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Shop Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Bury St Edmunds Abbey and Cathedral, Suffolk.


Location: Bury St Edmunds (Suffolk) - Abbey and Cathedral
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late 1980s (monks), Cardinal in summer 1975 or 1976
Further Comments: Spectral monks have been seen gliding around the ruins of the abbey, also in the shops along Abbeygate Street. One witness encountered a Cardinal while walking around the ruins with her husband - he gave her a warning before vanishing. Despite the reported sightings, it was claimed the story was first created by a police sergeant during the 1960s and planted in the local press.

The ruins of St Saviour's Hospital, Bury St Edmunds.

Grey Lady

Location: Bury St Edmunds (Suffolk) - St Saviour's Hospital (ruins), and Tesco store, Fornham Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1954 (hospital), and early to mid 2000s (Tesco)
Further Comments: This grey lady was seen within the ruined hospital several times during the mid-twentieth century. More recently, poltergeist-like activity has been reported at the adjoining Tesco store's canteen, with some people speculating that the Grey Lady may have returned.


Location: Cambridge (Cambridgeshire) - Former home on site of former Woolworth's shop
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A phantom witch was reputedly haunting a building which was demolished and replaced with Woolworth's.

White Lady

Location: Cambridge (Cambridgeshire) - Sherratt & Hughes, Trinity Street (closed in 1991)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Once said to be the oldest bookshop in the UK, the building claims to have a white lady who walks silently down the aisles. Her history is unknown. There are also reports of a man in Victorian evening dress.

Sounds of Murder

Location: Cambridge (Cambridgeshire) - Sweet Shop, East Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: A sweet shop was supposed to be haunted by the sounds of screaming from someone being murdered with an axe. As a side note, around the same time two other shops along the road were also said to be haunted, although one had been demolished and the other was empty and run down.

Black Figure

Location: Canterbury (Kent) - Undisclosed shop along The Parade
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: March 2011
Further Comments: An employee reported that a customer had seen a black figure walk into and through a wall in the upper part of this shop.

White Blob

Location: Carlisle (Cumbria) - Simply Food & Drinks, Durranhill Road, Botcherby
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 02 March 2010
Further Comments: Reported in local news, staff at this shop reported a white entity which could be seen on CCTV camera. The white shape entered and left the front door of the shop several times over an hour, unnerving the staff, although the 'entity' is more likely to have been an insect close to the lens or light flare.

Bakery Disturbance

Location: Carlton (Nottinghamshire) - Tesco
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An old graveyard was moved when this store was built - the bakery was said to have been erected on the former hallowed land and was the subject of a poltergeist outbreak until the Rector of St Paul's church carried out an exorcism.

Girl in Old Fashioned Clothing

Location: Chatham (Kent) - 122 High Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: While watching the CCTV camera here, a member of staff watched the girl brushing her hair by a row of dresses, although when the staff member went to serve the girl, she had vanished. The same girl was later seen looking through a window in the upper part of the shop - upon investigation, the room was empty, though it was impossible for a trespasser to leave without passing someone.

Tapping Behind Sealed Door

Location: Chelmsford (Essex) - Spotted Dog Inn, Tindal Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid twentieth century
Further Comments: No longer standing (replaced by a shopping centre) the Spotted Dog Inn had an infamous sealed room, haunted by the ghost of a guest murdered in his sleep. His tapping would wake any who tried to sleep within, hence the sealing. Some reports exist of the entity in the shopping centre itself, where it earned the nickname of 'Box Monster', due to its habit of throwing cardboard boxes around.


Location: Chester (Cheshire) - Daisy and Tom Toy Shop (no longer open), Watergate Street
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 2003-2006
Further Comments: Former staff from this store reported footsteps, the smell of pipe tobacco, something which rattled the heavy fire door, and a stock room which was blocked by a heavy table from the inside.


Location: Chester (Cheshire) - Thorntons Chocolate shop (was once House of Bewlay Tobacconist), Eastgate Street
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Stamping and thuds emanating from an empty room have been reported from this shop, as well as strange wailing. Lights flicker on and off, and doors open and close by an unseen hand. The source of the haunting is said to be Sarah, a jilted bride who hanged herself, though her presence and poltergeist activities are said to be 'friendly' in nature.

Stamping and Slamming Doors

Location: Clacton-on-Sea (Essex) - Old Kinema - currently a Homecare shop?
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: After a 1940's suicide, this cinema gained a reputation as being haunted. The sound of stamping feet has been heard, and doors have opened and closed on their own accord. A few have reported seeing an old man dressed in a 1940's suit.

Alice Mellor

Location: Colchester (Essex) - Red Lion Hotel, Lion Walk Shopping Precinct
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Pre-1972
Further Comments: Killed in 1633, Mellor's ghost is said to have been so terrifying that her old room was sealed up and forgotten about. Now part of the hotel, no sightings have recently occurred, though the building is also home to a monk who died in a fire.

Slim Man in Evening Wear

Location: Colwyn Bay (Clwyd) - Jeff's Discount Store, Abergele Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1973
Further Comments: The manager of the building saw a tall, thin man at the top of the stairs dressed in formal evening wear. The ghost was mistaken for a customer, until he disappeared. Footsteps have also been heard in unpopulated areas, and several people have seen items from the shelves float through the air.

Three Bangs

Location: Coventry (West Midlands) - Hairdressing Salon
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: October 2009
Further Comments: A visitor to this quiet salon was using the upstairs bathroom. The door would not close properly so was left slightly ajar. Suddenly there were three loud knocks and the door was pushed open with force, but no one could be seen and nothing more was heard, even though the area was covered in creaky floorboards.

Falling Items

Location: Coventry (West Midlands) - Purdy's Pet Shop
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 2020 - 2022
Further Comments: CCTV showed items falling from shelving and customers reported something tugging on their clothing. A ghost hunting group conducted a seance on the site to raise money for charity and claimed to have contacted a former male occupant.

Messy Shop

Location: Crieff (Perth and Kinross) - Undisclosed general store in the town
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1980s-2000s
Further Comments: This poltergeist has spent almost twenty years pushing items from shelving when no one is near, opening and closing doors, and flicking the light switches.


Location: Derby (Derbyshire) - Dagenham's department store
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: A brief article from the Ghosts_UK Newsgroup only mentioned this shop was allegedly haunted.


Location: Derby (Derbyshire) - Hair salon, Sadler Gate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2010s
Further Comments: The owner of this salon claimed that the sound of marching soldiers could be heard in the shop, the sounds perhaps connected to the legend of secret tunnels running from the area to the cathedral.

Black Clad Figure

Location: Derby (Derbyshire) - Miss Selfridges clothing store
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: This entity, wearing a long black raincoat appears in this store before vanishing into a wall, only to reappear in MacDonald's.


Location: Devizes (Wiltshire) - Upstairs Downstairs Antiques, Market Square
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2006
Further Comments: The Paranormal Site Investigating team were called to this shop after reports of phantom footsteps after hours and the inexplicable smell of smoke.

Shopping arcade along Antelope Way, Dorchester.


Location: Dorchester (Dorset) - Shopping arcade along Antelope Way
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The Hanging Judge is said to walk in this area, following a path that he took during life.

William Mullins

Location: Dorking (Surrey) - 58 - 60 West Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Mullins took his wife and child across to the Americas on the Mayflower. He and his family died soon after their arrived in the new lands, and now Mullins has come home to stay.

Rolling Apple

Location: Dublin (County Dublin) - Jervis shopping centre
Type: Other
Date / Time: Circa November 2011
Further Comments: CCTV footage released on YouTube appears to show an apple falling from a fruit stall and rolling backwards and forwards on the floor, as if being pushed between two unseen figures.

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