According to legend, William the conqueror promised this land to the first person in his army to reach it. The first to arrive was a young drummer boy. The second, a noble named St. Quintin. Incensed, the noble butchered the boy and threw his body down the well, then claimed the land as his own. Upon it, St. Quintin built a manor house, the remnants of which are scattered in the field surrounding the well to this day. Until the manor fell to ruin, the impending death of a St. Quintin family member would be foretold by a loud, slow and steady drumbeat coming from the bottom of the well.
Fyvie Castle, Aberdeenshire
Unable to provide him with an heir, Lilias Drummond was starved to death by her brutal husband. On the night of his second marriage, Lilias' spirit returned, her harrowing calls were heard outside the bed-chamber and her name was found freshly scratched into the castle walls, which is still visible today. A sudden drop in temperature and the smell of roses is said to announce her presence.
Day Street, Hull
Her parents didn't believe her, but she knew what she had seen - three phantom skeletons, and she had started to see them more frequently. People started to believe her on 23 August 1935, when the Hull Daily Mail reported that three skeletons, thought to be criminals due to the location of their burial, had been unearthed on the street.
Helmsley Castle, North Yorkshire
Having stood on this site for over 900 years, the castle is said to be home to three resident spirits, including that of the previous owner and cad, George Villiers, who is immortalised in the nursery rhyme 'Georgie Porgie pudding and pie'. Here's a short blog (3 min read) about the history of the castle, Georgie Porgie and the other two phantoms that haunt this stunning location.
Culross Townhouse, Fife
During the 1600s, the Townhouse attic was used as a prison for suspected witches. The ‘witches’ were held at the highest point in the building, as it was believed that this would put the most distance between them and the devil. Such is the intensity of the atmosphere within the building’s attic, comedian and presenter of C5’s Secret Scotland, Susan Calman, became overwhelmed with emotion whilst filming and was brought to tears (S3-E3). If you watch the footage - there's also an unexplained bang that occurs.
Dewsbury Cathedral, Yorkshire
In 1434, local knight, Thomas de Soothill accidentally killed a child. In an attempt of atonement, he paid for the bell which now resides in the Minster and started a tradition known as the Devil’s Knell. The knight requested that each Christmas Eve the bell must toll once for each year of our Lord, preventing Satan from taking his soul. The tradition, which must end on the stroke of midnight, is still observed today and now lasts for 90 minutes.
On Christmas day, laden with gold and ivory from the slave trade, the Betsy Jane sank just off port near Whitehaven. All hands perished. Each December, the phantom vessel returns to the surface and has been seen by countless witnesses.
On Christmas Eve, residents have been stopped by an elderly lady, and asked for directions to her home. It is many years since she first became lost. Disorientated in the freezing fog, she froze to death and has been trying to find her way home ever since.
Quarry House, Leeds
On this site, once used to house 1,300 bubonic plague victims, now stands this imposing Government building. There have been numerous staff reports of shadowy figures, the feeling of being watched, intense cold spots and things being unexplainably moved and hidden. Read the short blog about Quarry Hill here.
The Dirty Bottles, Alnwick, Northumberla
Formerly known as the Ye Old Cross Inn, the pub goes by this more recent name due to the cursed bottles which have been encased in its window, untouched for 200 years. The story goes that an old landlord was tinkering with the bottles and suddenly dropped dead. His widow declared them cursed and anyone else that handled them would receive the same fate. From that day, they have been sealed behind glass.
Halsham, East Yorkshire
Tales of the werewolf, Old Stinker, date back to the 1800s. More recently, in 2016, the Metro reported on two independent encounters of the 8ft beast, with the body of a wolf, face of a human and the breath of Satan (hence the name).
For several nights, the ferrymen at Ferry Nab heard strange calls and whispered pleas for the boat to cross the water, but the ferrymen knew better than to oblige. On the final night of their shift, curiosity got the better of one young man and he rowed towards the calls. When he returned, he was unable to speak - literally choked with fear. He died in bed the following day.
Hancock Museum, Newcastle
When the museum is locked for the night, its oldest resident is said to stalk the corridors. She is Bakt Hor Nekht, a 3000-year-old mummy from the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes.
Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire
Long before the bones of an infant were discovered under the hearthstone in the 19th century, there had been, and continues to be, hundreds of sightings of the Green Lady. She is always by the fireside, cradling a baby. Queen Victoria famously witnessed her presence.
Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling
After grave robbers exhumed and sold the remains of Mary Witherspoon in 1823, her spirit, known locally as The Pink Lady, has been seen walking the area between this medieval Church and Stirling Castle. She is unable to rest until she is reunited with her mortal remains and reinterred. Read more about The Pink Lady and grave robbing on the blog page.
Mercat Cross, Edinburgh
On the eve of the Battle of Flodden, the demon Plotcock spoke the names of the men that would not survive the fight. Hearing his name, Richard Lawson threw a coin at the cross and pleaded in the name of Jesus Christ. Of those named, only Lawson survived.
Bramham Park, Yorkshire
In the mid-1920s, Colonel Lane-Fox stopped in the estate woods to hold a gate open for the Bramham Hunt, which he heard galloping towards him. He felt and heard the riders thundered past him, but not a single soul was seen.
Lamb & Lion Inn, York, Yorkshire
In October 2019, internal CCTV footage caught the faint apparition of a little girl following a waitress as she set tables for the lunchtime service. There have also been many reports of the sound of a girl crying in this Grade II inn.
Garstang Bridge, Lancashire
Below the bridge resides the Boggart of the Brook - the cloaked and hooded ghost of a murdered woman. She has been known to hitch lifts and once onboard, she reveals her skeletal form with a shriek and a cackle.
RRS Discovery, Dundee
Built in 1900, the ship was pivotal to the success of the British Antarctic Expedition. Now open to visitors, one guest at a hospitality event onboard spent the evening talking to a gentleman, however, she was the only person that could see him.
Yorkshire Museum Library, York
For several weeks during 1954, a certain book was found on the floor every Monday morning. One Sunday evening, the caretaker solved the mystery when he saw the ghostly form of an elderly gentleman taking said book from its shelf.
St Mary’s Church, Barnard Castle, Durham
Above the grave of George Hopper stands a stone statue of Death. For those that see the Reaper’s scythe move, the end is imminent.
Lotherton Hall, Leeds
After the passing of a family pet, howls were heard in the night and deep scratches were discovered on the outside of the master bedroom door (still visible today). The phantom hound that was trying to get back to his master... a black poodle named Michael.
Souter Lighthouse, Tyne & Wear
The mischievous spirit of a former lighthouse keeper is said to linger at Souter. Besides holding doors closed and moving items, he’s also been known to pinch female visitor’s bottoms.
Fountains Abbey, Ripon
Many a late-night visitor to the 12th century Abbey has witnessed the haunting sound of monks chanting in The Chapel of the Nine Alters to the east.