The Paranormal Database

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

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Durham Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Chained Child

Location: Redworth - Redworth Hall Hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Lord Surtees had his mentally ill child chained to the fireplace - the youngster can be heard crying and wailing.

Drowning Entity

Location: River Skerne - General area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This river, like several in the northern part of England, was said to contain an entity which would drag the unwary under the water.

Peg Powler

Location: River Tees - Waters of the river
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This water entity would pull under anyone who swam too close to her home - witnesses would only see her green hair seconds before their friends who would be pulled under the water.

Singing Lady

Location: River Tees - Cauldron Snout waterfall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A farm girl who killed herself once a relationship with a local miner ended, her pitiful shade can now be heard singing.

Mrs Rokeby

Location: Rokeby - Rokeby Hall, Mortham Tower
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: A former owner of the hall believed his wife to be having an affair. He severed her head and tried to conceal his crime by hiding the body in the local river. Her ghost followed him home, however, and the headless shade has haunted the building ever since.

Man in Bowler Hat

Location: Rowlands Gill - Private residence, Sherburn Towers Estate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s-2012
Further Comments: Residents of this property are said to have observed a dark haired man wearing a bowler hat who stands at the bottom of the staircase. Sounds of banging have been heard and items move around.

Unhappy Countess

Location: Rowlands Gill - Gibside Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Gibside is another location that made it into the National Trust's top ten haunted locations in 2007. The site is said to be haunted by an upset female form thought to be a Countess.

Doctor Stirling

Location: Rowlands Gill - Clump of trees and undergrowth along Smailes Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Likely to be pre-twentieth century
Further Comments: Doctor Stirling was murdered along the road, his body dumped in a spinney, his killers never brought to justice. Around fifteen years after his murder, the doctor could once again be heard moaning and calling for help from the spinney. Two figures were also seen in the area, with pale faces and bright eyes, named by some to be the doctor's killers.

Most Not Haunted?

Location: Ryhope - Cherry Knowle Hospital, Laurels Block
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2008
Further Comments: Ghost hunters were said to be putting their lives at risk by breaking into this former hospital, and local newspaper Sunderland Echo named it 'the most haunted hospital in the UK'. Unfortunately, there is a distinct lack of historic ghost stories relating to the structure, and one cannot help but to think a modern myth is in the making.

Ada Harrison

Location: Ryton - Private building off Main Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: April 2011
Further Comments: Ada is said to have died of tuberculosis in 1907. Her ghost was reported to have been seen in a residence, sitting on a bench during a dinner party. She is also blamed for opening cupboard doors, turning on taps and moving objects around.

Anne Isabella Milbanke

Location: Seaham - Along the cliffs
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Weather dependent: Stormy nights
Further Comments: During stormy nights, a grey lady is reputed to walk along the cliff tops, pausing close to Seaham Hall. She has been named as Byron's former wife.

Fox Hunt

Location: Seaham - Five Sisters (group of trees)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Weather dependent: Fog
Further Comments: A local legend says that the five trees are where an old witch coven would meet. One of the witches took the form of a fox and lead the local hunt over the edge of a cliff - the scene is repeated if the weather conditions are right.

Chained Figure

Location: Seaton Moor - Petermoor Hill
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early Nineteenth century
Further Comments: The bottom of the hill was haunted by a translucent figure that would wave his chains at passersby.

Pickled Parson

Location: Sedgefield - Old Rectory (building burnt down in 1791)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Pre-1791
Further Comments: A local legend says that this rectory was haunted by the ghost of a clergyman. The man had died a few days before the village tithes were due to be paid; his wife pickled his body and sat it at the dinner table, visible through the window, so she was able to collect and pocket the money due.


Location: Shotton Colliery - Private residence (new build)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2008-2009
Further Comments: A former occupier of this property moved out after his dog chased a shadow out of the living room and up the stairs. They also reported hearing horse's hooves and experiencing poltergeist-like behaviour.

Glowing Eyed Shadow

Location: Shotton Colliery - Unidentified cottage
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa 1900
Further Comments: A miner named Lamb and his family moved into this cottage, only to be faced with something which rattled and shook the front door every night. A practical joker was first thought to blame, but after a night of snow, the door was opened and no footsteps could be seen. Lamb's son spotted a shadowy figure outside the cottage one night, which reportedly had glowing red eyes.

Illuminated Couple

Location: Shotton Colliery - Road which now runs through Bracken Hill Business Park
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early 1970s
Further Comments: While driving along a minor road, two witnesses spotted a man and a woman walking towards them in the road ahead, lit up white as if from an oncoming car. As the road was narrow, the driver slowed to a safe speed. As the car drew level to the man and woman, both suddenly vanished. While the man had a 1930s trench coat, the woman wore a normal winter coat that any other person would wear.

Elizabeth Bessie Hewitson

Location: Spennymoor - Whitworth Hall County Park Hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Dressed in black, Elizabeth is still said to walk around the building even though she died in the 1800s. Another ghost here, this time male, is reported to have died of a broken heart.

Floating Face

Location: Spennymoor - Area of land next to old railway line (now Rosa Shafto nature reserve)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa 1982
Further Comments: A large, solid, white face was spotted floating alongside a silver birch tree by four children. The children fled home, with at least one of the witnesses having nightmares of the incident for years after the event.

Bloody Horseman

Location: Staindrop - A688 between town and Raby Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This phantom rider on a white horse has his face covered in blood. The entities are said to slowly descend into the ground.


Location: Stanley - Town Centre, close to the market
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1996
Further Comments: A witness here had a fleeting glimpse of a middle aged woman dressed in 1920s clothing. The figure disappeared 'in the blink of an eye'.


Location: Stanley - South Causey Inn
Type: Other
Date / Time: 15 October 2009, around 23:45h
Further Comments: While in this pub with her friend, this witness heard a large group of people enter the building. The witness turned and noticed the group were wearing bright clothing, with one woman sporting a turquoise coloured outfit with lots of feathers. The witness briefly turned to her friend intending to point at the crowd, but when she turned back, the colourful group had vanished.


Location: Stockton-on-Tees - Castlegate Shopping Centre, Stephenson House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: Strange music and sounds are said to occasionally be heard at night in this shopping centre.


Location: Stockton-on-Tees - Stockton railway station
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Post-1937
Further Comments: This station is reputedly haunted by a girl who was killed on the site in 1937.

Antisocial Woman

Location: Stockton-on-Tees - Manhattan's public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2017
Further Comments: North Yorkshire Paranormal Investigations' claimed this building to be one of Teesside's most haunted, home to a phantom child, and a woman who instructed visitors to leave.

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