Strange Stories of Shops

Lady in White

Location: Rayleigh (Essex) - Unknown toy shop
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1974
Further Comments: This shade could be heard moving things around the shop, and actually touched the back of the neck of one witness. It is thought that the woman died in a house fire.

John Ellis

Location: Rochdale (Lancashire) - April Cotton Florists, 413 Oldham Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: January 2008
Further Comments: Even though Rochdale's last public executioner John Ellis committed suicide in 1932, his former barbershop is still thought to contain his shade. An invisible entity pushed one man while he was working alone in the shop, and later slapped the same man's rear.


Location: Royal Tunbridge Wells (Kent) - Barry M Cosmetics, Calverley Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990 / 1991
Further Comments: All the staff reported paranormal activity while working in the shop during this time. Footsteps would be heard on empty floors, a sweet smelling tobacco could be detected, whispering could be heard, and finger marks would suddenly appear in dust.

Shattering Mirrors

Location: Royston (Hertfordshire) - Henrick's Hairdressing salon
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 2004
Further Comments: Mirrors have been known to fly from the walls and the radio changes stations at will, in this haunted salon. A psychic blamed the former owner of the building who slit his own throat.

Man in Black Coat

Location: Ruddington (Nottinghamshire) - Horspools Bakery
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: This shop is haunted by a man wearing a black coat that looks completely normal, until he disappears.

Two Women

Location: Rye (Sussex) - Town Centre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Several spectres are said to haunt this area of town. The two women have been observed walking down Mermaid Street wearing long gowns, while a lonesome girl in blue has been seen crossing the street. Watchbell Street is the haunt of a little boy dressed in a white sheet, and also disembodied footsteps (thought to be a young girl's), through these are no longer heard, and the Olde Tuck Shoppe along Market Street is home to a lady in grey.

Duke of Buckingham

Location: Salisbury (Wiltshire) - Debenhams' department store
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: Executed in the fifteenth century, the headless apparition of the Duke terrified a British Telecom employee who was working on the site - he refused to re-enter the building.

Floating Feet

Location: Sheffield (Yorkshire) - Schofield's department store (now Argos Extra), Angel Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The boiler room here was haunted by a pair of feet which hovered a half a metre or so from the floor.

Chip Shop

Location: Sheffield (Yorkshire) - Firth Park
Type: Environmental Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990
Further Comments: Walking home one evening, a mother and daughter spotted a chip shop which they had thought was new, as they had not seen it before. The shop was open, lights were on, and people were inside. A couple of nights later, they decided to visit the takeaway, but it was not there - a DIY shop stood on the spot, twice the size of the chip shop they had seen.


Location: Sidmouth (Devon) - Kennaway House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: March 2012
Further Comments: A young female ghost in a long dress was named Charlotte, and would sit in the corner of a room in this building. The entity was said to be non-threatening.


Location: Sidmouth (Devon) - New Look shop
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: June 2014
Further Comments: An older Victorian lady was blamed for crashes and bangs, disembodied footsteps and whisperings which were heard around this shop. The ghost, manifesting as a woman in black, was named as Gladys. After flowers were offered to her, the ghost quietened down.


Location: South Shields (Northumberland) - Jazz hairdressers, Frederick Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: December 2008
Further Comments: Footsteps, whistling, knocking, and a solid, hovering cloud have all been reported by staff at the salon. Customers have reported seeing people dressed in old fashioned clothing in the upper part of the building. A barman is said to have died falling down the basement stairs when the building was a club during the 1950s.

Falling sounds

Location: Southwold (Suffolk) - Former vicarage (currently a bus office, wool shop & paint shop)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Many sounds seem to have once haunted this building - sighs, creaking of a chair, the rattling of chains, and the sound of someone falling down the stairs.

Man in Bath Chair

Location: Southwold (Suffolk) - Private House along Child's Opening
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Early to mid twentieth century, always around 01:00h, but last seen 1948
Further Comments: This spooky figure, sometimes wheeling himself around in a bath chair, other times walking, was watched by occupants of a house several times. The entity would cross their yard and vanish into a bricked up doorway to a former hat shop.

Sounds of Battle

Location: St Albans (Hertfordshire) - Row of shops along Chequer Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The location of the Battle of St Albans, fought during the War of the Roses, is said to still generate the sounds of battle.

Cloaked Figure

Location: Steeple Ashton (Wiltshire) - Former village courthouse, converted into a village store
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1944
Further Comments: The old village courthouse was being used as a grocery store in 1944, and the owners reported a ghostly figure wearing a black cloak who would enter the bedroom and search a cupboard. There was a local tradition that the ghost of Judge Jeffreys haunted the building, and the cupboard was where he stored his paperwork.

Running on the Stairs

Location: Stoke on Trent (Staffordshire) - Former Aquatics Shop (no longer open)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2005
Further Comments: People could be heard running on the staircase here, although no one could be seen. While cleaning the glass on a fish tank, one worker in the shop spotted the reflection of someone behind them - the only other person on the site was upstairs.

Shelf Disruption

Location: Stourbridge (West Midlands) - The One Stop Shop, Norton
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 2003
Further Comments: This shop was plagued by poltergeist like behaviour, the management putting the blame on 'bad electrics', while staff and visitors saying that the contents of the shelves were being pushed to the ground by 'something else'. A local psychic claimed the ghost of an old woman was to blame, and that he had moved her on.


Location: Thanet (Kent) - Former Ambulance Station, now Westwood Cross
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2004
Further Comments: A cold wind felt in the former ambulance station, even in the height of summer, was attributed to a phantom officer. Some believe that even though the building has been replaced by a shopping centre, the ghost remains.

Sweet Stacker

Location: Truro (Cornwall) - Sweet Inspirations (a sweet shop)
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Spring / Summer 1999
Further Comments: This playful spirit took a liking to the 'pink shrimp' sweeties, using them to create little pyramids in a cupboard on the other side of the shop from where they were normally stored.

Captured Sea Serpent

Location: Tynemouth (Durham) - Coastline off Cullercoats, and 57 Grey Street
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1849
Further Comments: Though a good description of the creature is lacking, fishermen from this area chased and killed a sea monster, the body of which they brought back to land. The carcass was taken into a shop along Grey Street, and entry was charged at several shillings per view.

Lord Nelson

Location: W1 (Greater London) - Brewer Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Prior to his final battle, Nelson reportedly visited an undertaker along this road and ordered his coffin - his shade has been seen looking into a window that once belonged to that particular shop.

Little Girl

Location: Wakefield (Yorkshire) - Old Vicarage Bookshop, Zetland Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2007
Further Comments: This bookshop is reputedly home to a phantom that died from the plague - his ghostly form is riddled with symptoms. As a side note, this area is also said to riddled with secret passageways.

Mr Cooke

Location: Watford (Hertfordshire) - St Mary's Church, and the nearby shopping centre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: This 1840's school teacher died in a fire that ravished the educational establishment, and his ghost is blamed for disrupting local shops (moving pictures, flicking lights on and off, etc).

Legless Woman

Location: WC2 (Greater London) - Covent Garden Piazza
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 31 December 1989
Further Comments: A photograph taken by Mr Webb of his young daughter shows a woman dressed in black floating legless in the background. While it is possible that the woman's legs are concealed behind a post, the angle at which she leans does create doubt that the lady is corporeal.

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