We have heard stories of the Hall being haunted on occasion, but earlier this year a few of our volunteers mentioned something spooky going on at the gatehouse.
About mid day one Snowdrop Sunday they heard a car draw up at the gatehouse, where they were taking money and handing out leaflets. They stepped outside, but there was no car to be seen. On going back inside one volunteer commented that the experience was not unusual and many odd things happen, especially when the weather is cold and dreary and one is alone. The other volunteer then realized that his own previous experiences, which he had kept quiet about, were not part of his imagination. They discussed what they had previously kept quiet about, struggling for sensible explanations. In the end, they gave up.
Not more than 10 minutes later, a visitor came to the gatehouse on foot. He was clearly shaken about something and asked the volunteers if they knew of any ghosts here. They were somewhat taken aback by this question after their recent experience. It turned out that on crossing the road outside the gatehouse he experienced an intense cold (it was a chilly day but insufficient to see one's breath). To quote him “As I approached the cobbled wall area, my breath turned an intense white like a cloud about the size of a football. It was most disconcerting and happened for several breaths before moving from that spot and coming towards the gates, whereupon there was no further trace of the phenomenon but I was reluctant to go back.” Neither of these volunteers believe in ghosts, and the visitor was a scientific chap who was clearly rattled by his experience and needed a strong coffee to recover.
We know from descriptions that John Talbot Clifton loved his cars and that one of his visitors said “He came to fetch me in Blackpool in a fast racing-motor, and then drove at ninety miles an hour down the public road and in through his extremely narrow lodge gate without slowing up for an instant. I was terrified, though I must say that he was a magnificent driver.” So was this ghost car Talbot coming back from his travels?