Haunted Rothwell

A quick online search reveals Rothwell has its fair share of ghosts and unexplained events, the website secret leeds is a great source for such stories for not only our own area, but the wider scope of the whole city.

The Rothwell Leisure centre seems to be an area of high activity with reports of childrens laughter in the swimming pool after the pool has closed for the day and the story of an old gentlemen having a quick rest on the stairs in the reception and when being told he cannot sit there apologises and disappears into thin air!

Some people say there used to be a well located at the back of  the sports centre where the playing fields are today, this was in the mid-nineteenth century. Some paranormal enthusiasts say that paranormal activity can be centred around water, such as old springs, wells or ponds. Could this explain some of the weird goings ons?

Another explanation is the area around Oulton was used as a Quaker burial ground. One such story taken from the secret leeds website certainly backs that up:

At about 11.15pm on a Saturday night in July 1975 a girlfriend and I had been in the Coach and Horses in Rothwell (only had a pint and ‘alf) and were walking back to Oulton. As we crossed the field in Rothwell Park between Oulton Hall and the old “Edvs Taylor” house near the roundabout we saw two figures stood in the field about fifteen yards away. It was a very warm clear night and we could see them as clear as day. Both were dressed as Quakers and one was a man stood behind a woman with his hands on her shoulders. We stood looking at each other for about five to ten seconds (us and the figures) when they suddenly weren’t there. They neither faded away nor vanished in an instant, they just weren’t there any more. Both of us saw them clearly and it frightened us to death. We got to her house and told her dad who, a few days later, told us he’d done a bit of research and discovered that that area of the park was, in the past, a Quaker plague pit burial site.

What do you know about the local area and its past? Have you ever seen something you can’t explain or know of a weird story connected to the area?

Let us know in the comments section below….


  1. I worked at Rothwell Leisure centre for some years…odd things did happen. In the wet side changing room I had a float board thrown at my head…it was 11pm and only me and another member of staff were in. The halls were eerie…shadows were often seen. But the poolside when dark was the most spooky…it did hear people talking but thought I was going mad. Staffs files were moved in the first aid room…the list could go on!

  2. It’s just about to get renovated or knocked down and rebuilt.. so I hear. Its said that when a structural disturbance occurs the spirit activity increases. Time will tell!

  3. Swithens lane, last row of houses, where the lane meets the farm road. I was 9 ish, I used to live on Ashroyds. I was walking to Rothwell West. I walked down Elmroyd and looked up the lane, I had a friend who lived there. A shadowy figured as stood on the path, maybe 75 meters from where I was stood. It slowly start moving toward me, maybe 5 meters. It stopped, drifted over the road to where the farmers field was, got to the barbed wired fence and vanished – not like behind something it just dissappeared. I got to school and was told off for lying. To this day I guarantee thats what happended, I didn’t feel scared but this was a complete shadow no features and no tonest just a shadow.

  4. Hi, I have been reading these reports yes there is an old Quaker burial site on Rothwell park it is where the tree’s are on Leeds Road on the hill in front of the big houses. There was some kind of burial ground behind the bus shelter near the three horse shoes, the land in question is behind the wall that sits behind the bus stop
    In answer to the question what was the pool just behind Oulton Hall, That was an original outdoor swimming pool, the Lakes are in the grounds down near the road to the left of the front of the house behind the church
    My Dad told us of the History when we were kids he used to Drive the Handicapped for Fred Knowles.

  5. Stayed at Oulton Hall hotel many time’s in the late 90s and a few occasions in the suites which are the original rooms right above reception and the old library. Woken on 2 or 3 occasions in the middle of the night by noises I can only liken to huge bookcases bro g dragged across the floor, backwards and forwards. Really loud. I phoned the night staff who said they were at reception, looking straight into the library and it was completely quiet, nobody around. Once I had to go down in my dressing gown to convince myself. Completely spooky, completely haunted, even though I’m the worlds biggest cynic on things like that.

  6. Oulton Hall – When it was a derelict building prior to being renovated into a DeVere Hotel, I used to go there for a blast! On multiple occasions I and others has spooky experiences, saw someone in an old doctors outfit, heard moaning sounds, sounds like footsteps on broken glass etc.

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