Halloween – when the veil between this world and that of the departed is said to be thin and contact with the after-life easier. Haworth and the Bronte Sisters are no strangers to ghosts and other spooky goings on, so here are my top Seven spooky Bronte bits and pieces. Enjoy – if you dare!
- Chilling Charlotte…. In her novel Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte writes of ghostly goings on, when young Jane is locked in the Crimson Room and sees the ghost of her uncle.
- Teriffying Taby. According to the The Bronte Parsonage Blog, the ghost of Taby Ackroyd, the Brontes faithful housekeeper, is said to haunt the cottage in which she spent the last years of her life. A little, old grey haired lady has been sighted several times and the door latch, is often heard moving, only to find nobody there when the door is opened.
- Vile Villette, the novel written by Charlotte Bronte features a teriffying ghostly nun. ‘A sudden bell rang in the house—the prayer-bell. Instantly into our alley there came, out of the berceau, an apparition, all black and white. With a sort of angry rush—close, close past our faces—swept swiftly the very NUN herself! Never had I seen her so clearly. She looked tall of stature, and fierce of gesture.’
- Ghastly graveyards… The Bronte Parsonage overlooks the Haworth graveyard and this grim aspect influenced the Bronte’s writing – you can read more in Juliet Barker’s incredible book. Sat at their table, looking out over the graveyard, and surrounded by death (the sisters had lost their mother and Three siblings) they would also have witnessed daily funerals of friends and aquiantences, the ideas of ghosts and spirits must have come to mind with great ease and may have even brought a little comfort.
- Morose Moors… The moors around Haworth are home to many ghost and spirits. The ‘willow-the-wisp’ has been seen on the moors for centuaries and the legend of the Black Dog; the ‘Barguest’ that haunted, nearby Trollers Gill, has been passed down for many genreations.
- Haunted Haworth …. Haworth is a very old village, with a LOT of ghosts. Try local guide, Steve Wood’s book all about the ghosts of Haworth, home of the Bronte Sisters and the Parsonage.
- Putrid Pubs…. The Black Bull in Haworth is always worth a visit (and it’s not at all putrid – it’s actually very cosy and welcoming!) The Black Bull was the favourite pub of Branwell Bronte and where he spent much of his time. It is supposed to be haunted by a number of different ghosts, including the old landlord from Branwell’s time, a maid, muttering voices, moving objects, fliting spirits and even Branwell himself!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my little horrible Halloween Bronte tour…..
Happy Halloween and may all your ghosts be kindly!
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