Ghosts

Great Northern Ghosts 3

Havelock Haunting

The time is in the 1950’s in a council house in General Havelock Road, Ford Estate, Sunderland. Not long after moving into the house, the Dixon family started to complain that it was haunted. Indeed, they said that things happened at different times. Some complaints included, hearing loud knocks at the door but no one was ever there. At times, they were grabbed by ghostly hands, door handles moved, bedclothes were removed when they were sleeping, the rooms would turn icy cold, the husband felt a hand digging in his side as he lay in bed and they heard noises coming from the chimney.

When a local councillor called to see them, he swore that as he gazed at a picture, it’s landscape changed appearance. The vicar of St Luke’s Pallion and the Bishop of Jarrow attempted to remove the spirits and cleanse the house. However, if it worked we do not know. But what we do know is the house was once used for Spiritual Meetings. So, could this have something to do with the Hauntings?

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I Will Not Be Moved

A woman lived in a flat in Kingsclere Avenue, Downhill Estate, Sunderland. But when the old lady tenant died her flat was turned into a bungalow. When the bungalow was ready the next tenant, another lady moved in. However, soon after moving in, the lady went to visit a Neighbour to ask about the former tenant and what she had looked like. Before the Neighbour could answer, the lady asked if the former tenant had been a short-haired, stocky woman. Surprised, the Neighbour said “yes, why?” The lady replied, “Because I’ve seen this woman standing at the foot of my bed on quite a few nights in a row, leastways her ghostly apparition.”

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Jimmy’s Pipes

In Durham, at the foot of the steps down from Elvet Bridge to Brown’s Boathouse lies the entrance to what was for years the old County Gaol. Jimmy Alien, once piper to the Duchess of Northumberland and a notorious horse stealer, was confined in this dungeon prison in 1803 awaiting transportation. He was a very old man and so the sentence was never carried out. Seven years later, the Prince Regent wrote Jimmy a pardon, but it arrived on the day of his death. There is an old story that his pipes can still be heard in the cells.

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Lady In White

Creswell is a small fishing village, overlooking Druridge Bay about six miles north of Newbiggin-by-the-sea. The Baron of Creswell lived in Creswell tower with his only daughter and his three sons. The Barons daughter was a beautiful girl who was in love and planning to marry a Danish prince who owned a small fort a few miles further north. Unfortunately for the girl, her brothers hated the Danish prince and they also hated the thought of her marrying foreign blood. On a day when the prince was due to visit their sister, the brothers decided to hide in the long grass of the sand dunes and wait for the prince.

When the prince came riding into view he was singing a love song, not knowing of the terrible fate that awaited him. As the prince got closer, the brothers leapt from their hiding places and attacked the prince. With swords and spears, the brothers attacked the prince and caused him some terrible wounds. As the prince fell from his horse his foot got caught in the stirrups, but he had no time to free himself. Then the horse, which was also injured and frightened, bolted towards Creswell tower. The prince was left hanging from the stirrups and by now, most certainly dead.

The Curse

The young girl, who could not wait to see her lover, had been looking from the top tower to watch for him arriving. As she stood looking, she saw the attack on her lover and it drove her insane. The girl also cursed her brothers and said they would all die a violent death within a year for their terrible deed. Then, in her madness and grief, she threw herself from the tower. Indeed, she broke her neck as she landed on top of her dead prince.

As for the girls brothers, one was killed fighting the Scots. Another was killed while hunting. In fact, he was thrown from his horse and dragged by the stirrups breaking his skull. The third and youngest brother was drowned at sea in a capsized boat. Moreover, all three had died within a year of their sister and her prince.

Since the tragic deaths of the lovers, it is said that a lady dressed in white has haunted the tower. Every year on the anniversary of their deaths, the lady in white is seen looking from the top of the tower as if waiting for her prince. According to local people, she looks to the north shading her eyes impatient for his arrival. They hear horses hooves and a terrible wail of agony which dies away with an unearthly groan of pain and desperation.

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Langley’s Headless Horse

Langley Old Hall is now no more than a ruin, of course. But the driveway is said to be haunted by a ghostly carriage drawn by a headless horse. The story behind this is that the former owner of the hall was a very nasty person who treated his wife terribly. So, when she tried to leave him, he chased after her on horseback and cut off her head. She is now said to ride inside the carriage, doomed to spend all eternity reliving her tragic attempt at escape.

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Levens Hall Ghosts

There are several ghosts at Levens Hall in Cumbria, but the most famous one is the Grey Lady. She is thought to have been a gypsy woman who cast a curse on the family of the house. The Grey Lady has appeared in front of several motorists who were making their way to the Hall. The drivers had to brake suddenly or swerve to avoid hitting her. Indeed, when they got out of their cars to help, they found that the Grey Lady had vanished.

Obviously, Wearside Online would love to hear of other ghosts in this area. So, if you know of other ghosts, contact us or please leave us a comment. You can also tell us about these ghosts in the forum too!

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Lily of Lumley

Next to Chester-Le-Street is Lumley Castle, of course. Once owned by Sir Ralph Lumley, he lived there with his wife Lily during the 14th Century.

The Lumley’s were followers of John Wycliffe, the church reformer, and one night when Sir Ralph was away from the castle, two priests came calling.

Wearside Ghosts and Hauntings - Lumley Castle
Their intention was to lure Lily back to the Catholic fold, but she resisted. So, in order to “save her soul”, the priests killed her and threw her body down the castle well. Realising that they would now be in a lot of trouble, they made a plan. In a neighbouring village they found a very ill young woman, and took her to a nearby convent.

When the woman subsequently died, the priests told Sir Ralph that the woman was Lily, and that she had left him to become a nun. Sir Ralph seems to have believed this without any question. What is not known is how the crime actually came to light, or what happened to the so-called priests. Lily’s ghost is now said to float up from the well where her body was thrown, to haunt the castle. As the castle is now a luxury hotel, many guests claim to have seen her spirit.

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Maid Of Meldon

Margaret Selby took after her father, Newcastle money lender, William Selby. Indeed, both were miserly in nature and had a greed for money. She was said to be an unattractive woman, so when she married Sir William Fenwick of Wallington, it was thought he married her for money. Her dowry included the mortgage on Meldon Hall.

When Sir William died, an effigy of him was put in Meldon church. After his death, Margaret foreclosed on the mortgage of Meldon Hall and began running the properties and estates herself. She proved to be a very good farmer and collected large sums of money. Which, true to her nature, she began hoarding and hiding her fortune in many secret places. The more money she made, the more new places she found to hide it.

As she spent most of her time at Hartington Hall, near Rothley, it is said that she had an underground carriageway built between Hartington Hall and Meldon Hall, so as not to be seen going between the two. When Margaret died, she was buried at Newminster Abbey. On a stone trough by the archway, in the graveyard known as the ‘Trough of the Maid of Meldon’, Margaret’s ghost has been seen sitting on it. Local people say they have seen her crossing Meldon Bridge in the shape of a black dog, but when she reaches the other side she changes into a beautiful woman.

It is said that her ghost would roam the earth for seven years looking for her hidden wealth. Then for seven years she would rest. Then she would search again for another seven years and on it would continue, until all her wealth had been found.

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Man About The House

A newly married couple from the East End of Sunderland moved to Baxter Road, Town End Farm Estate. From the time of moving in, the couple had no peace. They would hear someone moving around upstairs and the lights would switch off and on by themselves.

One day when the couple came home, they went into the kitchen to see the ghostly figure of an old man sitting or hovering above a seat at the kitchen table. When the husband shouted, the old man vanished. It was the neighbours who told the couple that the old man they saw was the former tenant who died in the house.

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Marsden Grotto Ghost

Since we have a lot of information about the Marsden ghost, we shall not duplicate it here. Therefore, click here in order to read more about the Marsden Grotto mystery. However, while you are here, if you know of other ghosts in the Marsden area, please tell us.

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Miller of Lumley

In the 1600’s, fear of the supernatural and witches was at its peak, but as always, there are exceptions. In 1631, a miller from Lumley, near Chester-le-Street, named John Grahame was one of those exceptions. Indeed, he was a happy man who laughed at peoples fears of the supernatural. However, he was about to change his mind. Happy working in his mill, he was working late by the light of a candle when the atmosphere changed. His blood went cold and his flesh began to crawl. As he turned, there was a woman with blood pouring from her head turning her hair red. With five deep wounds in her head, the blood continued to flow as she stood and stared at the miller.

The woman told the miller her name was Anne Walker, a relative of his neighbour John Walker. John Walker had seduced her and made her pregnant. So, to help him be rid of Anne, he had asked a pitman from Lancashire, named Mark Sharp, to take her away. Anne had gone with Mark Sharp believing she would be looked after until after she had the baby. She believed she would then return to John Walker. Instead, Mark Sharp had took a miners pick to her head and murdered her. He then threw her body into a pit. Not being able to remove the blood from his own shoes and stockings, he had hid them together with the pick under a bank. The woman begged John Grahame to tell about her murder and then disappeared.

Ashamed To Admit Things

Terrified, the miller hurried home to his wife but said nothing of what he had seen. This is because he did not want to admit he had been afraid. To his wife’s delight thought, he no longer stayed late at the mill. One night however, the miller stayed a little later and the woman appeared again. This time she told him to tell of her murder or she would come back again. Fearing people would think he was mad, he would still not go to the police. It was on St Thomas’ Eve before Christmas, while walking in his garden, the woman appeared again. This time she made the miller promise to tell the police the next day about her murder.

Keeping his promise, the next day he went to the police and they searched the pit and found the woman’s body. Searching further, the shoes, stockings and the pick were also found. John Walker and Mark Sharp were arrested and their trial was in August 1631 which lasted one day. Mr Fairhair, a witness, said that during the trial he could see the likeness of a child on Walker’s shoulders. Disturbed by this, Judge Davenport sentenced them the same day. The pair were sentenced to death and they were both executed.

It was said that John Walker was not a nice man and he abused his wife. Indeed, he was not liked by his neighbours who agreed that shortly after she arrived as housekeeper, Anne Walker suddenly disappeared. The woman was never seen again of course. Moreover, the ravine in the Old Mill Wood where she was murdered was known by locals as ‘Sharp and Walker’s Gill’.

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Most Haunted Castle In Britain

Great North Ghosts - Chillingham Castle - Blue Boy
Chillingham Castle is said to be the most haunted castle in Britain with many ghosts. Indeed, the most famous of all these ghosts is the ‘Blue Boy’. It is said that, as midnight rings, he would cry and moan in agony or fear, indeed, nobody can tell which.

The moans could be traced to a spot near a passage cut through a ten-foot wall.

When the bloodcurdling wails die away, a soft halo of light appears around an old four-poster bed. Anyone sleeping there, even today, say they can see the figure of a young boy dressed in blue and surrounded by light.

Behind the wall, bones of a young boy and fragments of blue clothing were discovered. Another ghost, said to be Lady Mary Berkeley, searches for her husband, who ran off with her sister. Lady Mary, desolate and broken-hearted lived in the castle by herself with only her little baby girl as a companion. Visitors to the castle say the rustle of her dress can be heard as she passes by on the turret stairs.

If you know of other ghosts at the castle, then please leave a comment or two. Obviously, being the most haunted castle in the UK must bring with it many stories. So, tell us all you know about the Chillingham Castle’s ghosts, we would be grateful!

Ghosts, Page 4

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