Armley Mills in Leeds, West Yorkshire, is an eerie looking building that was first built back in the 16th Century. It wasn’t until 1788 that the building became what was then, the world’s largest woollen mill. In 1805 the mill was almost completely destroyed by fire. However, the owner Benjamin Gott ordered the rebuild of the mill using mainly fireproof materials such as brick and iron wherever possible. It’s Gott’s mill that you see to this day.
During the cotton boom in England many mills employed young cheap labour, in some instances children as young as six, Armley was no different. Conditions were really poor, to say the least, and young children were often the worse treated, working very long hours in horrible conditions, resulted in many deaths from exhaustion and machine accidents.
In 1969 the mill closed it’s doors to the cotton trade, due to the world’s shift over to a lot of man-made fibres. Due to the building’s historic importance, the site was purchased by Leeds Council who then re-opened the building in 1982, as what is now the Leeds Industrial Museum.
Ghosts of Armley Mills
Due to the terrible history that resides within this building, it’s very little wonder there have been many reports of paranormal experiences over the years.
Perhaps the most commonly reported experience of all, is doors slamming shut and shooting open. Another quite common report is being pushed rather forcefully by unseen hands. The ghost of a man in a top hat and cape has also been seen on occasion. It may be him that staff and visitors have also heard whispering in their ears.
Other phenomena include:
- The apparition of a Victorian woman in a black dress, who is believed to be searching for her lost child.
- Poltergeist activity; things such as cotton bobbins being thrown across the room and at people.
- The feeling of tugging on one’s clothes, as though a small child is trying to get your attention.
- And also, sounds of crying can be heard that appear to be from a young boy.