Last week a reader asked: Has Huddersfield ever been hit by supernatural activity?
The question drew the most online votes in our #AskExaminer feature which allows readers to ask a question on any topic of local interest.
Supernatural happenings – events ‘attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature’ – have long fascinated both Examiner journalists and readers.
There are many Examiner cuttings relating to unexplained events, including references to hauntings, poltergeists, ghosts and so on.
There isn’t enough room to catalogue them all, but here are two examples of some very odd goings on. Both took place in Meltham and, coincidentally, both addresses bore the number 9.
In October 1961 a family living in a council house – Mr and Mrs Arnold Horn and their five children – revealed that they had been “haunted to the point of terror” for months.
Their home at 9 Colders Green, had been the scene of “strange visitations from the ghostly figure of a tall, middle-aged woman,” we reported.
Mr Horn’s wife, Betty, 29, first saw the “big and horrid” ghost on Good Friday when it touched her face with its hands.
“They were like a cold mist,” she said.
She saw it three times during Easter but it wasn’t until October 15 that it reappeared.
Mr Horn told a reporter: “I lashed out at it and it backed through the bedroom wall into the children’s room. At the very point where it disappeared my six-year-old daughter, Barbara, was sleeping. She screamed and ran frightened round the house.”
The ghost was also seen on October 20 by a neighbour, Joe Farrington, and Ralph Ainley, 17, of Rawthorpe.
The house was later visited by para-psychology researcher Michael S Sanders who said: “I was most impressed by the sincerity of the people I interviewed, including Mr and Mrs Horn, and I believe they saw something but I am not prepared to say what.”
Mr and Mrs Horn were convinced the ‘ghost’ was an aunt who had died some years ago and was helping to heal their son, Kevin, eight, from the effects of meningitis.
After a seance was held the family said they had their best night’s sleep for months.
Ten years later in June 1971, beneath the headline ‘Meltham man says he can’t sleep through the screams and drums in his voodoo-hit house’, Malta-born George Borge, 25, reported hearing a woman’s scream and then plates smashing at his rented property, 9 Clarke Lane.
He and his wife, Barbara, reported strange happenings every Monday and Tuesday from 2am.
Mr Borge was told that the house had a strange history. A couple were killed there during the 1950s and someone died on a mattress in the cellar, he said.
Several days later two researchers, along with six reporters and three photographers, spent four hours at the house.
Although they did not witness any screaming, they did report feeling “remarkable changes in temperature” in the cellar, going from warm to icy cold.
Before the journalists arrived, the couple held a seance.
A glass and letters on the table spelled out: “Sam Dobson lived here. Stop the dog barking. There is some money in the cellar.”
The Examiner report concluded: “Whether Sam Dobson was haunting the house remains a mystery perhaps forever.
“But there have been, or may have been, plenty of people who died through tragic circumstances at the house. There is the man and wife murdered by a would-be thief, who also later died from hunger ... and the man who gassed himself there.”
* What do you know about these Meltham addresses? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org