Friday, 16 September 2011


The Manor House Museum

Tour guide staff at Sandwell's Manor House have been spooked by the latest ghostly apparition.The Grade I listed building in Hall Green Road, West Bromwich, dates back to the 13th century.

Caught on Camera - Ectoplasm
It is said to be haunted by three different spirits, including a bearded man and two young girls, who are said to appear on the kitchen stairs.

But last week the three regular tour guides were really spooked by the latest incident.

They were just closing up after the end of the afternoon tour and were alone in the building when they suddenly heard loud footsteps coming from the back of the main hall.

Fearing that there was an intruder in the building they quickly carried out a search but no one was there.

Guide Rachel Fenemer, aged 22, said: "Because we thought someone might still be hiding in the building I started to walk upstairs to check part of the building that is still under renovation and not open to the public.

"When I got halfway up the stairs a noise came from the toilet area.

"I went in to find the hand dryer on full and it took several attempts to get it to turn off. Yet it is the type that you have to put your hands underneath to make it work in the first place, but there was no one else in the room.

"The only other people there were the other two tour guides who had been downstairs the whole time. It was really spooky," she added.

Fellow guide Pat Smith said she had seen several spooky incidents at the house.

She said: "On one occasion we heard footsteps in the 16th century gatehouse. I went in with a colleague to investigate while another colleague stood by the exit to check that no one ran out.

"As we entered the second room there was an almighty bang on the floor and the floorboards literally jumped and so did we.

"We ran back the way we came and it was a good while before we dared check again," she added.

Over the years staff have reported a variety of mystery knocks and bangs, shadowy figures and footsteps that seem to follow them across the building.

Pat said: "Lights go on and off by themselves. I'm not frightened by it. It's something you come to expect working here.

"It's as much part of the building as the floors and ceilings. It's a really friendly welcoming building and I think the spirits are pleased to have us here and are happy with what we are doing," she added.

Sandwell Cabinet member for leisure services Councillor Linda Horton said: "We have known for years that Manor House is supposed to be haunted. These latest incidents just go to back up the theory. At least the ghosts seem to be friendly."

The Manor House Museum

Murder, grave robbing and insanity are all part of the story of this fascinating and unique building - the Manor House has seen it all.

Built by Richard de Marnham in the 1270s, The Manor House is now probably one of the most important surviving medieval timber framed buildings in the Midlands and the most recent building to become part of Sandwell Museum Service.

The construction of its great hall is thought to be the earliest of this type of construction in the country.

 It was saved from demolition by the former West Bromwich Corporation in the 1950s.

The Museum had been a public house since the 1960s and when it first opened was an extremely prestigious venue, where footballers and VIPs would dine.

The building is now back in the guardianship of Sandwell Council and looked after by Sandwell Museum Service.

It is undergoing restoration and we are slowly turning the building into a heritage visitor attraction and for use for a variety of community projects and activities as well as weddings and schools sessions.

Source: Sandwell Council
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