IF you were living in the Manchester Road area of Bradford towards the end of 1926, chances are you would have heard chilling stories of a local ghost.

The phantom-like figure - who became known as the Manchester Road Ghost - was much in the manner of Victorian bogeyman folklore; a Bradford version of Spring-Heeled Jack.

Over a period of several nights the mysterious white-hooded figure attacked several people, mostly women, walking alone. Was he a mortal man bringing terror to the streets...or something supernatural?

Local historian Andrew Bolt has sent us newspaper cuttings reporting residents “terrified by a mysterious figure dressed in the garb of a member of the Ku-Klux-Klan”.

He was said to be over 6ft tall, wearing a white gown with slits for his eyes. He walked swiftly along streets leading off Manchester Road, “sprinting rapidly away at the slightest cause of alarm”.

“He runs noiselessly, as apparently he wears running pumps”, said the report.

One woman, who saw him on Grafton Street, screamed and fainted. “People in their beds were aroused by her cries and, looking out of their windows, saw the white-clad figure striding by the fallen woman, who then ran away.”

Locals decided to hunt down the phantom and, “armed with pokers, choppers, sticks, lead piping and fender ends”, a crowd lay in wait on Friday and Saturday nights, into the early hours.

“Several times the crowd was startled by a cry of ‘There it is!’ followed by a wild rush to the spot where the figure was supposed to have appeared. One time it turned out to be “only a resident shaking a supper cloth”.

Continued the report: “The general opinion was that someone in the crowd is donning white, showing himself for a second, retreating into a dark passage and divesting himself of his ghostly raiment then joining in the chase himself.”

The ‘ghost’ later appeared in another area. A report with the headline “Terrifies Woman in Bathroom” said: “The Bradford ghost has reappeared.

“The police were informed that the apparition whose nightly visitations to the Manchester Road district last week led to extraordinary scenes had made its appearance on a Corporation housing estate in Bierley.

“Between 9.30pm and 10pm the occupants of two adjacent houses on the estate simultaneously heard a peculiar tapping noise on their windows.

“From the bathroom of one of the houses came a woman’s terrified scream and a neighbour declared that on opening his door he saw a white-clad figure beating a hasty retreat.”

As quickly as they had begun, the attacks suddenly ceased. Nobody knows what happened to the Manchester Road ghost.

But it is said that he will return to haunt the city a century on, in 2026...

Happy Halloween!