The Paranormal Database

Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

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Yorkshire Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Sarah

Location: York - Micklegate Bar Museum
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The museum is currently home to the ghostly Sarah, who as a young girl lost her father's keys to the city. She dedicated the rest of her life to finding them, and on completion of the task dropped dead of old age. It is reported that her shade wanders the corridors victoriously rattling the keys.

Odd Spots

Location: York - National Railway Museum
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A sleeping car housed here is said to contain a strange presence, while the darkroom is also reportedly home to a ghostly presence.

Screams

Location: York - The Olde Starr Inn, Stonegate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Another building which once housed injured Civil War troops, the basement is said to be the place where amputations occurred, which explains the sound of cries and screams. Two black cats are also reported to haunt the pub, and an old woman has been seen on the stairs.

Lady in Green

Location: York - Principal's House and the King's Manor, Exhibition Square
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The female ghost which haunts the Principal's House is said to be either Anne Boleyn or Catherine Howard, dressed in a green dress and carrying roses. The ghost of a monk frequents the King's Manor. The sounds of wounded men can sometimes be heard here - the building was used as a makeshift hospital during the Civil War.

Pale Figure

Location: York - Edge of the River Ouse
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 01 May (reoccurring) (legend), ghost unknown
Further Comments: Thought to be the shade of a drowned person, this figure drifts around the banks of the river. Another piece of folklore says that a person drops five white pebbles into the river when the Minster clock chimes one in the morning during the first of May, they see their past, present and future.

Barghest

Location: York - Side roads and snickleways in city
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This large black hound with red glowing eyes, known as Barghest, Barguist or Barguest, is said to prey on humans alone along the snickleways in the city. The creature has also been spotted in the old castle area.

Roman Legion

Location: York - Treasurer's House, Minster Yard
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1953
Further Comments: Harry Martindale was working on a ladder in the cellar of the building when a group of Roman soldiers walked past him along the old Roman Road which ran through the basement. Harry was so shocked that he fell from his ladder, and despite his terror, noted that the figures disappeared into the floor at knee height and was also later able to describe the uniforms and equipment of the Romans. At the time Harry was told that his description of the soldiers was wrong, and the uniforms and equipment did not match that which was used by the invaders, although later local archaeological discoveries resulted in Harry's observations being proved correct. Harry died in 2015 and never changed his story, nor made any money from sharing it. The building also claims to be home to several other ghosts, including a dog, a black cat, George Aislaby (who was killed in a duel), and Frank Green, the man who converted the interior into what it is today. The Tapestry Room is reputed to have an oppressive atmosphere and is where the wife of a former owner murdered him after he conducted one extra-marital affair too many (so the story goes).

Old Searcher

Location: York - Yorkshire Museum Library
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1954
Further Comments: For several weeks one particular book in the library would be found on the floor on Sunday evening - the mystery was 'solved' when a caretaker reported seeing a ghostly old man looking through the shelves, as if trying to find reading material.

Music

Location: York - Theatre Royal, St. Leonard's Place
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Music coming from the closed theatre was once heard late at night. A grey figure resembling a nun has also been spotted in the building; she is thought to be the ghost of a nun who was bricked up alive for seeing angels when a hospital existed on the site. It is said to be a good omen for any production currently showing if the grey nun appears. Finally, there are also reports of a wraithy actor who died in a duel nearby.

Disabled Teenager

Location: York - Tutor restaurant, Goodramgate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: The upper part of this building is haunted by a seventeen year old disabled teenager who hanged himself many years ago. One witness reported seeing swinging light bulbs and feeling an invisible presence which tried to push them down the stairs.

Footsteps

Location: York - Windmill Hotel, Blossom Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Footsteps walking across a wooden floor have been heard here, even though the floors were carpeted at the time. A mist has also mysteriously appeared and disappeared at odd times, while bottles have been known to spontaneously shatter.

Grey Lady

Location: York - York Arms public house, High Petergate
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The phantom nun which haunts this pub was bricked up behind a wall after giving birth. The building in which this occurred no longer stands, but the pub was built on the same spot... This may be the same ghost which haunts the Theatre Royal.

Metamorphic Paper

Location: York - York Castle
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 1717 (paper), Mary unknown
Further Comments: Sir John Reresby reported watching a piece of paper blowing in the wind change into a monkey before transforming into a bear. A slightly more traditional ghost was said to be Mary Bateman, who would appear during the witching hour.

Dean Gale

Location: York - York Minster
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1702 onwards
Further Comments: This gentleman loved the Minster so much that in death he refused to leave and has been seen sitting while listening to sermons. A crisis apparition has also manifested here; the ghost of an officer appeared to his sister as she prayed in the church in the 1820s - at the exact moment he had died on far away shores. Also reputed to haunt the building is the sound of a dog barking.

Child Crying

Location: York - Lamb and Lion public house
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2010s
Further Comments: The sound of a child crying has been reported upstairs, even when no child has been present. Doors are also said to close unaided by human hand.

Unearthly Peace

Location: York - Shrine of Margaret Clitherow, The Shambles
Type: Other
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: Margaret Clitherow was a Catholic who was tortured to death for refusing to renounce her religious practices. This building, now a shrine, is said to be remarkably peaceful, even though it stands along a busy road. Unfortunately, this building is not Margaret's house.

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