THIS is the weekend when the faint-hearted would do best staying in bed.

It’s Halloween, with its annual helping of ghosts and ghouls parading the streets. And what a helping it is: this spooky night used to be a relatively low-key affair but now, emulating the USA where the occasion has long captured the imagination of the public, families go all out to mark the event, having parties and parading the streets in gruesome costumes.

Across the country, historic buildings believed to be haunted have got in on the act and offer ghostly experiences for those among us who love being scared witless.

One of these is taking place tonight in what is said to be one of Bradford’s, and indeed Yorkshire’s, most haunted buildings, and is sold out due to demand.

Throughout its 900-year history - the hall was first mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 - Bolling Hall has been home to spooks aplenty.

The most famous spiritual manifestation is the spook that appeared to the Earl of Newcastle in the 17th century during the English Civil War. He was stationed at the hall after his troops took over Bradford and claimed that he woke after his bed cover was tugged to see a woman wringing her hands, telling him to “pity poor Bradford” and not wreak death and destruction on the city.

The earl was, according to records, pretty shaken up by the visitation, and instead of a full-blown massacre, ordered his troops to kill only those who resisted.

A child’s crib has been witnessed on many occasions to rock back and forth as people enter the room. A lady dressed in white has been seen, appearing to float in mid-air across the room and disappear into the fireplace.

Leeds-born industrialist and social reformer Richard Oastler, known as the Factory King for his tireless work to limit the hours worked by children in factories, has also apparently been seen in the hall, in spirit form: in 1861 one of the owners’ sons awoke to see Oastler standing at the bottom of his bed - and by breakfast time his father had received a telegram saying Richard had died.

Other sights witnessed in the hall have included a white lady, crying babies, children playing, Parliamentarian officers marching and sudden shadows and perfume scents. The hall even spooked Living TV’s Most Haunted crew.

Visitors have claimed to see an old woman in the hall’s kitchen spitting: ‘Get out of my kitchen!’

And in the Delius Room, containing 19th century Bradford composer Frederick Delius’s piano, children claim to have seen a man playing it.

All in all, the hall is reputed to be home to around 20 ghosts.

Not everyone is lucky - or unlucky, whichever way you look at it, to catch a glimpse of one of them. In 2007 the T&A’s Emma Clayton joined a group spending the night in Bolling Hall on a charity fundraising ghost night.

‘We called it a night at 5am,’ she wrote. ‘It had been exciting exploring the house in the dark - we had access to areas, including the cellar, normally closed to the public - but the spirits didn’t appear to be playing out that night.’