Saturday, 25 September 2010

Madame Psychogeography

The Ghost of Madame Psychogeography Still Haunts Armley Mills

The rumour is that the ghost of Madame Psychogeography still haunts Armley Mills, what is now the Leeds Industrial Museum. The story states that on mild damp early autumn days she can sometimes be seen moving around the museum site in a spectral fashion. It is believed she was a Victorian woman who wanders endlessly around the area looking for something. However, no-one knows for sure what she is looking for, and there are varied opinions on what this might be.

Some say that she spends many an hour looking up at one of the windows of the mill. It is said that her lover jumped from this window to his death after hearing rumours that she was intending to join the suffrage movement.

Others say that she is looking for the gear on the lock in which she caught her hair. The one that flung her to her death in the Aire, when she lent over the fence to pick a flower. But, many believe that she is looking for her bicycle because she knows she needs to get home for tea.

Madame Psychogeography was considered to be a frivolous woman, full of dreams and fantastical ideas about the world. Unable to engage in any productive way with life - as a woman of her status was expected to - she would spend many an hour wandering along the river, or riding her bicycle up and down Kirkstall Valley, her unfettered hair flowing behind her.

If you visit Armley Mills, look out for Madame Psychogeography. You may sense she is there, but before you turn around in the hope of catching sight of her, she will have moved on. The lucky ones can be fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of her retreating shadow.

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