North East England is a fertile landscape for ghost hunters. Both experienced trackers and newer enthusiasts will find a tremendous variety of supernatural phenomena in these parts.
But with so much choice, where do you start your investigation? To help you find the ghost hunt you’re after, we’ll break down what you need to know about spooky adventures in the North East. We discuss locations, hauntings, paranormal activity, expected experiences, and ghost tours.
Ghost Hunting Northeast: An Overview
North East England comprises Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear and a part of North Yorkshire.
Here are the types of ghost hunting locations you can expect:
- Halls and homes
- Community centres
- Theatres and museums
- Pubs and inns
- Religious sites
As the local papers say: “The North East is rich with heritage and history – it is not a surprise that it is the site of some of the UK’s most well-known paranormal hotspots.”
So gather your ghost hunting equipment and prepare for strange encounters of the paranormal kind…
Lumley Castle Hotel, County Durham
Over 900 years old, this castle hotel is reputedly haunted by several ghosts. The most famous is Lily Lumley, a former resident who tragically died on her wedding night and now roams the halls looking for her lost love. Additionally, poltergeist spirit Black Jack loves to mess with guests by moving items about.
Manor House Hotel, County Durham
Stay in Room 6 if you want to connect with a young boy crying for his mother. Or Room 8, where it’s said a murder was committed and a man’s presence is felt. Discover a strange lady, Betty, wandering around looking for her son.
Schooner Hotel, Northumberland
The Schooner Hotel is right up there with the spookiest hotels around. Dozens of spirits are said to stalk these halls, including a Victorian lady of the night (reportedly murdered), a mischievous poltergeist named Edward, and several children.
Grand Hotel, Scarborough
This huge 19th-century Victorian establishment offers a terrific atmosphere for investigators looking to explore its haunted past. Objects mysteriously moving, hangings falling from walls, singing, screaming, and strange laughter are routinely experienced. Oh, also look out for the lady in the red dress…
Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
Most seasoned paranormal investigators have a chilling story about Chillingham Castle. It’s rightly known as one of the most haunted locations in the UK. The castle’s dark and bloody history has unleashed numerous unsettled spirits.
You can look forward to eerie encounters with the Radiant Boy, who cries in a secret passageway at midnight. Or the White Pantry Ghost, a frail figure who hovers near the inner pantry.
Listen for a rustle of a dress – it could be the tragic Lady Berkeley, whose husband left her for her sister. The ghostly presence of former prisoners may also manifest.
Durham Castle, Durham
An 11th-century Norman castle, Durham has been occupied since the 1830s by the University College. Plenty of weird goings-on have occurred within these walls over the years.
Perhaps the most common apparition is the Grey Lady, who haunts the staircase from which she fell in the 19th century. You may also encounter the ghost of an ambitious young student who took his life because he was upset about his grades.
Newcastle Castle, Newcastle
Looking for haunted places in the centre of Newcastle? Look no further. At Newcastle Castle, you’ll learn all about notorious serial killer Daniel Feany and tap into scores of paranormal possibilities.
Newcastle Castle has a long and gruesome history as both a fortress and a prison. The ghosts of prisoners executed here haunt this foreboding fortress. Visitors have reported disembodied voices, phantom footsteps, and apparitions aplenty.
This includes the vengeful Black Monk who was murdered in the castle and now seeks revenge and an innocent flower girl (Poppy).
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
Have you heard the story of the servant who fell down a chute in the kitchen and was crushed when the dumb waiter fell on her? This reportedly happened in Alnwick Castle, where the young servant now haunts. Additionally, the Whistling Lad stable boy fell to his death here, and his whistling still echoes through the walls today.
More haunted castles in the North East: Bamburgh Castle, Dunstanburgh Castle, and the ruins of Edlingham Castle.
Vane Tempest Hall, Durham
Built in the 1860s and used as a lookout point during World War II, Vane Tempest Hall is now a community centre and a popular location for paranormal investigations. The hall was reportedly built on a mass grave and subsequently served as a military barracks and smallpox hospital.
A ghost hunt here can deliver anything and everything: howling, banging doors, and disembodied voices. A disfigured soldier and Lady in White are regular spectral visitors. If clowns freak you out, be warned – a ghoulish clown has reportedly been witnessed here too!
Beamish Hall, County Durham
Beamish Hall is a country house (now a hotel) built in the mid-18th century by the Eden family, who married into the Shafto family. One of their descendants was Robert Shafto. Yes, the famous Bobby Shafto! Look out for his ghost who haunts Beamish Hall to this day.
Ceddesfeld Hall, County Durham
Ceddesfeld Hall is a former rectory infamously known for the ghost of the Pickled Parson of Sedgefield. He was a rector named John Gamage in the 18th century. According to legend, his wife preserved his body in salt or brandy after he died, so she could continue to collect his tithes from landowners.
The Pickled Parson still haunts the grounds between the Old Rectory and St. Edmunds Church.
5 More Spooky Locations in the Region
- Royalty Theatre, Sunderland – Royalty Theatre was built on a former church and graveyard and was used as a soldier’s hospital during World War I. This maze of a building becomes pretty spooky when you hear strange voices, feel chills, and see an entity in a Victorian coat pacing the stage. A great night at the theatre for spectral sleuths!
- Hexham Old Gaol, Hexham – Hexham Old Gaol, dating back to the 14th century, is one of the oldest purpose-built jails in England. With former prisoners haunting its confines, visitors regularly report cold spots, blasts of cold air, unexplained sounds including doors slamming, and uneasy feelings of being watched.
- Charles Young Centre, South Shields – This community centre in South Shields has been a church, an air-raid shelter, and a decontamination centre. There’s no doubt there is some angry poltergeist activity occurring here, with pictures flying from the walls and windows slamming. It could be the doings of an aggressive black figure sometimes glimpsed.
- Ship Isis, Sunderland – Pubs don’t come much scarier than the Ship Isis. Unexplained singing, crying, and screaming have given many the chills. Perhaps because the serial killer Mary Ann Cotton is believed to have prowled the premises.
- North East Land, Sea, and Air Museums, Sunderland – There are many ghostly legends about ex-RAF airmen who died in unfortunate circumstances haunting this interesting museum site.
Ghost Hunting Tours
To go ghost hunting in many of the locations we’ve discussed, you will need to join a ghost hunt with an officially recognised operator. These are professionally organised adventures that use modern ghost hunting gear.
For more individual investigations, consider visiting ruined priories and castles like Edlingham Castle or paranormal hotspots like Crossgate in Durham or coastal Whitby. You could also visit pubs like Ship Isis without a tour or book Room 8 at the Manor House Hotel for a white-knuckle night!
Can I go ghost hunting in abandoned mines in the North East?
There are several abandoned mines in the North East but accessing these sites is dangerous and sometimes illegal. To explore a haunted mine you could book a tour in the Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum, North Yorkshire.
Are there good ghost walks in the North East?
You will see there is a ton of choice when it comes to ghost hunting adventures in the North East. If you research the locations and target your investigations, you will hopefully uncover evidence that adds to the many documented spooky happenings in this intriguing area of England.