The Ghosts of Hall Lane

Hall Lane, Pelsall as it looked in the 1800's

Despite being a very salubrious place to live today, back in the 1800's, Hall Lane, Pelsall was regarded very differently then.

According to research, back then, Hall Lane was shrouded in superstition and fear. Superstitions back then were such that if a bad omen was encountered on this stretch of read in the nineteenth century it would prevent a miner from going to work for the day. Back then, this would cost a miner a day's pay and sometimes a job, however for them, it was not a risk worth taking.

Readers may scoff at such superstitions, but should take heed.

Back in 2004 when publishing the Pelsall Times magazine I interviewed an elderly lady who told me that when her Grandfather was killed down the pit, his son vowed never to work down the pit on the anniversary of his father's death because he considered it to be a bad omen.

On one occasion however after a drink with his workmates he decided to throw caution to the wind and go into work.

That day he was killed in a pit accident.

According to research, on rare occasions ghostly miners are seen walking up Mouse Hill and along Hall Lane.

Back in 2011, in Ghosts around Pelsall, I published a story about an actual experience encountered by a resident of Hall Lane.

The family were sitting in the lounge after having lunch when suddenly the youngest son of the family noticed someone walking up the drive towards the front door.

On first sight, the stranger was thought to be a gardener looking for work as he was carrying manual tools.

As the son alerted his father, who too saw the stranger, the father made his way to the front door.

Anticipating the door bell to ring, the father opened the door.

There was no one there.

Naturally concerned, the father quickly investigated the immediate vicinity to look for the stranger, but found nothing.

After the event, on refection, the father and son noted that the stranger was wearing particularly old fashioned clothing and was carrying a pick axe.

It was thought that the stranger might have been a miner from the past trying to find his way home.

Such encounters and sightings are directly connected to Pelsall Hall Colliery where many miners lost their lives over the years and one it is believed got lost in the pit and never emerged, the reason being that some digs and explorations were never recorded.

Pelsall Hall Colliery Disaster photographed in 1872

Photograph copyright A Bates - Pelsall Times

Standing head an shoulders above all others is the ghost connected with Pelsall Hall Colliery.  The complex and in depth story about the disaster can be found in Black Gold...  As I point out in the book there are many strange occurances.

The first and most troublesome is that when the first instance, when the disaster occurred a roll call was made and all miners were accounted for, however, one man was never found.  According to research contained in the book, this miner was working alone, it was known where and what he was doing.  However he was never located.  And quite disturblingly one newpaper article illustrates dismay as miners appear to be reluctant to find the missing miner. Numerous searches are made but the missing miner is never found.

In the Mining Inspectorate of 1873, miner 22 is listed as unknown and not found, which as I say one the ghost walk, is strange because in the first instance all 22 miners were accounted for.

It has been said for decades that one of the houses in Allens Lane is plagued by poltergeist activity on the anniversary of the disaster, this is believed to be caused by the missing miner, a cry from beyond the grave.

The photograph above was taken in 1872 and shows the widows of some of the miners lost in the Pelsall Hall Colliery disaster.

Photograph copyright A Bates - Pelsall Times

Photograph above courtesy of Mr A Weller - Pelsall History Centre

Back in 2006 following the death of the occupants, the property above had been gated and empty for some time and was due to be demolished to make way for new houses.

Due to the historical significance of the building and its location, the history centre sought permission to access the land and take photographs.

After the photographs were developed, the member was shocked to see what appeared to be a someone looking out of the downstairs window as there was definitely no one at or in the property at that time.

Closer details of someone or something looking out of the window at the photographer.

Photograph copyright A Bates - Pelsall Times

In the 1950's Dr Gilchrist and his wife purchased the land where the colliery once operated and built the house above.  The remaining land was made into landscaped gardens. When Mrs Gilchrist lived here she often complained of a bright white light appearing in the corner of the garden and on numerous occasions she would send out the gardener to investigate and to find out where the strange light was coming from.

Photograph copyright A Bates - Pelsall Times

This is the area that Mrs Gilchrist always complained about to her gardener.  She was convinced that there was something there.

The photograph above shows a distinctly eerie mist in the area of concern to Mrs Gilchrist.

As to whether Mrs Gilchrist got to the bottom of the strange phenomenon in her garden is unknown, however, research seems to suggest that Hall Lane and Mousehill does from time to time experience paranormal phenomenon.

Despite the beautiful grounds which lay beyond the gate seen in the photograph above, it was said that Mrs Gilchrist would not allow children to play in the garden past this point.

The photograph above shows what Mousehill looked like in the 1800's.  At this point Pelsall Hall Colliery operated in the grounds to the right of this photograph.

For further information about Pelsall Hall Colliery disaster why not purchase a copy of

 

Pelsall's Black Gold, Pelsall Hall Colliery Disaster

The History, The Unsolved Mysteries and The Lasting Legacy

 

Copies are available from Kind Thoughts, Pelsall High Street or

R W Print, Norton Road Pelsall