31 Days of Hallowe’en Tales: Day 21 – The Haunted Hall on the Hill

The third most haunted property in the UK is right here in Lancashire and this Halloween it opens its doors to the public. We find out more about Hoghton Tower on day 21 of 31 Halloween Tales inspired by local folklore.

Built on a prominent hill on the southwestern tip of the Pendle range, Hoghton Tower makes for an imposing sight for anyone travelling through de Hoghton owned lands. It has been in possession of the same family since the 12th century and has welcomed kings, queens, Shakespeare and Dickens into its halls.

In his 1878 tale, The Demon of the Oak, James Bowker wrote:

“Once a fortress and a mansion, but now, unfortunately, little more than a noble ruin, Hoghton Tower stands on one of the most commanding sites in Lancashire. From the fine old entrance-gate a beautiful expanse of highly-cultivated land slopes down and stretches away to the distant sea, glimmering like a strip of molten silver; and on either hand there are beautiful woods, in the old times so full of tymber that a man passing through could scarce have seen the sun shine in the middle of the day.

“At the foot of these wooded heights, a little river ripples through a wild ravine and meanders through the rich meadows to the proud Ribble. From the building itself, however, the glory has departed. Over the noble gateway, with its embattled towers, and in one of the fast-decaying wainscots, the old family arms, with the motto, Mal Gre le Tort, still remain.

“But these things, and a few mouldering portraits, are all that are left there to tell of the stately women who, from the time of Elizabeth down to comparatively modern days, pensively watched the setting sun gild the waters of the far-off Irish Sea, and dreamed of lovers away in the wars – trifling things to be the only unwritten records of the noble men who buckled on their weapons, and climbed into the turrets to gaze over the road along which would come the expected besieging parties.

“Gone are the gallants and their ladies, the roystering Cavalier and the patient but none the less brave Puritan, for, as Isaac Ambrose has recorded, during the troublous times of the Restoration, the place, with its grand banqueting chamber, its fine old staircases, and quaint little windows, was ‘a colledge for religion.’ The old Tower resounds no more with the gay song of the one or the solemn hymn of the other:

‘Men may come, and men may go,’
and an old tradition outlives them all.”

Well, so frequent are the occurrences of paranormal activity, that apparently the staff have to keep a log in a ‘special ghost file’.

Although Bowker described it as a romantic ruin in 1878, the Tower today is very much restored and in excellent condition. It has many stately rooms and offers tours and events to visitors. The long imposing driveway and land on either side is often used for farmer’s markets and historical reenactments. But how has Hoghton Tower coined the reputation of The Haunted Hall on the Hill?

Well, so frequent are the occurrences of paranormal activity, that apparently the staff have to keep a log in a ‘special ghost file’ to record all of the incidents relayed to them by visitors. Sir Bernard de Houghton, the current owner of Hoghton Tower, only opens up his home to ghost tours because he himself has experienced his own encounter with the paranormal there.

The Tower is a favourite amongst paranormal investigators and psychical researchers. It is the sheer volume of evidence collected within its walls that has led to it placing third on the list of most haunted buildings in the whole of the United Kingdom.

There have been many different reports of spirits over the years, including a monk, a little girl, a woman in a Tudor gown, a green lady, and a black dog who haunts the Well House.

This Hallowe’en, for those brave enough, Hoghton Tower will be offering silent, torch lit ghost tours, through its ancient halls and secret underground passages.

Read our previous Hallowe’en Tales

Day 1 – The Curse of Carleton Crematorium.
Day 2 – The Witch Ducking Stools of Poulton-Le-Fylde.
Day 3 – The Ghost-Seer of Weeton.
Day 4 – Smuggling, Drowned Nuns and Fallen Acrobats at Raikes Hall

Day 5 – The Hauntings at the Old Coach House
Day 6 – Old Scrat
Day 7 – A Goblin Funeral at Extwistle Hall
Day 8 – The Ghost of Lady Macbeth
Day 9 – The Mermaid & The Sea Serpent of Marton Mere
Day 10 – The Banshee of Poulton
Day 11 – The Possession of the Lancashire Seven
Day 12 – Lady Fleetwood of old Ross Hall
Day 13 – Tales of Boggart House Farm
Day 14 – Miss Bamber of Marton and her Charms
Day 15 – A Severed Head at Mowbreck Hall
Day 16 – Burnley’s Satanic Pigs and the Clogging of Owd Nick
Day 17 – Three Pilling Boggarts
Day 18 – Hall i’ th’Wood
Day 19 – The Skull House, Appley Bridge
Day 20 – The Boggart of Clegg Hall

Take a look at Zowie Swan’s debut novel, Chingle Hall here.

Reclaim Blackpool - Mapping Sexual Harrasment
  • Zowie Swan is a local writer of fiction and folklaw. Her debut novel, Chingle Hall, is out now with Safety Pin Publishing. She's also bassist for Blackpool band Dischord.

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.