Ghostly Happenings at Number 59
During the early months of 1955 a property in Sowerby was in the news with reports of some unnatural events. The house at number 59, Town Gate, Sowerby was occupied by the former Doreen Georgeson with her Polish husband Bodgen Tarandziej and their daughter Kateryna aged 18 months old. It became impossible for them to sleep at the property when they began to have problems with some strange "happenings" at the semi-detached house situated opposite the top of The Royd.
The property was owned by Sowerby Bridge Urban District Council, the disturbances had been reported by the couple and were being investigated and discussed by the council. The couple had lived there for almost 3 years, the Smithson family lived next door at number 57, and they were Herbert and his wife Mary with children, Winifred, George and Susan.
The story was reported in the local Halifax Evening Courier and also in a Keighley newspaper, as some Scientists from there came to investigate the problems of the "Haunted" property. The family had experienced strange events and happenings, which eventually led to Doreen and her child sleeping back down the road at her mother and fathers' cottage 53, Town Gate adjoining the Sowerby Post Office. Her husband Bodgen travelled into Halifax paying 15 shillings a week to stay in lodgings there each night and during the day travelled to Shelf to work in a mill.
They had been driven out of their home by hearing strange noises in the night, "rushing noises" the jangling of pots and pans in the kitchen early in the morning. Banging noises from the back bedroom, doors opening that had been secured. Their living room turning icy cold even though the fire was well ablaze at the time causing the dog to whimper and seek refuge beneath the sofa. The Smithson family also heard banging and noises from the house over a period of time. They complained to Doreen and Bogdan thinking they were perhaps shifting their furniture around, but the noises continued even when the house was vacant!
This series of events led to the local water diviner Mr Quain who had an Electrical shop on Wharf Street in Sowerby Bridge spending a night in the property. He was accompanied by Peter Bohen of 46, The Royd and Colin Jowett who worked at Greenwoods' Town Farm. They reported being "dragged" towards the party wall of the house. After this the investigators from Keighley paid the property a visit, one theory was that Bogdan's mother was trying to contact him! Locals thought perhaps the couple were trying to jump the Council Housing list! Number 59 remained empty and eventually the Smithson family left also, the vacant houses were demolished prior to the demolition of Town Gate for the building of the Council Housing Estates. "
By Jean Illingworth