Blaithroyd Farm, Southowram

In his 1983 book “Yorkshire’s Ghosts and Legends,” Terrence Whitaker relates the story of a haunting at a property near Bank Top (the area of Southowram before the hill descends towards Halifax) in February 1962. The tenant Mr. John Harris was alone in the house whilst his wife was in hospital after having a baby. and one night at around eleven o’ clock  when suddenly he heard “a resounding crash… the cat leapt up and appeared to fly around the room several inches from the ground, howling in terror,” followed by the sound of “giant footsteps crossing the room overhead, from one corner to the other, slowly and very loud”. Harris investigated but found nothing which might account for the phenomena. Upon discussing the experience with his neighbour the following morning he was told that he would have to get used to such disturbances, as she had heard them herself many times over the years.

Subsequent research by Mr. Harris revealed that the house he occupied had once been part of Blaithroyd Farm, formerly Blaithe Rood, where accordingly to John Crabtree in his “Concise History of the Parish and Vicarage of Halifax” occupancy dates back to at least the 14th Century. Crabtree goes on to claim that in the late 16th Century, during the reign of Elizabeth I when the practice of Catholicism was banned, papists would gather to worship there in secrecy. He also says “a little distant from the house was also some ground in the delph-brow called the burying-place”. In apparent confirmation, Whitaker writes that builders excavating land behind the house prior to the tenancy of Mr. Harris had in fact disturbed a mass burial site which they took for a plague pit or an internment following the 1643 Civil War skirmish at Bloody Field on the lower flanks of Beacon Hill nearby. Such history is certainly ripe with potential for unquiet spirits.

Published in: on March 16, 2010 at 21:18  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I was born at home at Blaithroyd Farm .My family left there about 1961.I can remember thinking I could see dark images through my bedroom window and being scared of noises .My parents dismissed this as “being silly” – I was only 4/5 years old at the time -but I still have the vivid images after all these years!

    • Thanks Christine. That’s very interesting. I’m glad the site is attracting this sort of first-hand account. Incidentally, would you be able to clarify the exact location of Blaithroyd Farm for me? I’m not entirely sure which building it is, hence the lack of a photograph!

  2. Unfortunately the farm was demolished some time ago and I believe there is a new building on the site.It was on the far end on the left hand side of Blaithroyd Lane.A track from there led to the mast at Beacon Hill -on the left set back are 2 bungalows ( semi detatched?)The farm was between the end of the lane and those houses

    • Many thanks for that information, Christine. I know exactly where you’re describing. It’s a shame the farm has been demolished – it sounds to have been a venerable building.

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