Graded locations

Listed buildings are graded in each location in this blog. Eg. Grade I, II* II of grade I is of most importance. Grade A relates to Scotland. See BLB

Friday, 7 March 2014


Investigating the area of Mitchell Laithes treatment works (Yorkshire Water Land) 

The ruins of a TB (Fever) hospital and temporary psychiatric hospital.

Continued on page 2 here 

After hearing many strange disembodied voices whilst walking the dog around the area of Mitchell Laithes which is situated in the Kirklees area of West Yorkshire, we thought we would go back.

The land is owned by Yorkshire Water and is a treatment works.

Important Geophysical Survey

In 2010 Heritage consultants - Northern Archaeological Associates (NAA) undertook an archaeological excavation in advance of the expansion of the treatment works. Radiocarbon dated material that was found at the site was dated to the second quarter of the forth millennium BC. Also, early Neolithic, early Bronze age, Iron Age and Roman periods.
    "The remains of an early Bronze Age round barrow covering small pits containing the cremated remains of three individuals was revealed within the centre of the excavated area. One burial was accompanied by a small pottery accessory vessel and another by the cremated remains of a bone bead or toggle. An outlying burial, consisting of a cremation within the remains of an inverted Collared Urn, was recovered from a small pit nearby. All these burials produced calibrated radiocarbon dates within the range 1920-1680BC". Read more HERE

We had heard voices and our whistles sounded like they were imitated when no one else was about, not that we could see anyway, it's a lonely old place so obviously there could have been another dog walker calling to his or her dog out of eye shot, or maybe it could have simply been a bird, but it didn't sound like a bird. 

This area used to have old railway station, a fever hospital and colliery, all now demolished, except for the old railway tunnel that has just been recently renovated for the new Sustrans cycle network. All that remains of the old hospital and its morgue is piles of bricks, crumbling stone walls, concrete and metal rods for reinforced concrete, small holes leading down underground, a cellar entrance, old street lamps with the tops ripped off, all set amongst the woodland and fields, which is kind of creepy I have to say! 

Is it not surprising that people believe spirits linger down here, people generally link creepy old ruins and buildings with ghosts for whatever reason.

One ex-local resident who spoke to us, he remembered the tunnel
"It was very spooky and went on forever, you never thought you would reach the end" well this is an exaggeration, it is not a long tunnel and you can see the end both ways from the middle".

Well actually you can see from one end to the other quite easily.

Note: Trying to contact or recording spirits using electronic devices is generally classed by sceptics as pseudo-scientific. Equally so divination, using Ouija boards and planchettes. 

We had recorded a clear EVP, it sounded like a female whispering after we speak, it sounded very much like "I don't think so" unfortunately the file has disappeared off my hardrive. I could stamp on my own head!

Note: Human beings are hard-wired to hear human type voices.

If you don't think you have much history in your area, delve a little deeper, you never know what you may find!! But please remember linking ghost to history is an assumptive approach.

"There were two types of horse drawn ambulances coming out of the old fever green one white...the green ones carried the infectious patients, the village children would shout as the green one went past"..

"Hold ya collar, never swaller (swallow), til its out o sight"

Credits & References: (2003) West Riding history group, healthcare, 141

After I wrote this entry, I became aware of local paranormal groups investigating here. I could have confabulated the whole thing, (I didn't) just to show how oral tradition or ghost-lore can spiral out of control within a community, which in-fact does happen a lot! 

We did genuinely hear some odd things though. 

Is it haunted? 

Eyewitness stories:
Vicky said...
"I've lived on Woodburn Avenue all my life and used to jump over the beck at the bottom to play in the ruins of the Old Hospital. One day a friend and I were sat at the top of the path that runs straight up from the area that was a mortuary, suddenly something came round the corner at the far end of the path. It looked like what I can only describe as an old woman in a long dark grey coat and dark hat. I say 'floated' because 'she' came round the corner far too smoothly to have walked and as I looked at the bottom of her coat I could see no feet! The figure just stopped at the bottom end of the path. There was no dog with it which is strange as it isn't the type of place people go alone. My friend and I were so panicked by what we had seen that we ran straight back home.
Fozzy said..." My dad used to have an auntie who worked as a cleaner at the hospital and has told him of the time she went into the morgue to clean and had the fright of her life when one of the suposedly dead bodies sat up!! my dads family lived not far from the hospital and quie a few times they have opened the hallway door in the house to find one of the patients from the hospital trying on the shoes! we also own the smallholding off pildacre lane and have seen and heard unusual things many too numerous to go through here".

Other places of interest around the area
Earlsheaton tunnel has re-opened, it's been closed since 1962 its now under construction and part of the new sustrans cycle network, I have to say its pretty creepy down there, well it would be it is a cold dark dank tunnel. 

Ossett History

Thank you!! for all the wonderful comments, I am amazed that so many people and residents have contacted me over the last few years regarding this area. The old Earlsheaton railway tunnel is getting re-opened for the new Sustrans cycle path and walkway.