Are legends of Ordsall Hall’s White Lady real or tales from the crypt? MM investigate…

The many spine-tingling tales of the White Lady wandering Ordsall Hall have earned the historic building its reputation one of Manchester’s most haunted destinations.

These ghostly sightings are coupled with various reports of shivers and cold drafts from nowhere and ghostly hands on shoulders.

With Halloween just around the corner MM’s Alex Peace headed to the Tudor Hall to see if he could face the supernatural head on…

Approaching the hall, it certainly feels like the sort of place that could be haunted – the old Tudor architecture imposed against the black October sky, the leafless trees swaying ominously in front.

With the help of experts John Leahy of investigator Paranormal Places and his various gadgets, we entered the hall and set about our search.

But what is it about Ordsall Hall that makes it such a good place for a ghost hunt?

“I think it’s the history, it has got a spiritual atmosphere,” John told MM.

“I think it does rely a lot on its architecture, it’s that style. It immediately makes people imagine that there is a ghost.”

The night was certainly creepy and tense as well but when is standing in a dark old Tudor manor not?

Floorboards creaked and walls groaned, all of which excited our ghost finding experts, calling out for a response from the spirits that may or may not be present.

John called in to the night, encouraging ghosts to ‘come forward’ waiting for things to happen.

The evening involved large amounts of waiting but that was to expected, the ghosts weren’t just going to come out all singing and dancing.

The spirits weren’t particularly active this evening it seemed so out came the Ouija board to see if we could coerce them in to showing us their presence.

We stand there, fingers on a glass. We continue standing, waiting (a common theme of the night).

The glass moves ever so slightly…  Our expert tries to encourage it some more. The glass moves slightly again. Then nothing.

John hints that with eight amateur ghost hunters all with fingers on the glass, the ghost may be anxious.

I volunteer to take myself off and the minute we do, the glass begins to move wildly around the board.

It seems even the dead aren’t particularly fond of journalists.

The glass begins to spell P-A-U-L-A. Lo and behold, one of the people touching the glass with her friend was called Paula. The next thing it spelt was M-A-R-R-Y.

This visibly shook Paula up, she asked to take a minute away, was there a ghostly presence or just her friend trying to scare her a little bit?

So far though, no luck in finding ourselves any real sign of a ghost in Manchester’s ‘most haunted building’.

We head to the kitchen to see if there was more of a presence there, once again we invite the ghost to come forward but apart from flashing lights on some of John’s ghost detection devices, there is no real sign of anything ghostly.

With the night ticking on, our investigators seemed no closer to finding us any sign of a ghost. So we tried something new, the human pendulum.

A member of our group stood in the middle of us and spirits were once again encouraged to come forward and push him forward or backwards to answer yes or no to our questions.

He did go forwards and backwards but whether once again this was subconscious remains to be seen, we also learnt very little once more.

By this point, the group generally began to grow tired both because it was late and because there was little evidence of ghouls here.

Our ghost hunt was proving fruitless.

So, are the movements on the Ouija board enough to prove Ordsall Hall is indeed haunted?

Ghost hunter John isn’t convinced.

“I do believe in ghosts but I think I need a bit more evidence than just table tipping and Ouija boards,” he said.

“I think Ouija boards are 50/50 whether they are communicating with the spirits or it’s the subconscious of the people touching the boards.”

So we pressed on in search of that evidence, the skeptic in me still far from convinced of ghosts at all and especially of their presence in Ordsall Hall.

We moved to the main hall where the aforementioned White Lady has been spotted most frequently.

If we are going to get a ghostly encounter, this is the place.

Here is where our host played his boldest move yet.

Rather than use one of his gadgets which apparently indicate activity, he placed a normal torch on the table and invited the spirits to show us their presence by turning it off.

This would do it for me, if the light went off, I’d believe ghosts had been moving the glass on the Ouija all night and making the sensors flicker.

We sat at the great table in the hall and watched the light as time ticked by, but alas, the light did not turn off.

It was another failure in a night that did little to convince none-believers.

The evidence of ghosts in Ordsall Hall was inconclusive to say the least, and I was wasn’t alone in feeling the night had turned out to be an anti-climax from start to finish.

“I’ve walked around this building actually on my own and I feel quite comfortable,” John said.

“There are other places I’ve been too. You’ve got that caveman instinct where you just do not want to go in to that place.

“I feel quite comfortable here. It doesn’t feel like a hotspot, it probably does have ghost but I think I’ve been to other places that I’d be more inclined to say this is haunted.”

We head off in to the black of the night without a ghost.

All Hallows Eve may be approaching but the supernatural, if they exist at all, certainly weren’t playing game this night.

Main image courtesy of Nev1 (talk), inset image courtesy of Nebraska Oddfish, with thanks.

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