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Pit and Colliery Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Old Miner

Location: Bakewell (Derbyshire) - Magpie Mine
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late 1940s
Further Comments: A survey team in the mine spotted a man holding a candle who vanished down a shaft. A photograph taken by the team reportedly shows a figure standing on top of a deep pool of water.

Victorian Miners

Location: Barnsley (Yorkshire) - Area of the Lundhill colliery
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: The ghosts of several miners killed in a disaster in the 1850s were reported when the surrounding pits were in operation during the twentieth century.

Short Swordsman

Location: Bedworth (Warwickshire) - Coal Pit Fields, exact location not known
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late 1950s / early 1960s
Further Comments: A young girl witnessed a man of short stature and dressed in Cavalier clothing carrying a sword. The phantom was surrounded by a green glow and beckoned the child to approach. Her reaction to this is undocumented.

Cries for Help

Location: Benthall (Shropshire) - Benthall Edge - area of former limestone pit
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A man carrying the week's wages for his mining crew was robbed and buried alive in this area in the late nineteenth century. Cries and screams are still reported coming from his living grave.


Location: Bodmin Moor (Cornwall) - Goonzion Down mine
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: One tin mine shaft was nicknamed the Roaring Shaft after the many bangs and thuds heard emanating from the empty tunnel. Kobolds or Bucca were held accountable.


Location: Chapelhall (Lanarkshire) - Area around former coal mine
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A local story says that if you stand in the same place where miners loitered, you could see their ghosts.


Location: Chesterfield (Derbyshire) - Williamthorpe Colliery
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: Early 1960s
Further Comments: A road man spotted a figure walking along a shaft in the dark. Throwing his light up to illuminate the figure, the road man recognised the figure as a person named Marren, who had died a few days previous. The witness ran screaming from the site and terminated his employment. Another story from the mine concerns two senior electrical apprentices working on a pump. The men forced themselves through cobwebs which completely covered the tunnel for hundreds of yards to reach the pump. On completion of the tests, one man asked, 'is the pump running right?'. Before the other man could reply, they both heard a voice say, 'yes it is'. They searched the area to ensure that they were not victims of a joke but were totally alone.


Location: Coniston (Cumbria) - Simon's Nick rock face
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Simon was shown a secret seam of copper by fairies - he mined it, but bad luck followed - he was blown up when a keg of gunpowder exploded. Simon's shade is said to hang around the rock face that now bears his name.

Faceless Miner

Location: Cotgrave (Nottinghamshire) - Cotgrave Colliery
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: October 1987
Further Comments: Gary Pine, while at work in a mine shaft, watched a man dressed in black clothing wearing a helmet walk through a wall. Pine said that the figure had no face.

Glowing Figure

Location: Dylife (Powys) - Old mine tunnels
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: A man exploring the tunnels watched a blue glowing light, the size of a small person, moving around ahead of him. Old miners once told tales of balls of light which moved around the tunnels until they reached the surface, where they floated off into the sky.

With a Spade

Location: Eyam (Derbyshire) - Hanging Flatt Mine
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Overground, underground, this elderly phantom carries a spade slung over his shoulder. He is said to mumble to himself. A lady living close to the mine reported hearing picks at night once everyone had left the mine.


Location: Glyncorrwg (West Glamorgan) - Cwmcos Glyncorrwg Colliery
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: July 1902
Further Comments: Miners stopped work after hearing the lamentations of women and children emerge from a nearby disused colliery, believing the wails to be a warning of impending disaster. Strange lights were also seen around the mine.

Walking Boots

Location: Goldthorpe (Yorkshire) - Colliery
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: July 1985
Further Comments: A worker fled this coalfield after he watched a pair of disembodied boots moving towards him deep underground.

Foul Language

Location: Helston (Cornwall) - Poldark Mine
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2005
Further Comments: Mostghosts, a Helston based team of paranormal investigators, claimed to have recorded a phantom voice which curses while telling people to leave the mine.

A sketch of a pair of eyes by Wayne Lowden.


Location: Leigh (Greater Manchester) - Platt Lane, Pretoria Pit colliery area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: It was reported that dozens of pairs of eyes would look out of bushes along this lane, and that they belonged to the 368 people who died in an accident at Pretoria Pit. Prior to this disaster, miners on route to work would sometimes encounter the sound of an invisible horse which ran past them.

Pony in a Pit

Location: Littleburn (Durham) - Littleburn Colliery
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 31 December 1919
Further Comments: A worker on night shift reported seeing a phantom pony walking in the pit, which was grabbed by a disembodied arm - exactly fifteen years previous on that very night, a worker had been killed in the pit by a runaway pony.

Drunken Miner

Location: Maltby (Yorkshire) - Quarry near local mine
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: September 2005
Further Comments: Two lads walking by here came across a semi-naked man drinking from a cider bottle who warned the pair to be careful. The figure entered a nearby shaft and vanished. One of the witnesses later found out that a former miner with a drinking problem was found dead in the area, his body discovered in the slurry pit.

Dragon's Mine

Location: Manaton (Devon) - Unknown tin mine
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A winged lizard set up its lair in an old tin mine and its hissing heard for miles around. The dragon was killed in the pit, but no one appears to have wanted to take credit.


Location: Moulton St Mary (Norfolk) - Callow (or Caller) Pit
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A phantom highwayman would ride around this pit before heading towards Callow Spong (where he would vanish). The pit itself was said to be the home of the Devil, who dragged one man down into its waters after he tried to fish out a chest of coins.

Wild Edric

Location: No fixed abode (Shropshire) - Lead Mines
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: 1800s
Further Comments: A county hero, Wild Edric is said to emerge from the lead mines where he lives and charge off towards England's enemies when required. Once flesh and blood, it is thought his fairy wife may have had a hand in making him and his troops immortal.


Location: Pontypool (Gwent) - Baldwin's Clog & Legging Mine
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: December 1904
Further Comments: Miners refused to work alone after a ghostly figure with a naked light in its forehead was observed tapping the roof and sides of a tunnel. One newspaper claimed the figure could only be seen from one direction.

White Woman

Location: Risca (Gwent) - Miner's graves near campsite in nearby forest
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s?
Further Comments: This area is home to a phantom woman in white and a strange shadowy figure, speculated by some to be a former miner.

Mauled Miner

Location: Rotherham (Yorkshire) - Silverwood Colliery
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid to late twentieth century
Further Comments: This phantom miner was seen wearing old overalls carrying a lamp - his most distinct feature was the black space that filled the place where his facial features should have been.

Wilfred Hales

Location: Shirebrook (Derbyshire) - Shirebrook Colliery
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1958
Further Comments: Two separate miners reported seeing the glowing form of Wilfred Hales, a worker at the colliery who had died three years previous.


Location: St Agnes (Cornwall) - Old mine, Polbreen
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This woman who committed suicide near the mine was often seen drifting around the site, and once saved the life of a miner by calling his name, preventing him from being buried by a rock fall.

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