We caught up with Cumbria’s ghost hunter, Joanne Ellwood who started the West Cumbria paranormal group S.P.I.R.I.T UK (Solway Paranormal), to see what she thought was the most haunted places in the region.
“I’ve always had an inclination into the paranormal ever since I was in primary school. It maybe makes me sound a bit crazy but it’s a part of my life, I wanted to be able to understand why I’m able to be able to do things others can’t do,” she said.
The group is open for the public to come and join them on investigations, you don’t need to be a believer, they only ask that you be open-minded.
They also offer home visits to help families find out whether their home is haunted, all the ask in return is for a cuppa.
“A lot of people don’t believe it and that’s fair enough but my experience is different. If you don’t that’s perfectly fine, we don’t do this for money, fame or fortune, it’s just to give people an experience that we’ve felt,” she said.
1. Carlisle Castle
The historic building dating back to 1093, is one in which Joanne said her and team sticks out as probably the most haunted, as she remembers her and the team hearing what sounded like “100 horses coming into the castle”.
A spot Joanne recommends visiting the dungeons, as even during the daylight “there’s a presence”.
2. Dacre Hall, Lanercost Priory, Brampton
Reputed to be the oldest village hall in England and forms part of the 12th Century Lanercost Priory, situated in a secluded spot near Hadrian’s Wall, seems like the perfect place for things to go bump in the night.
3. Helena Thompson Museum, Workington
“Something happens here every time we go – I’d really recommend it.
“A friend of mine took a photo of a woman in the window, who looked like a maid, one definitely worth checking out,” she said.
4. Irton Hall, Holmrook
A gorgeous site but guests should be prepared to share with The Grey Lady, who roams the grounds. As the story has it, a lady was locked in the tower where she starved to death and her ghost now roams the grounds of Irton Hall.
5. Lowther Castle, Penrith
One Joanne recommends as “interesting” but merely the outside as upon an investigation, they spotted a shimmery figure on a horse roaming the grounds.
With reports of an apparent haunting by James Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale, born 1736, known as ‘the ghost of ‘Wicked Jimmy’.
6. RAF Silloth
The airfield was originally designed to be used by RAF Maintenance Command but was handed over to Coastal Command in November 1934, full of WW2 memories.
One the group claims they had quite a lot of activity at within the hangers, following the aftermath of an explosion. A perfect spot steeped with war-time history, it could just be perfect for a sighting.
7. Railway Club, Workington
“Sightings of a monk, that would be part of the old St Michael’s church monastry. One of the team took a picture of a hatstand, and the monk had sort of transfigured onto the hat stand. I said that’s a great photo, send me it but when he tried, it had disappeared.
“You actually find you get a lot of monk sightings in Cumbria- especially around Workington,” she said.
8. Wordsworth House, Cockermouth
One of the William Wordsworth’s homes is one Jo said is iconic and well-worth a visit.
“I’ve been there twice, and we had a housemaid telling us to get out at one point,” she said.
Let us know in the comments if there are any other spots that you think may be haunted.
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