Tales of haunted Sunderland

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GHOSTLY tales are set to be uncovered in the pages of a spooky book.

Haunted Wearside by Darren W. Ritson explores the mysteries and spectres of Sunderland, Whitburn, Washington and Durham.

But the collection of 50 eyewitness accounts, from some of the area’s most terrifying paranormal hotbeds, comes with a warning – it is not for the faint-hearted.

Civil servant Darren, 41, said he would not recommend the book for anyone under the age of 15.

“Some of the stories describe some of the most terrifying nights I’ve had in my life,” he said.

“One is about the experience I had doing an investigation at The Golden Lion pub in Seaham.

“There was mad poltergeist activity in there.”

Darren, who has penned 20 books since he began writing a decade ago, has studied the ghosts and legends of Wearside for more than 20 years. In June, he was a member of the group Ghost Hauntings Overnight Surveillance Team (Ghost) which appeared on American programme My Ghost Story on Sky’s Biography Channel.

“There is such a rich folkloric history in Sunderland,” he said.

“I did about 40,000 words, but there was enough stuff for a couple of books – if I ever wanted to write another one, there is enough material – but I feel like I’ve scratched that itch.”

He conducted research on Wearside from eyewitness accounts and from the archives of writer Mike Halliwell, from Boldon.

Stories in the ghoulish anthology include the Cauld Lad of Hylton and the headless horsemen seen galloping down Newcastle Road.

Lesser-known legends include a procession of monks seen near Fulwell Mill in the 1920s, and lurking nuns of Franklin Street.

Haunted Wearside can be bought online and from bookshops for £9.99.