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Burnley Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Burnley Football Club, Lancashire.

Bee Hole Boggart

Location: Burnley - Area around Burnley Football Club
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Pre-1843, exact date not known.
Further Comments: Years before the area was developed, the entity patrolled the area looking for people - it once kidnapped and murdered an old woman, leaving her skin to be discovered on a rose bush.


Location: Burnley - Bridge End House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: T F Thiselton Dyer in his book Ghost World says the place is haunted but provides no further information.

Burnley newspaper offices, Lancashire.

Edward Fishpool

Location: Burnley - Burnley newspaper premises, Bull Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: A former printer at the building, Edward died before completing a piece of work and now walks the area in regret.

Skipping Child

Location: Burnley - Burnley Wood Primary School
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1971
Further Comments: Cleaning staff and the caretaker all reported a ghostly child who would skip and sing down corridors in the school. They also heard the unnerving sounds of a baby moaning.

Gas Lamp

Location: Burnley - Claughton Street
Type: Other
Date / Time: Circa August 1906
Further Comments: Over the course of a week, 400 people were said to have visited the street in the hope of spotting a ghost which had taken to occasionally appearing. A local police officer demonstrated that the ghost was the reflection of two gas lamps.


Location: Burnley - Eagle's Crag, Cliviger Gorge
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 31 October (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Lord William Towneley and his dog appear once a year, giving chase to a nimble doe. Another variant of the tale names the hunter as Gabriel Ratchets, while yet another story states that a man and his wife manifest on the same date - he killed and buried her on the spot.

Bethesda Street, Burnley.

Smashed Bulbs

Location: Burnley - Electrical store (no longer present) along Bethesda Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: Reportedly built on the site of a graveyard from which some bodies were not moved, several spooky occurrences have been reported in this shop, including doors opening without human intervention, exploding light bulbs, and apports.

Horse Drawn Carriage

Location: Burnley - From Hufling Hall, via Hufling Lane, to Towneley Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Travelling in a horse drawn carriage, a ghostly woman is said to leave Hufling Hall and head to Towneley Hall. It is said that you are more likely to hear the horses when it is quiet then see anything.

One of the waterways which runs through Burnley.


Location: Burnley - General area, though near the church a favourite haunt
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A local name for their version of the shuck, Trash was said to be very hairy, with feet that created splashing noises no matter what surface it stepped on. Death would follow a sighting.

Young Girl Laughing

Location: Burnley - Mark One, Manchester Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: July/August 2005
Further Comments: Members of staff at this retail store have reported unexplained breathing and footsteps in the stock room. Clothes hangers on the rails in this room have been heard moving on their own, while the sound of a young girl laughing and her small pattering footsteps has been heard. There are reports of scraping, dragging footsteps downstairs in the cellar and the presence of a man felt.

Visiting Devil

Location: Burnley - Old Grammar School
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A large, scorched patch on some flagstones in the building is explained away by a story which involves a group of students silly enough to try to summon the Devil - as he climbed out of the ground, the pupils panicked and hit Old Nick with books, stones and anything they could grab, until he disappeared back to Hell.

Flying Arrow

Location: Burnley - Over Rowley lake, Brunshaw road
Type: UFO
Date / Time: 01 October 2011, around midnight
Further Comments: A night fisherman spotted an arrow shaped object travelling at a fantastic speed above him. The craft was silent, had a light at each corner and left no contrails. The witness believed it could have been manmade. And possibly connected to a nearby military base.


Location: Burnley - Pendle Forest
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Circa 1860s
Further Comments: In the mid-eighteenth century the belief in witchcraft persisted and farmers were said to use apotropaic magic to protect themselves.

Powered Tools

Location: Burnley - Private residence
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: October 2011
Further Comments: Power tools would turn on unaided in the middle of the night, crockery would move in the kitchen, and the sound of coins could be heard on the staircase, all when this witness was home alone.

Lights Off

Location: Burnley - Private residence along Mitella Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late 1990s
Further Comments: A worker at this building reported light switches would turn continually flick themselves off as she left a room, though there was no reason why they should. An electrical diagnostic throughout the property discovered nothing unusual.

Thrown Objects

Location: Burnley - Private residence, Colburn Street
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Circa 2008
Further Comments: The occupant of this property reported that objects would be thrown around in the kitchen, while doors would open by themselves and tapping could be heard around the site.

Rosehill House Hotel, Burnley.

Shadowy Figure

Location: Burnley - Rosehill House Hotel, Rosehill Avenue
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early 2000s
Further Comments: Though most of the hotel dates back many years, this figure was seen sitting on the end of a bed in a new extension to the roof - the occupant insisted on changing his room. The entity was also seen on the staircase.

Smackwater Jack's, Burnley.


Location: Burnley - Smackwater Jack's
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: The disembodied footsteps reported in this bar have been blamed on a former ironworker who once worked on the site, before it became a pub.

St Peters Church, Burnley.

Moving Bricks

Location: Burnley - St Peters Church
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown / traditional
Further Comments: The church was going to be built on another location, but night after night the Devil appeared and moved the building materials, until the construction was relocated to where the church now stands.

Manchester Road, Burnley.

Lady O'Hagan

Location: Burnley - Summit area of Manchester Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The last owner of nearby Towneley Hall, the woman now drives her horse and trap in the area. It is said you can hear the hooves pounding on the cobbled streets, even though the stones have been replaced with modern materials.


Location: Burnley - Swan Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: Strange sounds have been heard around this inn, and cleaning staff have seen a figure walk into the men's toilet, yet never coming out.

Town library, Burnley.

Piano Man

Location: Burnley - Town library
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: A piano in a lecture theatre here was seen to play itself and has been also heard several times since.

Towneley Hall, Burnley.

Sir John Towneley

Location: Burnley - Towneley Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A former owner of the building, Towneley is reluctant to vacate his former property. He makes his presence known by playing with the lights and creating unrecognisable sounds.


Location: Burnley - Unnamed house along Crowther Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: Once belonging to a watchmaker who hanged himself, local legends state that you can hear strange ticking as you pass the house late at night.


Location: Burnley - Victoria Hospital
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Having died in the hospital after a mining accident seriously injured many of the pit workers from a nearby colliery, this solitary figure is occasionally reported by staff working the night shift.

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