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Shop Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

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.


Location: Stockton-on-Tees (Durham) - Castlegate Shopping Centre, Stephenson House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: Strange music and sounds are said to occasionally be heard at night in this shopping centre.

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.

Older Woman

Location: Sunderland (Tyne and Wear) - Greggs, Sea Road
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: Staff would hear banging coming from empty parts of the shop, detect the whiff of lavender, and would find electrical items which were switched off turned back on. The activity was blamed on the spirit of a woman who once lived above the shop.


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 Some believe that even though the building has been replaced by a shopping centre, the ghost remains.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.


Location: Truro (Cornwall) - Woolworths (no longer operating)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Pre-2008
Further Comments: When the shop was in operation, the attic was known as Annie's Room, named after the ghost which was supposed to haunt the store, and filling staff asked to work in there with dread.

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. Nelson's shade has been seen looking into a window that once belonged to the business.

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 schoolteacher 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.

Woman Wearing Sackcloth

Location: Wickham Market (Suffolk) - The White Hart (currently a collection of shops and flats)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: The ghost is said to be that of one Betty Price, who was executed for being a witch. The old room 14 of the Inn was also reportedly haunted, by a cat. Only one person has reported spooky occurrences since the pub has been converted, and that relates to an answer machine that switches itself on.


Location: Widnes (Cheshire) - Asda store, Hale Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990s?
Further Comments: Fortean TV reported this superstore as possessing ghosts in its EPOS room and bakery.


Location: Wisbech (Cambridgeshire) - Shoe shop along the High Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Phantom footsteps could be heard moving around on the staircase and in the upper part of the building during one Christmas season.


Location: Woburn (Bedfordshire) - Antiques centre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A ghost dressed in Victorian attire is reputed to haunt this antiques shop.

Two Children

Location: Worthing (Sussex) - Thorntons and Ernest Jones shops
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twenty-first century
Further Comments: Two child-like figures were caught on security cameras in these shops, while staff report strange sounds and phantom activity. One staff member observed a ghostly entity in a storeroom, which spoke the word 'quiet'.

Young Girl

Location: York (Yorkshire) - 41 Stonegate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: A six-year-old Victorian girl who fell to her death on the staircase was said to have haunted this building during the twentieth century. The girl could be heard ascending the staircase and was reputedly seen sitting upon a shop counter when a tearoom operated on the site. One story says the ghost is a doctor's daughter and dates to when the building was a private residence. During one of the doctor's dinner parties, the curious girl emerged from her top floor bedroom and tried to peer over the banister to see who was in attendance. She lost her balance.

Fire Alarm Starter

Location: York (Yorkshire) - Coppergate shops, those built on site of old Craven's Sweet factory (includes the Bodyshop)
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This entity was known to cause trouble when the factory stood. In more recent years, it has been blamed for setting off the fire alarms in these buildings.

Young Girl

Location: York (Yorkshire) - 18-20 Stonegate (currently Jack Wills)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A local report says that a teenage girl using the changing room looked in the mirror and spotted another young girl. Believing that the girl had accidently walked into the changing room, the teenager turned and asked the girl to leave. The girl turned and walked through the wall. Staff later found out that a doorway once existed in the wall where the girl disappeared.


Location: York (Yorkshire) - Shop along High Ousegate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 30 November 2015
Further Comments: While in the stockroom, a worker heard faint knocking and footsteps coming up the staircase. The door handle turned but the door did not open, as if someone behind the door was going to enter but had changed their mind. The worker immediately opened the door, ready to make the person on the other side jump, but no one was there.

Small Old Man

Location: York (Yorkshire) - Unnamed shop along Colliergate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: The female owners of this shop reported being glared at by a strange old man who told them to get out - instead of doing so, one of the proprietors told him to go away, which he promptly did - the man vanished and was never seen again.

Records 126 - 148 of 148

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