WERE these chairs stacked neatly in a tower by the spirits of mischievous children?

This photo was taken after ghost-hunters had finished filming in the family activity room at the most haunted Kiplin Hall, which is located at a spooky midpoint between Richmond and Northallerton.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

The chairs apparently stacked by the ghosts of mischievous children in the governess' room at Kiplin Hall

The 400-year-old Jacobean house, which is holding torchlight ghost tours over Halloween for those who are not of a nervous disposition, is full of strange spirits and their accompanying sights, smells, sounds – and chair-stacking abilities.

There are echoing footsteps on the linoleum floor of the Servants’ Tunnel. There is the waft of pipe smoke in the Second World War kitchen. There is a sobbing woman, crying for the loss of her son on a foreign battlefield. There’s a ghostly grey lady. There’s a bustling 17th Century housekeeper. There’s a butler carrying tea on a silver salver, and there are shadowy figures beyond our ken which, on occasion, scare the living daylights out of visiting dogs.

In all, there are 20 or more ghosts in Kiplin waiting to be discovered this Halloween – but few are more persistent, or pesky, than those in the family activity room.

Or should that be the poltergeist activity room, where the small, child-sized chairs regularly receive attention from the spirit world?

It is a room where, over the years, several young visitors have reported seeing a prim and proper figure standing disapprovingly in a corner – adults, though, are unable to see this figure.

“Several years ago, the chairs were stacked on the table so the floor beneath could be washed,” says curator Dawn Webster, who leads the ghost tours. “The volunteers came in the next morning and the chairs had been chucked all around the room.

“A few years later, the same thing: a volunteer stacked the chairs on the table and the next morning as she was coming in, she heard them all crashing to the ground.”

Then in 2009, the Most Haunted TV programme made by mediums and parapsychologists came to see the spirits for themselves – and amazingly found the wooden chairs arranged in a geometric tower on the table while metal chairs were strewn in a tangle about the floor. It was as if someone – something – had prepared a message from another world for them.

In the 1890s, the room had been occupied by the governess, with the nursery next door. Is she the prim and proper figure in the corner surveying with disapproval the mischief caused by her young charges?

The programme hailed the chair stack as an extraordinary exhibition of paranormal poltergeist phenomenon.

But Dawn is more circumspect.

“I didn’t know whether to believe them or not,” she says.

“Kiplin has a really good atmosphere. The sobbing woman is a bit sad, but when a psychic offered to move the sad ghosts, they didn’t want to go. They were happy to stay.

“I tend to work here late and have heard the footsteps in the Servants’ Tunnel and I think it is fine, but when my dog raises her head and listens to something I cannot hear, that can be a bit spooky…”

The 90-minute ghost tours are at 6pm and 8pm on Tuesday, October 30, and Wednesday, October 31. Tickets are £12 for adults and £8 for children, who must be eight or over and not easily scared. For bookings and information, call 01748 818178, or email info@kiplinhall.co.uk. Please bring your own torches – and your nerves of steel.