Gill House Bromfield, Aspatria. Cumbria

Gill house - Photo Provided by Laurie Kemp

During World War II Gill House was used as a dormitory for the Woman’s Land Army, since then its laid claim to being one of the most haunted houses in Cumbria.
Photo Provided by Laurie Kemp

Gill House is a fine old farmhouse nestling in a wooded dell near Bromfield, Aspatria. During the war a great deal of strange phenomena was reported, one of the girls staying there awoke, throwing the room of girls into a panic as she screamed  that she was being strangled by something unseen and being pulled through the bed.

This along side several other reported events  led to an investigation by the Canon of Carlisle the Late W. J. Phythian Adams.

During the haunting and subsequent investigations an apparition was seen several times, which passed through a closed door, and at night noises could be heard along with peculiar smells, which permeated the building.

Several Investigators have also documentated, loud footsteps, sudden and extreme drop in temperature, tapping and knocking noises emitting from the walls and tstrange odors. One of the rooms was closed down due to the intensity of the phenomena. It seems that the disturbances died down after the building ceased to be used by the W.L.A.

It has been surmised that the house harbours the spirit of a woman hater, its possible the ghost may have been that of an 18th-century satanist, Gerald Reay, who had stolen the consecrated House from St Kentigern’s Church, or his grandson, Jackson, who had murdered his wife, or it may be the mysterious figure often seen dragging a long-haired woman through the churchyard at Bromfield.

Loves a good ghost story, especially whilst sat in front of an open log fire on a cold and dark winters night.

15 Comments on "Gill House Bromfield, Aspatria. Cumbria"

  1. Jean Hawker says:

    Jackson Reay who murdered his wife Elizabeth Dobinson was my ggg Grandfather. I am interested in the assumption that the `ghost of Gill`could be either Jackson or his Grandfather Gerald Reay. I am unable to find a Gerald Reay in the family tree. Jackson`s Grandfather would have been a William Reay as was the tradition, up until that time, that the eldest son of the Reay family took the name William, which was one of the conditions which was set down when the grant of the lands of Gill by William the Lion was made.
    I would be interested to receive any thoughts others may have on this.

    • Gillian Ray-Barruel says:

      Hi Jean,
      I am a direct descendant of George Reay (1769–1846) of Gill House. He was my great-great-great-grandfather. George’s parents were John Reay and Julia Jackson, married July 13, 1769, (probably because Julia was expecting George, I’m guessing).
      So I think George and Jackson were probably brothers.
      George Reay married Mary Potter in 1790 and had 9 children.
      George’s son Isaac changed the name to Ray and was transported on a convict ship to Australia in 1830 for highway robbery.
      By the way, my uncle Ian Ray has written a book on the history of the Ray family in Australia, which is how I know about this history. He was also unable to find a Gerald Reay in the family tree.

  2. hollie says:

    You should check out the Skinburness hotel in Skinburness, It’s an awful place gives off very bad vibes… Worst feeling I have ever had from a building was there and that was only passing by, I just wanted to get as far away from it as I could get :S

  3. Shauna says:

    Do you think this house will do an overnight tour ? March time this year ? Very very interested ! Someone please reply

    • Zoe Key says:

      This is my Grandfathers house and he would not let people in the house under any circumstances I’m afraid. He has been asked before and, as a cynical man, refused to let people look around. Sorry.

  4. Laurie Kemp UK says:

    See my book Ghosts of Cumbria page 25 for picture of Gill House

    • Hi Laurie,
      Many thanks for taking the time to comment, perhaps if you would be kind enough to donate the picture to the site Id be happy to update the post with it, and give you full credit.

  5. Andrew Morrison says:

    The picture shown is NOT that of Gill House. I have been to Gill House twice – once with a descendant of a Wm Reay who was born in the original medieval house which stood on the same site, and who emigrated to North America in the 17th century.

    • Hello Andrew,
      Many thanks for taking the time to comment, do you per chance have an up to date photograph of Gill house? if so feel free to send it in and ill be happy to update the post with it. The image used is referenced in The Ghosts of Cumbria by Laurie Kemp and also News & Star Newspaper.

      • Zoe Key says:

        Gill House is in fact my Grandfather’s house and I can say with 100% certainty that that photo is a picture of one side of Gill House.

        • Andrew Morrison says:

          I would agree 100% with you that the photograph now shown IS that of Gill House. I can only presume that unless I was completely mistaken, that the photograph shown has been updated from that which originally appeared (refer to the comment made by Laurie Kemp on Feb 14).

        • James Askew says:

          Zoe Key – who is your Grandfather? My great grandmother was a Reay and married a Poole. Her daughter was Ester Poole married James W. Askew. They were my grandparents. Not sure if this is the house Ester grew up in. Are you related or know Reay, Poole or Askew?
          My aunt painted a picture of the Gill house and it is hanging in my parents house.

          • Zoe Key says:

            He is a Sidaway who moved into Gill House in the 60′s (I think it was 1969) from Shropshire, I don’t think I am related to anyone with those names.

        • Mark Hankin says:


          This may seem a little forward, but do you think your Grandfather would allow a Cumbria based paranormal investigation team to investigate this property? We are called Cumbria Ghost Hunts and would very much like to discuss this with you. Our email address is Many thanks and kind regards, Mark

        • Victor temple says:

          Dear Miss Key,quite by chance I came across Gill House, and remember being tutored there by a Mr Campbell. this would have been circa 1953. Do I have the correct Gill House? Nothing like travelling down memory lane! Victor Temple.

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