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Samlesbury Hall: The Lady in White, The Murdered Priest and a Tragic Suicide

Known as the most haunted hall in Lancashire, UK, Samlesbury Hall is home to a long history of betrayal, murder and heartache. It is said that the lost souls still roam this fabulous building and its grounds to this day.

Samlesbury Hall Ghosts
Samlesbury Hall is said to be home to several ghosts and one of the most haunted places in the UK. Photo taken 17/10/2021 © Donkey Junk

The UK is known for being one of the most haunted countries in the world, and Lancashire often tops the bill as the most haunted county, sitting at the top of that prestigious list of haunted pubs, manor houses and halls is the fantastic Samlesbury Hall, located just outside of Preston, and luckily enough for anyone interested in the paranormal, is open to the public.

Samlesbury Hall which was built back in 1325 has featured as the centre of paranormal investigations for many historians, ghost hunters and experts for decades now, even featuring on the hit TV series Most Haunted.

There are several spirits that are known to still reside at Samlesbury Hall, the most well documented is that of Dorothy Southworth, the lost bride who is said to be searching for her lover and still tormented by his murder.

Ghostly sightings of the White Lady have been frequent at Samlesbury Hall for many years, Dorothy's family were strict Catholics, it is said that in 17th century she fell madly in love with a boy from an Anglican aristocratic family.

Dorothy's father, forbid her to have a relationship with such a boy, however, the love struck young woman continued their relationship in secret, meeting often under the cover of darkness to be together.

The legend tells the story of how Dorothy Southworth's brothers found out about their secret meetings and tracked down the Anglican boy and viciously murdered him as well as his two close friends. The discovery of three skeletons found in the grounds of Samlesbury Hall centuries later are believed to be that of Dorothy's lover and his friends.

Following the murder of her lover, Dorothy was sent away to a foreign convent where the story states that she died of a broken heart, however she made her way back to Samlesbury Hall in search of the love of her life.

The ghost of Dorothy Southworth has been reported by employees as well as numerous visitors at Samlesbury Hall.

The pale apparition of the searching young bride has been seen both inside of the hall as well as roaming the grounds where it is believed the skeleton of her dead lover were discovered.

A local bus driver once reported that on the road adjacent to Samlesbury Hall, he stopped to allow a pale girl to get on board, only for her to vanish into nothing a few moments later.

In May 2006, a new restaurant opened on the site and the owner was left terrified after seeing a white figure of a woman, run past him, crossing the road and then vanishing through the nearby fields.

Priest Room Samlesbury Hall 2021
The upstairs priest room where the murder occurred as it is today. Photo taken 17/10/2021 © Donkey Junk

Another previous resident that does not appear to want to leave Samlesbury Hall is that of a previous priest, the legend tells the gruesome tale of how he was brutally murdered within Samlesbury Hall by a group of soldiers who raided the property.

It is said that a strange red discolouration appears on the floorboards in the upstairs priest room, showing the illusion of the blood splatters that were spilled during his violent end at the hands of the soldiers.

For over 400 years the mysterious bloodstains have kept appearing, even after being replaced by the Harrison family later down the line of the Samlesbury Hall's ownership. When the Most Haunted television crew came to investigate the medium's even confirmed a sense of blood seeping across the floor within this room.

In 1978 came another tragic event at Samlesbury Hall, its current owner at the time, who was a wealthy businessman by the name of Joseph Harrison purchased the property in 1862, he was known to be a good friend of Charles Dickens, who stayed with him at the property on at least one occasion.

Joseph Harrison was a lavish spender, he was renowned for spending large amounts on his extravagant lifestyle and entertaining guests at the property.

Dorothy Southworth Samlesbury Hall
If you visit Samlesbury Hall make sure you keep a close eye out for the ghost of Dorothy Southworth

This eventually caught up with him and due to his lifestyle combined with his renovations of the property he fell deeply into debt, it is said that he was extremely proud of his standing within the community as a wealthy man, and rather than facing what he believed to be shame in bankruptcy and financial ruin, he shot himself in Samlesbury Hall in 1978.

Paranormal investigators have reported the presence of an unhappy, angry spirit that resides inside of Samlesbury Hall, this is to believed to be that of the late Joseph Harrison. It has been claimed that footsteps have frequently been heard in the long gallery whilst no one has been present, these are believed to be to footsteps of Joseph Harrison.

Harrison appears to have a fondness of women with long hair, numerous reports have been made from visitors feeling a stroking or pulling sensation on their hair whilst walking around the hall.

Being located relatively close to Samlesbury Hall we thought it would only be right to give the place a visit, and that is exactly what we did today, we would highly recommend anyone with an interest in the paranormal to pay this beautiful property a visit, you really need to be there to appreciate how grand and history filled this place actually is. The staff at Samlesbury Hall were all extremely helpful and knowledgeable and although we didn't partake in it, the guided tour looked excellent, best of all, entry to the hall is completely free, they also have a lovely cafe on site! Take a look at the Samlesbury Hall Website for what's currently going on there. Now you have read our report on Samlesbury Hall make sure you check out our story on our recent visit of Meg Shelton, the witch of Woodplumpton.

If anyone has visited Samlesbury Hall we would love to hear about your experiences in the comments section below!

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