The Paranormal Database

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

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Leicester Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana


Location: Leicester - Abbey Pumping Station Museum
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An engineer fell to his death in the beam engine house. His spirit still lingers, playing with lights and making noises in the basement.

A strange man in a long coat.

Man in Overcoat

Location: Leicester - Admiral Beatty public house, Wellington Street (no longer standing)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Pre-1970s
Further Comments: The ghostly figure of a man wearing a long coat would be seen looking out a window. Even when not present, the area where he stood would be colder than the rest of the pub (although it could just have been draughty).

Human Sacrifice

Location: Leicester - Area of land north-east of the Hoston Stone, Humberstone (was known as Hell-hole Furlong)
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: How the area of land gained its name was unknown even to nineteenth century folklorists, so it was conjectured that it was an area of human sacrifice.

Woman Dressed in Black

Location: Leicester - Aylestone Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: A phantom woman dressed in black with a white face was spotted by a park ranger while on night patrol.

Bel's Grave

Location: Leicester - Belgrave
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The area is said to be named after a giant who died in the area - he tried to travel between Mountsorrel to Leicester in three leaps but failed.

CCTV Figures

Location: Leicester - Belgrave Hall Museum
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 23 December 1998
Further Comments: Recorded by CCTV, two ghostly figures were briefly seen in the grounds. Though the image was later explained as being 'leaves caught in the light', the building is reportedly haunted by a middle aged woman in a pale dress, who gives off a friendly aura.

Headless Men

Location: Leicester - Between Leicester and 'Bambury, upon Dunmothe' (ed note - latter place cannot be located on modern maps)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Possibly fifteenth century?
Further Comments: An old account states that several men encountered a headless phantom crying out 'Bowes! Bowes!'.


Location: Leicester - Braunstone Hall and Park
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Several phantoms are reported to haunt this area, including a young woman in white who walks the corridors. She is named as May, who died aged eighteen of tuberculosis. Other phantoms are said to be carriages pulled by black horses which vanish into the trees, a groom who hanged himself in a room above the stables, and a sad looking boy who glazes from an upstairs window.

Richard III

Location: Leicester - Car park (and surrounding area)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2005-2013
Further Comments: Philippa Langley felt a strange sensation crossing this car park, on a location marked by an 'R', and virtually on top of the location where Richard III's body was later found (the 'R' has been in the car park since the eighties and was painted by an attendant). The offices of Denham Foxon & Watchorn which overlook the car park were reported to be home to mysterious noises, also (now) blamed on the king.

Cat Anna

Location: Leicester - Castle ruins
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Nineteenth century
Further Comments: The bogyman-like witch known as Cat Anna was said to live in the cellars of the ruined castle. It is likely that this legend and the story of Black Annis are connected.

Hooded Figure

Location: Leicester - Cathedral Church of St Martin (aka Leicester Cathedral)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Figure unknown, bells circa 1800
Further Comments: This hooded phantom was said to glide around the churchyard and periodically kneel with its head on the ground, as if listening to the earth. Around the start of the nineteenth century, two houses on the site became home to bells which would ring without visible cause.

Pools of Water

Location: Leicester - Council house on Netherhall Estate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1991
Further Comments: A family living in an unnamed council house on the estate reported mysterious pools of water which would form before quickly disappearing again. The liquid was said to be 'silky' when touched. A woman with dark hair was reportedly seen when an exorcist came to visit. It is unknown whether this report is connected to the Bell Lane haunting.

Black Annis lurks within a cave.

Black Annis

Location: Leicester - Dane Hills
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A local monster, this old hag possessed iron claws that were used to skin children. She lived in a cave hidden somewhere amongst the hills, now thought to be buried under the city. Some believe the myth to be a continuation of Danu, an entity so old that stories no longer exist about her.


Location: Leicester - Donisthorpe Mills, Bath Lane (as of June 2009, in process of being demolished)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early 1980s
Further Comments: The yard was said to be haunted by 'Ivy', a short woman who wore dark clothing, had grey hair, and whose face was covered in warts. A nightshift worker who ventured out of a quick cigarette encountered her, ensuring that he never went outside alone again.

Changing Shape

Location: Leicester - Freewheeler Club, Churchgate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1972
Further Comments: An exorcist was summoned to this building after staff reported seeing a strange ghost which would change shape.

Shadowy Figure

Location: Leicester - Friar Lane (though topographical area has changed since report)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Likely early twentieth century
Further Comments: Normally manifesting as a set of footsteps which would follow people as they walked down this road towards St Mary's church, the shadow of this ghost once manifested and revealed itself to be headless and humped to one witness.

White Woman

Location: Leicester - Graveyard in Belgrave area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This pale woman has been seen moving around the headstones.

Disconcerting Monk

Location: Leicester - Guildhall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: There are mixed opinions to whether the library here is haunted by a grey monk or a white lady. A tormented Cavalier has been seen in the Great Hall, a phantom policeman haunts other parts of the building, a ghostly dog has been reported in the courtyard, a black cat in the Great Hall, and at least one witness claims to have been shocked to see a pair of legs manifest from the portrait of Henry Earl of Huntington hanging in the Major's Parlour. Ghost Scene Investigations and Leicester City Museums released video footage in 2006 of what appears to be a ghostly figure crawling across the floor in one room.

Edwardian Child

Location: Leicester - Haymarket Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: This small boy has been seen several times dressed in a sailor's suit, normally during a rehearsal. Before the theatre was built, a child once drowned in a well on the land and the shade has been named as his.

Shag Dog

Location: Leicester - Kilby Road (was once Black Lane)
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Black lane was patrolled by a large black dog with bright eyes and a large, fanged mouth which glowed like burning coals. It once saved a local girl from being attacked by a robber.


Location: Leicester - Little Theatre, Dover Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The theatre is reputedly haunted by a former manageress dressed in Second World War garb.

Factory Worker

Location: Leicester - New Pingle Street, Britella factory
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s?
Further Comments: The workers at this factory threatened to go on strike unless the management attempted to exorcise the ghost which took up residence here. The author does not know the outcome of their demands.


Location: Leicester - Office building, New Walk
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 2004/5
Further Comments: Many poltergeist-related events took place in this building, including disembodied footsteps, light fittings falling and shattering, alarm sensors triggering, sounds of and a blood-curdling scream. Nothing was ever seen, and the events occurred for around a year before ceasing.


Location: Leicester - Old Courthouse and Jail
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1995
Further Comments: A visitor to the courtroom reported an oppressive feeling, as if they were a prisoner on trial. This lifted as soon as they entered the lower part of the building. The person the visitor was with felt fine in the courtroom, but later heard footsteps walking towards them although no one could be seen.

Water Games

Location: Leicester - Private house along Bell Lane
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: August 1933 - December 1933
Further Comments: The haunting presence at Bell Lane made the occupier's lives hell. It flooded rooms, squirted water from walls and ceilings, drenching the family every time they sat down to eat. When the family moved next door, the water followed them. After a few months, the water activities lessened and finally ceased by Christmas.

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