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Cambridgeshire Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Heavy Stamping Footsteps

Location: Cambridge - Emmanuel College
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: September 2020
Further Comments: Rumoured to have been a suicide victim, the stamping footsteps of the deceased plagued several families that lived there over a period of years. The original building no longer stands, and it was said that the replacement had yet to yield any phantom footsteps, until 2020 when a student tweeted that he had heard someone walking around the empty site.

Animated Stone Lions Drink from the Gutter

Location: Cambridge - Fitzwilliam Museum
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Midnight (Reoccurring)
Further Comments: On the stroke of midnight, the lions that stand outside the Fitzwilliam Museum leave their posts to drink from the gutters a few meters away. Other sources say they disappear inside the building they guard.


Location: Cambridge - Former home on site of former Woolworth's shop
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A phantom witch was reputedly haunting a building which was demolished and replaced with Woolworth's.

Grey Lady on Staircase

Location: Cambridge - Girton College, Taylor Knob Staircase
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late 1800s
Further Comments: The Grey Lady was seen in the late nineteenth century but has not been seen since. She is rumoured to be Miss Taylor, a young girl who died before starting Girton. The college was also briefly home to a Roman Centurion when first built, though little has been heard from this soldier since.


Location: Cambridge - Gog Magog Hills
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A phantom monkey which haunted this region was reported in the dim and distant past.

Pink Light

Location: Cambridge - Guest house in the area
Type: Other
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: A guest here reported their room was filled with an intense pink light after they switched off the bedside lamp. When the lamp was turned on again, the pink light vanished.


Location: Cambridge - Howgate Road area
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 14 November 2019
Further Comments: Seen from a distance of one metre, the wallaby left the witness and was last seen heading towards the allotments.

Girl in Blue

Location: Cambridge - Huntington Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 02 July 2014, around 22:00h
Further Comments: A fast moving, slightly out of focus, young girl with light brown hair and in a blue raincoat looked at this witness and disappeared into a bush, creating no noise. The witness looked for the girl, but she had gone.


Location: Cambridge - King's College, The Gibbs Building
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: One story says that Barrett was a strange fellow who stored a coffin in his room. After a night filled with screaming, Barrett's friends found him dead the following day, his body laid out in the coffin. On the anniversary of Barrett's death, his screams are said to echo around this building. Peter Haining claimed the cries likely belonged to a Mr Pote, who cursed the building after being forced to move away.

Man in Top Hat

Location: Cambridge - New Court, Trinity
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1922
Further Comments: Author T C Lethbridge reported seeing a ghost during his time at university. He mistook the figure as a porter, though upon reflection realised that the man was wearing a top hat (which porters only did on a Sunday, and it was not Sunday!). Lethbridge's friend, who was in the same room during the sighting, failed to perceive the figure.

Large Furry Penguin-Like Creature

Location: Cambridge - Newmarket Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Once seen in Merton Hall, this strange creature has been more recently reported waddling along the Newmarket Road. A local paranormal group examining the case came to the plausible conclusion that the ghost may be that of a doctor in a cloak, wearing a beak-like mask which they believed would protect them from the plague.

Francis Dawes

Location: Cambridge - Peterhouse
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1997
Further Comments: Dawes was a former Peterhouse bursar who hanged himself in September 1789 after an election scandal resulted in an unpopular fellow becoming Master of Peterhouse. In April 1997, a butler and a waiter spotted a white figure as it moved between the spiral staircase and the centre of the Combination Room, the location where Dawes is thought to have committed suicide. In November of the same year, unexplained knocking was heard and once again a strange figure was spotted by butlers. Around the same time, Andrew Murison, the college treasurer, also heard knocking prior to seeing a benign figure in the dining room. At the time an exorcism was considered if the entity appeared again, but Dawes appears to have fallen silent once again.

Man Moaning

Location: Cambridge - Private building along Newmarket Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1996
Further Comments: A former student who stayed in this residence reported that one room (her bedroom) was always freezing cold. The witness also reported hearing a moaning sound close to her head as she lay in bed, unsettling her so much she could not stay in the room any longer, and moved out of the building soon after.

Woman in Green

Location: Cambridge - Private house along Trumpington Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1890s
Further Comments: Several witnesses were said to have encountered a ghostly woman wearing a green dress with a red feather in her hat. One man commented on a portrait of the woman that hung in a room he had just left, only to be told that no such painting existed.

Frail Young Woman in a Hammock

Location: Cambridge - Private residence, Montague Road
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: 1924
Further Comments: A witness saw a young lady in the summer house lying on a hammock. Sometime later he was told the description matched that of his aunt, who had died of tuberculosis a few months before his visit.

Young Boy

Location: Cambridge - Private residence, Petersfield area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late 2014
Further Comments: A residence who started seeing a young boy in mid-twentieth century clothing researched her neighbourhood and found ten people, including children, died in a bombing accident.

Goat Headed Monster

Location: Cambridge - River Cam close to Stourbridge Common (or not, as the case may be)
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1276
Further Comments: Lady Eveline Camilla (Newton) Gurdon claimed this monster encounter possibly happened in Suffolk, while the 'Every Day Book' placed it in Cambridge. They were both wrong - it comes from Poland; the story is from 'The Doome Warning All Men to the Judgemente' and reads: Fishers toke a disfigured divell, in a certain Stoure (which is a mighty gathering togither of waters from some narrow lake of the sea), a horrible monster with a goat's head, and eyes shyning lyke fyre, whereuppon they were all afrayde and ranne awaye; and that ghoste plunged himselfe under the ice, and running tippe and downe in the stoure made a terrible noyse and sound.

White Lady

Location: Cambridge - Sherratt & Hughes, Trinity Street (closed in 1991)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Once said to be the oldest bookshop in the UK, the building claims to have a white lady who walks silently down the aisles. Her history is unknown. There are also reports of a man in Victorian evening dress.

Pale Yellow Head without Ears

Location: Cambridge - Sidney Sussex College
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1960s
Further Comments: Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. A spectral pale-yellow head without ears was apparently spotted floating around Chapel Court in 1967 by John Emslie. The head is said to be that of Cromwell; his skull was finally laid to rest under the college's antechapel in 1960, its exact location a secret. As far as I can tell, the head was only encountered once, although around the same time other students were said to have experienced cold spots and the smell of rotting meat. The other ghost reputed to haunt the site, somewhat lacklustre compared to Cromwell, is that of an elderly University Don dressed in grey who moves from this campus towards Christ's College.

College Cat

Location: Cambridge - St. Johns College
Type: ABC
Date / Time: November 1996
Further Comments: Both a caretaker and the groundsman saw a massive black cat on the grounds. It has been speculated the creature was the so called 'Fen Tiger', a large cat-like cryptid for which sightings around Cambridgeshire date back at least 30 years.

Sounds of Murder

Location: Cambridge - Sweet Shop, East Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: A sweet shop was supposed to be haunted by the sounds of screaming from someone being murdered with an axe. As a side note, around the same time two other shops along the road were also said to be haunted, although one had been demolished and the other was empty and run down.

Old Man

Location: Cambridge - The Haunted Bookshop
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: A phantom old man is reputed to haunt the basement of this bookshop.

Flying Bird

Location: Cambridge - Unnamed site, Storey's Way
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late 1970s?
Further Comments: A black bird would be seen flying through glass without smashing it. The site was also haunted by a man wearing a white coat.

Face with Pointy Beard

Location: Carlton - Village Rectory
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early twentieth Century
Further Comments: This ghost of a previous rector murdered by his butler was exorcised in the 1870s, and the spirit trapped in a bottle and locked in a cupboard. An accident in the 1920's smashed the glass container; the ghost returned to peer through windows and could be heard banging at night.


Location: Caxton - Caxton Gibbet Inn, Room 5 (no longer standing)
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Footsteps pacing around in the upper part of the building have been allocated to a former landlord (or his son) who killed several of the guests. Several other phantoms were also said to haunt the ill, although it has been gutted by fire and may not be rebuilt. The gibbet outside the ruins was made from timbers from a cottage demolition in the village of Caxton in the early 1900s, although it was not the one from which the murderer hanged.

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