James Buckley, the owner of Ryecroft Cotton mills began building Ryecroft Hall in Manchester in 1849. He died in 1851 before construction was finished. The Hall remained owned by the family until it was sold to Austin Hopkinson in 1913. Hopkinson was an Engineering magnate and also served as a local councillor and MP for the area from 1918-1945. He did not make much use of the house himself. During the Great war it was used as a Red Cross hospital with over 100 beds, and in 1922 he gave both the house and the grounds to Audenshaw and it became the administrative centre for the Urban council. The house served in that role until 1974.
A lot of frightening paranormal activity has been observed during investigations of Ryecroft Hall. Objects being thrown by invisible hands and undefined, dark figures moving in the shadows are commonplace occurrences here. The foreboding feeling that envelopes visitors to the cellars is well known. These cellars served as a morgue during the war and who knows what may have taken place in these dark rooms. There have been reports of figures seen walking from room to room down here.
It can be a daunting experience to enter the Hall today. Disembodied voices have been reported coming from empty rooms, and a childlike figure is frequently seen standing on the main staircase. This figure is believed to be that of a young Victorian girl who is known to have died falling down these stairs. She is far from the only apparition seen here. Soldiers are seen quite often, as are Wartime nurses, and a young woman in a cap. In addition to these apparitions there are other accounts of bells being rung here, unexplained smells, and rapid variations in temperature which occur without explanation. Visiting Ryecroft Hall can be a chilling experience, and events there can be unpredictable.