that comprise Manchester's supernatural landscape. Each location has its own chilling story, from ancient monasteries to haunted manor houses. Whether you're a sceptic or a believer, this guide will provide you with historical and cultural insights while introducing you to the ghosts and spirits of Manchester.
• Morning: Visit Manchester Cathedral, exploring its haunting history and looking out for its ghostly residents.
• Mid-morning: Head to Ordsall Hall, a historic manor house in Salford, and learn about the spirits of Margaret Radclyffe and Sir John Radclyffe.
• Lunch: Enjoy a meal in Salford or Manchester city centre.
• Afternoon: Visit Gorton Monastery and immerse yourself in the stories of the spirits of monks who once resided there.
• Evening: End the day with a walk around Alkrington Woods in Middleton, searching for the mysterious phantom.
• Morning: Explore the haunted grounds of Turton Tower in Chapeltown, Bolton, and learn about the ghost of Sir William Hesketh.
• Mid-morning: Continue to Smithills Hall, a Grade I listed manor house in Bolton, and delve into its ghost stories.
• Lunch: Have lunch in Bolton before travelling to your next destination.
• Afternoon: Discover the legend of the Manchester Mummy at the Manchester Museum.
• Evening: Conclude your weekend with a nighttime visit to Weaste Cemetery in Salford, keeping an eye out for ghostly sightings.
This multi-day itinerary includes additional haunted locations and legends from the Greater Manchester area, offering a more comprehensive exploration of the region's supernatural phenomena and mythical creatures.
• Same as the weekend itinerary.
• Morning: Visit the ruins of Buckton Castle near Stalybridge and explore the legends of its haunting ghosts.
• Mid-morning: Travel to the River Bollin and search for the Black Dog of Bollin, a legendary spectral hound.
• Lunch: Enjoy a meal in a nearby town or village.
• Afternoon: Explore Boggart Hole Clough in Blackley, learning about the mischievous boggart that is said to inhabit the area.
• Evening: Head to Rochdale and learn about the witches of Rochdale who are rumoured to haunt the area near the River Spodden.
• Morning: Visit Agecroft Hall in Pendlebury, Salford, and discover the story of Sir Thomas Tyldesley's ghost.
• Mid-morning: Venture to the Irk Valley and search for the mischievous boggart that is said to reside there.
• Lunch: Have lunch in Manchester before travelling to your next destination.
• Afternoon: Take a trip to Saddleworth Moor, near Oldham, and listen for the eerie sound of the Phantom Piper's bagpipes.
• Evening: Explore the legend of the Redbank Range in Harpurhey, looking for clues about the hidden treasure and its supernatural guardian.
• Morning: Travel to Wardley Hall in Worsley and uncover the stories of the ghostly monk and Lady Dorothy Bradshaigh.
• Mid-morning: Visit Tunstead Farm in the Peak District, near Oldham, and learn about the Screaming Skull legend.
• Lunch: Enjoy a meal in a nearby town or village.
• Afternoon: End your multi-day itinerary by visiting Newton Heath railway depot in Manchester, keeping an eye out for the ghost train and its phantom driver.
Information About Your Haunted Stops Along The Way
Photo: © Keith Williamson
The Black Dog Of Bollin
The Black Dog of Bollin, a phantom black dog associated with dark folklore and sinister happenings, is said to roam the banks of the River Bollin, particularly in the areas around Wilmslow, Styal, and Prestbury. This spectral hound is known to be a harbinger of doom, and its appearance is often linked to impending tragedies or misfortunes.
Several stories and anecdotes are related to the Black Dog of Bollin, including an encounter with a traveller on a foggy night near Styal. As the man approached the dog, it suddenly vanished, leaving him terrified. Legends also recount the story of a local mill owner who saw the phantom hound outside his home. Fearing the omen, he took precautions to protect his family and property, only to have his mill burn down shortly after the sighting. Fortunately, due to his precautions, no lives were lost, but the incident only reinforced the belief in the Black Dog's ominous nature.
The folklore surrounding the Black Dog of Bollin also suggests that the hound could be a restless spirit or a shape-shifting entity. In some versions of the legend, the dog is said to be the ghost of a deceased local who met a tragic end near the river. In other accounts, the creature is described as an evil spirit or a demon that can be a black dog to terrorise the living. Regardless, the legend of the Black Dog of Bollin continues to intrigue and captivate the imaginations of locals and visitors alike, remaining an integral part of Greater Manchester's cultural heritage.
Buckton Castle Ghosts
Buckton Castle, a historical fortress in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, is known for supernatural activity. Besides the prominent ghostly figures that visitors have seen, such as medieval soldiers and the White Lady, other unexplained phenomena have been reported. These include disembodied whispers, cold spots, and a general sense of unease. Some visitors claim to have captured strange orbs or misty figures in their photographs, which further fuel the belief in the supernatural presence at the site.
Despite its eerie reputation, the ruins of Buckton Castle are now managed by the Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council and are open to the public. Visitors can explore the castle grounds and experience its rich history firsthand. The castle offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, providing a serene and picturesque atmosphere for those who dare to venture into its haunted ruins.
The Pendle Witches
The Pendle Witches were accused of witchcraft in 1612 in the Pendle Hill area of Lancashire, England. The area has since become synonymous with the Pendle Witches, and many believe their spirits continue to haunt the region. Reports of ghostly sightings, unexplained noises, and an eerie atmosphere have been noted, particularly around the villages of Newchurch and Barley and the site of Malkin Tower, where some of the witches were believed to have lived and held meetings. Some visitors have claimed to have experienced strange sensations or feelings of unease while walking the slopes of Pendle Hill.
The area attracts tourists interested in the witch trials, and various events and attractions have been developed to commemorate the events of 1612. Guided tours, museums, and a walking trail called the "Pendle Witches Way" retraces the steps of the accused witches from Pendle Hill to Lancaster Castle. The story of the Pendle Witches has become an essential part of local history and culture. The area remains a popular destination for those interested in history and the supernatural.
The Haunting Of Wardley Hall
Wardley Hall is a historic manor house in Worsley, Greater Manchester, England, known for its paranormal activity. The hall is believed to be haunted by a ghostly monk and Lady Dorothy Bradshaigh's spirit, who died under mysterious circumstances during the 16th and 18th centuries, respectively. Witnesses have reported strange noises, footsteps, disembodied voices, apparitions of ghosts, feelings of cold spots, and being touched or pushed by unseen forces.
The haunting of Wardley Hall has been the subject of several paranormal investigations and has been featured in television programs such as "Most Haunted" and "Ghost Adventures." Legend has it that the ghostly monk wanders the halls of the hall, while Lady Dorothy's spirit is often seen in the chapel, on the staircase, and in the Great Hall. Visitors have reported feeling her presence in the room and hearing her whispering to them.
Despite the many reports of paranormal activity, the owners of Wardley Hall have always welcomed visitors and are proud of their historic home. They have even hosted several supernatural events and ghost tours, allowing visitors to experience the hall's ghostly history firsthand.
The Screaming Skull Of Tunstead Farm
The Screaming Skull of Tunstead Farm is a local legend from the Peak District near Oldham, Greater Manchester. Tunstead Farm, an old farmhouse, is said to be the home of a mysterious skull with a chilling history. According to the legend, when removed from the property, the skull emits horrific screams and causes inexplicable disturbances.
The exact origin of the Screaming Skull legend is uncertain, but several theories have been passed down through generations. One popular theory is that the skull belonged to a man named Ned Dixon, a former resident of Tunstead Farm who passed away. Ned's dying wish was to have his skull remain in the farmhouse, and it's said that the skull became cursed when his request was not honoured. Another theory is that the skull belonged to a murdered individual whose restless spirit remains attached to the skull and causes disturbances.
The legend of the Screaming Skull is primarily based on the belief that removing the skull from Tunstead Farm results in terrifying noises and unexplained events. People attempting to remove or move the skull within the farmhouse have reported hearing blood-curdling screams, loud bangs, and other unsettling noises. In some accounts, these disturbances continue until the skull is returned to its original location, at which point the noises cease, and peace is restored.
Attempts to bury or destroy the skull are also said to have failed, as the skull reportedly reappears in the farmhouse, seemingly unharmed.
The Boggart Of Boggart Hole Clough
Boggart Hole Clough is an urban park in Blackley, Manchester, with a longstanding association with the supernatural.
According to legend, a mischievous spirit or fairy, a boggart, haunts the park and delights in causing trouble by stealing items, leading people astray, and playing tricks on visitors.
Nevertheless, the park continues to be a sought-after spot for hikers, cyclists, anglers, and even cultural enthusiasts who attend events like concerts and fairs. The tale of the boggart adds to the park's natural and cultural heritage, amplifying the abiding allure of eerie stories.
The Ghosts Of Ordsall Hall
Ordsall Hall is a historic manor house in Salford, Greater Manchester, England, known for its reported haunting by various spirits. Margaret Radclyffe, a former resident, is said to haunt the hall as the White Lady, having died of a broken heart in 1599.
Sir John Radclyffe, another former resident, is often seen wandering the grounds. Ordsall Hall's long history dates back to the 15th century and has served as a family home, farm, and school. Visitors have reported footsteps, cold spots, voices, and physical sensations while exploring the hall. Despite its spooky reputation, Ordsall Hall remains popular, offering insight into local history and folklore.
The Ghost Train Of Newton Heath
The railway depot in Newton Heath, Manchester, has long been linked to tales of a phantom train and the spectral manifestation of a train operator.
Several witnesses have reported seeing the train near the depot, with some claiming to have seen the ghostly figure of the driver strolling alongside the tracks.
Although the ghost train's source and the driver's identity remain a mystery, the sightings have endured over time, contributing to the area's local folklore and haunted legends.
The Haunting Of Manchester Cathedral
Manchester Cathedral has been linked to several spectral entities, including a ghostly monk and a headless apparition. Visitors have reported encountering unexplained noises, sensing cold spots, and witnessing shadowy figures inside the cathedral.
Although the ghosts' identities and origins remain mysterious, their presence has added to the cathedral's historical and cultural significance. Notwithstanding the purported hauntings, Manchester Cathedral continues to be a venerated spiritual and cultural emblem in the city, attracting visitors worldwide.
The Witches Of Rochdale
During the 17th century, women from Rochdale were accused of witchcraft and became known as the Samlesbury witches. Today, their spirits are rumoured to haunt the area around Rochdale, particularly near the River Spodden.
The witches were accused of various crimes, including causing illness, injury, and death through their magical practices. They were subjected to a notorious trial; several were found guilty and executed. The exact locations of the hauntings and the identities of the witches' spirits are unclear, but the story adds to the rich history and folklore of the Rochdale area.
The Irk Valley Boggart
The Irk Valley in North Manchester is said to be home to another mischievous spirit known as the Irk Valley Boggart. This boggart is known for causing trouble by leading people off the path, creating eerie sounds, and causing mischief.
Like other boggarts, the Irk Valley Boggart is said to be a shape-shifter that can take on different forms and appearances. While the legend of the boggart adds to the folklore of the area, visitors to the Irk Valley can still enjoy the natural beauty and recreational activities available in the area.
The Haunting Of Agecroft Hall
Agecroft Hall, a Tudor manor house located in Pendlebury, Salford, is reportedly haunted by the ghost of Sir Thomas Tyldesley, who was killed during the Battle of Wigan Lane in 1651. Visitors to the hall have reported seeing his ghost wandering the grounds and hearing the sounds of battle.
Sir Thomas Tyldesley was prominent during the English Civil War and fought for the Royalist cause. His ghostly presence adds to the rich history and folklore of Agecroft Hall, which has been beautifully restored and is open to the public for tours and events. Despite its spooky reputation, Agecroft Hall remains a popular attraction for visitors to Manchester, offering a glimpse into the region's cultural and architectural heritage.
The Phantom Piper Of Saddleworth Moor
Saddleworth Moor, located near Oldham, is believed to be haunted by the ghost of a Scottish piper and is known as the Phantom Piper of Saddleworth Moor. Visitors to the area have reported hearing the sound of bagpipes echoing through the moor, particularly on misty nights.
The origins of the phantom piper are unclear, but the legend adds to the area's rich folklore and ghost stories. Despite its spooky reputation, Saddleworth Moor remains a popular destination for hiking and other outdoor activities, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
The Ghost Of Turton Tower
Turton Tower, a historic house located in Chapeltown, Bolton, is said to be haunted by the ghost of Sir William Hesketh, a former resident who was convicted of fraud. According to legend, Sir William was punished by being bricked up within the tower's walls.
Visitors to Turton Tower have reported seeing his ghostly figure wandering the halls and rooms of the building. The exact details and circumstances surrounding Sir William's alleged punishment are unclear, but the story adds to the rich history and folklore of Turton Tower. Despite its spooky reputation, Turton Tower is a popular destination for visitors to Bolton, offering a glimpse into the region's architectural and cultural heritage.
The Haunting Of Gorton Monastery
Gorton Monastery, a former Franciscan friary located in Gorton, Manchester, is reputedly haunted by the spirits of monks who once resided there. Visitors to the monastery have reported seeing ghostly apparitions and hearing unexplained sounds, such as footsteps and chanting.
The monastery dated back to the Victorian era and was abandoned for several years before being restored and reopened as a community centre and events venue. Despite its spooky reputation, Gorton Monastery remains an important cultural and architectural landmark in Manchester, attracting visitors worldwide. The reported hauntings add to the monastery's rich history and folklore, offering a glimpse into the lives and traditions of the monks who once lived there.
The Legend Of Redbank Range
Redbank Range, situated in Harpurhey, Manchester, is steeped in legend and is said to be the location of a hidden treasure. According to folklore, the treasure is guarded by a supernatural being, although the nature of the guardian varies depending on the version of the legend.
Some believe that a ghostly figure protects the treasure, while others claim that a monstrous creature watches over it. The treasure at Redbank Range has eluded discovery despite numerous attempts over the years, heightening the area's intrigue and enigma. This legend has entranced the minds of many, and it endures as part of Manchester's rich cultural heritage, passed down through generations.
The Ghosts Of Smithills Hall
Smithills Hall, a Grade I listed manor house in Bolton, is reportedly haunted by several ghosts. The most famous of these is the ghost of George Marsh, a Protestant martyr executed for heresy in 1555. Marsh's bloodstain said to reappear periodically, can still be seen on the hall floor.
Other reported hauntings include a lady in white, a grey lady, and the ghost of a former servant. Witnesses have reported unexplained sounds, cold spots, and apparitions within the hall, adding to its spooky reputation. Despite the hauntings, Smithills Hall is open to the public and offers a glimpse into the history and culture of Bolton, attracting visitors from all over the world.
The Phantom Of Alkrington Woods
Alkrington Woods, a nature reserve located in Middleton, is rumoured to be haunted by a mysterious phantom. Witnesses have reported seeing this ghostly figure on misty nights, frightening locals and visitors alike.
The identity and origin of the phantom are unknown, but the story adds to the area's rich folklore and ghost stories. Despite its spooky reputation, Alkrington Woods remains a popular destination for nature enthusiasts, offering a peaceful and picturesque escape from urban life.
The Legend Of The Manchester Mummy
The legend of the Manchester Mummy dates back to the early 20th century and has become an enduring tale among city residents. According to local folklore, a mummy from the Manchester Museum came to life and roamed the city streets at night. Despite being unverified, the legend has persisted and continues to capture the imaginations of Manchester's residents.
The Manchester Museum, which houses a vast collection of historical artefacts, including ancient Egyptian mummies, remains a popular attraction for visitors to the city. The Manchester Mummy's legend adds to the area's rich cultural and historical heritage and reflects the enduring power of folklore and myth.
The Haunting Of Weaste Cemetery
Weaste Cemetery, located in Salford, Greater Manchester, is reportedly haunted by several spirits. Witnesses have reported sightings of a ghostly woman in black, a man in Victorian clothing, and various unidentified apparitions within the cemetery.
The origins and identities of the spirits are unknown, but their presence adds to the rich history and folklore of the cemetery. Even so, Weaste Cemetery is integral as a cultural and historical icon in Salford, drawing in visitors from across the globe. Despite its eerie reputation, the cemetery provides a serene and calm refuge for visitors to contemplate and honour those who have departed.
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