Wythenshawe Hall: A Reluctant Haunted House

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Wythenshawe Hall in Manchester doesn’t embrace its haunted reputation, but the ghosts inside don’t care, writes RICK HALE

Wythenshawe Hall in Manchester
Wythenshawe Hall in Manchester

This is going to sound a bit strange, but some places with an extraordinary amount of ghostly activity really don’t care to have that label, “Most haunted place in Britain”.

It would stand to reason that as soon as they are known for their supernatural denizens, every ghost hunter and paranormal enthusiast will eventually come knocking on their door.

This plan of keeping their reputation on the down low, as it were, only proves to make those stories more believable. At least in my opinion, anyway.

You may ask, then if they are so reluctant to share their spectral activity, then how do those stories get out? The answer is quite simple really, leaks.

And stately old Wythenshawe Hall, five miles south of central Manchester, is one such a place. 

History Of Wythenshawe Hall

Wythenshawe Hall’s story began long ago in the 13th century, when it was mentioned in a 1297 charter as a deer park.

It was used by the powerful and wealthy Tatton family, who used it for hunting and recreation.

Centuries on, sometime around 1540, Robert Tatton saw potential in the land and abandoned its original use.

It took a few years, but Robert Tatton constructed the sprawling, timber-framed Tudor house that served as a family home for over 400 years.

As with many grand country manors, violence, bloodshed and political intrigue found its way to its front door.

When civil war broke out between Parliament and the King, the Tattons remained firmly in the royalist camp.  They staunchly defended the king and country as they felt it was their sacred duty.

Parliamentary forces did learn of this and besieged Wythenshawe Hall under the command of Robert Duckenfield.

The Tatton family fought bravely until two large cannons were brought from Manchester and Tatton surrendered along with his house.

The Parliamentary forces did confiscate the house, but eventually returned the house and lands to the Tattons for the sum of £700.

With all that behind it, a descendent of Robert Tatton sold the house and land to Manchester with the stipulation that it be used for the common good.

One of those uses for the common good was an art gallery that brought culture to the people of Manchester in the 1930s.

Many repairs were made to the Hall which was beginning to fall into disrepair. And in the 1950s, Wythenshawe Hall was granted Grade II status.

Those repairs lasted a little over 60 years, when in 2016, a local arsonist from nearby Wythenshawe set Wythenshawe Hall ablaze, severely damaging it.

Thankfully further repairs were made and the Hall recently reopened to the public in 2022.

Wythenshawe Hall
Wythenshawe Hall

Haunting Of Wythenshawe Hall

A common theme that has dominated so-called haunted houses is, extensive repairs and renovations can stir up, or breathe new life into old ghosts.

And although Wythenshawe Hall likes to keep their ghosts out of the public eye, all the repairs appear to have awakened long dormant ghostly activity. And not all of them are friendly.

White Lady Of Wythenshawe Hall

What British haunting would be complete without the iconic white lady? A ghost that figures in the hauntings of many castles and houses. And Wythenshawe Hall has its very own.

The upper floors of the Hall are the domain of the white lady. She is known to swiftly run between rooms as if searching for something. 

If anyone should dare to follow her or approach her, she vanishes from sight.

An explanation for the mysterious white lady’s identity has been offered.

In life, she was believed to have been a servant named Mary Webb. And she’s not searching for anything, but rather fleeing from parliamentary forces. 

Mary, may be looking for a place to hide and never found it before being captured. Her pleas for mercy and screams still ring out through the halls before being silenced.

Phantom Monk

Another often reported ghost in British ghostlore is the shadowy apparition of a monk.

The monk is said to silently walk through the building, his face concealed from all who see him.

Various Other Activity

The white lady and the silent monk are not alone in haunting the old house.

Various bangs are heard in empty rooms. Footsteps are known to follow people as they explore the house.

And heavy doors are heard and seen flying open and being slammed shut by unseen hands.

Wythenshawe Hall may not embrace its haunted reputation, but its many ghosts don’t share in its reticence. 

Have you experienced the paranormal at Wythenshawe Hall? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

Watch Haunted Wythenshawe Hall Video

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