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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.

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.

Young Woman

Location: Durham - HMP Low Newton Prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 26 February 2011
Further Comments: A prisoner reported seeing a woman standing by a window in their cell. A guard later told them that someone had committed suicide in the spot the figure had stood.

Violet

Location: Durham - Kerry Foods Factory
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2012
Further Comments: A phantom woman who suddenly disappears when spotted was nicknamed Violet after the scent in the air which she leaves.

Coach

Location: Durham - Langley Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Seen galloping towards the hall, this coach is pulled by four black, headless horses. One legend says the coach contains a coffin.

Twisted Man

Location: Durham - North Bailey
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Emerging from the cellar of a property once owned by the city's chief constable, this little man, twisted and bent over, was said to wear a white ruffled shirt, black trousers and a nightcap.

Woman in a Black Dress

Location: Durham - Private residence, Coatsworth Road
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: 1996
Further Comments: A sixteen year old girl screamed for her mother after seeing a phantom woman wearing a black dress appear in a bedroom. The following morning the family received a phone call informing them the girl's grandmother had died the night before, around the same time as the sighting.

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.

Gus

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.

Wyrm

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.

Wishing

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Charlie Gordon

Location: Gateshead - Albion Inn, Bill Quay
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Charlie enjoyed the hospitality of this public house that he returned to it two years after dying. Seen dressed in a grey suit by the new landlady, she had no idea who he was until she described him to a couple of (living) regulars.

German Officer

Location: Gateshead - Angel of the North
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: One author has claimed that this modern piece of art is haunted by the ghost of a Nazi recruiting officer from the Second World War, though the reason why is not properly explained.

Plate Smashing

Location: Gateshead - Bronte Street, unknown house
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1963 / 1964
Further Comments: Poltergeist disruption in a council house here was said to be so bad that the tenant fled after bottles were smashed and their crockery broken. An exorcism was performed on the site.

Sitting Man

Location: Gateshead - Golden Lion public house, Winlaton
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 12 December 2004
Further Comments: A photograph taken in this pub purports to show a strange man sitting in the background, slightly out of proportion to the rest of the environment. As the floor in the pub had just been raised, it has been suggested that this is the reason why the image looks slightly strange.

Black Shape

Location: Gateshead - Three Tuns public house, Sheriffs Hill
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: December 2017
Further Comments: A member of staff was left in tears after being approached by a black shape. An article in the local paper claimed that there had been a hundred incidents over the years which resulted in people encountering something or leaving the site out of fear.

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.

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.

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