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Thread: Speke Hall and the Grey Lady

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    Senior Member johnreppion's Avatar
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    Default Speke Hall and the Grey Lady

    Hi all,
    I'm currently working on some sample chapters for a book about Liverpool's ghosts and hauntings at a publisher's request and I thought that this board looked like an excellent place to pick the brains of some knowledgeable local folk.

    At the moment I'm writing about Speke Hall and the Grey Lady and, whilst the basic story is pretty much established, I'm having trouble finding any actual accounts of sightings. Can anyone help? Do you remember reading something in the Echo or the Post about a sighting (do you maybe even have a clipping?) or have you yourself or someone you know witnessed any supernatural goings on at the Hall?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Cheers.


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    DaisyChains
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    Hi
    The last time I went to Speke Hall, one of the guides told us that the ghosts of Speke Hall had been sensationalised over the years.
    Esp the ghost of the woman who was meant to throw her baby out of the window. I can't remember the reason but he said that was made up.

    Your best bet is to probably go to Speke Hall or ring up.

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    Senior Member johnreppion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaisyChains View Post
    Hi
    The last time I went to Speke Hall, one of the guides told us that the ghosts of Speke Hall had been sensationalised over the years.
    Esp the ghost of the woman who was meant to throw her baby out of the window. I can't remember the reason but he said that was made up.

    Your best bet is to probably go to Speke Hall or ring up.
    Thanks DaisyChains, I've already emailed Speke Hall about it but got no response so far. So yeah, I think a visit might be in order. You're right that the Grey Lady story doesn't actually match up historically either, which is part of the reason why I'm trying to find any first hand (or second hand) accounts of sightings.

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    Senior Member johnreppion's Avatar
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    Nobody got any accounts then? Not even "a friend of a friend" kind of thing? That is weird. For saying that the Grey Lady is probably one of the most famous hauntings in Liverpool, it's a bit bizarre that no one even knows of anyone else seeing her.

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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Hello researchwriter

    I was going to say I had not heard the story of the Grey Lady before but your mention of the baby being thrown into the moat triggered the memory that I had heard this story from a tour guide when I went round the Speke Hall some years ago. For what it is worth, I found the following on the net in case you have not seen it (spelling, grammar, facts etc all theirs).

    Chris

    From "Haunted Inns & Places of Great Britain: Speke Hall, Liverpool"

    Every Liverpool schoolchild worth his/her salt who has ever been to Speke Hall knows of the haunting. Speke Hall is a beautiful half timbered building dating back to 1490 complete with Great Hall, priest holes, giant yew trees and massive gardens. It's no wonder that some long deceased member of the household is reputed to have remained on the physical plane.

    The legend goes that during the civil war when the parlimentarians where closing in on royalists rumor had it that the troops where approaching Speke Hall. Upon hearing that they where at the gates the lady of the house threw her child out of the window in an effort to escape. Unfortunatley her plan went wrong when both she and her babe fell to their deaths instead of into the moat below. Now the lady in grey is doomed to wander the bedrooms searching for her lost child.

    Tourguides each have their own version of the legend but one common denominator is that the lady wears grey and haunts the same room.

    An email from Catherine O'Donnell was recieved in August shortly after the last update and provides some more info on Speke Hall and the spooky happenings there.

    From Real Haunted Houses: Speke Hall:

    During the Protestant Reformation, tunnels were dug from this house to the nearby River Mersey, to allow priests to escape to Ireland via a boat if necessary. Even today, these holes are still visible. Allegedly, a woman, devastated by the actions of her philandering husband, killed herself and then her baby. Many people have reported feeling cold spots, while others have reportedly seen spirits of the agonized woman.

    [Discussion from a number of contributors follows this intro]

    From Haunted Mansions Around the World: Speke Hall

    The Hall was once the home of Mary Norreys and it is she who reputedly haunts a room called the Tapestry Room. As the story goes, in 1736 she married a young rake called Sidney Beauclerk. He was a heavy gambler so it wasn't too long before he informed his wife that he had gambled away all that they owned. Mary was so distressed that she became insane, throwing her baby son out of the window and into the moat below. The unfortunate baby drowned and, realizing what she had done, Mary killed herself, too.

    Even though this sad tale does not quite tally with historical facts, her ghost has been seen by many witnesses, not only in the Tapestry Room but in a bedroom, where she appears and then vanishes into a wall.

    From A mansion to live in ... if you don't mind spooks (icLiverpool, April 18, 2005)

    Speke Hall's other resident is said to be Mary Norris, an unfriendly ghost who has reportedly been seen walking its corridors by night.

    The woman, who killed herself around 1755 after apparently throwing her baby into the moat, has been spotted gliding into the hall before disappearing into the floorboards.

    And, rumour says, the heavy oak cradle in the Oak Bedroom has been known to rock, as if pushed by an invisible hand.

    "Obviously, if you're prone to worrying about bumps in the night it might not be the place for you," says Liverpool properties manager Simon Osbourne.
    Christopher T. George
    Editor, Ripperologist
    Editor, Loch Raven Review
    http://christophertgeorge.blogspot.com/
    Chris on Flickr and on MySpace

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    Senior Member johnreppion's Avatar
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    Thanks Chris.
    Actually, I hadn't heard about this before:
    During the Protestant Reformation, tunnels were dug from this house to the nearby River Mersey, to allow priests to escape to Ireland via a boat if necessary. Even today, these holes are still visible.
    Interesting...

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