The Ghosts of Temple Newsam, Leeds

Temple Newsam House is a remarkable example of Tudor-Jacobean architecture on the outskirts of Leeds, West Yorkshire. The house is most famous as the birth place of Lord Darnley, the once husband of Mary Queen of Scots. It is often referred to as The Hampton Court of The North.

The house was owned by the Ingram family for 300 years. With it’s 1500 acres of parkland, Temple Newsam has seen many turbulent events in its 500 year history. The Ingram family would become associated with the Ghosts of Temple Newsam.

The Ghost of The Blue Lady

Mary Ingram was the grand daughter of Sir Arthur Ingram, who rebuilt Temple Newsam house in the 17th century.

Sir Arthur Ingram was a wealthy man, and at the time of Mary Ingram’s Christening, he gave to her a gift of pearls.

Mary traveled to nearby Barrowby, to attend a special party at her friend’s house. Mary wore her pearls to attend the party, but on her journey home through the darkness of the night, highwaymen brought her coach to a halt, and demanded the valuables the travelers were carrying. Mary reluctantly gave up her pearls, which caused her to fall into a troubled sleep. She became inconsolable at the loss of her prized possession.

As she woke up, it appeared as though she forgotten about the night’s events, and proceeded to look for hear pearls, but as she couldn’t find them, she cried out “Where are my pearls, where are my beautiful pearls”.

She eventually starved herself to death, at the age of just 14. Her ghost is widely seen throughout the grounds, and is said to still be looking for her pearls. She has become known as the Blue Lady.

The Ghost of Phoebe Gray

Phoebe Gray was a young maid who was working at Temple Newsam House in the year 1704, during a great feast to celebrate the victory of the Duke of Marlborough, at the Battle of Blenheim.

William Collinson was a worker on the estate, and had strong feelings towards Phoebe. He was known to be a brutish man, with poor personal hygiene.

As celebrations continued, Phoebe took a hot drink upstairs to Nanny Backhouse, guided only by her candle light.

The passage from the kitchen to Nanny’s room was dark and creepy, but it had been well traveled by Phoebe. William knew of her routine and that night in his drunken state decided to act. He lurked in a dark corner and as she passed he jumped out and tried to kiss her.

Terrified Phoebe instinctively screamed and shouted, and as William Collison tried to prevent her from doing so, he squeezed tight, and eventually felt her body become weak and collapse. Without initially meaning to, he’d strangled her.

He took the body of Phoebe, and threw her into a small well in the cellar of the house.

William was found again drunk at a nearby inn. He was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to hang.

The ghost of Phoebe Gray is said to be wandering around the house. Visitors have reported hearing screams, and the sounds of something like a body being dragged own the stairs.