Selina Bottom (1834-1891)

Selina Bottom worked as a domestic cook.


She was born in Dalton on 3 November 1834, the daughter of hand loom weaver John Bottom and his wife Mary (née Stead), and baptised on 7 June 1835 at Kirkheaton.

By 1861, she was working as a domestic servant at the house of Anne Wallace in Warley, near Halifax.

She returned to the Huddersfield area and worked as a cook at Rose Villa, Almondbury — the house of John Bayliss, joint contractor for the Kirkburton Branch Line (together with William Eckersley). In November 1866, after being given notice to leave by Mr. Bayliss, she took revenge by causing the other residents of the house to believe it was haunted. After surreptitiously connecting a piece of twine to the main bell wire, she was able to make all 17 bells in the house ring for several hours during the night without leaving her bedroom. After she was caught a few nights later, she admitted to the "lark". Rather than involve the police, Mr. Bayliss decided to ask her to leave immediately but paid her the remainder of her salary. However, he deducted one guinea from her wages "as a donation to the Huddersfield Infirmary from a ghost".[1]

By the time of the 1881 Census, she was working as a cook in the house of woollen manufacturer John Henry Sykes of Trinity Street, Huddersfield.

Selina Bottom of Storthes, Moldgreen, died on 16 February 1891, leaving an estate valued £313 6s. 7d.

Notes and References

  1. "Almondbury: A Ghost at Rose Villa" in Huddersfield Chronicle (01/Dec/1866).

Selina Bottom (1834-1891)


This page was last modified on 2 April 2018 and has been edited by Dave Pattern.

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