Easter Ghost ~ Halifax 1843

At Easter 1843 crowds began to gather round a certain Halifax house, and more curious onlookers joined the throng each day. The house was said to have been unoccupied for 20-30 years and yet strange sights had been seen through its upstairs window: a bed was seen to fly around the room and a ghostly female figure had appeared there over the Easter weekend. It had been seen the previous two days and was expected to be seen again as Easter Monday came. The spectral figure was, according to onlookers, the spirit of a housemaid who had cut her own throat on Easter Monday around 40 years ago.

A random Victorian lady

As Easter Monday came, the crowds clearly saw the figure of a young woman appear at the window. People in the throng (according to the Halifax Guardian) shouted: ‘Here it is!’ and ‘Nah, will ta believe it, does to see it nah?’ The ‘ghost’ in question turned out to be a servant in the house, which was not empty at all, and behind the upstairs window was her bedroom, shared with another female servant. She had heard the clamour of the gathering crowds and looked out to find a large audience gawping at her. It seems a few days ago, she had taken down the blinds from the window for washing and temporarily replaced it with a makeshift substitute that looked a little like a female figure.

The Halifax Guardian lamented: ‘Who could have imagined that in the 19th century… crowds should have assembled in the centre of a populous town, and in mid-day to witness the feats of a Hobgoblin.’ The paper concluded thus:

It is a pity that a fire engine was not used to disperse the credulous men and children who could spend several hours in looking at nothing but a bare wall and windows. As for the women, they are more excusable; their curiosity is uncontrollable.[i]

[i] Halifax Guardian 24 April 1843

Published by Paul Weatherhead

Author of Weird Calderdale, musician and songwriter

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