ONE of the most chilling ghost stories I've ever heard concerns a spirit that was said to haunt Preston, in Lancashire, in the early part of the 19th century. Even today there are locals in the town who refuse to discuss the case in the belief that the ghost can be raised or attracted just by talking about it. According to legend, a man called Mayor Bannister lived in an old tenement building in Snow Hill, near the town's Walker Street. Bannister had a daughter called Dorothy, who was known locally as Bannister Doll. Dolly was quite attractive and had a number of potential suitors chasing after her. It was perhaps inevitable, then, that one day the rather nervous young woman confessed to her dad that she was now well and truly 'in the family way'. If Dolly expected any sympathy or support from her father she was sadly mistaken. In an apoplectic rage, he dragged the teenager out of the house, tied her to a stake in the garden, and whipped her to death for embarrassing her family. Years later, a stone was placed at the corner of Ladyewell Street and Heatly Street to mark the spot where Dolly had been so brutally murdered. Mothers would take their young daughters to the marker and warn them of the dire consequences of promiscuity. Few would have wanted to end up like Bannister Doll. Dolly was said to have been laid to rest in the grounds of The Holy Trinity Church at Preston, although there is dispute over that. Not long after Bannister Doll died, the corpse of a young man was found in the centre of Preston. Both his ribcage and skull had been crushed to a pulp, and the authorities were mystified as to how he'd met his end. Two weeks later the corpse of a second young man was discovered in similar circumstances, and then a third. Word started to spread like wildfire that Bannister Doll had returned from the grave with a mission; to seek vengeance upon all men for the way her father had so cruelly and prematurely dispatched her into the next life. The mysterious deaths eventually tailed off, but sightings of the dreaded Bannister Doll didn't. If anything, they increased. Locals claimed that at dusk they could see the phantasm of the young girl floating up Snow Hill. There was something about the appearance of the girl that literally terrified those who caught a glimpse of her. Eventually Mayor Bannister died, and a new family moved into his house. They were immediately accosted by the menacing Bannister Doll, and, after two nights, vacated the dwelling and never returned. Another family moved in, and they stuck it out for three nights before fleeing. Bannister Doll is still occasionally seen in Preston. In the 1960s a milkman claimed to have spied the ghost near Ladyewell Street early one morning, and was seemingly unnerved greatly by the experience. The overwhelming common denominator with all the Bannister Doll sightings is the burgeoning sense of menace that accompanies them. Witnesses are almost always frightened to a degree rarely seen in other hauntings. Bannister Doll exudes an aura of malevolence that is truly chilling. Ironically, this is entirely at odds with the mild and winsome personality she possessed when alive. Her death – or rather, the manner of it – changed Dorothy 'Dolly' Bannister from a happy-go-lucky teenager into an angry spirit. Was Bannister Doll really responsible for the deaths of those young Preston men? We don't know. Maybe it's just a legend. But then again, would you take the chance?
When I was a child in Lancashire, we were told about 'The Bannister Doll' who was a local girl of 'ill repute' who had been found murdered at a local beauty spot, years before, her body hung up from a tree in chains. It was said that if you heard the chains rattling of a dark night, your days were numbered ...... www.forteantimes.com...
my mum comes from bamberbridge ,we used to look forward to our visits to our grandads house , he lived in a big house next to the grave yard at st marys brownedge.He was a great story teller and we all heard with rellish the story of THE BANNISTER HALL DOLL .
a wierd tale of a big old haunted mansion where as a child he had a close encounter with a ghost .Has any one ever come across this story or anything similar www.pne-online.net...
Originally posted by Whateva69
Im sorry but i don't see her as vengeful. im suggesting it was her father that killed the younger men, Think about it, if this man can kill his own daughter, imagine what rage he would have on those that he thinks may have been involved, he wouldn't even blame himself, he would think its all their fault for his foul temper and brutal ways, they were probably her suitors.
Love and Harmony