Clifton Fever Hospital, West Yorkshire: Account & Photo

Krepostnoi

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#1
I happened to be recounting my second-hand encounter at the Burton Arms - see the haunted pubs sticky - to J, my next-door-neighbour, the other day, as she was due to be heading out in that direction. She heard me out, and then said words to the effect of: "I didn't know you were interested in all that, otherwise I would have told you this earlier..."

"This" being the following. Bear in mind that my OH and I trust J enough to let her have a key to our house. I have also met her son, N. So not only can I name the individuals involved (although I won't do so on a public forum like this), I trust one of them pretty well, having known her for a good few years, and I know the precise date when this happened: Mother's Day, (i.e. March 30), 2014 . I am, perforce, paraphrasing what she told me. You should also keep in mind that J is a very hard-headed, practical individual in almost all other respects - she thinks nothing of confronting dubious males hanging about in our cul-de-sac late at night, for example. N races motorbikes, despite having once required facial reconstruction following a crash, and so is also not easily scared.

Being a good son, N had taken his mum out for Mother's Day. They went for a walk, and ended up going past the Clifton fever hospital, near Brighouse, in West Yorkshire. I gather this was purpose-built to house terminal smallpox patients following an outbreak in the late 19th century. I should double-check with my neighbour whether she knew its original purpose before they visited. At any rate, It's a striking-looking Victorian building, and they decided to take a closer look. As they got nearer, they could see that a pane in one of the ground-floor windows was out, and despite it being a bit of a climb to get in, they decided to indulge in some impromptu urbex.

They got to the top floor, and found a room with a cupboard still in it. J says she was beginning to get a really uncomfortable feeling from this room, and they did not linger in it. They made their back down to the ground floor, where N noticed what transpired to be the door to the cellar.

He asked his mother whether they should go in, but J said she was engrossed watching a strange shimmering on the wall, and did not reply straight away. Shortly after, she realised he had gone down, and she was alone. She set off after him, shouting "N? N?", and he was replying "Shurrup, mum!" When she got to the bottom of the stairs, it was pitch dark, but she could somehow make out the even darker outline of a head and shoulders, which she took to be N. As she approached, still shouting for N - she says, by this stage, she was quite shaken up - she realised that his replies (still telling her to shut up!) were coming from elsewhere in the cellar.

She hurried over to him, really in some distress, now, to see him gazing intently at his phone screen as he filmed something. She could see nothing with her naked eyes. He panned round a little, gasped, and then hightailed it for the stairs. She says she was off straight after him, but still couldn't keep up with him. The next thing they knew, they were standing outside the window again.

After catching their breath, N checked the video footage he'd captured on his phone. J says it showed white shapes, like indistinct figures, floating across the cellar. As they watched it back, they were approached by a gaggle of local lads, who asked if they'd just been inside. J says they clearly knew that there was a funny atmosphere in the place. They watched the film, and refused to believe that it had been taken inside, although they also refused point blank J's offer of hard cash to go down into the cellar themselves :shock:

On the way back down the hill, both J and N felt very ill and short of breath, a feeling which only passed a mile or so further on. They watched the footage again in a pub in Brighouse, and saw the same shapes. Later that evening, after N had dropped J off home, he rang her to say how worried he felt, and that he was scared he'd brought something back with him. He decided to delete the film from his phone, explaining a] that he didn't want to be constantly explaining and justifying himself as to what it showed, and b] that he genuinely felt perturbed by the content, and did not want to host it in any shape or form. J, too, deleted a number of stills she had taken on her own phone.

That's the end of her account. What strikes me, quite apart from the credence I give her, what with the manner in which she told it and what I generally know of her, is the fact that film had been taken, but then lost. This seems to be a oft-repeated trope in Fortean encounters, is there not meant somewhere to be some cans of film from way back when showing the Loch Ness Monster, for example? Is this the trickster simply taunting us when we seek "proof"?

The other, rather chilling, aspect of this tale is that, after hearing J's tale, I googled the Fever hospital myself, and found two photo sets on urbex forums: here and here. The second set appears to have been repeated on a number of different forums. I mentioned that J got a nasty feeling from a room with a cupboard in. Is it just me who thinks there's something really quite odd in one of the photos in that second set?
 

Frideswide

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#4
Great story, great telling!

Which photo is giving you pause?

Looks like a lovely house though, and not too far gone to bring back.
 

Krepostnoi

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#5
Thanks for the kind words, Frideswide. The photograph I wonder about is number 5 in the second set - what's going on in the cupboard? I suppose it could just be an artefact of an HDR photograph, but...

It is odd that the house has not been snapped up for redevelopment, isn't it? I don't know its exact location, but I gather it's quite secluded. It could, under other circumstances, be quite the des res.That's arguably circumstantial evidence in itself that something is not quite right with the place.
 

Frideswide

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#6
Krepostnoi said:
It could, under other circumstances, be quite the des res.That's arguably circumstantial evidence in itself that something is not quite right with the place.
I suspect these things are recursive. :)

But atm it's a public service: EVERY child should grown up near a haunted house to encourage imagination and a generally fortean outlook on life.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
 

Krepostnoi

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#8
Hmm, ok. For me, the shade of blue inside the wardrobe seems, well, unusual, and I can see what looks like a figure (for some reason, I see it as female) emerging from the rear wall of the cupboard, towards the right side (as you look at it). It is just me, then, is it?



I'm aware HDR photography is a popular technique among the urbex crowd, and it could be the peculiar hue is a by-product of the camera trying to manage the different exposures. The figure could just be a common-or-garden simulacrum, too. On the other hand, J did say it looks like what they captured on film down in the cellar...
 

Frideswide

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#9
No, it isn't just you.

I was aware of the description of "shining" on the wall in the OP and when i saw that photo I saw the back of the wardrobe as "shining".

I think it is just dust but it def gave me a nice shiver :D
 

Swifty

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#10
I saw the top half of the woman immediately ... it's a good illusion or perhaps a genuine capture although if the white shape two thirds of the way down her body were to be her hand, she'd have very long arms. Cool pics and story either way and thanks for sharing .. :D
 

Stu73

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#11
If you look at the bottom of the wardrobe you will see that the skirting board is visible. Therefore, the back of the wardrobe has gone. So weird effect is caused by the same mottling as seen on the wall to the left plus the shadowy interior of the wardrobe.
 

Swifty

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#12
Stu73 said:
If you look at the bottom of the wardrobe you will see that the skirting board is visible. Therefore, the back of the wardrobe has gone. So weird effect is caused by the same mottling as seen on the wall to the left plus the shadowy interior of the wardrobe.
That seems the most likely explanation as they look exactly the same colour and design but the outer skirting board is slightly higher in the photograph than the skirting board looking wood inside the wardrobe (I held up a sheet of A4 straight line paper to my P.C.'s screen to measure visually) ... as the photograph is two dimensional, shouldn't they both be exactly on the same level or could it be a perception illusion ? :? perhaps caused by the the photo being taken taken slightly on the slant ?
 

Stu73

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#13
but the outer skirting board is slightly higher in the photograph than the skirting board looking wood inside the wardrobe (I held up a sheet of A4 straight line paper to my P.C.'s screen to measure visually)
Good point. Possibly an optical illusion if the photographer wasn't holding the camera dead level?
 

Swifty

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#14
LOL .... sorry Stu73 .... I edited my last post slower than your response to it and agree with you .. ;)

edit: .... and taking a closer look at the wardrobe, it was built into the side wall and over hang .. it wasn't any IKEA easy to move piece of furniture so the blue colour at the back (compared to the yellow colour of the rest of the wall) is more than likely an earlier paint scheme taking into consideration the missing backing of the wardrobe.
 

Stu73

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#15
No problem Swifty. Think you're bang on about the built in element and the paint work. Case solved as far as i can see, but i'd still love to take a stroll round there at night! :lol:
 

Krepostnoi

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#16
Swifty, Stu73, that's a really compelling explanation you've come up with for the photo that was intriguing me, thank you! Dunno if I should be relieved or disappointed at the mundane solution...
 

EnolaGaia

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