Haunted Halls of Cumbria, England

The county of Cumbria is home to the highest peaks and deepest lakes in England. It is also the location of several manor houses which have acquired a reputation for otherworldly phenomena.

Levens Hall

Originally consisting of a pele tower built in 1350 to defend the borders against Scottish raiders, Levens Hall was expanded considerably in the Elizabethan era and is now a manor house. The hall is situated near Kendall by the River Kent and features a notable topiary garden designed by Guillaume Beaumont.

It was initially the home of the Redman family and has passed through several dynasties before being inherited by the Bagots, who are the current owners. Levens Hall boasts a number of ghosts, including a Grey Lady, a Pink Lady, and a phantom dog.

The Grey Lady has been seen in the house and around the grounds on numerous occasions. Legend has it that she is the resentful spirit of a starving gypsy woman who sought succour at the hall back in the 1700s.

Levens hall

Turned away by Levens’ owners she allegedly uttered a curse as she expired from hunger, stating that the hall will never go from father to son until a white fawn is born in the park and the River Kent freezes over. Since that fateful day, a male heir wasn’t born until late in the 19th century, when both of these events finally occurred.

First sighted in 1973, the Pink Lady is a more recent apparition at Levens. So-called as she wears a long pink dress and a mob cap, and has been observed by whole groups of visitors. Unlike the Grey Lady however, her identity is unknown.

Visitors to the hall have also encountered a small black dog on the stairs which appears quite lifelike until it suddenly disappears. Another unexplained incident at the hall involved a harpsichord seemingly being played by unseen hands.

Moresby Hall

During structural alterations human remains were uncovered at Moresby Hall, a 12th century manor house near Whitehaven. The hall has recently been converted into a hotel and guests have frequently reported seeing ghosts and experiencing other supernatural phenomena.

Three skeletons were unearthed under the floor of the main entrance and the bones of a child were discovered in a chimney breast. It is also suspected that a supporter of the Old Pretender starved to death after being granted refuge at Moresby after the collapse of the 1715 Jacobite rising.

Moresby hall

Apparently he was concealed within one of the hall’s hidden rooms and unwittingly forgotten about. To this day, the whereabouts of this unfortunate’s body have never been ascertained…

Could the presence of these grisly discoveries be the source of the hotel’s otherworldly occurrences? Some guests claim to have witnessed the ghost of the hapless Jacobite while others have sighted the spectre of a cavalier on the stairs.

Further manifestations include a shadowy figure that lurks in corners, the disembodied cries of wailing children heard in the dead of night, and indistinct shapes which slowly drift from room to room.

Dalston Hall

Similar to Moresby Hall, Dalston Hall has been converted into a hotel, and like Levens Hall, it was originally a defensive tower built to protect the borders that later developed into a manor house. Various investigations have confirmed that the 500 year old hall is one of the most haunted hotels in England.

A variety of apparitions are said to haunt the wood-panelled rooms and winding staircases. A ghost in Tudor dress known as Lady Jane is said to appear in the minstrel gallery of the Baronial Hall – one of the oldest parts of the building.

Dalston hall

Room 4 is supposedly frequented by the ghost of a lady who has been seen seated by the fireplace on numerous occasions. She is thought to be the unquiet spirit of a maid who fell down the stairs and broke her neck long ago.

Inquisitive psychics have encountered a sinister manifestation in the cellars which they dubbed Mr Fingernails, on account of it having unusually long fingers and fingernails. The entity took the form of a black fog able to move through floors.

The huge cellar is also haunted by a phantom known as The Handyman – a friendly shade who is known to assist visiting workmen. Other eerie activity includes the sounds of young girls whispering, fleeting shadowy figures, and hazy lights.

Brougham Hall

Known as ‘The Windsor of the North’ as it used to regularly entertain royalty, Brougham Hall is also the haunt of several restless spectres and an ancient curse. Situated near the market town of Penrith, the oldest parts of the hall date back 700 years with numerous additions completed down the centuries. It was abandoned in the 1930s and subsequently fell into ruin.

Being close to the Scottish border, Brougham Hall has been the site of many battles and skirmishes. There have been reports of phantom soldiers sighted on the grounds. The building is also said to be haunted by the ghosts of Henry Brougham and his brother William, who lived at the hall back in Victorian times.

Brougham Hall

A woman called Eleanor has also been seen. The ghost of a boy called James whose accidental death was apparently covered up after he fell when working on the hall back in the 1800s still roams the grounds.

An unnerving discovery was made when restoration work began on Brougham Hall in the 1980s. A human skull was found concealed in one of the walls. It is thought to be that of a crusading ancestor of the Brougham family, or possibly the surviving remains of a sacrificial victim.

The skull has been related to a curse which states how bad things will happen if it is removed from the premises. When the skull was removed from the hall in the past, the occupants were beset by unearthly wailing noises in the dead of night. The skull has remained walled up at the hall ever since.

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