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Carlisle Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

The ghostly highwayman of the A6.


Location: Carlisle - A6, Barrock Hill near Carlisle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: An infamous highwayman, Whitfield's capture resulted in his hanging for murder - but the rope, not tight enough, did not kill Whitfield outright. Several days later a passing coachman heard Whitfield crying and moaning, still dangling from the noose. To end the suffering, the coachman shot the hanged man; Whitfield's ghost can still be heard today crying for help.

Margery Jackson

Location: Carlisle - Botcherby area
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1960s
Further Comments: Folklore said that a farm cottage, long since demolished, on top of a hill to be haunted by an old woman. In life, Jackson always wore old clothing and wooden clogs and while considered poor by locals, after she died it became apparent that she had hidden away fifty thousand pounds. It is thought her ghost manifested in one of the houses since built on the site of her home.

Little Man

Location: Carlisle - Brown Lane, opposite the Cathedral
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Circa 1868
Further Comments: Two people watched a little man dressed in brightly coloured clothing with large silver buckles on his shoes vanish into the proverbial thin air.

Labrador-Sized Cat

Location: Carlisle - Bypass close to wooded area near Asda
Type: ABC
Date / Time: 04 August 2012
Further Comments: Raymond Sant reported seeing a large black cat with a long tail, the size of a Labrador, as he and his wife drove to Asda.

An old postcard of Carlisle Castle.

White Woman

Location: Carlisle - Carlisle Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1842
Further Comments: A soldier on guard duty challenged this fabled phantom woman; she faded in front of him and he died of shock several hours later. It is believed the ghost may have belonged to a body found in 1835, bricked up in a castle wall.

Headless Man

Location: Carlisle - Carlisle Railway Station
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Several entities were reported in the Cumberland News to haunt this station, including a headless man on platform eight, another man who points towards the Undercroft, and a woman in a veil who travels along corridors.


Location: Carlisle - Citadel Restaurant
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid to late twentieth century
Further Comments: A tall black shape emerged through a wall, pouring itself onto the ground. An old woman wearing grey may also haunt the site.

Solway Spaceman

Location: Carlisle - Coastal marshland NW of town
Type: UFO
Date / Time: 24 May 1964
Further Comments: Jim Templeton, while taking family photographs, caught on film a strange white figure wearing what appears to be a spacesuit floating behind his daughter. Jim stated that the figure was not visible at the time of taking the photograph. Author David Clarke wrote that the figure is likely to have been Templeton's wife Annie, the 'spaceman' illusion created by overexposure.

Unlucky Art

Location: Carlisle - Cursing Stone, Carlisle Museum
Type: Curse
Date / Time: 2001 onwards
Further Comments: Since the installation of artist Gordon Young's sculpted granite 'Cursing Stone' inscribed with a 16th century curse in one of Carlisle's museums in 2001, misfortune has plagued the city - local farm stock were wiped out by foot-and-mouth disease, a devastating flood occurred, several factories have closed, a boy killed in a local bakery and Carlisle United football team dropped a league.


Location: Carlisle - Diesel Loco 37069
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: While running as Thornaby TMD, this locomotive was said to be haunted by a driver killed when an object smashed through the window. The horn is still said to blow unaided, and a phantom figure reputed to occasional appear.

Tunnel Dweller

Location: Carlisle - Friar's Tavern
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A secret tunnel that connects the Friar's Tavern to the cathedral is thought to be haunted by an entity that constantly travels between the two locations - strange sounds and knockings have been heard, even though parts of the passageway have been blocked.

Woman in Old Fashioned Clothing

Location: Carlisle - Private flats, Norfolk Road
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1970s
Further Comments: The man who spotted the woman in old fashioned clothing originally mistook her for a real person. She ignored his greeting and the woman walked into a room. The witness later found out the room the woman entered had been closed, padlocked, and had not been unlocked for many years.

Victorian Woman

Location: Carlisle - Rented house along Borland Avenue, Botcherby
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: January 2008
Further Comments: While photographing her daughter, Stephanie Harty caught what she believed to be a ghostly Victorian woman in the background of the shot.

Sobbing Child

Location: Carlisle - Residence along Mardale Road, Raffles
Type: Poltergeist
Date / Time: September 2007
Further Comments: Allison Marshall and her four children left their home after the building developed strange cold spots and small items began flying across the rooms. The occupants also reported hearing a child sobbing at night. The Carlisle Housing Association, who own the property, said they had arranged for a vicar to visit Alison.

White Blob

Location: Carlisle - Simply Food & Drinks, Durranhill Road, Botcherby
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 02 March 2010
Further Comments: Reported in local news, staff at this shop reported a white entity which could be seen on CCTV camera. The white shape entered and left the front door of the shop several times over an hour, unnerving the staff, although the 'entity' is more likely to have been an insect close to the lens or light flare.

Laughing Cavalier

Location: Carlisle - West Walls, Abbey Street, Paternoster Row
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown, but said to appear at dawn
Further Comments: The ghostly Cavalier emerges from the wall and, moving swiftly along its predetermined route, reaches a set of steps where he vanishes.

Horace Wimpole

Location: Carlisle - Woodland near Heatherleigh Hall
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Late nineteenth century?
Further Comments: A former owner of the property wrote that he saw the ghost of Horace riding on a black horse several times, always just prior to the death of a loved one.

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