Saturday, 22 July 2017

Saturday 22nd July 2017

As mentioned numerous times before - in different places, over the years - the 'Manor House' in Stone Cross, West Bromwich, surely ranks as probably our 'most favourite', allegedly haunted site.  We were SO impressed with this magnificent, medieval, structure that we ended up investigating the site 16 times in total, with some 14 investigations being carried out in a 12 month period alone....

While the above access was obtained some years ago, when the site was still a public house and restaurant - and our association with the building has long since ended - we are still always most grateful to hear of any stories or reminiscences concerning this most stunning property.  On this note - we had recently been chatting with musician, Jacqueline Burke, when she revealed that she had details of 3 strange experiences at The Manor House....

She tells us:              

"My late grandmother - a strict, no nonsense, Catholic woman - used to work there years ago.  I remember nan saying how other staff members and customers were ALWAYS telling stories of spooky goings on and she thought they were all 'doo lally tap' as she'd never seen, heard or felt anything.  She always blamed it on alcoholic spirits, rather than actual spirits!  That was till that one night.......

She was asked to lock up the building for the night.  After all her jobs were done and all of the customers had gone, she worked her way through the building, checking all the windows and doors and  also that there were no stray, 'worse for wear', customers left. Once she was satisfied everyone was out, she got ready to leave.  As she was getting her coat on, she heard a man's footsteps upstairs; heavy, pacing!  Nan wasn't at all happy, as it was very late and she was tired. She just needed to get home, so she just shouted: "We're closed now!  Can you make your way downstairs please!?.  It's all locked up.... I'll let you out!!"

The footsteps stopped... and nan waited for the guy to come downstairs.  My nan was incredibly impatient and was just about to shout again,  when she heard the steps resume!  So - she just stormed upstairs to where the steps were coming from, ranting to herself: "I ain't got all day...  I've got better things to do!!" However, when she got to where the steps were coming from... they stopped!?   She went in to check and give whoever it was an earful... but there was no one there!?

This apparently 'freaked her out' so much, she just locked up, left and refused to work at night alone ever again!!

So - the next story involves my mom.  She and my dad had gone there for a drink and a meal.  Anyway, mom just popped to the loo before they left and says when she went in - although no one was in there - she felt there WAS someone present; she felt really uncomfortable, apparently, but was so desperate she just hurried up!  She tells me that, as she was leaving, her handbag was 'pulled with great force from her shoulder'...  I'd tried to rationalise it, by saying she caught it on something, but she was and still is adamant that it was 'pulled'... like someone was trying to snatch it from her!?  She actually turned round, expecting to see someone there trying to 'mug her', but there was no one there...  Even when she talks of the incident now, it still 'creeps her out'!

Saving the best till last: Me and my sister, Helen, went there for a meal with my mom and dad.  We were proper 'taking the mickey' out of mom, about her spooky experience... joking she was a bit tipsy and we didn't realise 'ghosts liked handbags', etc!!  We were proper laughing about it!!  Now - I'm 'sensitive' to certain things - as I've mentioned before - but all the times I've been to the Manor house, I'd never got any of those 'creepy feelings'... that's why I thought mom had been mistaken!?  

During the visit, me and Helen popped to the loo and she seemed to be taking an age!  I was washing my hands and we were talking to each other.  We were proper having a laugh and taking the pee about mom and her 'handbag snatching ghost'...  We were basically saying she'd been drinking and hadn't ghosts got better stuff to do, etc!!   All of a sudden, out the corner of my eye, to my left, this huge, black, mass came rushing towards me!!  It didn't have form like a person and it didn't move like a person; it kind of just 'glided', but super-fast!!  One minute it was by the cubicle I'd just vacated and the next thing, it was standing right behind me... but a little to my left.  The atmosphere completely changed.  I was paralysed to the spot. I could feel a coldness -  I'm mean proper, abattoir freezer, cold.  If I didn't know any better, I'd say whatever it was was breathing on me.  It made no sound. I felt fear and that this thing was angry... or peed off... or evil... or all of them!?  It just stayed there, like it was leaning over my shoulder.  I so wanted to look at it but I was proper 'old-school' frightened!  Actually,  I've never felt fear like that before or since.

My sister,  who was still in her cubicle, asked if I was still there and hadn't left her there, by herself?  I was like,  'No,  I'm still here!', but she could tell by my tone that something wasn't right.  This thing was still there, towering over me; it was huge!  I'm 5ft 5" and this form was easily 6ft... and blacker than tar!  I really did feel like it was looking at me, wanting me to look at it.  I always try to find a rational explanation for things, but I was rooted to the spot with fear! 

My sister laughingly asked me, 'what's the matter?  Have you got a ghost standing next to you?" I told her firmly to please hurry up... and, as she unlocked the door, it just vanished.  It was literally there one minute and gone the next.  My sister saw me and  said, 'you OK? You look really pale, like you've just seen a ghost!?' I just hurried her up and left... and it's still as vivid to me now!  I have no explanation for it........"

In reading through Jacquelines experience, we were taken by her story concerning the 'toilet' experience, as this is one of the area that seems to get mentioned time and again with regards to strange happenings and feelings at the site!?  This was something that Jacqueline didn't know about.  Witnesses include customers to the property and staff members / managers alike.  The manager at the time of our visits told us that she never liked using the ladies toilets there and was in the habit of always leaving the cubicle doors open when 'paying a visit'....  Interestingly, it seems as if the female toilets weren't solely the focus of such happenings, as, during one visit, we were told by a male customer that he had seen a grim-reaper-like figure appear in the 'Gents' on one occasion, also!!

A big 'thank you' goes out to Jacqueline Burke for taking the time to share her stories with us so fully!!  

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