Palatine Hall and 2 Dalton Square are adjacent buildings; number 2 was once the home of the infamous doctor Buck Ruxton.
Ruxton was once called Bukhtyar Rustomji Ratanji Hakim. He was born in Bombay, India, on the 21st of March 1899 and was a Parsi – according to tradition, therefore, descended from a group of Iranian Zoroastrians who emigrated to Western India more than 1,000 years ago.
Dr Buktyar Rustomi moved to England in 1930, changed his name to Buck Ruxton and began practising as a doctor in from his home.
Life seems to be going well for Ruxton. He had three children with his wife Isabella and mingled with the elite of the society.
However, Buck was intensely jealous and possibly mad. He became sure that Isabella had taken a lover and was having an affair. In a fit of rage, he committed a murder – he strangled Isabella with his bare hands. Unfortunately for Buck, there was a witness, the building’s maid, one Mary Jane Rogerson.
The evil doctor killed Mary Jane to stop her from speaking. Being a trained and calculating surgeon Buck Ruxton cut up the bodies of Isabella and Mary Jane Rogerson using a bath to contain the blood. A bath that would later become evidence in his trial and scattered their body parts over a wide area.
The parts of Mary Jane Rogerson were found buried in a churchyard in Overton, a small village near Morecambe, and Isabella Ruxton were found 100 miles north of Lancaster in a stream near the Scottish town of Moffat.
Buck Ruxton had made some mistakes. In his mad dash from Palatine Hall to Scotland he had nearly hit a cyclist with his car. The cyclist had a name a note of his registration plates. The newspaper he used to wrap some of the parts in was a special edition; sold only in Morecambe and Lancaster and had headlines that featured the Morecambe Carnival.
He was caught and brought to trial. The trial caught the attention of the public; not just for the horrible deaths at Palatine Hall but for the forensic techniques used to expose the doctor; early fingerprinting was used, x-ray technology was used and even forensic entomology.
Buck Ruxton was hanged in Manchester, in Strangeways prison, on the 12th of May 1936.
Palatine Hall, the house on Dalton Square, was abandoned for many years after the murders. It was refitted in 1980 and is now a commercial building.
During the trial, the public adapted the song “Red Sails in the Sunset”
Red stains on the carpet,
Red stains on the knife
Oh Dr Buck Ruxton
You murdered your wife.
Then Mary she saw you
You thought she would tell
So Dr Buck Ruxton
You killed her as well.
No one would live in Palatine Hall or the house after the twin murders. Today no one sleeps in the building.
Some locals and paranormal experts suggest the building is haunted. Likely ghosts include Isabella and Mary Jane Rogerson who both died in Palatine Hall.
Some investigators, on Twitter, have talked about orbs being photographed in the square and of the possibility of EVP from the building.
In Pure Spirit
Have you been to Palatine Hall, number 2 or anywhere in Dalton Square? What was your experience like?
Creative Commons Credit: Humphrey Bolton.