In the Village of Astley (near Leigh) there is an area by the canal reported to be haunted by a ghostly manifestation described as 'the Grey Lady'. This female spirit can sometimes been seen wandering the paths between Astley and Bedford, and she has been described by those mortals who have crossed her path as 'appearing to search for something'.
It is generally believed that this is the tragic spirit of the 18 year old Anne Mort from DamHouse and that she is looking for her long lost Catholic lover.
This is a sad story of blighted love. It is told of DamHouse that Anne, a daughter of the Protestant Mort family, fell in love with the Roman Catholic 'James Speakman'. Anne Mort's father paid the Speakman family to leave the district in an attempt to divide the couple. It is told that Anne pined away and died of a broken heart. Legend has it that her ghost is still looking for James by the waters of the canal.
This haunting is referred to in many official sites, including guides to the waterways of England as well as being officially registered in the Lancashire - Paranormal Database Record:-
Location: Astley - Area near the canal
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Seen walking by the canal waters, this grey lady may be Anne who died of a broken heart.
Could the Grey Lady be the ghost of Anne Mort (as generally believed)?
Are there any paranormal-genealogical investigators out there willing to take up this challenge? Was there an Anne Mort of Astley who died in her teenage years? When was she born? Who were her parents? What became of James Speakman? More to the point - have we any witnesses on line who can share their ghostly experiences with us? Its nearly Halloween and we all love a good old fashioned 'Mort' ghost story.