‘Tis the time for tales of ghostly happenings and doubtful spectres. There are many tales of ghostly presences, and there are many people who have seen ‘apparitions’ for which there is no rational explanation, because of our long and sometimes challenging history the idea that some poor souls might well come back to haunt us is not altogether implausible.
The Dun Cow in Central Durham was formerly known as ‘The Hangman’s Pub’ to which said executioner would head before and after a busy day at work. During the 19th Century felons met their end across the road on the walls of the prison. Considering the numbers of unfortunates who met their maker facing the Inn it would be surprising if none of them came back to haunt the place. The Dun Cow Inn is now a thriving tavern at the heart of the City and is almost certainly the oldest pub in town. Well worth popping for a drink and you may just see someone who has no reflection in the mirrors…
The Young Lady of Crossgate, the ghost of a young woman has been seen. The spectre is believed to be that of a Victorian girl from the workhouse close to Allergate, she was murdered then pushed down steep steps. The soldier who confessed the crime was dealt with, but the Young Lady of Crossgate is still looking for peace, poor lass.
The ancient City of York boasts the most haunted pub in the Country in the Golden Fleece, its bedrooms come complete with creaking doors that open by themselves, dis-embodied footsteps outside rooms at night and an astonishing amount of paranormal activity, and people still manage to sleep there.
Marston Grotto in South Shields, is built into the cliff face. The ghost of John the Jibber, a smuggler, is known to haunt the bar. John was murdered by fellow criminals after selling information to the Customs Men. He met a very grisly end as they hung him in a barrel in the cave and left him to starve to death. The old landlord used to set a tankard of beer out on the bar for the ghost every evening at closing time and in the morning it would always be empty. When a local DJ decided to drink from the tankard, he so angered the spirit that ashtrays were inexplicably sent smashing against the wall, beer taps left on and the cellar flooded. The landlord was forced to sell up.
For those interested there are Durham Ghost Walks available in Durham City. The truth it is said, is always stranger than fiction, and whilst some airily dismiss stories of ghosts and paranormal activities there are those who firmly believe that they are real. We leave that to your own conclusion.
Enjoy Halloween, stay safe and watch out, if reveling in the City, for the ghostly presence of the Young Woman of Crossgate, and should you pop into the Dun Cow best leave the spirits alone…