Nunnington Hall in North Yorkshire is a lovely manor house going back to the 13th century. The present building dates from the 16th and 17th centuries. It is reputedly haunted.
As was the custom in days gone a husband who lost his wife would often remarry, especially if left to raise a young son on his own. The squire of Nunnington Hall was no exception and took a young and beautiful lady as his second wife. It was not long before she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, a second heir. But she was mean and spiteful, hated her stepson and treated him poorly.
The squire died a few years later and his widowed lady wanted her son to inherit all. She became even more bitter and cruel towards her stepson and imprisoned him, locked in an upstairs attic room, alone, cold and poorly clothed, left to survive on a diet of bread and water. She forbade all in the household to have any contact with him and kept a strict watch to ensure this was so. Now she was a lady with a quiet step who enjoyed the finer things of life and so dressed in expensive silks and satins often all that could be heard of her approach was the soft rustle and swish of her gowns as she moved around the house enforcing this isolation.
However, her own son missed his stepbrother and so would creep up to the attic to see the older boy, to talk and play, taking with him food and toys. Then one day he sneaked up to the attic and found the room completely empty. His older stepbrother was gone. Escaped, run away to sea, or simply murdered by his wicked stepmother. No one knows.
The young brother was inconsolable and could not believe his elder stepbrother would ever desert him. In his grief he would spend his days wandering around the house, in and out of every room looking for him in all the nooks and crannies, peering through all the windows to see if he was in the grounds and gardens beyond. He entered the ‘panelled room’ and lent too far out falling to his death on the gravel path below.
His mother was heartbroken and deeply affected by her young son’s death. She would sit for hours in that ‘panelled room’ staring out of that very same window mumbling to herself. When darkness fell she, too, would wander around the house in and out of every room calling out her son’s name. Such was her pain and grief her health slowly deteriorated and she died.
Nunnington Hall passed to new owners. However, before long strange things began to happen. At night could be heard the rustle of a lady’s dress brushing against the stairs and the sound of weeping. Children’s voices whispering in the attic, doors opening and closing. A guest staying in the ‘panelled room’ recounted how every night a black and shapeless form came through the wall, passed over the bed and went out through the window and then there was the terrified scream of a young boy piercing the quiet still of the night.
And it still happens to this day.