'WOMAN IN BLACK' strikes again: Ghost hunter spots 'spirit of old maid' in haunted hall


Julie Cockroft, 55, was with her Equinox Paranormal Research UK team at the 14th century Bolling Hall, Bradford, thought to be one of the most haunted buildings in West Yorkshire.

When a member of her team said they saw the ghostly apparition of an ‘old maid’ in an apron near the end of the tour, Julie decided to seize the opportunity to see what she could capture.

To her surprise, after calling all the guests out of the building she took three pictures of the empty stairwell – only for the figure of a woman to appear in the third one.

The haunting image appears to show a clear hand on the bannister, with fingers clinging to the rail and a woman in black making her way down the stairs.

In the following two pictures Ms Cockroft took, the woman was gone.

Ms Cockroft, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, said: “I take three pictures at a time to compare them just in case, so that I can always check to see what differences there are between the images.

“One member of our team said they had seen a woman in black on the stairs. So I said right, let’s all go to the door so that there was only me there.

“I took the three photos just like usual and there she was. I didn’t see anything with my own eyes at all near the stairs.

“I thought it was fantastic, as suspected paranormal pictures go, it’s a really good picture.

“The guest who saw the woman said she had a white apron on around her waist and a black dress underneath.

“It does look possibly like an old servant or maid. But I have no idea really.

“I have sent it to many experts who have seen all kinds of paranormal photos and have even analysed it on their expensive machinery and they say it’s definitely a ghost hand that you can see on the stairs. Everyone say it’s fantastic.

“[On the night], people had seen lots of orbs and heard lots of noises and voices etc, but no one else has come forward to say they caught anything on camera.

“But spotting this certainly doesn’t scare me off investigating – quite the opposite, it makes me want to do more.

“The picture is pretty high up in terms of pictures of the paranormal. I have been told by so-called ‘experts’ that it’s one of the best they have ever seen.

“What you have to do is really try to debunk every picture before you put it out there and say ‘look at this’. You can’t just put any old rubbish out there.

“But that’s exactly what we did here. No one was in the building at all when we took the picture, we had brought everyone out of the front door. Even the staff were stood behind me at the front door.

“If it is a person and not something paranormal then they have a terrible skin condition on their hand, that’s for sure.”

Bolling Hall is regarded as one of the most ‘active’ buildings in Yorkshire and has featured on numerous TV shows including Most Haunted with Yvette Fielding and Derek Acorah.

During the English Civil War, the hall was a stronghold for the Royalist cause in 1643 and legend has it a ghost appeared to one of the commanders to tell him to ‘pity poor Bradford’.

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