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Church Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

White lady

Location: Worstead (Norfolk) - Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 24 December (reoccurring), photographed 1975
Further Comments: Legend says this lady has scared to death at least one young bell ringer, although she is now said to have a healing effect. Poltergeist activity has also been reported, around the 1950's. A photograph taken in 1975 by Peter Berthelot appears to show a misty white lady sitting behind his wife on a pew.

Solitary Figure

Location: Wroughton (Wiltshire) - St John the Baptist and St Helen church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A shadowy figure has been seen standing by a yew tree in this churchyard. It is unclear whether the ghost is that of a man who hanged himself from the tree or a phantom woman. Either way, a local myth says the best way to encounter the phantom is to run around the tree thirteen times anti-clockwise.

Robed Figure

Location: Yatton (Somerset) - Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1952
Further Comments: Two witnesses reported, at separate times, seeing a female figure in a grey robe walking away from the altar. The ghost had her head bowed and hands clasped.

Thomas Percy

Location: York (Yorkshire) - Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Thomas Percy, the Seventh Earl of Northumberland, has been seen decapitated in the churchyard, searching for his severed head. He lost it after upsetting Elizabeth I by attempting to raise an army fight her, and she vented her anger thus. A ghostly nun has also been reported on the site.


Location: York (Yorkshire) - St Crux church (the remains of which now form the chapel in the Shambles)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early twentieth century?
Further Comments: An on-duty policeman passing the church late at night heard funeral music playing within the building. As he approached to investigate, the doors of the building opened and the sound of people leaving could be heard, but nothing could be seen. The church was said to have a couple more frequent phantom visitors, one of whom was a tall man with a pale face who would stare out of the windows in the early hours of the morning. The other ghost took the form of a female figure in a shroud. The entity would follow people passing the church at night, either along Fossgate and vanish as when reaching Foss Bridge, or via St. Andrew Gate, fading away when nearing Spen Lane.


Location: York (Yorkshire) - St George's Roman Catholic Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Seen moving around the aisles of the church, the ghostly rabbit always vanishes before it is caught. Some believed it to be the ghost of Dick Turpin who is buried nearby.


Location: York (Yorkshire) - St Mary's Church
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Walter Calverley was briefly buried in this churchyard, after being executed for murder, before secretly being moved back to the village of Calverley by his friends. His ghost made several appearances around this time.

Glowing Girl

Location: York (Yorkshire) - All Saint's Church, Pavement
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This pale young lass with long curly hair was seen a few times, always observing funerals from the church door. She vanished suddenly if anyone approached. Another description of the entry says she is dressed in black with a swollen red face.

Two Ladies and a Child

Location: York (Yorkshire) - Church of the Holy Trinity, Micklegate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late nineteenth century onwards (?) at morning service
Further Comments: These three figures are reported to be a mother, her child, and a nanny - the story is that mother and child were buried many miles apart, and now the nanny reunites the child with mother. Another story says that the women have no connection; the mother and child were united in death after the infant died of plague, and she slowly pined away, while the second woman is an abbess murdered trying to prevent Henry VIII's men from storming her church.


Location: York (Yorkshire) - Dance school attached to St Mary's Church, Bishop Hill Junior
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The sounds of coins being poured onto a table and into a metal box have been reported coming from this building.


Location: York (Yorkshire) - St. Saviours church
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A ghost hunter once spent the night here, investigating reports of a phantom Viking who had been executed on the site. The following morning, the vicar arrived, only to find the man dead on a high beam - it is said he died of fright!

Sir Dafydd Llwyd

Location: Yspytty Ystwyth (Dyfed) - Church wall
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This local wizard had made a pact with Satan, and in return for power Llyyd's soul would belong to Old Nick whether 'buried inside a churchyard or out'. On his deathbed, the wily wizard asked his friends to bury him under the churchyard wall, thus preventing the Devil taking his due.

Mathew Trewhella

Location: Zennor (Cornwall) - Church and Sea
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 1400s?
Further Comments: A son of a church warden, Mathew Trewhella one day disappeared without trace. A sea captain later told the village folk that Mathew was with a mermaid, living under the sea.

Records 726 - 737 of 737

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