Priest hole found in Tudor Hall

A CANDLE flickers, a shadow darts past the corner of her eye, she hears the low sound of tapping in the hollow walls...

...Is it one of the myriad ghosts said to inhabit the 16th century Mains Hall in Singleton?

Or is it owner Adele Yeomans taking a claw hammer to the walls of her Grade II Listed manor house in a bid to reveal its secrets?

Her latest discovery, she believes, is a priest hole hidden behind plasterboard in a downstairs hallway which could link to a hidden room behind a bookcase in her study.

The amateur historian has spent three years restoring the house to its Tudor beauty and has become increasingly intrigued with the spooky stories of its past.

But now she fears her home improvements have disturbed some less-than-earthly spirits.

She said: "I think I have triggered a paranormal surge of happenings in the house, every time I start a bit of DIY the spectral activity increases.

"There are stories of ghostly goings on throughout the history of the hall but since I uncovered the hide we have noticed more whisperings and footsteps, and visitors have even said they felt someone brush past them and touch their hand on this corridor.

"I am not surprised – the priests went to great lengths to remain undetected and what do I do but go and reopen the hide, no wonder they are in a state of unrest!"

Ghostly monks, cavorting cavaliers, regal ladies and phantom children are just a few of the spectral visitors Adele, husband Roger and children Beccy, 18, and Josh, 16, live with.

Part of Adele's morning ritual is to say good morning to a female phantom named Lily who she believes was a maid at the hall as recently as the 1940s.

It was Lily's daughter who gave Adele a clue to the location of the hide by describing a wood-panelled corridor with a hidden entrance.

Adele has now drafted in the Ghost Research Foundation to investigate the hall in a public seance on Halloween.

She added: "I can understand why people would want to hang around here after they die, it is a beautiful house. I can imagine those who felt an attachment to it would want to watch over the place.

"If any future owners strip it and go all minimalist and chrome I will come back to haunt them!"