Ghost Hunting At Vane Tempest Hall Smallpox Hospital

August 21, 2020 12:05 PM

About This Video

This video was uploaded to the YouTube channel Dead Air in August 2020.

Vane Tempest Hall is full of legends and stories of paranormal activity. From sounds echoing throughout the building, to full apparitions of children and a dead soldier, I decided to dive fully into this, and see if I can either capture any evidence of its hauntings on camera, or debunk some of these claims.

Built in 1863, although it wasn't until 1865 when it became used as a militia barracks for soldiers in the Durham area, this building saw soldiers head off to fight in several wars. The first legend is that a soldier died here during a parade in the main courtyard (site of the carpark), when a cannon malfunctioned form close range, and blew him to pieces. Many mediums pick up on his ghost, although he seems to change his name each time. My research with the Durham History Society and using the Durham archives found this story to be incorrect. Only one soldier died at this location - a suicide in a building that no longer exists and is currently on the site of private housing after the land was sold off to pay for a new pavillion on the bowling green. That's not to say his spirit isn't still in the area...but hopefully this piece of research can close down any fake mediums that have regurgitated this info that gets copied and pasted on paranormal websites.

What is true, is that this building was in fact used as a smallpox isolation unit and, although it is near impossible to start tracking down the numbers of people that died in this building, it can only be assumed that there were a lot. Smallpox was a very lethal disease. Could this be attributed to children's voices heard in here?

There is also a female spirit often talked about - nobody knows who she is, but there are various legends that she was once the partner of a soldier that never returned from war, and in a moment of dispiar, threw herself from a nearby bridge to her death. Some believe she was a nurse who worked here when this was a hospital. Either way, her voice is often heard singing in the building at night, and a female spirit has been seen to haunt the graveyard to the rear of the building where many of those associated with this building and local area are buried.

Finally - John was the caretaker here up until his death in 2005. It is said that he will still pop the kettle on for those that visit this building on a cold night.

Special thanks to Jeremy Clarke who allowed me permission to access his office, which was once a former stables during the barracks era, and used as a morgue when this building was a hospital. He has had a few odd things occur in his office space and kindly handed me the keys!

He runs an organisation called Force Legato Durham, which provides support to the community with regards mainly autism and similar conditions.

About Dead Air

Dead Air was formed in 2009 by University friends Rob Davies and Chris Felton, originally as a radio show in Newcastle based FM station, NE1fm. The show originally was based around encouraging callers to talk about their own experiences and opinions on the paranormal, as well as monthly live broadcasts from some of the North East's scariest places.

Chris works alongside Alan Robson, the host of Metro Radio's Nightowls and Sky TV's 'Scariest Places on Earth', and plans to make a full return to the show in 2021. Rob has been a radio presenter with NE1fm on the music scene, but is now 100% committed to creating paranormal content for the channel.

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