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Educational Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Visiting Devil

Location: Burnley (Lancashire) - Old Grammar School
Type: Legend - Old Nick
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A large, scorched patch on some flagstones in the building is explained away by a story which involves a group of students silly enough to try to summon the Devil - as he climbed out of the ground, the pupils panicked and hit Old Nick with books, stones and anything they could grab, until he disappeared back to Hell.

Dancing Statues

Location: Burrough Green (Cambridgeshire) - School and village green
Type: Legend
Date / Time: 30 April (evening) (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Once a year the two statues standing above the door of the school come alive and dance on the village green - sometimes their footsteps are visible in the grass.

Christ's College, Cambridge.

Mr Round

Location: Cambridge (Cambridgeshire) - Christ's College, Mulberry Tree in Garden
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Midnight on nights of the full moon (reoccurring)
Further Comments: A tall, elderly gentleman wearing a beaver hat, Round is said to have murdered the only doctor who had the skill to save his dying girlfriend - thus his ghost walks the grounds in the area around the mulberry tree in regret.

Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

Dr Butts, Dark Mark on Throat

Location: Cambridge (Cambridgeshire) - Corpus Christi College
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Easter 1904, onwards (Butts), lover unknown
Further Comments: Doctor Butts took his life on Easter Sunday 1632 (found hanging by his garters in his room), after suffering from what now would be identified as depression. The Doctor has appeared several times during the early 20th century; described as being dressed in white, having long hair and a gash around his neck. The story goes that an exorcism was attempted, but it failed. The kitchen of the building is reputedly haunted by the lover of Dr Spencer's daughter - he suffocated in a cupboard while hiding from the Doctor.

Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

Heavy Stamping Footsteps

Location: Cambridge (Cambridgeshire) - Emmanuel College
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: September 2020
Further Comments: Rumoured to have been a suicide victim, the stamping footsteps of the deceased plagued several families that lived there over a period of years. The original building no longer stands, and it was said that the replacement had yet to yield any phantom footsteps, until 2020 when a student tweeted that he had heard someone walking around the empty site.

Grey Lady on Staircase

Location: Cambridge (Cambridgeshire) - Girton College, Taylor Knob Staircase
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late 1800s
Further Comments: The Grey Lady was seen in the late nineteenth century but has not been seen since. She is rumoured to be Miss Taylor, a young girl who died before starting Girton. The college was also briefly home to a Roman Centurion when first built, though little has been heard from this soldier since.


Location: Cambridge (Cambridgeshire) - King's College, The Gibbs Building
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: One story says that Barrett was a strange fellow who stored a coffin in his room. After a night filled with screaming, Barrett's friends found him dead the following day, his body laid out in the coffin. On the anniversary of Barrett's death, his screams are said to echo around this building. Peter Haining claimed the cries likely belonged to a Mr Pote, who cursed the building after being forced to move away.

Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

Pale Yellow Head without Ears

Location: Cambridge (Cambridgeshire) - Sidney Sussex College
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1960s
Further Comments: Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. A spectral pale-yellow head without ears was apparently spotted floating around Chapel Court in 1967 by John Emslie. The head is said to be that of Cromwell; his skull was finally laid to rest under the college's antechapel in 1960, its exact location a secret. As far as I can tell, the head was only encountered once, although around the same time other students were said to have experienced cold spots and the smell of rotting meat. The other ghost reputed to haunt the site, somewhat lacklustre compared to Cromwell, is that of an elderly University Don dressed in grey who moves from this campus towards Christ's College.

St. Johns College, Cambridge.

College Cat

Location: Cambridge (Cambridgeshire) - St. Johns College
Type: ABC
Date / Time: November 1996
Further Comments: Both a caretaker and the groundsman saw a massive black cat on the grounds. It has been speculated the creature was the so called 'Fen Tiger', a large cat-like cryptid for which sightings around Cambridgeshire date back at least 30 years.

Wat Perkins

Location: Cattistock (Dorset) - Chantmarle mansion, former police training college
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early nineteenth century
Further Comments: Once a year for several years, a phantom voice would cry out 'search for Wat Perkins!'. The voice stopped when a skeleton minus the head was discovered in a ditch and a local woman was arrested for murder.

Woman in Grey

Location: Charlton Marshall (Dorset) - Old Manor House, former prep school (no longer standing)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid twentieth century
Further Comments: Several students at the boarding school encountered a woman dressed in grey wearing a cap. The figure would always walk down the same corridor and disappear into the end wall.

Mrs Hutchinson

Location: Checkley (Staffordshire) - Checkley Rectory (New building), and the Hutchinson school
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1966 onwards
Further Comments: Mrs Hutchinson, former wife of a Vicar who she outlived by twenty years, has been seen walking the building where she once lived accompanied by her dog. Dressed in an old black dress, the ghost has also been heard to call people's names and knock on the front door. The school that was named after her husband also reportedly harbours the entity.


Location: Cheltenham (Gloucestershire) - Former private school in the town, now flats
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1940
Further Comments: A teacher and headmaster at the school, working late, both saw a phantom nun crossing the playground - they approached the figure to speak to it, but when their torch ran out of batteries, they ran away.


Location: Cheltenham (Gloucestershire) - Hotel de la Bere (former girl's school)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A nanny who worked for the school hanged herself in her bedroom, and now walks along the corridors checking rooms to ensure her charges are asleep.

Little Old Men with Long Beards and Pointy Hats

Location: Clacton-on-Sea (Essex) - Jaywick's Frobisher Primary School, school field
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: 1982
Further Comments: Two girls watched a couple of fairy folk, described as looking like the average garden gnome, dig a hole in the school's playing field.

Big Eyed Dog

Location: Clane (County Kildare) - Clongowes Wood College
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The phantom hound with glowing eyes which walked the corridors at night was said by students to be the manifestation of a hanged murderer. The building was also once witness to a Crisis Manifestation, when the ghost of a Marshall appeared to two sisters - they identified him as their brother, who, it was later discovered, was killed in action at the time of the visitation.

Airman or Farmer

Location: Crewe (Cheshire) - South Cheshire College
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s
Further Comments: This ghost, who appears all over the student's campus, is thought to be either a farmer or an airman who died on the site. Though seen on CCTV, the entity appears to have the ability not to show up on the video footage.

Elizabethan Handmaiden

Location: Croydon (Surrey) - The Old Palace (currently a school)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: This ghost is said to date back at least two hundred years and is followed by an aura of sadness whenever seen or felt.


Location: Didsbury (Lancashire) - Capitol Cinema, School Lane (no longer standing, now replaced by a block of flats)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1958-1998
Further Comments: The death of an actor (during a live broadcast of a show called 'Underground') inside this building resulted in a haunting that spanned five decades.


Location: E15 (Greater London) - West Ham Polytechnic
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: The sounds of someone being choked to death have been reported coming from the science laboratories here, followed by a woman's scream.

Evil Nun

Location: East Grinstead (Sussex) - St Michael's School, Moat Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1965
Further Comments: This ghost, alleged to be a corrupt nun, was described by onlookers to have flowing ashen hair and a face of intense evil. The entity has also been felt as it brushes past people in the corridors.

Albino Dwarf

Location: Eastbourne (Sussex) - Claremont school
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: 1918
Further Comments: Seen by the novelist Pamela Frankau when at school here, this little creature ran across her bedroom floor and escaped via the landing, fading from view.

Hanged Boy

Location: Eastbourne (Sussex) - Eastbourne College
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Students here talk of the ghost of a lad who could not hack the pressures of academia and hanged himself in a dorm. His shade is sometimes seen down the corridors.

Thomas Holloway

Location: Egham (Surrey) - Royal Holloway University
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Founded by Thomas Holloway, the man himself is said to haunt the Founder's Building, though he manifests in the form of a black cat. Jane Holloway, Thomas's wife, is said to haunt the fourth floor of the same building.

An old postcard of Eton College.

Jane Shore

Location: Eton (Berkshire) - Eton College - Lupton's Tower and the Cloisters
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Shore, who manifests as a grey lady, is said to haunt the tower where she died in 1526.

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