Speke Hall is an impressive fifteenth century timber-framed manor house in the south of Liverpool. It was built by the Norreys family, devout Catholics, and due to this fact includes both a priest-hole and an eavesdrop (a hole which allowed servants to listen to the conversations of visitors at the door).
It also has at least one ghostly resident.
They had a son, and Mary hoped that this would calm Sidney down. Unfortunately this was not the case, and not long after the birth of their child Lord Beauclerk returned from a trip to London to announce that he had gambled away all his money, leaving the family facing poverty.
In what is described as a ‘fit of rage’, Mary picked up the baby and threw him from the window of the Tapestry Room into the moat below. She then went to the Great Hall where she took her own life.
Mary is said to haunt the Tapestry Room, with reports of a ghostly lady going back over a hundred years. A visitor claimed to have seen a figure walk across the room and disappear into the wall, with later investigations revealing a secret passage leading out into the grounds.
Mary once appeared at a dinner party hosted by Adelaide Watt, the last private owner of Speke Hall. Several guests saw the ghost and tried to make contact before she disappeared. There have also been reports by staff of the sound of a baby crying.
The story does not sit quite right with historians who question whether Lord and Lady Beauclerk ever even lived at the Hall, but whether Mary or another unhappy occupant, a ghostly lady stalks the passages of Speke Hall.
Originally published in Issue 3 of Black Magician's Almanac.