With Halloween upon us, it’s time to take a look at the most celebrated ghostly goings-on across the Fylde coast...
Here’s our 13 – see what we did there? – top spooky haunts across the coast. Whether you believe or not, there’s a lot of strange goings-on that have been recorded over the years.
1) Mains Hall
This building featured on TV show Most Haunted after numerous reports of ghostly-goings-on.
The Grade II-listed building in Singleton, is steeped in history, set on an estate with settlements dating back to 1066.
Child ghosts, spirits of priests, cavaliers and former Lords and Ladies have long been seen in the manor house which has served as a farm, bed and breakfast hostelry, hotel, wedding venue, restaurant and a family home.
Owners the Yeomans family regularly reported seeing a spirit they called ‘Lily’, a lady who stood at the top of the stairs by the Tudor Room.
Adele Yeomans said: “Then a lady who used to live in the manor in the 1940s visited the house and said her mother had always said ‘If I could ever go back anywhere I would haunt Mains Hall’.
“Her mother was called Lily. It was amazing.”
The owners also heard a glass smash and found it in a room where glasses have never ben kept - at a time when no one was there.
Other local legends describe wandering monks and priest-like figures in robes in the house, The Great Hall and in the grounds.
Cavaliers are seen regularly – with the best recorded sighting when at least 12 hotel guests saw the ghostly figure of a cavalier in one corner of the room.
2) Pilling Hall.
Civil servant Juliette Gregson, from Blackpool, has studied parapsychology and became an expert on ghosts in the area after delving into the reports back in 2008.
She said: “A boggart donkey once haunted the barn at Pilling Hall. Children approaching the troubled area were advised to cross their fingers and chant, ‘Buttermilk and barley corn’.
“Interestingly the ruins of Newers Wood Chapel across the road from Pilling Hall are constructed on a Pagan burial mound.”
3) Bourne Hall in Thornton
Elizabethan manor Bourne Hall – which has now been demolished – was said to be haunted by two boggarts, a white lady and a headless horse which roamed the adjacent hillside at night.
A ghost with a “green face” is said to haunt the area – the apparition was spotted near the gates of Carleton crematorium by a Layton taxi driver back in 1963.
He told The Gazette: “I stopped the taxi short of the crematorium gates and I saw this green face outside. I could not see a body, just this head.
“It was the face of an old man, with sunken eyes, long dark hair, a Punch-like nose and prominent chin.
“I am quite convinced I saw this face. It was not my imagination.”
Weeton’s picture postcard village centre has a pretty green, bordered with thatched houses and the Eagle & Child pub.
Residents claim the pub has at least one resident ghost and legend has it that Oliver Cromwell visited the inn during the Civil War.
Over the years the owners reported objects moving around, a German Shepherd dog who would stare at the same spot on the ceiling by a dresser, and - perhaps most frightening of all – a fitted carpet rippling as though it was water, tearing itself from the wall in the process.
A highwayman called Murph, who fled from London, is also reported to haunt the building.
6) The Grand Theatre
The late Victorian theatre is supposedly haunted by Charlie, who has been identified as the spirit of an audience member who threw himself to his death from the theatre balcony after being spurned by an actress.
Charlie has been described as a cheeky ghost who plays pranks on performers.
In the 1980s, a pantomime director told how he was sat in the upper circle of the theatre, close to where Charlie is thought to have jumped, when his shoulder was repeatedly tapped. Nobody else was around.
The theatre is also said to be home to the spirits of a former manager, Thomas Sargentson, who apparently keeps a close eye on current staff, and a more recent employee who is thought to be inhabiting the media room.
Paranormal researchers have suggested the heightened spiritual activity is due to a ‘paranormal portal’ above the stage.
7) Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Several ghosts are said to haunt the attraction.
Cloggy, a former maintenance worker known for his clogs who died in 1970, is said to haunt the Ghost Train.
People on the ride have complained of being grabbed – only to be told by staff that this was not part of the attraction.
The ice rink is said to be inhabited by a spooky skater and backstage ghosts. The sound of someone skating on the ice has been heard after the venue has closed for the night. And a Karl Marx lookalike allegedly haunts the former Star Pub, now the Apple and Parrot.
8) The former Illuminations depot in Rigby Road
Staff at the depot on Rigby Road reported sightings of ghosts, unexplained noises and a sensation of cold air. One medium identified a restless spirit as Ted, who died in a drowning accident.
9) The Marine Hall, Fleetwood
A figure, believed to be the ghost of a former caretaker, has been seen walking through the walls of the Marine Hall on the Esplanade in Fleetwood.
10) The owners of the Grapevine, on Market Square in Poulton, have reported noises coming from the cellar.
It is said that one man hanged himself from beams above the bar around 200 years ago.
The village of Kilgrimol is said to have been swallowed by the sea somewhere off the Blackpool coast, during the Dark Ages.
Ghostly lights have been reported shimmering on the horizon, as well as the sound of melancholy sea shanties across the water.
12) The Ship and Royal, Lytham
Also reputedly haunted by a ghost called Charlie (popular name for an apparition!), various landlords, landladies and staff have reported strange noises throughout the building, which still has no electricity on its upper floors. And staff reported seeing the shape of a man in the cellar, which disappeared around a corner in a room which was empty. A mum and daughter, said to have committed suicide in the pub in the 19th century, are also said to make noises in the building.
Former Lord of the Manor John Talbot Clifton, who liked a tipple in the hostelry, is also said to haunt the building.
13) Lytham Hall
Not content with roaming the Ship and Royal, John Talbot Clifton is also said to remind people of his presence at his family home, the now Grade 1-listed Lytham Hall.
Earlier this year, gate staff reported hearing a car pull up - on more than one occasion - only for nothing to be there. And Mr Clifton was a car enthusiast.
With huge furniture and paintings that have eyes everywhere, many visitors have noted strange sensations while walking around the hall.
And earlier this year, a shaken visitor told staff how he’d walked through a freezing cold spot outside the hall in daytime.
Other current and former pubs and hotels on the Fylde coast have also reported ghostly tales. Priests, smugglers and members of the aristocracy reportedly haunt The Foxhall building on the promenade. Built in the 17th century, priests fled to the isolated building, also previously a house and hotel, for refuge.
Workmen renovating Frenchman’s Cove on King Street, formerly Duckworth’s tobacco warehouse and now a bar, told how they felt they were being watched and felt something pass by them while working in the cellar. The ghost is supposedly the spirit of a girl called Laura Schoons, who came from Scarborough.
Guests at the Old Coach House hotel at South Shore, previously a vicarage, reported a man wearing a cap and black cloak staring at them while eating.
And it is claimed that the Raikes Hall pub on Leamington Road, previously a house and a convent, is haunted by a woman who drowned.
In 1936 The Gazette reported how Layton cabby Harry Hodges encountered the floating green face of an old man “with sunken eyes, long dark hair, a Punch-like nose and prominent chin” at the gates of Carleton Cemetery. His fare, a young woman, fled the cab.
If you’ve ever had a spooky experience – or caught something strange and unexplained on camera – let us know. Email firstname.lastname@example.org