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The Bannister Doll Story Lancashire England

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posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 06:46 PM
There are many of an unsettling version, but the following is the closest to the tale i used to hear as a child about the ghost of Dorothy Bannister. Perhaps not as famous as the Salmsbury Hall ghost "White Lady" as investigated by UKTV's "Most Haunted" team but nevertheless, even now in my late 30s, i might drive just a wee bit faster when using Preston A-roads at night

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?


posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 08:10 PM
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

posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 08:21 PM
Than for the chills.I can live without meeting miss Dolly.

posted on Feb, 6 2013 @ 09:07 PM
another lady in white spawned by negative emotions, earthly wants and bonds, and negative energies. May she find peace soon if she hasn't already.

You guys should check out the Hollywood sign haunting that's a another good prime good example of a famous modern day lady in white story
edit on 6-2-2013 by Nemox42 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 09:42 PM
Here’s some more info…

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 ......

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

Here’s a link to the OP that actually works…

I agree with Whateva, no way does being killed in an evil way make a person evil. Indeed pain is often said to purify the sole (as e.g. endorphins take over).

I suspect if the father wasn’t executed for his murde, it’s no wonder this sadistic psycho who killed his own daughter carried on killing, and then had the audacity-evil to blame it on his own daughters ghost!
Her ghost may well have been seen, may well have terrified people, but that does not mean this a ghost that kills people (especially having been by all accounts a happy-decent lady in life).

The only way this ghost could be associated with something dreadful is if the daughter's death was part of some form of human sacrifice that the father found hard to control, and even then it won't be the daughter that does the killling but the being that possessed her body before she then died.

posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 07:09 AM
I lived in the Preston area for a few years, in the city itself and in Bamber Bridge and then at Mellor, which is very close to Samlesbury Hall, wish I had known about these legends then as I would have gone a checked them out. But interesting stories nonetheless S&F

posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 08:35 AM

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

My first thoughts also ... especially as there is no mention of further murders after the father died

As for the girl ... the poor thing must be distraught in spirit and people who don't understand the paranormal mistake this for vengefulness and menace rather than desperation ... poor girl needs some help to pass over peacefully.


posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 05:27 PM
Haven't read a good ghost story in ages aha.

Death by whipping? Horrible way to die. Probably not related to the deaths of the young men but i can imagine a tortured lonely soul wondering around her place of murder. Sad.
What a way to teach your kids a lesson? Threaten them with torture/death haha.
edit on 9/2/13 by Tumble because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 06:08 PM
A good old fashioned ghost story but with all the differing versions it sounds like a bit of a legend. If the father did this surely he would hang and there would be records? The ghost is female and portends or brings death, maybe it's a story based on the beansi / banshee legend. Or maybe mixed with real events, no doubt women have been killed like this in history.

I found a scanned newspaper article about the ghost;

posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 08:06 PM
In Jean Molla's Sobibor, a novel about anorexia, there is: "She put the phone down. I knew what she was going to say. "Emma, it's your grandfather. They found him hanging from the banister.'
There was Henry M. Bannister, a geologist who also studied psychiatry, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, 1898. H.M. Bannister studied nervous disorders.

posted on Feb, 9 2013 @ 09:50 PM
reply to post by Johnny76

It was probably her dad, he murdered her after all, maybe he blamed the men.
Or someone acting on his behalf.

posted on Feb, 11 2013 @ 11:06 PM
Julia Kristeva's statement that a daughter does not put up with the death of her father adds another facet to the story to consider: familail Oedipus..

posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 07:52 PM
reply to post by phyrefly

hi. what is familail Oedipus? i copy and pasted into google and still got confused

posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 07:56 PM
reply to post by DrHammondStoat

wow even more chilling now seeing a newspaper cutout thanks, there just has to be something to it. people were not that stupid back then. more than likely more intelligent

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