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Smithills Hall in Bolton, Lancashire has a long history of paranormal activity and overnight ghost hunts have delivered some terrifying experiences. With a multitude of dark rooms and hallways to investigate, a ghost hunt at Smithills Hall is a daunting prospect and only for the very brave. Apparitions believed to be Priests have been seen cowering in a small room upstairs and a whole group of people watched as a chair moved by itself during a vigil.
Your Ghost Hunt At Smithills Hall
Smithills Hall in Bolton is a haunted house with a long and mysterious history. Ghostly apparitions have been witnessed on a frighteningly regular basis, objects have been moved and unexplained noises seem to come from empty areas of the Hall. Ghost Hunts at Smithills Hall can be terrifying and guests have fled from rooms in fear. Will you connect with past residents who feared for their lives during the persecution of Protestants by Bloody Mary during an overnight ghost hunt here? Join us and find out.
Ghosts of Smithills Hall
The shadow of a male figure has been seen looming over stairways, believed to be the ghost of George Marsh, a victim of the persecution of Protestants during the reign of Queen Mary I. His face has appeared looking desolate and miserable in the old mirror hanging on the wall and legend has it that a mark on the stone floor which can be seen today is the result of him stamping his foot whilst being taken for questioning.
In the Brown Room the figure of a lady has been seen by many visitors dressed in clothing from the 1500’s, thought to be a mischievous spirit who interacts with the guests on a regular basis and there are numerous other sightings within the building. Other phenomena includes extreme drops in temperature, the sensation of being touched and even Poltergeist activity for which no other explanation can be found.
Brief History of Smithills Hall
With over 800 years of history as a family home, Smithills Hall still retains its basic original shape and Medieval features. There are many rooms to explore including the Medieval Hall, Withdrawing Room & the Library and there is evidence that there was once a Chapel on the site too. In the 1950s human bones were discovered beneath the floor of the Withdrawing Room, believed to be built on top of the cemetery attached to the Chapel in the early Medieval period.
The house suffered neglect during the mid-17th Century but is now owned and restored by Bolton Council.
In 1801, the hall and estate were sold to the Ainsworth family, who were successful Bolton bleachers. Under three generations of Ainsworths Smithills was extensively rebuilt and modernised. In 1870 Richard Henry Ainsworth, the nephew of Peter Ainsworth (Colonel Ainsworth& son) , inherited the house. In around 1875. He employed the prominent Victorian architect George Devey in about 1875 to design the most significant improvements to Smithills Hall.
The west wing was neglected for many years, but was restored by Bolton Council in 1999. Old photographs were used to recreate the family’s living quarters as they would have looked in around 1900. However, changes in the British economy after the First World War had increased costs and reduced the amount of income the family could raise from the estate, and the financial burden of maintaining a large house eventually became too great. In 1938, Smithills was sold to Bolton Council for £70,600, and the Victorian parts of the hall became a council residential home and later a day centre until the late 1990s.
Conservation work on the older sections allowed part of the Grade 1 listed structure to be opened as a museum in 1963, and in the 1990s, the museum was extended into some of the Victorian parts of the house.
- Ghost hunting vigils and séances in small groups
- Workshop/separate vigils for returning guests
- Experiments including glass divination, table tipping and Ouija Boards
- Use of ghost hunting equipment including EMF Meters, K2 Meters etc
- Refreshments and light snacks included such as teas and coffees
- Not suitable for people with mobility issues or walking difficulties
- Parking is on site and free