Durham - Paranormal Database Records

General Beckwith

Location: Sunderland - Doxford House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2013
Further Comments: The Ghost Hauntings Overnight Surveillance Team claimed to have encountered a couple of phantoms on this site - General Beckwith, a former owner, and a girl named Emily who died in a fire.

Mrs Johnstone

Location: Sunderland - Empire Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: A violinist who died on the site, Johnstone has been seen by the manager, drifting along the dress circle before vanishing. There are also rumours that Sid James haunts the Empire, and that Barbara Windsor (and several others) refused to work there.

Older Woman

Location: Sunderland - Greggs, Sea Road
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: Staff would hear banging coming from empty parts of the shop, detect the whiff of lavender, and would find electrical items which were switched off turned back on. The activity was blamed on the spirit of a woman who once lived above the shop.

Cauld Lad

Location: Sunderland - Hylton (or Hilton) Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1400s
Further Comments: This little brownie caused havoc in the kitchen after hours - the staff disposed of it by creating a distraction until the sun came up, the light of dawn dismissing the creature. Another story blames the kitchen disturbances on the ghost of a groom who was murdered by his master. More recently, one witness who lived nearby reported seeing the cauld lad in 1969, when he was a child.

George & Co

Location: Sunderland - North East Aircraft Museum
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Several entities are reputed to haunt this museum. The bottom half of a man has been seen walking around the hangars, wearing black trousers but no shoes. A phantom hound reputedly remains here, and poltergeist activity has also been reported - one witness watched an old fashioned gramophone, part of a static display, start to play unaided.

Pungent Cigars

Location: Sunderland - Royal Infirmary Hospital (Ward F62, no longer standing)
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: This was a palliative care ward. A doctor who worked there would smoke very pungent cigars. After he died the smell of cigars would fill the air a few minutes before a serious medical event occurred. So many staff experienced the smoke that it became unofficial procedure to check every patient and call in resuscitation staff if anyone detected the smell.

Strange Black Shape

Location: Sunderland - Stadium of Light training grounds
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: April 2005
Further Comments: Players from this soccer club stated that they were concerned that their chances for promotion in the football league were under threat by a ghost which haunted their grounds. One player stated that the phantom was an eighteenth century wreaker called 'Spottee'.

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
Further Comments: Mynarski died after trying to save a trapped pilot in a Lancaster bomber as it dived towards earth, and was awarded the VC for his efforts. His 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.

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.


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'.

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.


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.


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.


Location: Washington - Barmston slip road (west) to A 1231
Type: Other
Date / Time: 01 January 2014, 11:30h
Further Comments: A driver was left startled when, at 25 miles per hour, their car lurched and leaned over to the right and they could hear the air from the car being sucked out from the right hand door. After two seconds everything returned to normal. There was no apparent wind and no tire blow out, which the driver first suspected.

Long John

Location: Washington - Havelock Arms
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A man who loved his evening drinking sessions, this former landlord, a tall man wearing a waistcoat, sometimes returns at evenings to his favourite watering hole.


Location: Washington - Private residence
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Shortly after moving into this property, one of the residents awoke to find an old lady standing over their bed. The phantom woman was described as having grey hair in a bun and wore an old fashioned dress with an apron. A couple of days later the visitation was described to a neighbour, who said the description matched that of a former occupier, Annie, who had lived at the house many years previous.

Female in Long Dress

Location: Washington - Washington Old Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Thought to be a member of the Washington family, this woman has been seen on the upper floors, her dress trailing on the ground.


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.


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.


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.

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.

Jessica Ann Hargreaves

Location: West Boldon - Wheatsheaf public house
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Mid 2004
Further Comments: A visiting medium spoke to Jessica's spirit, claiming that the young girl had been raped and murdered in 1908 and her remains hidden in the building. Prior to the visit, members of staff at the pub had experienced classic poltergeist activity, and in one incident found a child's handprint in some jelly though there were no children on the site at the time.

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