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Knarsdale Hall

In the 17th century, the squire Robert Pratt married an Elizabeth Bowness, the young heiress of a wealthy Newcastle merchant. Elizabeth was not enthused by the prospect but her parents insisted, probably because it would enhance their social status. Pratt's nephew and niece came to stay for a period; the niece, Anne was a hunch-backed lady with low intelligence, although she was a kind and helpful soul. The two newcomers provided a mollifying presence to a house that had been bedevilled by rows between Robert and his wife; now, they seemed to be content and happy. But Pratt's nephew, William was having an affair with Elizabeth and one day, Anne found them in an embrace. A little while after, Anne went out to secure a stable door that was banging in a storm. She was never seen alive again. The following night, the soaking wet spectre of Anne appeared to her uncle, her neck twisted horribly, and pointed to his sleeping wife and in the direction of her brother's room. Soon after, Anne's body was found in a pond in a field. The ghost of Anne appeared regularly to plague her brother and Aunt until their illicit affair soured. Elizabeth, it is said, started to physically deterioriate until she resembled the deformed Anne, and one night she awoke screaming that the murdered girl was attacking her. In a panic she fell down the stairs, injuring her back such that he walked and looked like the crippled girl. Robert Pratt now knew how Anne had died, and William fled. Elizabeth died insane soon after. It is said that the two ladies haunt the Hall. They seem to be near identical, but while one has a kindly countenance the other portrays an air of evil.
It should be noted that variations of this story exist; in one version, the niece was not hunch-backed and that only her ghost has been seen.


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