GHOSTS AND SIGHTINGS
Although wonderfully atmospheric, Cannon Hall does not have the usual forboding or oppressive air of the typical `haunted house`. However it does have a history of spooky, and sometimes frightening happenings. The present staff, motivated by visitors always asking ``Is Cannon Hall haunted?` , have compiled a series of true reports of somethese strange events, the majority being experienced in daylight, and some being witnessed by more than one person.
The figure of a young maid has been seen by several staff in the Victorian Kitchen, and they often report feelings of being `watched` when they are alone in the room. Other strange occurances in the kitchen include a coffee machine turning itself on, a locked door unlocking itself,a poker from the fire range flying across the room and hitting a member of staff on the leg, and a stoneware jar being seen by several people at once to suddenly ``fly`` from a shelf and smash on the floor.
The Green Bedroom is reputed to be haunted by a lady, who people believe to have died there in childbirth. A museum attendant once, when closing the shutters in the Victorian bedroom turned and saw the figure of a small woman, with long dark hair and wearing a long dark dress glide into the Green Bedroom. On immediate checking the room was empty, and there was no other way for her to have left unnoticed.
A small boy has been seen by a few people, only to `disappear` when looked for, and the incidents where doors have been slammed and have been difficult to unlock have been put down to `children` at the Hall, along with the smell of `liquorice` which is frequently and unexplainedly experienced.
In the Library fresh pipe tobacco is smelt often, and a member of staff reported feeling her hair being stroked when she was on duty in there.
Along the upstairs bedroom corridor muffled voices have been heard, and furniture has been moved in the last room off this corridor, which is locked not accessible to the public. A visitor once reported seeing a `hazy presence` on here, and a staff member once saw a woman walk along there. So `real` was this woman that the member of staff struck up a conversation with her, only to discover she was talking to `thin air`. There was no one near her at the it, and her colleagues confirmed there could not have been anyone else in that part of the building at the time.
Toys have moved by themselves in front of several people in the Butlers Pantry craft shop, and in the disabled toilet just outside there the toilet has been known to flush itself whilst the lights suddenly go out.....much to the consternation and `screams` of the guests using the toilet at the time! No cause for this has been found to date despite investigation.
In the summer of 2005 the South Terrace door slammmed shut for no obvious reason in front of 2 members of staff and a family visiting. Another time an attendant was opening the door to the dining room, which usually opens easily, only to find it wouldn`t move more than a few inches, as though someone was holding it shut from the other side. It suddenly yeilded, and the adjacent room was empty and on checking no one had been in that room, or part of the building at the time other thenthe person opening the door. Another time as an attendant was locking this door from the Terrace room the second door shut unexplainably behind her, and as she was `trapped` between the 2 doors she pushed the door open in a panic and fled trhe area, refusing to lock those doors by herself ever again! A couple visiting with a small boy recently reported these doors closing suddenly behind them for no reason, hard enough to push the boy on his back back.
On the 30th August 2007 several staff watched in fascination as the crystal chandelier in the Dinig room moved as a single entity (despite consisting of hundreds of seperate elements which usually rattlee and move independently of each other when pushed/touched), rotating in a slow clockwise direction silently for 4 hours.The supporting chain did not move or rotate. The staff monitored and `investigated` possible causes for this throughout the whole period of it and after, including trying to `replicate` it. No cause has been found for this to date. Earlier in the same day, a visitor to the musem told an attendant that something was `not right` in that room.
In the Spencer room, which is above the old stables and now used for meetings and confrences etc in October 2006 , 2 female volunteers helping out with an event there were startled to see a metal teaspoon `jump` out of a cup and land quite a distance away on the counter. Both ladies, who have not before encountered anything they would describe as paranormal before said they saw the spoon `rise up from the cup as though lifted by an unseen hand`. A few weeks later at the Christmas fair in the same area a stall holder reported wax having been dripped on her dust sheet, which was clean when brought at the start of the day, and no candles were anywhere near the stall at any time during the day, let alone lit.
In the Victorian Ballroom a female member of staff has reported a `playful tug` to her cheek whilst alone in there, then within half an hour of that she experienced resistance to the second double door whilst unlocking it, only to check the other side and find no possible cause of resistance. Another time in the ballroom a seperate female attendant was injured in 2 seperate incidents which she could find no obvious cause for.
One night whilst waiting for visitors to leave a member of staff saw a lady move behind one of the columns in the entrance hall heading towards the stairs. As it was closing time the staff member followed the woman to remind her they were locking up, however when she got up the stairs the attendant at the top said no one had come up there. Presuming that she had imagined the lady she thought nothing more of it...until later whilst on her way home, when she is sure she saw the same lady on the Halls drive. After now having seen photographs she is convinced that the lady she saw was Elizabeth Spencer-Stanhope, the last of the family to own Cannon Hall.
The most well known ghost story associated with the Hall is actually not in the Hall itself , but is outside in the park at the Deer Shed, a few moments stroll from the Hall. Apparently in late Victorian times the ghostly image of a tall frock coated figure was seen materialising under a tree near the Deer shed. There are accounts which show that in 1881 the vicar of Cawthorne, The Reverend Charles Tiplady Pratt, conducted an exorcism near the Deer shed. Apparently it was successful, as there were no further sightings after!