For many the name Chingle Hall, Goosnargh, Near Preston, will be an unfamiliar one, yet it is reputedly the most haunted house in Britain. It is believed that a total of 16 spirits haunt Chingle Hall.
The White Goddess The Pendle Witches 1612-2012

Chingle Hall - History - The White Goddess

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Thursday, 19 September 2019

Chingle Hall

Chingle Hall

Chingle Hall

For many the name Chingle Hall, Goosnargh, Near Preston, will be an unfamiliar one, yet it is reputedly the most haunted house in Britain. It is believed that a total of 16 spirits haunt Chingle Hall.

Built in 1260 by Adam De Singleton and originally called Singleton Hall. The wooden beams used to construct the house were from Viking longboats, and Goosnargh itself is an old Viking village; though other sources give the derivation of an Old Irish word 'Gosan or Gusan' an Irish name and therefore meaning 'Gosan's or Gusan's hill pasture'. The Singleton family lived there for many years and it is Eleanor Singleton who is said to be one of the spirits that haunts the house. Later the house, complete with its own moat, became known as Chingle Hall.

De Singleton was a devout Catholic and he built a chapel within the house and two priest hiding holes. During the 16th century priests held masses at the house, which were outlawed at the time, and punishable by death. A number of secret hiding places can be found within the hall, which the priests used, in these turbulent times. One is in the floor and one is alongside the chimneybreast. The priest would hide in the chimney-hiding hole, and the accoutrements of the mass were stashed under the floor.

Chingle Hall is thought to be the birthplace of John Wall, who is one of the last English Roman Catholic Martyrs, and a Franciscan priest. He practiced his faith in spite of the Catholic reformation, but was executed in 1679 at Worcester for his religion. Following his death, Catholics took his severed head around the country in a reverential tour of sorts before returning it to Chingle Hall. It is thought that Wall's head is either buried in the grounds or is secreted somewhere within the house. Though it is also said that his head was taken to France, and that if his head was returned to the hall the haunting by his ghost would cease.

Over the years the house acquired a reputation of being haunted, supposedly by the ghost of John Wall himself, who is said to appear as a monk within the walls of the house and in the grounds. Indeed many people have reported seeing monks or monk like figures in the Hall.

Experiences from Chingle Hall by Softlyspoken

I went to Chingle Hall when I was in my early teens, I had probably only just turned thirteen at the time. I went with my parents and didn't know nothing of the halls history or haunting.

The Hall was occupied at the time so it was the owners who gave us the tour, it seemed strange to be shown round someone’s home and to listen to their recounts of their experiences living in the Hall. They had had so many experiences while living there that there were several small booklets they had written for visitors to purchase.

Even though the Hall felt lived in and loved as such there was still a heavy air of oppression about the place. The atmosphere seemed thick with a mixture of emotions; sadness, frustration and fear were the obvious ones to me. I could go on and describe the layout and rooms of the Hall and tell all the stories about the place but I'm here to tell of only one of those experiences, mine.

We had gone round the downstairs and made our way up the stairs to where all the main activity was. We entered what seemed to be a long room with several windows, this was the priests room it was like an in house chapel with an alter etc. On the far wall to the right of the doorway there was a hole in the wall like someone had carved a chunk of wall away, we were then informed that it was a priest hide and part of the wall was false. Curiosity being one of my week points instantly drew me to the hide; I had to have a closer look at this. When I got over to the hide the people talking in the room seemed to fade away I then had the impulse to put my hand in the hide. Before I could think about it my hand was already reaching into the hide, it felt ice cold. I then got the sensation that someone else's hand was passing over the back of mine, I started to feel that I was being drawn in and I had the intense urge to follow whoever it was. A sense of fear took over me and I quickly withdraw my hand my heart was beating so fast it felt like it was in my throat. Pulling away from the hide I realized everyone was leaving the room and it took me no haste to rejoined the group and the relative safety of my parents. I didn't leave their side after that not even to go to the loo.

Chingle Hall for me is one of those places where you go by chance but never ever forget.

 

©2003-2011 Ryewolf, Softlyspoken

Please Note: Chingle Hall is privately owned and The White Goddess website is in no way connected to the owners of the hall, and as such cannot provide details or prices for people wishing to stay there or visit.

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