The Reverend Matthew Henry Lee, Vicar of Hanmer was a curious fellow, as well as something of a hero. In the preacher's book he kept while at Hanmer, he chose to include several notes on a number of curious supernatural events in North East Wales that piqued his interest.
One such tale involved Old Cymau Hall, which may well have become New Cymau Hall, which is certainly now Cymau Farm. In 1886, a Mr Butler took a position as engineer at the Ffwrd Ironworks, and in moving to the area with her husband and mother, Mrs Butler stayed at the Hall. One imagines Mrs Butler regretting the choice of accommodation since it was not long before she was plagued by a supernatural terror.
One night, Mrs Butler awoke to the sound of an insistent tapping at the window of her bedroom. It continued for some time, as Mrs Butler slowly awoke from her slumbers, before suddenly stopping...and from beyond the glass a voice whispered, ‘Pray for my soul’. The Reverend Matthew Henry Lee does not record Mrs Butler’s response, but one imagines her hidden beneath her bedclothes, quite frozen in terror. We are told that the tapping resumed and continued all night until, frightened and desperate Mrs Butler began to pray, not for herself, but rather for the ‘tortured soul', as indeed she had been asked. The tapping ceased and the sense of a presence lifted.
The following morning, Mrs Butler related what had happened to the housekeeper, who rather matter of factly explained the haunting away by telling of a recent suicide which had occurred at the Hall, in the courtyard beneath Mrs Butler’s room. It would seem the Butler’s persevered in staying at the Hall, since a small while later, Mr Butler was awoken by the feeling of someone or something pressing down on his chest with what Butler described as, ‘a hand’. The pressure ceased on his full awakening.
Soon after, both Mrs Butler and her mother experienced the same supernatural event. Both were awakened in the night by a gentle but repeated knocking at their bedroom doors. Both, rather bravely it must be said, investigated, calling, ‘who is it?’ before opening their doors and leaving their rooms - only to meet each other in the passageway and no one else.
The Reverend Matthew Henry Lee of Hanmer, who went on the save the plate and registers of St Chad’s from a fire which gutted the church in 1889 and the consequences of which led to his death in 1890, says little else of the events surrounding the Butlers in 1886, other than to mention that such hauntings at Cymau Hall happened to others...