Does this haunting photo show ghosts of mother and child on desolate moors above Sheffield?

A pair of ‘ghostly figures’ were caught on camera on a desolate moor above Sheffield.

Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 4:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 3:48 pm

The spooky image shows what looks like two eerie figures making their way across moorland at Stanage Edge in the Peak District – adding weight to previous claims that the area is haunted.

The grainy black and white photo, taken by a female hiker earlier this month, appears to show a woman leading a child up a hill and is not far from North Lees Hall, where novelist Charlotte Bronte is said to have got the inspiration for Jane Eyre.

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Is this the image of two ghostly figures on Stanage Edge?

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The building which dates from 1594, has had several reports of hauntings and mysterious sightings down the years.

The walker who took the photo on her mobile phone on the afternoon of September 2, but who does not wish to be named, said: “It was very windy and grey and cloudy.

“I was taking photos of the cliffs because I could see ‘faces’ in them and thinking how ancient they are.

“I had only met a few other walkers, but am positive at no stage did I see anyone on the top.

The grainy photo appears to show two figures.

“It was only when I was looking at the photos a few days later and zooming in to see the faces in the rocks, that I suddenly saw the shapes – I think my heart stopped for a few seconds!

“I kept trying to see if it was actually a bush or branches, but they seem so clearly to be a shape of an adult bending slightly forward with a child, but not of this time?

“There was nothing on the other photos.”

She then passed the pictures, taken near High Neb, to her son for further analysis.

He said: “I admit on first look I saw it as a tree and only thought twice when I zoomed right in.

“Due to the poor resolution I tried some different picture effects to emphasise the shape and outlines of the figures.

“I don't know Stanage Edge so don't know if there are any trees, bushes or masts that could account for the shapes at that point.”

“The smaller 'figure' I think looks to be a child in a dress. The larger figure I at first thought was like a knight; in a helm and with a sword at the side.

“However I now see a tall lady, in a hat and corset with some kind of walking stick on the side, or possibly an arm leading the child?”

The photo was taken near North Lees Hall, which is adjacent to one of the main footpaths from Hathersage leading to Stanage Edge.

A settlement was first mentioned here in 1306 with the existing grade II listed Tower House dating from 1594 and probably replacing an earlier Elizabethan timber-framed hall house.

The Hall was acquired by the Peak Park Joint Planning Board in 1978 along with the surrounding North Lees estate, and was leased to the Vivat Trust in 1988. The Vivat Trust converted the building into self-catering holiday accommodation while two storey side extension incorporates 17th century elements and is now a farmhouse.

In 1845, Charlotte Bronte visited the Hall several times while staying with her friend Ellen Nussey at the Vicarage in nearby Hathersage.

It became the principal inspiration for Thornfield Hall in the novel ‘Jane Eyre’, described as: “three storeys high; a gentleman’s manor house; battlements round the top gave it a picturesque look”.

Stanage Edge has long had an eerie feel, with abandoned millstones from the 19th and 20th century strewn across the moorland and low-lying mist hugging the hills.

The naturally weathered Millstone Grit face is now known as a highly popular location for rock climbing in the Peak District.