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The Ghost of Thurstaston Hall
By Gavin Chappell
Many years ago, a famous and successful portrait painter, Mr W Easton of the Royal Academy, was staying at Thurstaston Hall while painting a portrait of the family then at the hall. He had been given the arch room in the west wing, a vaulted room that formed part of the old chapel.
Easton had been sleeping in this room, in a magnificent four-poster, for some time without experiencing anything untoward. One morning in the small hours he heard the door to the room open and he looked up to see an old woman wringing her hands, apparently in great distress. She stood at the foot of his bed and said nothing, even when he said, “You seem to be in great trouble! Is there anything I can do for you?”
She went to the other side of the room, pulled a bell-rope, and disappeared.
The same happened the following night, and so many times that, although he could only believe it to be a supernatural experience, he lost any feeling of fear, to the extent of drawing a rough sketch of the apparition.
A while later a man who knew this story and had seen the sketch was staying at a house somewhere else in England. He recognised one of the family portraits as identical to the apparition in the sketch. When he asked the family about it, they told him that they had once occupied Thurstaston Hall, and the lady in the painting was the former lady of manor who was said to haunt the place, having killed her own child with a knife which she dropped on being disturbed. When one of her servants finally found the knife, she was put on trial and executed, but her ghost continues to search for the murder weapon.
When the man mentioned this to Easton, he swore that he had never heard of the family, or their legend, and had certainly never seen the portrait.
A photograph of the sketch recently sold on EBay for over four hundred dollars.
Find out more about Wirral Myths & Legends in Gavin's Books
Wirral Smugglers, Wreckers and Pirates
The Sands of Dee