The Paranormal Database

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

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Durham Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana


Location: Durham - A1 heading towards Durham
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2015
Further Comments: A horse-mounted highwayman stood on the roadside, looking towards Durham. The legs of the horse vanished at the knee, and the ghost vanishes if approached.

St Cuthbert's Mist

Location: Durham - All over city
Type: Other
Date / Time: 30 May 1942 (night)
Further Comments: A Luftwaffe mission to bomb the city failed after a mist appeared and covered the castle and cathedral, preventing them from being hit. It is said that St Cuthbert created the mist to protect his relics.

Teenage Tearaway

Location: Durham - Area around the Old Rectory
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Late nineteenth century
Further Comments: A postman spotted a ghostly shrouded child as he walked past the graveyard - he panicked and ran, the ghost in pursuit. Reaching home, the postman dived into his bedroom where both he and his wife barricaded themselves in. The phantom could be heard smashing up the room next door; both people took the opportunity to run away. A local wise woman who was summoned convinced the ghost to return to the grave.

Lady in Grey

Location: Durham - Crook Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The staircase here is reportedly haunted by a fleeting female in grey, while a beautiful woman in white has been seen in other areas of the building.

An old postcard of Durham Castle.

Grey Shadow

Location: Durham - Durham Castle, black staircase
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Reportedly the wife of one of the former Prince Bishops of Durham, this figure haunts the black staircase where she fell and broke her neck.

A reproduction of the Sanctuary Knocker at Durham Cathedral: a 'cat headed' demon with three tongues (private collection).

Passage of Horror

Location: Durham - Durham Cathedral
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A secret passage is said to run from the cathedral to Finchale Abbey, though the journey is so terrifying no one can survive the journey. The Sanctuary Knocker at the Cathedral is hundreds of years old and appears to show a demonic entity with three tongues.

Murdered Inmate

Location: Durham - Durham Prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid twentieth century
Further Comments: A ground floor cell is said to be haunted by the scene of one prisoner murdering another with a table knife.

Northumbrian Pipes

Location: Durham - Elvet Bridge (including Jimmy Allen's club)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The horse rustler Jimmy Allen died in this former cell days before his pardon arrived - he can still be heard playing on his pipes from beneath the bridge. The ghost of another man, who mysteriously vanished, would be spotted at the base of the bridge, standing on the river's banks.

Young Woman

Location: Durham - HMP Low Newton Prison
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 26 February 2011
Further Comments: A prisoner reported seeing a woman standing by a window in their cell. A guard later told them that someone had committed suicide in the spot the figure had stood.


Location: Durham - Kerry Foods Factory
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2012
Further Comments: A phantom woman who suddenly disappears when spotted was nicknamed Violet after the scent in the air which she leaves.


Location: Durham - Langley Hall
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Seen galloping towards the hall, this coach is pulled by four black, headless horses. One legend says the coach contains a coffin.

Twisted Man

Location: Durham - North Bailey
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Emerging from the cellar of a property once owned by the city's chief constable, this little man, twisted and bent over, was said to wear a white ruffled shirt, black trousers and a nightcap.

Woman in a Black Dress

Location: Durham - Private residence, Coatsworth Road
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: 1996
Further Comments: A sixteen year old girl screamed for her mother after seeing a phantom woman wearing a black dress appear in a bedroom. The following morning the family received a phone call informing them the girl's grandmother had died the night before, around the same time as the sighting.

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