Temple Newsam is said to house several ghosts, including those of Phoebe Gray and the so-called “Blue Lady”, Mary Ingram.
Phoebe was a young maid who was working at the great house in 1704, the night of a party to celebrate the victory of the Duke of Marlborough at the Battle of Blenheim. Phoebe returned from taking a drink upstairs via the back staircase, and was stopped by estate worker William Collinson, who was determined to steal a kiss.
He squeezed the girl so hard that he suffocated her then threw her body down a well. The law caught up with him and he was tried and hanged. Both ghost hunters and some ordinary visitors to the house say they have heard Phoebe’s screams.
Mary Ingram, 14-year-old daughter of the Tudor-Jacobean house four miles from the centre of Leeds, is said to have died in tragic circumstances later in the 18th century.
She and her family had been travelling home from York by carriage when they were robbed by a highwayman who grabbed a pearl necklace Mary had just been given by her grandfather. The story goes that the girl was so traumatised that she took to her bed and died from “hysteria”.
Successive generations have since reported sightings of a bereft and sobbing Mary roaming Temple Newsam House and parkland searching for her pearls....
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