The Paranormal Database

Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

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Bournemouth Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Bournemouth Town Hall, Dorset.

First World War Soldier

Location: Bournemouth - Bournemouth Town Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 31 October (reoccurring)
Further Comments: This incorporeal soldier of Indian heritage appears here once a year to help himself to a drink of water. There are also a few reports of phantom horses and carriages being seen outside the building, while a ghostly cat is also said to haunt several of the town hall rooms.

Figures in Brown

Location: Bournemouth - Branksome Park estate
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Early twentieth century
Further Comments: Seen in a garden on this estate, several little people dressed in brown played in and around the bushes before being scared off.

Blue Spheres

Location: Bournemouth - Exact location not known
Type: Other
Date / Time: 26 January 2012
Further Comments: Steve Hornsby found a dozen jelly-like, small blue balls in his garden following a hailstorm during which the sky briefly turned dark yellow. While the balls were not formally identified, it was suggested that they could be marine invertebrate eggs, discharge from an airliner toilet, or a kind of plant feed gel.

Langtry Manor Hotel, Bournemouth.


Location: Bournemouth - Langtry Manor Hotel
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late 1970s
Further Comments: The story is that this building was commissioned in 1877 by Edward VII as gift for his mistress Lillie Langtry. The house became an hotel in the 1930s, and during the 1970s, the grey form of a woman, thought to be Langtry, was spotted several times by the hotel's chef. All this told, there is no historical documentation which links the building to Langtry - the story looks as if it was constructed around the 1940s, which means that the ghostly grey lady remains unidentified.

Millhams Lane, Bournemouth.

White Lady

Location: Bournemouth - Millhams Lane, and surrounding Longham area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: February (reoccurring); last confirmed in 1970s, but legends say she continues
Further Comments: The area around the A348 bridge is reportedly haunted by a ghostly white (or grey) woman, killed when hit by a horse and trap along the road. One story says she tries to entice men to jump off the bridge.

West Howe Baptist Church, Bournemouth.

Woman in White

Location: Bournemouth - Outside West Howe Baptist Church, on the corner of Holloway Avenue and Anstey Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1979
Further Comments: A lady dressed in a white gown floated across the road before disappearing through a wall which led to a garden.

Pavilion Theatre, Bournemouth.


Location: Bournemouth - Pavilion Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: The phantom named Emily was thought to be an actress who died in the 1930s. She was blamed for the disembodied footsteps which could be heard on the empty stage, and the occasional poltergeist-like outburst which involved items being thrown around. One member of staff was even said to have been chased along a corridor by the entity. A newspaper article written in 2007 and just prior to the theatre being renovated claimed that the building work may silence Emily, the implication that she was little more than squeaky floorboards and vivid imagination.

Don't Move the Painting

Location: Bournemouth - Private house, Talbot Woods area
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: Circa 1988
Further Comments: Poltergeist activities were said to occur if a painting of an older woman was removed from the wall. Whether the painting or polt are still there is not known.

Cabinet Toppler

Location: Bournemouth - Private residence, Abbott Road, Winton
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: 1981
Further Comments: A family fled their home after a poltergeist outbreak caused chaos. The entity was said to have toppled a kitchen cabinet in front of visiting police, and a priest had his holy water thrown back at him.


Location: Bournemouth - Shelley Theatre
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The haunting here appears to be restricted to stories of ghostly people walking down corridors.

St Andrews Church, Bournemouth.

Smugglers in the Tunnels

Location: Bournemouth - St Andrews Church, Millhams Lane
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The graveyard here is said to contain blocked off tunnels once used by the smuggling community to move their contraband away from the coast. The ghosts of these men are still reported to flit around the area.


Location: Bournemouth - Talbot Woods
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: 2000s
Further Comments: A shadowy hound, said to be slightly larger than a Saint Bernard dog, was reported to haunt this area. The creature has never seen directly, but only from the corner of the eye. Scraping sounds resembling claws on concrete can also be heard, always behind the witness.

The Acorn pub, Bournemouth.


Location: Bournemouth - The Acorn public house (was The Dolphin and then Gullivers), Kinson
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980, and 2008
Further Comments: When this public house was known as The Dolphin, one witness reported waking during the night to the sounds of clinking. Leaving their room to investigate further, they came across the apparition of a man perched on a chest, counting gold coins. After the pub became Gullivers Tavern, mild poltergeist activity was reported, including glasses and pool cues being thrown around, and footsteps heard in empty parts of the building.

Heavyset Man

Location: Bournemouth - Two Counties Radio station, Southcote Road (now Heart Dorset)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Late twentieth century
Further Comments: A presenter working alone in the building reported seeing a man of compact build reflected in the window of the studio he was in. The presenter turned to have a better look at the figure but realised that he was still alone.

Four Figures

Location: Bournemouth - Upper Gardens
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Likely 2000s
Further Comments: On a couple of occasions, four men wearing long black coats with brimmed hats have been seen standing in a row.

West Cliff Road, Bournemouth.


Location: Bournemouth - West Cliff Road
Type: ABC
Date / Time: August 2005, November 2018
Further Comments: In 2005, salesman Kevin Hamersley from Wiltshire said he spotted saw a puma along this road, just one of many sightings in the region. Thirteen years later, a panther was spotted on the patio of another West Cliff resident. It is speculated (and highly unlikely) that the creature lives in the nearby Alum Chime.

Western Avenue, Branksome, Bournemouth.

Tasmanian Wolf

Location: Bournemouth - Western Avenue, Branksome
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 07 April 1974
Further Comments: A strange cat-like creature spotted by a female driver was later identified by her as a Tasmanian wolf, though the creature is thought extinct.

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