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Rail Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana


Location: Sittingbourne (Kent) - Railway Level Crossing (no longer part of the railway)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa 1893
Further Comments: The crossing here had a spooky reputation after a train driver spotted a white figure run across the line in the early hours of the morning. The driver thought that the figure had been hit by his train, but when the area was searched, nothing could be found. At least one person had died on the crossing and a footbridge erected as a result.

Sound of Steam Engines

Location: Snettisham (Norfolk) - Area around the old Hunstanton/Kings Lynn railway line
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: People living near the old railway line have reported hearing a steam whistle and a low grumbling sound, as if the railway had never ceased operating in 1969.

Ammunition Train

Location: Soham (Cambridgeshire) - Approach to the station
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 02 June (reoccurring)
Further Comments: Every 2 June an accident that cost the lives of two people is re-enacted. An ammunition train caught fire, the explosion shattering every window in Soham and destroying the old station. The rebuilt tracks no longer follow the scene of the accident.

Wailing Man

Location: Strabane (County Tyrone) - Rail station, engine shed (track no longer exists)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1950s?
Further Comments: Four workers at the yard heard wailing, cries and loud bangs in one of the sheds. When the men investigated, they encountered a shadowy figure which glared back at them through the darkness. The ghost continued to create a commotion for two hours before vanishing, though it appeared again the following night to three of the men.

Railway Guard

Location: Straffan (County Kildare) - Railway track
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1853 onwards
Further Comments: This former rail employee walks along the track carrying a lamp. In 1853 an accident between two trains killed sixteen people; an inquiry blamed the guard who had forgotten to attach a lamp at the rear of the train (which would have prevented the collision). To atone, the guardsman forever walks the rails.

Steam Engine

Location: Stroud (Gloucestershire) - Woodchester Mansion, near the town
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2001, and 14 December 2019
Further Comments: A film crew spending a night in the building in 2001 reported loud disembodied banging, which climaxed as the sounds of a stream train charged through the house. The house is also reported to be haunted by a white lady, and the park surrounding the building is home to a Roman soldier, a figure resembling a monk, two American servicemen in Second World War uniforms, a headless horse and a dwarf which somersaults along the driveway. In 2019, a witness watched a horse and carriage driven by a man wearing a tall Victorian hat pass through a locked gate.

Grey Figure

Location: SW1 (Greater London) - Green Park underground station
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late 1970s
Further Comments: A young track engineer sat at the station waiting for the traction current to be cut off. The engineer felt a slap on the face and turned to see a grey figure vanishing along the platform. Another man present saw nothing, other than the victim flinch and swear.


Location: SW1 (Greater London) - Jubilee Line, from Westminster to Stratford
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: Since the construction of the Jubilee Line, reports of phantom monks walking the tracks have begun to emerge. The sightings may be connected to the large number of graves which were disturbed while work was commencing.

Tall Man

Location: SW1 (Greater London) - Vauxhall Underground Line
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1960s
Further Comments: This seven foot tall man was seen underground several times by diggers working on the line - he wore brown overalls and a cap.


Location: SW18 (Greater London) - Between Wandsworth Common and Victoria Station
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1890s
Further Comments: A man taking a shortcut across the common en route to Victoria station became lost. He stumbled across a fellow traveller who said he was also going to Victoria; the stranger then guided the man across the common to the station, where they both entered the same carriage. A conversation then ensured about the stranger who said that he had been robbed and stabbed in a train between London and Brighton; he promptly vanished, leaving a very startled witness behind.


Location: SW5 (Greater London) - West Brompton tube station
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A man dressed in dark, old looking workman's clothing has been spotted early in the morning and late at night. He walks to the end of the platform before disappearing.

The westbound line of South Kensington Station, London.

Worker in a Reefer Jacket

Location: SW7 (Greater London) - South Kensington Station, westbound line
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: December 1928
Further Comments: a spectral locomotive was seen by a person who had just disembarked the last train of the night. A ghostly worker in a reefer coat and flat cap held on to the side of the phantom train. The ghost train gave a whistle and then disappeared into the tunnel.


Location: SW9 (Greater London) - South Island Place, Northern Line, near Stockwell Station
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1984
Further Comments: A trainee manager sent to walk the line by himself as part of his training encountered an old man with a tilly lamp working at South Island Place. They exchanged a couple of words in passing. When the trainee reached Stockwell Station and commented that he had seen someone else along the line, a search party was dispatched to find the worker as no maintenance work was scheduled. No one could be found, and the trainee later discovered that the old man had been seen dozens of times over the years. The ghost was believed to be that of a worker killed on the spot during the 1950s.

Crying Lady

Location: Swanick (Hampshire) - Station
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: 1971
Further Comments: Waiting for the last train on a Sunday night, a man sat by a distressed woman who, between sobs, repeated 'I can't go back'. The train pulled up; the man reluctantly left the crying lady and leapt aboard. Arriving at his station, and feeling guilty about leaving her, the witness phoned the police, gave her description and asked if someone could check she was okay. The following morning, the man read a story in the local paper about a woman who had died after being hit by a train near Swanick station on Saturday night - the accompanying photograph was of the upset lady he had encountered twenty-four hours after she had died.

Upset Husband

Location: Tallington (Lincolnshire) - Footbridge over the railway line
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 15 January, 17:50h (reoccurring)
Further Comments: After the death of his wife (see West Deeping, Lincolnshire) this grief-stricken individual jumped from the footbridge over the railway track and was hit by the train from London, which killed him instantly. The incident is re-enacted once a year.

Cloaked Figure

Location: Tebay (Cumbria) - Railway tracks, exact location unknown
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1967
Further Comments: David Johnson, a steam train enthusiast, accidentally caught a ghostly figure on film as he photographed a locomotive in the village.


Location: Thurgarton (Nottinghamshire) - Station Cottage
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Several ghostly children were reported as haunting here before the occupiers were replaced by automatic crossing barriers. Footsteps were also hear around the building.

Suicidal Man

Location: Tilehurst (Berkshire) - Railway station waiting room
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: This ghost left the premises after a blessing from a couple of local clergymen. Popular belief is that he took his own life in the waiting room, and not that he was the first casualty of the mythical British Rail sandwich.

Former Stationmaster

Location: Torrington (Devon) - Puffing Billy restaurant and B&B (former station)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2016
Further Comments: Both a former stationmaster and his wife are said to haunt this old station, which (at time of writing) is a guest house and restaurant. The female ghost is said to have been heard walking around, moving towards the room where her children once slept.

Ghost Train

Location: Tywyn (formerly known as Towyn) (Gwynedd) - Talylln Railway, the Dolgoch Viaduct
Type: Other
Date / Time: 1982
Further Comments: Seen by climbers, a black shape was watched as it darted along the track at midnight. It has been said that the object the climbers witnessed was a slate wagon or platelayer's trolley, used other people to take illicit rides down to Towyn. This could also explain why witnesses have reported hearing whistles and watching lights on the track late at night after the last trains have ceased.

Victorian Man looking Worried

Location: Upminster (Essex) - Between Upminster and Barking, along rail tracks
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: While slowing down, a train passed a man dressed in Victorian clothing standing in a small brick building, looking very surprised to see the locomotive. A curious passenger investigated further, and found the building no longer existed.


Location: W1 (Greater London) - Baker's Street to St John's Wood, northbound tunnel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s?
Further Comments: Bill, an underground track walker, sat down for a break while patrolling the line. He reported disembodied footprints which crunched down in the ballast and appeared before him. The footsteps went straight past him and stopped ten metres from his position. When he finished his rounds, one of his colleagues said that other people had also encountered the footsteps, and they belonged to a workman killed in the area.


Location: W1 (Greater London) - Hyde Park Corner underground station
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1978, early morning
Further Comments: Two members of staff were alarmed when they discovered an escalator working, though the electrical connection had been disabled. Walking into a room, one man reported hitting a spot so cold that his breath was visible, while the other worker collapsed in a state of shock. The latter claimed to have seen a strange face, and left the station before his shift ended, never to return.

Woman in Lace

Location: W1 (Greater London) - Marylebone Station, switch room on Platform 1
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa May / June 2000, 02:00h
Further Comments: While trying to sleep, a maintenance fitter saw a young woman hovering in front of him. The figure had a lacy top, and her face was blurred. The man ran from the room, and met a cleaner, who asked if he had seen the ghost of the woman who appears there.

A Man Vanishes

Location: W1J (Greater London) - Piccadilly Circus Underground Station
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early 1970s
Further Comments: In his autobiography, Gary Numan says that he and a friend followed a man dressed in 1940s style clothing as they passed through the station, believing he was heading towards an exit. The man turned a corner with Numan and friend close behind, but they turned into a dead end - there was no place the man could have gone.

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