Smithills Hall

Smithills Hall as a building is a real mixture of eras and styles. There has been a house on the site since the beginning of the fourteenth century and looking at the frontage you can easily believe that everyone who has ever lived in it has left a little something behind. Inside is just the same, and it is possible to step from the sixteenth century to the nineteenth by the simple act of walking through a door.

All this makes it very interesting to anyone who likes the supernatural. In a very haunted county, it is probably the most haunted house, with everything from a bleeding footprint to Victorian children and their nursemaid. The spirits at Smithills Hall are not just sounds or ghostly mists and shadows as is so often the case. A full and clear reflection of a white haired man in dark clothing is often seen in a mirror in one of the bedrooms. The mirror has a reflection of the interior of a room, seen from a landing, but when the viewer goes to check, there is no one there. The Hall also has more than its fair share of footsteps, along landings, crossing the hall and even outside, on the gravel, as well as the sound of phantom horses riding by. Things often go missing and a mischievous spirit likes to upend the glasses in one of the museum set pieces.

The bleeding footprint belongs, it is said, to George Marsh, a local Protestant preacher who fell foul of Mary Tudor and her fires. When he was convicted at the court held at the Hall, he stamped his foot and the print remains to this day. It bleeds on the day of his death, although no one has witnessed it in recent time. The man himself is also seen around the house looking, quite reasonably, sad.


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