In 1914, a headless woman ghost is reported to haunting the Ollersett coal pit, New Mills, Derbyshire, and the miners are greatly perturbed. New Mills is a town in Derbyshire, England, approximately 8 miles (13 km) south-east of Stockport and 15 miles (24 km) from Manchester.
The name of New Mylne (New Mills) was given to it from a corn-mill, erected in 1391, near to the present Salem Mill on the River Sett in the hamlet of Ollersett.
One week earlier two men on the night shift descended the shaft, and after attending to the pumping engines were making the return journey, creeping on all fours underneath the dripping rock roof. Simultaneously their eyes lighted on an object standing a few feet away, lifting its arms and uttering loud screams.
After their momentary fright had passed the men proceeded to the spot with all haste, but the apparition at their approach vanished into thin air, and was not seen again that night.
The men ascended the shaft much disturbed by their experience, and related the story to the engine-man. His suggestion that what they had seen was a shadow found no favour with the men, who persisted it was the Ollersett ghost they had seen.
Two nights passed without anything untoward occurring, and on the third night a miner descended the shaft for the purpose of oiling an engine. He had not been down many moments when his comrades on the bank heard the sounding rod, used as a signal to the engineman to draw up the cage, hit with unusual force.
When the cage reached the top the miner, white-faced and nearly in state of collapse, stated he had seen the ghost, and his version tallied minutely with that the other miners, although he had neither seen nor heard their adventure.
All stoutly declare their experience is not hallucination, but is of the Ollersett ghost itself. The pit has only been reopened about six weeks, the men employed numbering about forty all told.
The shaft was first sunk almost a hundred years ago, but as there was a tremendous amount of rock the working it was almost impracticable with the machinery in vogue in those days, and several firms who tried reach the large seams of coal known to be there had to abandon the undertaking.
It was some years later that a woman, well known in the locality, was brutally murdered in the vicinity of the pit, the sordid nature of the crime causing a profound sensation in the district.
The poor creature’s head had been severed from the body, and when the atrocious deed was discovered it was lying several yards from the trunk.
Later, a further attempt to work the pit was made, and miners, descending the shaft for the first time for many years, found at the bottom a gold locket attached to a chain, containing human hair, and shreds of a woman’s wearing apparel.
There was, however, no trace of a skeleton. Naturally, the men were disturbed by their find, but operations to reach the coal were proceeded with.