13 is said to be an unlucky number. During the month of October, the number 13 resonates with the looming spectre that is All Hallows Eve. As Yorkshire has such a rich and varied heritage, it has a bunch of spooky stories So, we’ve put together a list of 13 Spooky Yorkshire facts, including ghosts, poltergeists and gruesome tales of murders and betrayals.
The figure of Lady Alicia Ingilby is said to haunt the grounds of Ripley Castle. She lost her two children to meningitis in the 1870s who have also been spotted in the grounds. Alicia reportedly died of a broken heart after her children’s death and now floats towards what would have been their bedrooms and then vanishes through a now-locked door without leaving a trace.
York is one of the most haunted cities in Europe with over 500 recorded hauntings. In the cellars of Treasurer’s House in York, Roman soldier spirits have been spotted marching, according to the National Trust these are some of the oldest known ghosts. Many years later, it was revealed that there was a Roman road around 18 inches below the cellar floor…
Armley Mills was originally built in the 16th Century and operated as the world’s largest woollen mill until it was mysteriously burnt down in 1805. A Victorian gentleman is said to appear at night, accompanied by the smell of burning leading people to believe that he was one of the victims of the ferocious fire.
Paper Hall in Bradford is said to be home to several ghosts, one of which peers out of the windows at people passing and another that is thought to be an Admiral that hobbles up and down the stairs in the night. There have also been reports of huge staring eyes and echoing footsteps.
Ye Old Harrow pub in Sheffield has long been called the city’s most haunted pub, standing since 1822, owners have complained of poltergeist activity such as doors closing by themselves and objects vanishing and reappearing. The pub closed permanently in 2008 and has been listed for sale since… But it was mysteriously engulfed in flames in 2019, leaving the insides stripped and bare. The cause of the fire is still debated, but a building that old must hold some secrets…
The Yorkshire Moors are the haunting base for much of the countryside. The expanses of land are so mysterious and misty that they inspired Emily Brontë to incorporate ghosts into Wuthering Heights as the wilderness hides the unknown and provides a barrier against the real world. It’s even reported that Emily’s sister, Charlotte Brontë witnessed vivid visions of ghostly women standing in the hall of a gentlemen’s house which inspired her work on Jane Eyre.
East Riddleston Hall in Keighley is a 17th-century manor house and is allegedly a hot spot for ghostly gatherings. During the Civil War, the Lord of the manor killed his wife after discovering her affair – killing her lover and sealing her behind a wall. Her spirit, now known as the Grey Lady, is said to roam the halls looking for her lost love, being sighted in the aptly named “Grey Lady’s Chamber.”
Not only is Whitby Abbey the basis for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but it’s also said to be the home of a young nun who is seen running scared through the Abbey. Constance de Beverly was said to have met her end once her sisters found out she had broken her sacred vows and sealed her in the stonework of the Abbey whilst she was still alive.
This gorgeous Elizabethan manor house was built in the early 1600s by Sir Henry Griffiths, though the wood panelled walls hold a grizzly secret. Griffiths’ youngest daughter, Anne, was left for dead by thieves while walking nearby. On her deathbed, Anne discussed with her sisters and father that she wanted to remain in their home forever. She requested her head be stored in the house but was denied. At first her spirit tormented her family and house staff alike until they finally conceded and sealed her skull inside the brickwork. This is one of the few known “real” Screaming Skulls in the UK, with many more lying undiscovered.
The Lost Drummer Boy is said to still haunt Richmond, after his unexplained disappearance in the 18th century. He was sent into an underground tunnel, believed to lead to Easby Abbey, as soldiers followed his drumming from above until it suddenly stopped. Nobody dared to find out what had happened to him, and it’s said that his paranormal percussion is still carried across the night winds through Easby Woods.
Matthew is a young Victorian boy said to haunt the Black Swan pub in York. He’s rumoured to be a pickpocket and reportedly pinches items from behind the bar and moves them to strange places… A highwayman also appears in the kitchen, which was built over the stable yard. With ghoulish thieves roaming around it’s best to keep a close eye on your valuables.
This theatre is the oldest operational music hall in the country as it was built in 1865. Despite a 2011 refurbished the Victorian building is rumoured to have host of hauntings including a man in a cape roaming the balconies and a red-haired woman dressed in red floating around during performances. Unexplained poltergeist activity such as bangs, knocks, the warping of paintings and the sounds of the piano playing beyond opening times contribute to an eerie atmosphere in this antique venue.
Scarborough Castle is said to be haunted by dozens of ghosts including Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall, he was captured from Scarborough Castle after a siege by Thomas of Lancaster’s men. While Piers was beheaded in Warwickshire in 1312, his headless ghost has made the trek back up to Yorkshire to roam the cliffside castle.
Thanks for reading, are you convinced by these ghost tales? We hope they don’t keep you up at night. Have a Happy Halloween!!!