Happy Halloween - 13 Mackem pubs where spirits of a spooky kind are on tap....!

Haunted? Barbary Coastclub/pub in 1983. Home to a juke box joker.
Haunted? Barbary Coastclub/pub in 1983. Home to a juke box joker.
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Sunderland is hauntingly popular with ghosts - if the scores of spiritual sightings over the centuries are to be believed.

From a juke box joker in Monkwearmouth, to a former Carry On star, highwayman, mass-murderer, cavalier and even a Grease-style Pink Lady - Wearside boasts ghosts of them all.

The Londonderry in 1980Does an old landlady haunt the pub?

The Londonderry in 1980Does an old landlady haunt the pub?

Here we take a look at just some of the pubs where ghostly spirits are on tap...

1: The Circle Bar at the Sunderland Empire. Said to be haunted by Carry On star Sid James, who collapsed on stage and later died. Comedian Les Dawson claimed to have seen Sid’s ghost.

2: Manor Quay/Barbary Coast club: Back in the 1980s a cleaner unplugged the juke box to use the hoover one morning - and then the fun and games started. Posters fell from the wall, the juke box started playing music and the ghostly figure of a man floated up the stairs wearing a long coat.

“I was scared and ran out of there like a bat from hell and packed that job in the same day,” she said. It is believed that the ghost MAY have been a man who pushed the dead through Monkwearmouth.

Ex Sunderland players SAFC players pictured at the opening of Bobby Kerr's new pub Park Lane in 1987.

Ex Sunderland players SAFC players pictured at the opening of Bobby Kerr's new pub Park Lane in 1987.

3: The Isis, Silksworth Row. Crying, screaming and mysterious singing have been heard in the cellars, which were used as air raid shelters during World War Two.

Apparitions of a Victorian lady and a young girl have also been witnessed, and rumour has that murderess Mary Ann Cotton buried a couple of her victims in tunnels beneath the pub.

4: Grand Hotel, Bridge Street: Now demolished. Supposedly haunted by the ghost of an ex-manager. The office door of the former employee would open and close on its own.

5: The Blue Bell, Fulwell. Paranormal activity and sightings were reported in the cellar several years ago. The pub is close to the scene of a wartime tragedy, which may explain the spirits.

Isis pub.

Isis pub.

6: Black Horse, West Boldon: Home to a “Sad Cavalier” who has been spotted by staff at the former coaching inn. Described as wearing the tall boots, leggings and wide-brimmed hat typical of the 17th century, the “swarthy” man simply vanishes into thin air when asked if he needs any help.

7: Highwayman Robert Hazlitt is said to haunt The Blacksmith’s Table at Washington – a 400-year-old building which was once a thriving blacksmith’s workshop.

Hazlitt demanded money with menaces from travellers on the roads around Washington, Wrekenton and Long Bank during the late 18th century - until hanged for his crimes.

8: Park Lane: Sounds of ghostly children playing on the stairs, as well as mysterious footsteps in the staff quarters and cold spots around the building were reported.

Grand Hotel - Bridge Street.

Grand Hotel - Bridge Street.

9: The Alexandra: A paranormal investigation in 2008 reported mysterious knocking sounds, the essence of a small girl, a ghostly pair of legs and a scratch made by a spirit on a ghosthunter.

10: Dun Cow, next to the Empire: Said to be the haunt of Molly Moselle, an assistant stage manager for Ivor Novello’s show The Dancing Years, who vanished without trace in 1949 while on an errand.

11: Londonderry pub, Crowtree Road: It has been said the the ghost of a former landlady remained rooted to her old home - despite the decades passing by.

12: The Wheatsheaf Inn, West Boldon. Multiple murder, bloody revenge and a tortured child’s voice are said to be behind the ghostly goings-on at the pub.

Staff and regulars at the Rectory Bank boozer have witnessed chairs and pan lids being thrown across rooms, screwed-in lampshades crashing to the floor, and a child’s handprint found in jelly.

13: Jolly Sailor, Whitburn: The ancient coaching inn is said to be home to several ghosts including a Green Lady, who is said to have been dumped by a visiting coachman and then pined away.

Empire Theatre September 1960.

Empire Theatre September 1960.

There is also a Grey Lady at the pub, who has been described as moving like a “pall of smoke” and seems to be elderly. There is rumoured to be a Pink Lady too - just like in the musical Grease!

** Look out for more ghost stories in Wearside Echoes on Thursday and Friday.

Haunted? The Blue Bell at Fulwell in the 1980s. Home to various bumps in the night.

Haunted? The Blue Bell at Fulwell in the 1980s. Home to various bumps in the night.

The Alexandra at Grangetown.

The Alexandra at Grangetown.