The Paranormal Database

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

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Leeds Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Victorian Lady

Location: Leeds - 10 Woodhouse Square
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Footsteps, strange noises and doors opening have been blamed on a phantom Victorian lady looking for two children who died in the former nursery room.

Girl's Laughter

Location: Leeds - Abbey Inn, Newlay
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Summer 2007 (laughter)
Further Comments: Even though the only recent activity is said to be the sound of female laughter coming from the cellar, this pub is said to be also haunted by a grey lady, a cloaked figure (who could be a monk connected to the abbey that once stood here) and a man wearing a Guy Fawkes-style hat.

Travelling Light

Location: Leeds - Armley Prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s, 2014
Further Comments: This phantom manifests as a light that moves around the cells. One former employee reported prison officers in Victorian uniform and the sounds of clanging chains, with the most paranormally active areas being the new wings which were constructed over executed prisoner's graves.

Suicidal Servant

Location: Leeds - Beckett University, Headingley campus
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A former hospital, this campus was named by local press as being haunted by several ghosts, including a servant who threw themselves down a stairwell and something which would open and close doors.

Black Cat with Cubs

Location: Leeds - Between Headingley train station and Burley Park station
Type: ABC
Date / Time: 03 June 2009 and 28 May 2010
Further Comments: Workers on the track have seen a large black cat, around two metres in length, twice. On the first occasion the feline appeared to have two cubs, one light brown and the other black.

James Wood

Location: Leeds - Bond Street Shopping Centre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: November 1977
Further Comments: A cobbler during life, a member of the cleaning staff encountered James' sorry looking ghost in one of the loading bays. The ghost was dressed in a muddy green jerkin and brown trousers.

Grey Haired Lady

Location: Leeds - Cardigan Arms public house
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 13 October 2006
Further Comments: The ladies' toilets appear to be home to a phantom elderly woman with long, straight grey/white hair. The figure was briefly spotted in the reflection of a mirror by one witness, while others have caught a glimpse of a figure from the corner of their eye or felt uneasy in the environment.

Unhappy Butler

Location: Leeds - Carnegie College
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This fellow took his own life when he realised that his mistress would never love him. His body was found at the bottom of the large spiral staircase, and it is the same area that he still haunts.


Location: Leeds - City Palace of Varieties (theatre)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Two ghosts have made a home of this theatre - one plays the piano late at night, the other is an unknown lady who brings with her a zone of cold.

Man in Jeans

Location: Leeds - Copperfields College School
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1997 onwards
Further Comments: Students and a dinner lady watched a man in a checked shirt and jeans sitting in the main hall wave and vanish without warning. Minor poltergeist-like activity has also been reported.

CCTV Figure

Location: Leeds - East Ardsley Conservative Club
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: September 1993
Further Comments: This apparition materialised by the doorway of the club - it could be seen quite clearly on the CCTV network, but not directly by human eyes. The entity vanished after several minutes, though made a very brief reappearance a month later.

Gabble Retchets

Location: Leeds - General area
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: These local devil dogs were believed to be the souls of those who were not baptised as children and have returned to haunt their parents.

Man in the Cellar

Location: Leeds - Golden Lion public house, North Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1960s
Further Comments: Dressed in Victorian attire, this gentleman was often seen walking around under the pub. The upper part was said to be haunted by an old woman who appeared in the children's bedroom at night.


Location: Leeds - Kirkstall Abbey
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1935, 1970s
Further Comments: The former Abbot of the abbey walks the area that has been converted into a museum. It is more usual to hear the spirit moving around than see him. Traditionally the entity is said to wear white robes, although the sighting in the 1970s reported the ghost's robes as being brown/red. The abbey grounds are also home to a white female entity named Mary who witnessed her lover committing murder and turned him in.

Grey Figure

Location: Leeds - Kirkstall Forge railway station (since relocated)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1904
Further Comments: The station porter and a passenger both spotted a figure in a long grey sheet with a long streak of red running through the cloth, standing on a shed roof. A booking clerk also witnessed the entity, which soon disappeared. Prior to this, lights had been seen flickering around the station.


Location: Leeds - Leeds General Infirmary
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Autumn 2005
Further Comments: An employee at this hospital heard five voices and footsteps rushing down a corridor but could see nothing - there was a gust of wind as the invisible people passed.

Smokey Figure

Location: Leeds - Old Lewis's building, The Headrow
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: February 2008
Further Comments: A labourer working in the building with a colleague photographed a misty 'figure' with his camera phone. Another worker on site claimed to have seen something from the corner of his eye, though when he quickly turned, it had vanished.

Shaggy Figure

Location: Leeds - Outer ring road, between Horsforth and Rodley
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: Mid 1993, 02:45h (Figure), Spring 2013 (Cat)
Further Comments: A driver began to feel overwhelmingly terrified while passing through a valley along this road. To quote, 'stood at the side of the road and looking directly at me, was a very tall, shaggy, brown or black, fur covered shape. At my estimation, it must have stood over two metres tall, around 1.2 metres wide, with no visible limbs or eyes, but I sensed that the eyes were there somewhere, as I could feel them boring into the car'. The witness accelerated away, but the feeling of dread lasted until morning, even after arriving home. Earlier the same year a large black cat was observed crossing the same road.

'Bill Sikes' Lookalike

Location: Leeds - Park in Beeston area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 18 September 2014, 02:30h
Further Comments: A witness walking through this park reported seeing three ghostly figures; one resembling Oliver Twist's Bill Sikes, and a man and woman wearing what could have been well-to-do Victorian clothing. The witness said there were no feelings of ill ease.


Location: Leeds - Potternewton Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Not reported for years, the ghostly carriage was supposed to be pulled by a team of four horses.


Location: Leeds - Private residence, Kirkstall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 25 October 2015, 22:30h (Elsie seen)
Further Comments: A former shop worker, the ghost named Elsie was spotted in the hallway. Other activities reported here include disembodied footfalls, giggling, and lights switched on.

Brass Band

Location: Leeds - Private residence, Lynwood Crescent
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Early 1990s, around midnight
Further Comments: As one young man went to bed, he could hear the faint sound of a brass band. Within five minutes the band sounded like it was outside his house so he climbed out of bed and looked out the window but could see nothing. Ten minutes later the sound of the band was so loud it was as if it was in the house. Once again, the man looked out of the window - there was nothing there and the sound stopped. Thinking the incident could have been a dream he did not mention it, although several years later he started to tell his brother the story, who finished the story as he had also heard the same thing.

Man in Basement

Location: Leeds - Retail premises along Hunslet Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: March 2007
Further Comments: An employee at this shop spotted an old man in the basement. When they described the man to their manager, they were told the description matched the manager's grandfather who had also worked on the site.

Black Hound

Location: Leeds - Roundhay Park
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Photographed (or not) in 2019
Further Comments: This park, like many in Yorkshire, is reputedly home to a large demonic black hound. A photographed was published by the local press in 2019 which claimed to show the entity but was more likely to be a dog being walked by its owner.

Lift Travellers

Location: Leeds - St James's University Hospital
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: A member of staff would often use a lift in the building, sharing with occupants who would travel upwards only to vanish just before the doors opened.

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