The creepy and disturbing haunted spaces at Ordsall Hall

  • Haunted Spaces at Ordsall is part of Gothic Manchester Festival
  • Event involved paranormal experiment being conducted at the venue
  • NQ reporter Karthik Nair went to uncover its spooky past

Sounds of children laughing and mysterious apparitions are not uncommon to Ordsall Hall in Salford.

Its history may not be tainted in blood and the typical ghost story but the hall immediately gives you a feeling of uneasiness as you enter its premises.

The Gothic Manchester Festival and Haunt Manchester chose to use this to their advantage just a few days before Halloween.

Haunted Spaces at Ordsall Hall started off with well-crafted lectures from Dr Emma Liggins and Dr Matt Foley from the English department of Manchester Metropolitan University.

Dr Liggins took us into the realm of how many ghost stories came to being due to World War One.

She also talked about how architecture plays a vital role in making the house haunted which is very relevant when we are talking about Ordsall Hall.

Dr Foley then elaborated on “ethical apparitions” that we have seen scattered in films and other media and how they play a role in hauntings and the gothic.

Despite, there being over 60 people in the room there was still a sense of chill and uneasiness.

Emily Oldfield, editor of Haunt Manchester, said prior to the event: “I am kept in the dark about this event by the organisers. And that is because it is the nature of the paranormal. And that is why it is so exciting and interesting.”

After the talk she said: “I am freezing inside the hall, it is very cold.”

During the paranormal experiment, visitors were divided into groups, sent to different parts of the hall and asked to note down their experience. The experiment took the visitors around main locations in the Hall. 

The guides gave a brief of what each room was and other interesting facts.

“You can see many symbols around the Hall some of which are still being discovered,” said one.

Although there were many who did not experience apparitions, the hall made them intrigued.

But, many might ask ,what is the point of all this?

Emily said: “Gothic is an attitude which is slightly askew to the cultural norm. It is alternative way of looking things and embraces subcultures and communities.

“It is not about believing in the paranormal or not but our engagement with a history of a particular place like Ordsall Hall.”