The Paranormal Database

Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

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Durham Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Victorian Woman

Location: Aycliffe - Near the church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A father walking with his brother and son spotted a female entity wearing Victorian dress. The figure did not have any feet and was not in contact with the ground. The entity looked at the three people before moving off 'faster than a greyhound'.

White Lady

Location: Aycliffe - A167 north of town
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century, though sightings may go back to eighteenth century
Further Comments: While the clothing of the woman varies (from wearing a raincoat to a wedding dress), the figure is always white. In true 'phantom hitchhiker' style, the woman had been picked up by passing drivers, only to vanish a few miles down the road.

Lady Ann Day

Location: Barnard Castle - Castle and River Tees
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A couple of versions of this ghost story exist. One has Lady Ann Day being tossed into the River Tees by her murderer, with her ghost of Day reliving her deathly plummet. The second version says Day died of natural causes, and her ghost would be seen at night wearing a red cloak as she crossed the river, possibly sitting on the shoulders of her husband.


Location: Barnard Castle - Friar House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Likely pre nineteenth century
Further Comments: Roger, the husband of Ann who haunts the castle, also returned as a ghost and took up residence at Friar House. The occupants did not appreciate their phantom lodger, so Roger was banished by priests.

Flying Lids

Location: Barnard Castle - HMYOI Deerbolt (youth offending prison)
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 2014
Further Comments: During a month in 2014 it was reported that lighting was switched off and on again and on one night, two bin lids were found spinning on the floor. The area was locked down as member of staff who spotted the lids feared an offender was loose, but CCTV footage showed the lids flying off the bins unaided.

Death's Scythe

Location: Barnard Castle - St Mary the Virgin's church
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Prior to the death in the family
Further Comments: The stone statue of Death stands above the grave of George, son of Humphrey Hopper. To see Death's scythe wave is an indication that the witness or a close family member will soon die.


Location: Barnard Castle - Old Well Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A ghostly child is reputed to haunt one of the rooms, its presence upsetting one guest.


Location: Beamish - Sun Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This inn was moved brick by brick from Bishop Auckland in the 1970s, and with it came a presence felt in the back room.

Moving Basket

Location: Beamish - Home Farm
Type: Other
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: An old basket found between joists in the kitchen was removed, but within 24 hours it returned itself to its original position. The removal/return activity carried on for a few weeks before the basket gave up.

Grey Lady

Location: Beamish - Beamish Hall, and Starling Bridge crossing Beamish Burn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2004
Further Comments: This woman suffocated after hiding in a trunk to avoid a prearranged marriage. Her mournful shade has been seen in both the aforementioned places, most recently by a vet who spent a night in the haunted house to raise money for charity.


Location: Birtley - Private residence belonging to a miner
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1892
Further Comments: It was said that other villagers would visit the property at night to listen to the strange wailing which would come from within.

Persian Cat

Location: Birtley - Private house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2012, daytime
Further Comments: While making coffee the occupant watched a grey Persian cat walk across the floor and disappear into the living room. No doors or windows were open, and the cat could not be found. The witness later found out that a cat matching the description had once lived there but had died a few years previous.

Limbless Worm

Location: Bishop Auckland - Wooded area
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A creature, said by legend to be a long, hostile worm, but likely to have been a boar, inhabited an oak wood and would attack man and beast. It was slain by a member of the Pollard family.

Hazy Figure

Location: Bishop Auckland - Four Clock's Centre (former church), Newgate Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: First half of 2009
Further Comments: CCTV caught a hazy figure on camera, while another witness spotted a woman in a hat. Footsteps have also been heard in an empty room and doors have locked themselves from the inside.

Smashing Glass

Location: Bishop Auckland - Pollards Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 24 August 2017
Further Comments: A man whose family once ran the pub was visiting the site. As he told the story of how glasses would move unaided, his own glass lifted off the table and smashed against a wall.

Luck of Muncaster

Location: Bishop Auckland - Binchester Hall (original building no longer standing)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Pre-1833
Further Comments: A cup known as the Luck of Muncaster was stored at the hall, which was said to bestow blessing on the family. It did not stop the demolition of the hall, however, and the current whereabout of the cup is unknown.

Fairy Guardians

Location: Bishopton - Castle Hill
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Though the castle is long gone, the area is still a place where fairies hide - anyone trying to steal earth or soil from the land is warned off by whispering voices.

Emma and Edward

Location: Bowes - Ancient Unicorn Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Emma and Edward were the children of different innkeepers who fell in love - Edward died of fever and Emma pined away soon after. Their ghosts are reputed to be regulars at the Inn, as is a young boy who haunts the cellar.

White Haired Head

Location: Burnopfield - Railway track running through the village
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1932
Further Comments: A floating face was reported by several men along the line. The entity had a twisted face and white hair, and its prior to its materialisation, metallic clanging would be heard. The ghost was eventually named as a platelayer who had died after being hit by a coal wagon in 1879.

Tall Man

Location: Byers Green - (Former) Marquis of Granby public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twenty-first century?
Further Comments: This former pub is said to be haunted by a tall man. A plumber is also said to have fled the site after watching a stool move across the room unaided.

Madam Lambton

Location: Chester le Street - South Biddick Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This shade has been reported drifting around the hall.


Location: Chester Le Street - River Wear
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown, likely to be early twentieth century
Further Comments: A ghostly woman was said to haunt this stretch of waterway.

Lady Lumley

Location: Chester Le Street - Lumley Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2005. 2017
Further Comments: The 'Lily of Lumley', as the lady is also known, was killed by several monks after refusing to agree with their religious beliefs. When Sir Ralph discovered what had happened to his wife, he had the monks executed. The monks are sometimes seen walking in file around the area of the castle, while Lady Lumley walks within the castle's corridors and grounds. An Australian cricket player reported seeing the monks in 2005, while in 2017 a witness claimed to have photographed two ghostly faces in the windows.

Anne Walker

Location: Chester le Street - Exact location not recorded
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: 1632
Further Comments: The ghost of Anne Walker appeared to a miller, telling him the location where her body could be found. The miller ignored the ghost, but after she appeared several more times, he informed the authorities. Her body was discovered in a coal pit, as the ghost had described. One of her family and a family friend were later arrested and executed for her murder.


Location: Coatham Mundeville - Hall Garth Golf and Country Club Hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Room 2 is reputedly haunted by the ghost of a nun who was bricked up alive within the walls after her affair with a monk was discovered.

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