The Paranormal Database

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

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Durham Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Murdered Inmate

Location: Durham - Durham Prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid twentieth century
Further Comments: A ground floor cell is said to be haunted by the scene of one prisoner murdering another with a table knife.

Lady in Grey

Location: Durham - Crook Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The staircase here is reportedly haunted by a fleeting female in grey, while a beautiful woman in white has been seen in other areas of the building.

Teenage Tearaway

Location: Durham - Area around the Old Rectory
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Late nineteenth century
Further Comments: A postman spotted a ghostly shrouded child as he walked past the graveyard - he panicked and ran, the ghost in pursuit. Reaching home, the postman ran into his bedroom where both he and his wife barricaded themselves in. The phantom could be heard smashing up the room next door; both people took the opportunity to run away. A local wise woman who was summoned convinced the ghost to return to the grave.

St Cuthbert's Mist

Location: Durham - All over city
Type: Other
Date / Time: 30 May 1942 (night)
Further Comments: A Luftwaffe mission to bomb the city failed after a mist appeared and covered the castle and cathedral, preventing them from being hit. It is said that St Cuthbert created the mist to protect his relics.


Location: Durham - A1 heading towards Durham
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2015
Further Comments: A horse-mounted highwayman stood on the roadside, looking towards Durham. The legs of the horse vanished at the knee, and the ghost vanishes if approached.

Northumbrian Pipes

Location: Durham - Elvet Bridge (including Jimmy Allen's club)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The horse rustler Jimmy Allen died in this former cell days before his pardon arrived - he can still be heard playing on his pipes from beneath the bridge. The ghost of another man, who mysteriously vanished, would be spotted at the base of the bridge, standing on the river's banks.

Elusive Hare

Location: Easington - General area
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A hare which avoided hunters for many years was finally bitten on a hind leg by a hound. The creature was seen to dart into a nearby cottage, and when the huntsmen entered, they discovered an old lady with a bloodied leg.

Searching Monk

Location: Egglestone - Bridge
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1928
Further Comments: This figure, dressed in brown habit, has his head down as he scours the bank for a lost item.


Location: Elwick - McOrville public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2006
Further Comments: A group of mediums who gathered here to investigate the strange goings-on claimed to have contacted a five year old boy named Gus. The young lad died in an accident involving a horse in the 1940s.


Location: Fatfield - Lambton Castle and grounds, Worm Hill
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: 1400s?
Further Comments: The Lambton worm, sounding more like a very large snake, took up residence here and terrorised the locals - on returning from the crusades, a young and noble member of the Lambton fought the creature and won; but only by wearing spiked armour that impaled the creature as it wrapped itself around him.


Location: Fatfield - Worm Well close to Worm Hill
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Hill still present
Further Comments: Crooked pins would be left here in the hope of a wish being granted.

Lost Children

Location: Ferryhill - Manor House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This manor house featured in Most Haunted and was claimed to be home to a phantom child crying for their mother. A local legend also says there is a secret tunnel on the site, which leads to a cathedral some eight miles away.

Andrew Mills

Location: Ferryhill (Parish of Merrington) - Brass Farm, now known as High Hill House farm
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 01 January (or a couple of days either side) (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Andrew went on a killing spree at the farm in 1863; he claimed he was talked into it by a devil. The wild cries of Andrew Mills can be still heard near the locality of the farmhouse.

Lady in Grey

Location: Finchale - River near Finchale Farm
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: After her son was thrown into the river by her husband (having discovered the child was not his), this woman dived in after the boy - both were presumed drowned, although their bodies not found. The bones of a boy were said to have been found in the 1940s by a fisherman who buried the remains near the abbey, although the lady in grey still walks the area looking for her son. The river is also said to be haunted by others who were caught out by strong currents.

Young Boy

Location: Finchale - Finchale Farm House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A workman on the property heard a young boy call out his name. The witness followed the boy and watched him enter a cupboard in a bedroom. Summoning the owners of the property, the newly formed group went to investigate. Opening the cupboard, the workman said he could see the boy peering through a grill, but the owners were unable to see neither boy nor grill. The barn on the site is also rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of a farmer.

Passage of Horror

Location: Finchale - Finchale Abbey
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A secret passage is said to run from the abbey ruins to Durham Cathedral, though the journey is so terrifying no one can survive the journey. Above ground, the abbey is haunted by a murdered woman who holds a small child close to her.

Slew Foot

Location: Finchale - Black Rock Woods
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A phantom monk which passes through the woodland gained his nickname as he drags one leg behind him as he walks. One witness also heard military drumming coming from the woodland.

Old Man

Location: Fishburn - Private residence, north of town
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa 1956
Further Comments: When a new family purchased this property, it required a great deal of work. However, whenever renovations were performed, they were undone by an unseen hand; a newly installed fuse box was wrenched off the wall, and a new fire in the front room was damaged when soot fell from a chimney which had recently been swept. One of the occupants would occasionally spot an old man sitting on the end of their bed, while another family member would hear a man calling out 'Mary', the name of a former occupant.

Anne Walker

Location: Great Lumley - Mill, Chester le Street (no longer standing)
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: 1632 (or 1680)
Further Comments: The ghost of Anne, a local lass who had gone missing, appeared to a miller and threatened to haunt him unless he told the authorities that she had been murdered. After Anne appeared a second time, the miller did so, and Anne's killers were soon caught.


Location: Greatham - Social Club
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This club was once the haunt of disembodied footsteps, unidentified voices and other strange sounds.

Grey Lady

Location: Greatham - General area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The village is said to be the haunt of a grey lady, though her history is unknown.

Maid of Rokeby

Location: Greta Bridge - Waters where the two rivers meet
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This entity, dressed in white flowing clothes, patrols the banks of the river after dusk. A monk is also reported to do the same, having taken in own life in the river many years previous.

Woman with Horse

Location: Harperley - Entrance of Harperley Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s, 02:00h
Further Comments: While driving by the entrance of the hall, a police inspector spotted a horse being led by a lady with a bonnet and old fashioned clothing. He turned his car around for a second look, but both the animal and woman had vanished.

Large Man

Location: Hartlepool - The Coble fish and chip restaurant, Tower Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2017
Further Comments: The local press reported that owner Ray Morton and other members of his team had experienced several spooky events, which included watching a large man walk through a wall and having electrical items switch themselves on and off.

Girl in White

Location: Hartlepool - Private residence, A1049 area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2003-2005
Further Comments: A property in this area was said to be haunted by a young girl in a white dress, seen by family members and at least one visitor.

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