The Paranormal Database

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

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Durham Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Andrew Mynarski

Location: Teeside - Teeside International Airport (was Middleton St George airfield), hangars and nearby St George Hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1950s onwards, pilot seen in hotel 1982 and detected 1990s
Further Comments: Mynarski died after trying to save a trapped pilot in a Lancaster bomber as it dived towards earth. He was awarded the VC for his efforts. Mynarski's restless spirit currently walks the area he was stationed during the war and was seen outside the control room and hangars in the 1950s. Another version of the story names the phantom as a Canadian pilot named Mullen. In 1982 a pilot reported feeling a weight on his bed which vanished when he told it to go away, and although this could be sleep paralysis, the pilot researched further and found 20 more people who had experienced the same event. Another pilot reported many crews would sleep with the lights left on, and after waking to the smell of burning flesh (which swiftly dissipated), refused to stay in the hotel again.

Woman's Face in a Window

Location: Thornaby - Private house along Lockton Crescent
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early 1990s
Further Comments: A wedding photograph taken in front of an empty house revealed the image of a middle aged woman staring out of the window from inside the building. The owners of the house did not recognise the strange figure and had no explanation to who she was.

Black Shape

Location: Thornley - Unnamed council house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1947-1963
Further Comments: A family living in this newly constructed house encountered a 'black shape' dozens of times over this period, often accompanied by a horrible presence. The family eventually informed the local vicar who prayed in the house - the haunting ceased.

Salty

Location: Thornley - Thornley Workingmen's Club
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: January 2011
Further Comments: A person working in the upper part of the building reported seeing a cloudy figure which emerged from a dressing room only to vanish near the witness. The witness was told by staff that the ghost was nicknamed 'Salty' and it likes to make its 'presence known'.

Barguest

Location: Throstlenest - General area
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Little is known about the Throstlenest shuck, which patrols the area between Darlington and Houghton.

Captured Sea Serpent

Location: Tynemouth - Coastline off Cullercoats, and 57 Grey Street
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1849
Further Comments: Though a good description of the creature is lacking, fishermen from this area chased and killed a sea monster, the body of which they brought back to land. The carcass was taken into a shop along Grey Street, and entry was charged at several shillings per view.

Person Asleep

Location: Tynemouth - Wizard's Cave (exact location not known)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The Wizard's Cave is said to contain a person who is in a magical sleep.

Maid

Location: Walworth - Walworth Castle Hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The castle is reputed to be haunted by a maid who was bricked up behind a wall after an affair with lord of the manor resulted in pregnancy. She is reputedly seen emerging from the wall or heard climbing a spiral staircase.

Screaming

Location: Weardale - The North of England Lead Mining Museum - formally the killhope lead mine
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2003
Further Comments: Three ghost hunters wanting to raise money for charity tried to spend the night here, only to be scared off by screaming of a ghostly woman from a nearby wood.

Mary Ann Cotton

Location: West Auckland - Bench (nicknamed Mary's Seat), Darlington Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A local myth says that the bench is located where 20 Johnson Terrace once stood, the home of serial killer Mary Ann Cotton and the site where she poisoned three people. It is reported that at times the bench is surrounded by a coldness, although the sceptical would say this is due to the open village green by which the bench stands.

Speeding Horseman

Location: West Auckland - Route between town and Hamsterley Forest
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Seen galloping at the speed of an arrow, this horseman vanishes once he enters the dense woodland.

Child

Location: West Auckland - Churchyard
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 24 March 1873
Further Comments: A local postman named Barker passed the church and spotted a phantom child dressed in white clothing. The postman fled home, with the ghost in following close behind. Entering his home, the man ran upstairs, but still the ghost followed, the panicked postman then running back downstairs and grabbing his wife from the parlour, fled the house. This time the ghost did not follow, but remained inside the property, along with the couple's young child. Such was their fear, they found an old woman and sent her in to recover their offspring.

Monk

Location: West Auckland - Manor House Hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: Several ghosts have been reported here. Room 34 has a locked wardrobe door that opens by an unseen hand, while a member of the public has claimed to have been grabbed by the throat by a man dressed like a monk. Room 18 has had reports of people being pushed and seances in the Knights Hall have resulted in a child's voice being heard on a walkie talkie and a possession.

Grey Lady

Location: West Kyo - Earl Grey Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This public house is thought to be haunted by a former nineteenth century landlady.

Glowing Headstone

Location: Wingate - Holy Trinity Churchyard
Type: Other
Date / Time: 1997
Further Comments: The headstone marking the grave of Corporal Longstaff, killed in 1918, has been seen glowing at night.

Falling Pint

Location: Wolviston - Ship Inn
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: June 2019
Further Comments: A video shared by the media in showed a pint glass moving across a work surface and smashing after it fell off the edge. Several rational explanations were offered.

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