Gargrave Close, Rastrick

Located at the top of Rastrick’s Field Lane council estate, an especially bleak labyrinth of 1960s social housing, Gargrave Close is not the most auspicious setting for ghostly encounters. However, in a Brighouse Echo article dated 3rd November 2006 (suspiciously close to Halloween) two neighbours report a series of supernatural experiences in their houses on that cul-de-sac over a period of eighteen months.

Alison Mitchell and Liz Phillips, who had both lived on Gargrave Close for several years prior to the events described, list a series of trivial incidences of the type which so often get attributed to paranormal activity, such as windows and doors found mysteriously open; washing and toiletries discovered violently scattered about the room; and mugs swinging on the mug-tree without any apparent source of disturbance.

Far more sinister, however, is their shared experience of a tall, dark and apparently cowled figure whom they dub “the monk” seen passing through doorways and in Phillips’ case, beside her bed during the night. Mitchell also claims to have heard somebody whispering to her at times when nobody else was in the room, whilst Phillips describes her home being plagued by cold spots and a “dank, musty smell”.

Mrs. Phillips goes on to speculate regarding the identity of the apparition. As it is rare for 1960s council houses to be especially rich in history, one hypothesis she submits is that it could be an agricultural worker, given that prior to the building of the estate the area was primarily farmland and plucks the name Elijah Dyson from the 1841 census records.

A further conjecture concerns the possibility of some ecclesiastical building there in the distant past, especially considering the appearance of the spectre and the name of nearby Nunnery Lane. However, there is no record of such an establishment in the area and Nunnery Lane was named after Nunnery Farm. Moreover, surely if there had been a nunnery nearby, the figure seen would’ve been a nun rather than a monk?

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Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 21:55  Comments (1)  
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  1. My ancestors used to own Nunnery farm up until about 1933, when the head of the farm died aged 31.


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