A GHOST hunter may have captured the first chilling image of a spectre long-known to haunt the grounds one of East Lancashire's most historic sites.
Erica Gregory was among 27 members of the Worsley Paranormal Group investing Turton Tower on Saturday when she noticed something strange on the lawns outside the grade II listed 15th century building.
MORE TOP STORIES:
“We went into the grounds to get some fresh air and were on the main lawn at the front of the house,” explained Erica, whose group has documented various unnerving phenomena throughout the area during their 12-year existence.
“The full moon was out and it looked nice, so the group were just taking some pictures. I looked over towards the tree and saw a sort of grey mist, so I got my phone out and took a picture,” added the 49-year-old.
The resulting image was almost completely pitch black, but when Erica backlit the photo using an infra-red filter, she was staggered to see what looked like the image of a woman in a long dress peeping out from behind the tree.
“I just thought: ‘brilliant’. I knew I had captured something important. It’s rare to get something like this,” said Erica.
Numerous people have reported experiencing bizarre phenomena at Turton Tower. One of the recurring stories is that of a lady dressed in a long mourning gown heard to shuffle among the rooms of the hall, sobbing.
The same figure has been seen on the lawn outside the house – but has Erica captured the first image of the Lady of Turton?
“Who knows,” said Erica. “It may be that this is the same figure that others have reported seeing.
“We always wanted to go to Turton. The evidence that we got was amazing. There is a lot of energy in the hall.”
Unlike psychics and spiritual mediums The Worsley Paranormal Group rely solely on empirical evidence during their investigations – whether it be photos, videos, sound recordings or specialist equipment that measures changes in atmospheric conditions.
While at Turton Hall, Erica says their K2 metre to measure anomalous electromagnetic fields lit up when they asked if spirits were present.
Meanwhile, their microphones picked up the ghostly voices of people not present in the room – commonly known as electronic voice phenomenon (EVP) - including the sound of a young girl singing.
They also performed the round table technique, whereby a group gathers around a circular table and requests for it to be moved by any spirits present.
“The only time it’s worked before was one of our first visits twelve years ago when we went to Ordsall Hall.
“When we did it at Turton Hall it was incredible. The table was literally lifting itself and taking us around the hall,” said Erica.
Day to day, the four core members of Worsley Paranormal Group – Erica, her postman husband Paul, 51, Erica’s mother Margaret, 80, and their friend Tracy Reed-Goodehall – offer free home investigations to local residents concerned by things that go bump in the night.
“I don’t agree with charging people. I can’t charge people for recording what’s already there,” said Erica, who has previously captured unnerving footage and EVP at various Lancashire locations.
“My goal is to gather evidence for people so they know they’re not going mad,” adds Erica.
“Some of the best EVP we’ve recorded comes from people’s houses. In Little Hulton, the wife of a dead man got in touch with us because things in her home kept going missing and she could still smell the scent of her husband’s aftershave.
“We recorded some EVP and she could actually hear his voice. She said: “That’s the old bugger. I can hear him on the stairs!”
What do you think about picture and videos?