Do you dare spend night at ‘haunted’ Leeds museum?

John Darmondy, front of house at Thackray Medical Museum
John Darmondy, front of house at Thackray Medical Museum
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If you’re passionate about the paranormal and evangelical about eerie experiences, why not spend a night surrounded by skeletons and other spooky surprises to raise money for charity?

This Halloween the city’s Thackray Medical Museum is opening its doors overnight and inviting valiant visitors to step inside the former workhouse... if they dare.

Action for Children is holding its first ever Nightmare at the Museum event at the Leeds attraction, which has been a popular fixture on the UK’s ghost-hunting trail for around the past five years.

Spectral specialists have reported all sorts of supernatural sights, from dark shadows to unearthly cries and even supposed poltergeist activity like coins being thrown from empty areas.

And museum staff have reported countless unearthly experiences over the years, ranging from temperature drops to ghostly footsteps, apparitions and the smell of tobacco smoke.

Lisa Morton, fundraiser at Action for Children, said: “There have been many reports of spooky sightings over the years – so staying the night inside is a real challenge and not for the faint hearted.”

The building originally opened in 1861 as Leeds Union Workhouse, a harsh home for poor and homeless people with nowhere else to go.

A museum since 1997, its many exhibits include the skeleton of Mary Bateman, the Yorkshire Witch who was tried and executed for witchcraft during the early 19th century.

Evelyn Forsyth, the museum’s conference and events officer, said: “If you’re into the paranormal the Thackray is a really great place to come.

“I can imagine that spending the night here, so close to Hallowe’en, would be a really spooky experience.”

Those taking part are asked to raise £200 in sponsorship for Action for Children.

Cash raised will help the charity support Yorkshire’s most vulnerable children, young people and families.

To take part ring 0113 200 7066 or email

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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