Fancy being physically attacked by a black-eyed monk, or having a conversation with the ghost of a ginger kid?
No, neither do we, but if you want to have ghouls screaming in your face, ChronicleLive has rounded up the best places to have a paranormal encounter in Newcastle and the North East.
1) Schooner Hotel, Alnmouth, Northumberland
Voted the most haunted hotel in the UK, twice, by the Poltergeist Society, people have interacted with ghosts at the Schooner.
Allegedly, a man killed his wife, two children and himself in room 28. More recently, a woman staying in room 28 woke up in the middle of the night to see her daughter chatting to someone. When she asked the daughter who she was talking to she said the man at the end of the bed and wondered why her mum couldn’t see him.
The hotel does push the ghost element on its website, claiming there are 60 individual spirits
2) Dirty Bottles, Ye Olde Cross, Alnwick
Nothing spooky about some dirty bottles, eh? Think again. The row of bottles that sits behind the window of Ye Olde Cross pub in Alnwick is cursed. Cursed, I tell you. The last man to touch them two centuries ago, the landlord, died on the spot, and this huge coincidence has led to a superstition, fuelled by the man’s widow, that whoever disturbs them will die a similar death.
3) Bamburgh Castle
Beware the pink lady at Bamburgh Castle. According to Haunted Castles of Britain and Ireland by Richard Jones, she is allegedly – and we use the word strongly – a princess who was in love with a man of whom her father did not approve.
He sent the lad away overseas and told his daughter her suitor had married someone else. To cheer her up, he had a beautiful pink dress made for her – but she ended up wearing it while throwing herself off the battlements.
4) Beamish Hall Hotel, County Durham
There’s quite a collection of ghosts in Bobby Shafto’s old home. It is said he is one of the spirits that roams the corridors looking for his lost love. In the story, she hid in a cupboard and the door accidentally became locked, and she died. There are reports of a tall man in a tweed suit resembling Shafto. There is also allegedly an Edwardian lady in a pink hat in the Eden Lounge, children in the attic, ‘Charlotte’ in reception, and the grey lady.
Not only two of the most famous landmarks in Newcastle, the former having given Newcastle its name, but they are also two of the most famous haunted locations in the North East. There are regular ghost hunts to see the paranormal remnants of the Castle Keep’s 1,500 years of war, murder, witchcraft, plague, suicide and brutal prison life.
Take your pick from the many stories cited by ghost hunt organisers Alone In the Dark Entertainment: a civil war soldier in the castle museum and queen’s chamber, a dark figure in the chapel, a ginger boy who speaks to visiting children in the garrison room, a dark entity that makes people feel sick and sometimes pass out and, most alarmingly, a dark monk who has no eyes who attacks visitors and leaves marks on them.
Witches and criminals who have been held there over the years also ‘drop in’, and on the roof, there’s a ghost of a man blown off while firing a cannon and another of a man who jumped off in 1988.
6) Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
Renowned as one of the most haunted buildings in the North East, Chillingham Castle is said to house at least six ghosts including the ghost of Lady Mary Berkeley, wife of Lord Grey of Wark and Chillingham.
The castle is privately owned but there have been ghost hunts held there over the years, and there are supposed sightings of a ‘blue boy’.
Leonora, Lady Tankerville recorded several ghostly encounters in the 1920s regarding Chillingham Castle. She claimed to have vividly dreamed about Chillingham before ever having been there or had it described and dreaming about talking to her future husband’s brother, who had actually died two years before.
She also said she had been watched by a young officer friend of the couple, who had earlier died, and had also seen portents of the First World War.
7) Washington Old Hall
Local paranormal investigator Dean Maynard said he saw some mist hovering in the Panel Room just off the main hall, and it appeared to be trying to take on a human shape. Perhaps this was the ‘woman in grey’, or maybe the man who has been seen watching over weddings in the great hall. There have also been children’s voices heard on the staircase and a man in 1940s clothes in the garden.
8) Manor House Hotel, West Auckland, County Durham
Featured on Most Haunted, the show claimed there is a ghost of a young boy in room six crying and looking for his mother, and the owner’s son says he spoke to the child. Staff also refer to a ghost called ‘Betty’ upstairs who is looking for her son.
The show also claimed a ‘large man’ has been seen in room seven, a murder was committed in room eight, that people feel they are being followed or watched, and that there is a smell of tobacco coming from room four at 3am when no-one was in there. Staff apparently also claim to have seen objects fly across the room.
A local investigator also says he has heard strange knocking noises from unoccupied rooms, a locked wardrobe door opened twice in room 34, a little girl’s voice was heard on a walkie talkie during a seance and one of his team appeared to get possessed.
9) The Cooperage, Newcastle Quayside
The alleyway next to the pub is said to be the home of the spirit of Henry Hardwick. Local paranormal investigator Dean Maynard said: “The story goes that Hardwick was trying to escape a press gang. The gang caught up with him. Angry that he had tried to get away the men beat him to death and gouged out his eyes. A ghostly figure is seen late at night with only black sockets where the eyes should be.”
10) Old George pub, Newcastle
Reports abound of bar staff feeling like they are being watched and feeling uneasy about going into certain parts alone, such as the function room.
Also, when Charles I was being held by the Scots in Pilgrim Street Newcastle for a few months in 1646, he was allegedly allowed to stop for a drink at the George after playing golf on the Shieldfield. The “Charles I Room” and the chair in which he sat still exist and visitors have reported seeing the outline of a grey figure sitting in it.
Share any spooky experiences you’ve had, whether at the locations above or another North East venue, in the comments below!