10 of York’s spookiest ghost stories as Yorkshire named UK’s most haunted place

Everyone loves a ghost story on Halloween, but the experience of seeing a ghost can be most terrifying.

To date there have been 12,157 “known” paranormal sightings across the UK, according to psychicworld.com , but there is one county that has seen more ghostly activity than any other.

Yorkshire sees strongest supernatural presence, with 790 sighting reports recorded at the site paranormaldatabase.com .

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In addition to a dark and violent history spanning 10,000 years, Yorkshire is home to what are known as the ‘longest-lived ghosts’.

It was the first city in Europe to host ghost walks, with sightings 303% above the UK average, calling it “the haunted capital of Europe”.

While God’s Own Country is pretty haunted overall, it’s the City of York that has seen the scariest stories, with 80 sightings recorded within the walls.

From an army of Roman soldiers to where you can ‘see your future’, here are 10 of York’s Scariest Ghost Stories From The Paranormal Database That Will Make You Think Twice Before You Cheat Or Deal .

18-20 Stonegate (currently Abercrombie)

Abercrombie and Fitch store on Stonegate, York

A report said a teenage girl using the locker room looked in the mirror and spotted another young girl behind her. Believing the girl had accidentally entered the locker room, the teenager turned around and asked the girl to leave.

The girl turned and walked through the wall, and the staff later discovered that a door once existed in the wall where the girl disappeared.

Stone gate

A six-year-old Victorian girl who fell to death on the stairs is said to have haunted this building during the 20th century.

One story says the ghost is a doctor’s daughter and dates back to when the building was a private residence. During one of the doctor’s dinners, the curious girl came out of her top-floor room and tried to peek over the handrail to see who was there when she lost her balance and fell.

The girl could be heard walking up the stairs and was seen sitting on a store counter when a tea room was operating at the site.

5, rue du Collège

During one of the city’s plague outbreaks, a married couple contracted the disease and died, but their only child, a young girl, was not infected.

The little girl screamed at passers-by for help, but no one wanted to believe that she was cured of the disease.

Their door was walled up to prevent the plague from spreading, with the girl and her deceased parents still inside.

It is said that the girl’s crying could be heard for days, until the house was silent. The young girl had finally died of hunger.

Now people have reported seeing the child staring out the window and a young girl’s screams heard coming out of the building, even though it is empty.

the church of all saints

The octagonal lantern tower of All Saints Church, Pavement, York was built around 1400 and for many years housed a light to guide travelers.
The octagonal lantern tower of All Saints Church, Pavement, York was built around 1400 and for many years housed a light to guide travelers.

A pale girl with long curly hair was reportedly seen observing the funeral from the door of the church.

She is said to be dressed in black with a swollen red face and suddenly disappears when approached.

Edge of the river Ouse

The River Ouse in York
The River Ouse in York

Legend has it that a person throws five white pebbles into the river when the Minster clock strikes one o’clock in the morning on May Day, they see their past, present and future.

Other spirits seen on the river are that of a ghost rowing boat and the shadow of a drowned person drifting along the banks of the river.

Four All Public House, A64

One night in November 2006, a driver returning from work reported passing a figure on horseback dressed in highwayman’s clothes, standing near the pub wall.

But when he looked in his rearview mirror, the figure was gone.

Some people say the highwayman is the ghost of Dick Turpin, with sightings dating back to the mid-twentieth century.

A sandstone cave in the area would have been one of Turpin’s hiding places, which is why his soul may haunt the city.

Micklegate Bar Museum

The museum is believed to house a ghost named Sarah, who as a young girl lost the keys to her father’s town.

Sarah devoted the rest of her life to finding them and, at the end of the task, died of old age.

People have reported hearing clicking sounds in the halls of the museum as Sarah walked around the building.

St Crux Church

St Crux Church in York
St Crux Church in York

The remains of St Crux’s Church now form the chapel that stands in the Shambles, where a police officer on duty once heard funeral music played in the building late at night.

As he was about to investigate, the doors opened and people could be heard leaving the service – but there was no one to see.

The church reportedly had a few more frequent ghost visitors, one of whom was a tall, pale-faced man looking out the windows in the early hours of the morning.

The other ghost took the form of a female figure in a shroud and followed people past the church at night, either along Fossgate and vanishing as on reaching Foss Bridge or via St. Andrew Gate, passing out. approaching Spen Lane.

Royal Theater, Place Saint-Léonard

Theater Royal, York.  The 1960s extension on the left seems somewhat incongruous with the main 18th century building.  It's still pretty cool.
Theater Royal, York.

It is said that observing a spirit at the Royal Theater brings good luck to artists.

The gray entity, known as The Gray Nun, was spotted around the building, which was reportedly walled up alive for seeing angels when a hospital existed at the site.

Staff consider this a good omen for any production currently showing whether the Gray Nun appears.

Other reports said music was heard coming from the closed theater late at night, as well as sightings of a spooky actor who died in a nearby duel.

Treasurer’s House, Minster Yard

Here is a view of the Treasurer's House, York, taken from the front (south) of the house, seen from the west corner of the garden.  The house was renovated between 1897-1914.
Treasurer’s House, York

In 1953, Harry Martindale was working on a ladder in the basement of the building when a group of Roman soldiers walked past him along the old Roman road that ran through the basement. Harry was so shocked he fell off his ladder.

The man was able to describe the soldiers’ uniforms and equipment, and where they entered the basement, and never risked his story until his death in 2015.

Although he was told his description of the soldiers was wrong and that the uniforms and equipment did not match those used by the invaders, local archaeological findings later proved Harry’s sightings to be correct.

Other ghosts that have taken up residence in this house are that of a dog, a black cat, the spirit of George Aislaby, who was killed in a duel, and the ghost of Frank Green, who transformed the interior in what it is today.

The tapestry room is said to have an oppressive atmosphere, with the story telling that the wife of a former owner murdered him after an extramarital affair.

Yorkshire certainly has its fair share of spooky ghost stories, with Greater London teeming with both the living and the dead. There have been 685 reported paranormal sightings, from the “Red Lady” to “Highgate Vampire”.

Lancashire is the third most haunted country, with 529 sightings, famous for its shapeshifters and witches, such as the Pendle witch group executed in 1612.

At the other end is Rutland, England’s smallest county, with a total of six frightening sightings to date.

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About Norma Wade

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