Weir Mill is a haunted cotton mill in Stockport, Greater Manchester, known for ghostly children, unexplained noises and a menacing Shadow Man, says RICK HALE
When the industrial revolution came to Greater Manchester, many of the villages and towns that used to be in the countryside changed overnight.
Stockport, along the southern bank of the Mersey, had been cultivating hemp and making rope for as long as anyone could remember.
However, in the 19th century, it was at the center of the cotton and hatting industries.
And as with many of these towns where cotton was manufactured, Stockport was home to the Weir Mill, a cotton mill where tragedy struck and dozens died. Resulting in the restless ghosts of young lives cut way too short.
History of Weir Mill
From the very beginning, the people of Stockport saw great potential in the building that sat along the river.
According to historical records, the first known mill was built by John Collier in 1790, as the industrial revolution came to Stockport
Collier built the two-story spinning mills to harness the power of the River Mersey in order to make his fortune in the burgeoning cotton industry.
Thirty years later, in 1824, Thomas Fernley purchased the mill and continued using it as a mill for cotton production.
Things were going great for the new owner until a fire destroyed parts of the mill, resulting in several deaths. Including a number of child laborers who were caught in the blaze and couldn’t escape.
The mill truly took off when the Manchester and Birmingham railroad came through and built the Stockport viaduct that has stood over the building since its construction in 1840.
Today, an ambitious project was begun by a local Manchester developer to convert the old mill into living spaces, shops and places for people to hang out, throw back a pint or two and just generally have a good time.
The Weir Mill will once again be an important part of Stockport life, as well as a boon for the local economy. But one question remains, what of the ghosts that are said to still call the old mill home?
Haunting of Weir Mill
When one considers the horrific fires that cut short the lives of the men, women, and even children who laboured in the grueling Weir Mill, I suppose it should come as no surprise that the building is extraordinarily haunted.
So much so that in 2017, Yvette Fielding and her Most Haunted crew took an interest in the old mill and conducted an investigation in the building that sat in ruin for far too long.
When they finished their investigation, not only did they uncover the haunted truth of the building.
But , they also discovered that something dark and disturbing occurred here, leading to the building being haunted by a sinister presence. An entity that clearly doesn’t want people in its domain.
Throughout much of the 19th and early 20th centuries, children were considered cheap labour and were often used in situations where adult workers were too big to get the job done.
Because of this, children were put in situations that were dangerous, and many died. Including the ones who perished in the fire that cut the lives short of eight children.
Visitors to the mill have reported the eerie sounds of children not only laughing and playing, but also screaming out in pain and terror.
People have further claimed to feel the cold, small hands of children touching them and grabbing them.
It would appear the children who died at the mill so long ago are still reaching out for human contact. Even if they are on the other side of the veil.
In psychical research, it’s commonly believed and accepted that sounds from the past can be recorded in the environment and played back for the unwitting to hear.
Stockport’s Weir Mill appears to have recorded many phantom noises, even though the machinery has been long silenced.
Loud bangs and crashes are commonly heard in the building. As well as a humming noise that starts off quietly and builds into an almost cacophonous sound before abruptly silencing.
Some have offered this bizarre hum as the sound of the mill wheels turning, although they have not been used for over a century.
The Shadow Man
Now, before we go any further, I will admit I am highly sceptical when people claim satanic practices cause a place to be haunted.
However, evidence of satanic paraphernalia and even animal sacrifice has been discovered at the old mill, leading many to believe these rituals may have caused the old mill to be the domain of a dark and sinister entity known simply as the Shadow Man.
Visitors to the old mill have reportedly encountered a large, obsidian black entity stalking the corridors of the mill.
The menacing figure is said to be preceded by a foul smell in the air that smells a bit like rotting flesh and moldy rubbish.
When he appears, he is known to violently grab or shove those unfortunate enough to encounter him.
Others have claimed to be chased down by the evil figure as it lets out the unearthly sounds of cackling laughter mixed with animalistic growling.
To say that visiting the Weir Mill is not for the faint of heart is somewhat of an understatement. And all I can say is good luck to the development company and to those who will work and play at this very haunted property.
Have you experienced the paranormal at Weir Mill in Stockport? Tell us about it in the comments section below!