A ghostly terror struck the suburbs of Bradford in 1926. Over a period of several nights a ghost appeared to the residents of the Manchester Road district, often attacking lonely women.
The Bradford Ghost made his first appearance early September, the first witnesses saw the ghost walking around the streets of Bradford and described it as being a white male figure at least six feet two inches in height. The ghost, it was claimed also had a “wonderful agility” and ran as fast as an Olympic champion!
The appearances of the ghost soon captured the imagination of local people and newspapers commented that gangs of “well-armed searchers” stalk the streets of Bradford to capture the ghost.
By the 11th September, the “well-armed searchers” brandished a whole array of weapons, the Bradford Daily Telegraph stated “Pokers, choppers, copper sticks, lead-piping and fender ends figured prominently last night in one of the most extraordinary ghost chases ever known in Bradford.”
The ghost appeared at 2 o’clock on the 11th September, even though the streets were littered with armed vigilantes. One woman was pursued screaming down a street until she eventually fainted. Her cries awoke residents who observed the ghost standing close to the woman’s limp body. When the residents went to her aid, the ghost simply disappeared in to the shadows.
Another account maintains a women returning from the theatre encountered a tall white figure that seemed to sway backwards and forwards with its arms outstretched and then vanished into thin air.
The ghost made further appearances that night often from the top of ash pits and on house roof tops. The witnesses to the night’s events were able to give a more detailed description of the ghost; “the figure is completely dressed from head to foot in a loose white garment. This completely envelops the head, and no part of the face is visible. There are two slits in the white mask that cover the face of the ghost so that he can use his eyes.”
A report in the Yorkshire Observer also states “the man wanted is at least 6ft 2in in height, and that he is an extremely fast and agile runner. He makes practically no noise when running.”
Based on the account above, Bradford’s Ghost could have been a prankster but witnesses still claimed that a paranormal explanation might be behind the sightings.
Harold Fishwick, a tram driver observed the ghost close at hand on the night of the 17th September. After taking his dog for a walk, he heard a gentle knocking on the back door of his house. When he opened the door, less than three feet away from him was the awesome ghost. A second after Fishwick opened the door the ghost turned and ran to the front of the house. When Fishwick ran after it he watched as it simply disappeared in to the darkness.
Later that night Jim Mills while visiting neighbours encountered the ghost. Mr Mills was asked by his neighbour to answer the door because she saw through the clear glass door panel the ghost waving his arms slowly above its head. Mills ran to the door and caught a glimpse of the figure running across the backyard and then vanish.
After the police and C.I.D had called to the house and left, Mr Winch, possibly one of the “well-armed searchers” stationed himself at the back-door of the house. At 1:30 in the morning he witnessed the ghost speedily glide across the bottom of the garden. Mr Winch claimed he was “staggered” by the sightings and rushed in the direction of the apparition. The ghost, on hearing Winch’s footsteps ran for a nearby construction site and was soon lost in the darkness.
As quickly as the sightings began, the sightings stopped.
The Bradford Telegraph is one account of the sightings that happened in 1926. Their articles imply and actually state, that they believed the sightings we caused by “a tall person carrying a white garment in his pocket and donning it on occasions to terrify women and children.”
The Bradford Ghost resembles a whole “family” of strange men sightings that have transpired across the United Kingdom since the early 1800’s, when Spring Heeled Jack appeared in London. Whether the ghost was a re-occurrence of folklore or a supernatural being, its hard not to be intrigued by the Bradford Ghost.