The North East England covers Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and the area of the former county of Cleveland. It is home to one of the most haunted castles in the UK, Chillingham Castle, as well as several other very famous paranormal hotspots, including the infamous Schooner Hotel.
With so many people living and dying in the North East of England, and so much history and emotion attached to the region and it industrious past, it's no surprise that the area has some of the most haunted places in Britain. Below are the 20 locations that are most famous for their paranormal activity.
Located in Newcastle city centre, Blackie Boy in Groat Market, is one of the oldest pubs in Newcastle. Also known as the Black Boy Inn, it was rebuilt in 1889 after part of the structure collapsed. Over the years, many staff and customers have reported strange goings on, including the unsettling feeling of being watched and disembodied voices. One member of staff reported being alone in the second floor toilets changing a lightbulb, when suddenly he heard a female voice coming from one of the empty cubicals shouting "get out!"
Situated on Westgate Road, the now closed Tyne Theatre opened in 1867 and was used as an entertainment venue and cinema for generations. The paranormal activity in the building ranges from visitors feeling like they've been touched by an unseen force, through to objects being thrown and even full apparitions.
The spirit of an actor who died in the theatre is blamed for much of the ghostly activity, but others think that a female spirit may also haunt the venue. There's also a more recent story relating to the television show, 'Britain's Got Talent'. When the show came to Newcastle in 2010, auditions were held in the theatre and it's claimed that small stones were repeatedly thrown at one of the show's judges.
Sallyport Tower was one of the main defensive fortifications forming part of Newcastle's city walls, it's now known as Carpenter's Tower. The ghost of a soldier has been seen looking out of one of the tower's windows, it's believed that he was killed whilst fighting the Scots in 1644.
One visitor to the tower reported seeing him float up from the floor before passing through the ceiling. The visitor didn't know until later that the exact location where they'd seen the ghost used to be the location of a spiral staircase.
The grounds of the Grade I listed parish church on Newgate Street is said to be haunted by the ghost of a young woman, the daughter of a wealthy local landowner. It's claimed that a young curate had fallen in love with her and saw her walking through the churchyard, but when he approached her, she vanished. The next day the curate found out that she had died the previous night. Her ghostly apparition is still said to roam the land.
This location isn't a building or even a landmark, it is in fact nothing more than a crossroad in the Sunderland village of Ryhope. Crossroads are sites where paths cross and over time many peoples' energies cross here. They are said to be very supernaturally active and a point where two realms can meet, and the crossroad at Ryhope is no different.
The spirit of a man carrying a pickaxe and a candle has been seen walking across the green before using his tool to dig into the ground near the memorial, when he is approached he simply vanishes. Despite this haunting's proximity to the war memorial, he's not thought to be a service man. It's said that he is a young man who lived locally in his wealthy parent's estates, but after falling in love with a servant his family disowned him. The man was said to be so upset that he took his own life, which meant he couldn't be buried in consecrated ground, so was buried at the crossroad.
The Theatre Royal on Grey Street is one of the city's most famous buildings. It opened with a performance of William Shakespeare's 'The Merchant Of Venice' in 1837, but following a performance of 'Macbeth' in 1899, a huge fire gutted the building, leading to its closure for two years. Within the industry, many believe that 'Macbeth' is cursed and to this day refuse to mention its title aloud, instead referring to it as "The Scottish Play". Of course we'll never know if the fire was a result of this curse or just bad luck.
Over the years staff working in the theatre have reported seeing the ghost of a grey lady. She has been spotted on several occasions and is believed to be the ghost of a woman who took her own life in the theatre by throwing herself off of the upper gallery, landing on the seats below.
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It's the alleyway outside of the Cooperage Pub on Newcastle Quayside that is said to be haunted. The Grade II listed timber-framed building closed as a pub in 2013, but the area outside the pub is said to be haunted by a man named Henry Hardwick.
It's believed that Henry was trying to escape a group of thugs who were attempting to kidnap him in order to put him to work as crew aboard a ship, but the gang caught up with him in the alleyway. It seems Henry didn't want to go willingly and the gang ended up beat him to death in the dark alley. Ever since, a man dressed in Edwardian clothing, believed to be Henry, has been seen close to the spot where he was murdered.
The Sunderland Empire Theatre is a large theatre venue located in High Street West in Sunderland that has been open for more than 100 years. It's said that the venue is haunted by the ghost of British comic actor, Sid James, who suffered a heart attack on stage at the venue in 1976 and died on his way to hospital. Since then it's been claimed that several other starts have refused to work in the theatre, including his Carry On co-star Barbara Windsor and comedian Les Dawson, who apparently encountered Sid's ghost two years after his death.
Other spirits that haunt the venue are the ghost of music hall star Vesta Tilley, stage manager Molly Moselle and the ghost of a violinist, who also died at the theatre.
Originally built as a church in the 1800s, has been operating as a theatre since 1925. The building was used as a hospital during the First World War. The paranormal activity in the building ranges from extreme sudden temperature drips and disembodied footsteps heard on the stage and in the wings through to poltergeist activity, which has been blamed for objects going missing and belongings around on their own. There are even reports of a ghostly apparition seen sitting at the back of the 216-seater auditorium.
This historic village pub in Whitburn is said to be one of the most haunted in the region, with paranormal activity that includes the ghost of a nurse called Rachael and the ghost of a man who died in the pub of natural causes. There's also said to be the spirit of a young girl who was rejected by her would-be suitor, a visiting coachman. The flash of her green dress that she brought to impress the coachman has been witnessed in the corridors in the upper floor of the building.
The Literary & Philosophical Society of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne is situated on Westgate Road and is the largest independent library outside of London. It was here in 2012 that video evidence of a strange event was captured on CCTV, the footage shows an emergency exit opening on its own. There are also reports of people seeing strange light anomalies and hearing the sound of footsteps, coughing and even the sound of pages of books turning.
The North East Aircraft Museum, part of the Land, Sea and Air Museums based within RAF Usworth, is one of the country's premier collection of aviation history. As well as housing aircraft from the First and Second World War, it's also said to be home to a fleet of ghosts.
Many of the hangars that house the exhibits are said to be haunted with the spirits of the airfield's past, while some are said to be attached to the aircraft that are displayed in them. As well poltergeist activity and an old gramophone that places music of its own accord, other paranormal reports include sightings of the bottom half of a man's body. These ghostly legs are said to belong to the spirit of a pilot of lost his life in a crash.
There's also said to be an angry phantom that hangs around the museum in order to guard his helicopter and the ghost of a Czech collaborator named Gustav Pultiz, who was sent to wartime Britain by the Nazis to steal a plane.
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Dating back to 1783, the Freemasons building on Queen Street is the oldest purpose-built masonic temple in the world and its long history of serving the secretive society seems to have left its toll on the temple. The paranormal activity here includes reports of disembodied footsteps, unexplained bangs and the sound of children singing. There are also sightings of dark shadowy figures, a man wearing Victorian style clothing and a general feeling of unease and even nausea throughout the building.
The 75 feet high lighthouse, which was the first electric lights house in the world, is said to have a resident ghost, and staff have heard, seen and felt strange things. Many of them believe the ghost to be the spirit of a former lighthouse keeper.
The lighthouse was constructed by Robert Allison to protect ships from rock and cliffs off the mainland and it was near here that the famous Grace Darling rescued the survivors of the Forfarshire in 1838. Her niece Isabella Darling lived in the lighthouse from 1881.
Staff have witnessed items going missing, seen shadowy figures out of the corner of their eye, heard unexplained sounds and even seen the figure of man who appeared to be wearing an old lighthouse keeper's uniform.
This 17th century former coaching inn in the popular Cloth Market is said to be haunted by royal appointment. In 1646, King Charles I was held by the Scots in the nearby Anderson Place, but it's rumoured that he was allowed to leave his prison on numerous times and on these occasions he would visit the Old George for a drink.
A room in the pub is still known as the "Charles I Room" to this day and the actual chair that the monarch is said to have sat in still exists in the room. Many of the pub's visitors believe that they have seen the ghost of the king sat in the chair in the form of a grey mist.
Over the years the pub's staff have also reported lots of strange goings on, including the eerie feeling that they are been watched in empty rooms, the apparition of a phantom man and his dog seen standing at the bar, and the sound of unexplained footsteps.
With a reputation as one of the North East's most haunted pubs, the Ship Isis has become a regular haunt for local paranormal investigation teams. The pubs is said to be haunted by the spirit of the infamous serial killer, Mary Ann Cotton and her unfortunate victims. It's said that in the mid 19th-century she killed as many as 21 people, most of which she poisoned with arsenic.
It's said that she buried the bodies of two of her own murdered children in the tunnels lead down to the river Wear from the pub's basement. The spirits make their presences known through disembodied cries, screams and singing and staff, and drinkers have reported seeing the ghost of a woman wearing Victorian-era clothing and a young girl.
The Wheatsheaf Inn is said to be haunted by the tormented spirits of children who were tortured and murdered at the pub. Their spirits are said to make their presence known by throwing kitchen utensils around, as well as chairs and lampshades. Staff have also said that a child's handprint once mysteriously appeared in a setting jelly that had been kept in a locked room.
One local medium claims to have been able to make contact with the spirit children of the pub, claiming that there is a total of 37 spirits trapped here, all of which are the victims of a serial killer. One spirit called Jessica made contact with the medium in the basement and said that she was assaulted and murdered in this area of the pub when she was just six years old.
According the the medium, the spirit told her that the murderer was a man called Joseph, a former landlord in his thirties, who buried his victims around the pub.
The Schooner Hotel, a grade II listed building in Alnmouth has been given the title of the most haunted hotel in the country by The Poltergeist Society. The hotel's history is rooted in the town's history as a port, and the whole area has a reputation of smuggling. There's even said to be a secret tunnels leading from the cellar to the port.
The most haunted room in the hotel is room 28, it's said a family was murdered in the room and today guests report hearing children's voices and crying, as well as the screams of a woman.
But room 28 isn't the only haunted part of the hotel, in fact there's been reports of paranormal activity in all 33 of the hotel's rooms. There's been sightings of apparition in rooms 16 and 17, while in rooms 28 to 30 whispers have been heard and guests have reported feeling dread and sickness.
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The castle keep is the oldest part of the castle from which the city gets its name. It dates back to the 12th century and was once part of a larger medieval fortification. It is the oldest building in Newcastle, one of the best surviving examples of a Norman Keep and also the most haunted location in the city by far.
The keep's most famous ghost is known as the "Poppy Girl". She's said to have been a flower girl who was imprisoned in the castle and eventually died in incarceration. Her ghost has been sighted around the building and coincides with the smell of fresh flowers.
The Black Gate was added to the castle by Henry III between 1247 and 1250, serving as an additional barbican in front of the earlier north gate of the castle, this part of the castle is also said to be haunted. Its two most famous ghosts are that of a woman seen standing on a balcony watching visitors pass by below, and an apparition seen holding a baby.
Other paranormal activity in the old castle buildings includes the sounds of ghostly chanting coming from The Queen's Chamber in the keep, where a female apparition has been seen, and unexplained screams from the gallery, as well as disembodied voices and footsteps. Visitors to the castle have reported seeing black mists, feeling like they've been pushed or touched by unseen hands and even reported being scratched. Unexplained cold spots have been recorded around the building and dark shapes, light anomalies and strange mists have been captured in photos taken in the keep.
The medieval castle in the village of Chillingham, was the seat of the Grey and Bennet families from the 15th century until the 1980s when it became the home of Sir Humphry Wakefield Bt. Sir Humphry has spent the last few decades restoring the Grade I listed castle, it is now a hotel.
The castle's haunted reputation is well known and it has played host to the 'Most Haunted' team as well as other paranormal television shows. The most prevalent at the castle include the ghost of a Spanish witch who is said to have put a curse on the castle which is said to bring bad luck on anyone who steals from the castle.
There's also the ghost of Lady Mary Berkeley, she was a former resident of the castle whose husband had an affair with her sister, she died of heartbreak in the Grey Apartment. There's now a painting of her in the room which guests have claimed to see her come out of, other visitors to the castle say they have heard her grey dress rustling in the dead of night.
You might also want to look out for the ghost of a little girl who has been caught on camera in the castle's great hall. And the ghost of John Sage, a soldier who served under King Edward, but after taking a spear to his leg in battle with the Scots, was forced to retreat from the frontline and took up the role of the castle's torture in its fully equipped dungeon.
The castle's most famous ghost is the Blue Boy, it's said that guests see blue flashes of light above their beds or coming from within the castles walls. It turns out that these flashes are the ghost of a boy who was bricked up alive inside one of the walls.
During renovations at the castle the skeleton of a boy with blue clothes was found inside a three meter thick wall, the bones on his fingers were worn away from his attempts at scratching at the wall in a desperate bid for freedom.