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The terrifying tale of Chingle Hall’s Lavender Girl as penned by Preston poet

Posted on - 31st October, 2014 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Grimsargh, Observations
Chingle Hall is the home to many ghosts stories

Chingle Hall is the home to many ghosts stories Pic: Miner Willy

A poet born in Preston has penned a spooky tale for your Halloween enjoyment.

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Darren Hobson says the inspiration for Lavender Girl is based on the stories of a ghost at Chingle Hall.

The Hall near Whittingham, now privately owned, is reputed to be one of the most haunted buildings in the country.

Hobson said the smell of lavender in one of the rooms is notorious and so based his poem on this.

In a time so long ago,
In a place now Lancashire,
An old manor house,
With many secrets,
Before the priests were walled in,
Before it became famous,
It was just a simple home,
In the fields surrounding it,
Grew lavender wild,
And the family picked this flower,
Selling its properties,
For beauty or medicine,
A twelve year old girl,
With beauty like a goddess,
Born from a stern family,
As she grew towards womanhood,
Her family was in fear,
Believing her beauty was a curse,
In the village nearby,
Old men would spy,
Causing distress to her mother,
Little girl Eleanor,
Was forbidden to talk,
And did not even attend a school,
So poor Eleanor was house held
Hot headed and wise,
The best time of the year,
Was between May and September,
Where she danced in the fields,
Of her favourite purple flower,
With the sun on her hair,
And warmth in her heart,
She felt free for those few months,
But as in life the sun does not last forever,
Dark clouds appeared,
And this poor lass would suffer,
As she danced in the fields,
A poor dim boy approached,
Using muscle against a delicate flower,
Eleanor screamed, Eleanor fled,
Ran back to Chingle Hall and to her bed,
Escaping the clutches of that fiend,
Crying into her pillow,
Confessing to her mum,
Explaining what had become,
Even though flesh was not consumed,
Just a fight and a bruise or two,
Parents had the right to defend,
For their baby girl,
Was all they had to show,
Of a life so hard on the soul,
A manor house it was,
That gave them a roof over their heads,
But to keep it was a handful,
Father after thinking,
With his darkened heart,
Decided his baby would no longer,
See the light of day,
Instead she would lie,
In her room locked by key,
And hopefully her beauty would be forgotten,
Once twelve years old and free,
The years passed by slowly,
The villagers thought she was dead,
Even though it was forbidden,
Eleanor peered through the window at night,
Risking a canning,
This filled her up with fright,
Wishing for death though too soon,
Crying alone in a room with no friends,
Now twenty a certified woman,
The lock on her door well oiled,
Even more beautiful,
Even bigger a curse,
Parents frightened,
Of letting out this spell,
On the unworthy villagers near to home,
Parents getting older,
A farmer’s life became harder,
Soon they sold some land,
To a worthy family,
On that land they built a house,
And next to it a barn,
And soon moved in a new family,
From the window at night,
Trying to keep out of sight,
Eleanor watched the horses canter,
On the plains near her home,
And what do horses need I ask?
You’ve guessed it a handsome stable boy,
With strong hands and a jelly brain,
And the curse of this story grows stronger,
By fate or other,
We will never really know,
Eleanor caught the attention,
Of this rascal of a boy,
Curious to know,
What was lurking near the window?
A female form shrouded in mystery,
So he asked around the village,
Superstitious folk did not answer,
Others hurried away,
Only one person confessed,
Telling him though to keep away,
A lovely lass cursed with rotten parents,
Entombed in a house with no light,
Pale white a ghost in the making,
Who only comes alive at night,
As his thoughts burnt his brain,
The need to know her drove him insane,
Knowing her parents, old that they were,
Still hung a noose over her,
He didn’t want to meet up with them,
Instead he wanted to remain aloof,
But the girl at the window he needed to know,
He wanted to show her some love,
One night he had a plan,
And took the ladder from the barn,
Carefully placed under her window,
He climbed up shaking with fear,
Tapping on the murky pane,
Two mouse like eyes appeared,
Full of fright and sadness,
With a finger on her lips for the want of silence,
She opened up to him,
Whispering idiot what a fool,
Doing this will get you killed,
Him replying with an I don’t care,
I would die for you,
My life exchanged for just one kiss,
Frightened she was,
But an escape was before her,
She decided to climb down the ladder,
Running now hand in hand,
Through her favourite fields of lavender,
Finally a way to unknot her heart strings,
And her smile returned to her face,
Well after an hour or two,
She returned to loneliness so cruel,
Bidding the wicked boy goodnight,
And this innocent little plays,
Lasted many a day,
Even though it was not quite right,
Her father was no fool,
And when someone broke the rules,
At the worst they would feel his belt,
Something told him by an unmasked smile,
That Eleanor was too happy lately,
Something was not what as it should be,
So he waited in the dark,
Outside the walls of his cosy warm home,
Aching from head to toe with old age,
Trying to keep silent and hold his rage,
As he watched the stable boy,
Place a ladder up his wall,
Seeing them both smile,
As she clambered down,
His rage boiling extinguishing the cold,
He did not know what he should do,
Thinking, waiting for things to unfold,
He decided to take drastic action,
And marched with vigour to the barn,
Full of rage and home-made wine,
He flung open the barn door,
Horrified on what he saw,
Two figures on the barn floor,
Now he could not restrain himself no more,
Both half naked in the hay,
Is heart now heavy with dismay,
He lurched at the stable boy,
Eleanor cried no father please no,
But it was too little too late,
As fathers old weathered hands,
Grabbed onto the young boys neck,
Screaming now into the lads face,
I see the devil in you,
And you are nothing but an abomination,
Shaking the boy,
Like some witch like toy,
Driven by alcohol and fire,
Infuriated of the couples desire,
I tried to protect my girl,
From beasts like you,
All this time I knew
And all my fears are here tonight,
I promise you lad I will put it right,
And you will pay your dues
Throwing the boy against the barn wall,
A sickening thud as he did fall,
No scream pasted his now silent lips,
As he falls flat on his face,
Revealing a blood filled spine,
Worse still a pitch fork imbedded deep,
As Eleanor screamed at her father,
The old man white with fear,
He dragged Eleanor by her hair,
And locked her back in her room,
Even though four in the morning,
The old man boarded up her window,
And burnt the ladder he hated most,
And when the flames had destroyed the barn,
The old man tired and weak,
He returned to his wife,
And told her of this nights tale,
The old woman not knowing what to do,
Did not want more wrath from this man,
She decided to let things be for now,
And would approach the madness next morn,
At very first light,
After this horrendous night,
The smell of smoke still in the air,
As the old man slept heavily,
The old woman crept towards her daughter,
Obviously not having slept at all,
As she listened at the locked door,
She could her nothing at all,
And so silently she opened the lock,
Hanging before her, drained of life,
Her daughter, she screamed in shock,
Her scream was so harsh and long,
It woke the old man from his tomb,
Running on his last legs,
He entered Eleanor’s room,
His wife in a state,
He was still irate,
The woman launched an attack,
Hitting repeatability the vile creature,
She married so long ago,
Now releasing years of torture,
On this brute of a man,
She received a slap in the face,
From this human disgrace,
And her husband fled the scene,
The poor woman would live out her final days,
In a hospital for the mentally disturbed,
The old man was never found,
Nobody knew where he went,
Everybody wished,
He had returned to hell,
A story, some of it true,
Wrapped in poetry just for you,
Eleanor still exists today,
If you ever visit Chingle Hall,
Go above the great hall,
Lavender will lead you the way,
The smell of those flowers,
Still exists centuries later,
To remind us of sweet Eleanor,
In her life and now after death,
And she will leave that place no more.

Chingle Hall isn’t the only haunted building near Preston, Samlesbury Hall and Hoghton Tower are both rumoured to be haunted.

And we have a collection of Paranormal Preston stories you can find out how the city has its fair share of supernatural stories.

If you enjoyed Darren’s poem you can read more on his blog.

What do you think of the poem? Have you visited Chingle Hall? Let us know in the comments below

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