Westhoughton is the most haunted town in England, according to a new book.

Ghostly goings-on, spooky sightings and things that go bump in the night have been reported all over the town.

And now author Malcom Greenhalgh, pictured, has told the full story of Westhoughton’s haunted past.

His book, It Happened In Lancashire, tells the history of the county from the Peterloo Massacre to the emergence of Peter Kay.

According to the book, the Ex- Servicemen’s Club in Westhoughton is haunted by a woman dressed in bright red, while in the Labour Club mysterious footsteps can be heard and the Wheatsheaf, in Market Street, has a ghostly apparition.

The book also says a ghost has been spotted in a house in Tempest Road and recounts the story of a haunting in 1993 when three ghosts were said to be making water drip from ceilings in a house and throwing cutlery and crockery across rooms.

Mr Greenhalgh, who was born in Bolton, said: “Some of the stories are anecdotal and I also have an immense library on Lancashire — I’ve always been proud of my county.

“Westhoughton is an interesting place — it featured in the civil wars and they had the big pit disaster.

It’s been through it a bit.”

Cllr David Wilkinson, from Westhoughton Town Council, added: “That story about the house is true. I spoke to the people who were involved and they were rock-solid witnesses, these people actually saw it and they said water just ran down the walls.

“It surprises me though, I would have thought Lancaster would be more haunted as they have the old jail and a lot of the witches were killed there. I’m a bit of a cynic though, so I don’t know. I’ve never seen one and hopefully I never will.”

However, Stuart Hilton, from paranormal investigators Lancashire Hauntings, who is writing a book called Haunted Bolton, said he had not heard any ghost stories about Westhoughton.

Mr Hilton said: “We found Deansgate in the town centre is very haunted indeed, particularly all the old pubs.”