The North Belfast Paranormal Research Group made local news when they approached Newtownabbey Borough Council seeking permission to begin a ghost hunt. In particular, NBPRG needed permission to have night-time access to the buildings and the grounds.
The site of Mossley Mill has had large industrial buildings on it since the 1700s due to the textile industry. That presence grew in size due to the Grimshaw family who introduced flax spinning of cotton and ordered the 1834 construction of the mill dam and chimney. The mill was purchased by the Campbell family in 1859, then sold to the Hanson Trust in 1978, to Herdmans in 1993 and then to Newtonabbey Council in 1996. The council stepped in to prevent the destruction of the historic buildings and began a major conversation and restoration project.
The first part of that project finished in 2000 and was opened by Prince Charles. The second part of the project, which was valued at around £15m, included the production of a theatre.
The theatre has been home for performances of Henrik Ibsen‘s Ghosts play. This is certainly responsible some of the causal mentions of ghosts at Mossley Mill. The council has also used Mossley Mill as alternative parking during Halloween celebrations, providing a shuttle bus between the mill and Ballyearl.
NBPRG’s co-founder, Carl Wetton, who emailed the council seems to be being a sensible as he can about investigating the hill for the paranormal. He told local press;
We expect this to be a dry run for future coordination of professional research and will also establish base readings so that we may more ably gauge when future readings are anomalous.
The renovated Mill has housed the emotionally charged Anne Frank (+ you) exhibition. The exhibition included photographs of Anne Frank, famous for the powerful and compelling diary she penned while hiding for her life from the Nazis in World War II, chilling film footage and graphic recreations. Although the exhibit only used relics it was been suggested by some researchers than exhibits and the like which spark off large amounts of emotional energy from visitors can seed the energy required for paranormal occurrences to begin.
In one Facebook wall post a local, Lynne, describes being alone in one part Mossley Mill after the first phase of the renovation. The temperature dropped suddenly and she could hear a scratching sound coming from in front of her, towards the ground, but no matter how far she walked forward the scratching sound seemed ahead of her.
Another poster reports simply seeing strange lights one night over the Mill building, near the chimney.
The Times Steps Living History group has run ghost tours in the Mill in previous years.
In Pure Spirit
Do you have any first hand accounts of the paranormal in or near Mossley Mill? Is the lack of
Picture credit: MJordan.
That picture isn't Mossley Mill County Antrim, it's probably Mossley in Lancashire.
Andrew Girdwood says
Oh! Er! Mills look so similar. What I've done is update the picture, using one that was geo-tagged with the right long/lat coords for Mossley Mill in County Antrim. That should remove all doubt. :)
Yes, this is Mossley Mill. The funny thing is, I lived in Mossley during my childhood years, my father worked in Mossley Mill for several decades, and the real ghosts weren't on the factory floors, they were down in the old house where up to the 1970s, the proprietor Gary Campbell used to live. I clearly remember one evening that he came to our door, quite startled, and all my father could get out of him was that he had seen things. As kids, we were then ushered to bed.
Colin, I am interested to read this. We may have met? As Garry Campbell’s daughter, I spent a childhood holiday living in that house! I don’t remember any ghosts, but I do remember that we lived on the ground floor and never went in any of the top floors. I remember my parents spending an evening going through the other floors of the house, deciding what to keep and what to sell. In my childhood memory the house has about 7 storeys and was pretty dark! I have really weird, unhappy memories of that house, so maybe there were ghosts? Not even sure if I believe in ghosts, but I do know that I associate that house with serious trauma. While we were there in about 1976 someone put a bomb in the factory, and I have had recurring trauma associated with that house ever since for reasons that I have never fully understood. I understand it has now been knocked down?
I remember my father taking me around the factory and showing me the room where they had blown up the flax. There wasn’t very much damage – the main damage was done to my 3 year old psyche which from then on associated all work with terrorism and danger and futility!
My late father was a very balanced, calm man and he never mentioned any ghosts to me at any point in his life. The only time I ever heard of him having emotional problems was when he was engaged to be married and had to take tranquillisers for a while. So maybe that was when this happened?
Then again it could have been during the Troubles, when my father lived there alone during the week. That must have been a very disturbing time for him, as a target for terrorists living on his own, trying to keep the factory going.
I don’t remember any ghosts in that house, but I do remember it as a very cold, grey, miserable place.
Long may there be peace and art at Mossley Mill, and in Ulster, and may any ghosts be put to rest!
I grew up in mossley and one night i saw lights gathering in rectangular patterns over the mill,as i was walking down the mill avenue they formed directly above my head.
Far out! I reckon if there were ghosts at Mossley House they would be ghosts of female rage of my female ancestors, bored out of their minds cooped up in that house! We’ve had a mass said for them but let me know if they trouble anyone else!
I thought workers in the mill were protestant.
Fiona Hicks says
The family would have been Church of Ireland. I think the workers were a mixture? But I live in England now so such divisions are not an issue for me.