And with history come ghost stories. Here we look at some the spectres said to walk the walls of our region’s historic buildings.
1. Washington Old Hall, Washington
Washington Old Hall is a manor house which is located in the Washington area of Tyne and Wear, the very first building on the site that Washington Old Hall now stands upon was that of a wooden Saxon Hall dating back to the 10th century. This hall is said to be haunted by the spirit of a woman whom is described as wearing a long grey dress and gliding along the floor, usually accompanied by the smell of lavender.
Photo: Picture by Corrina Atkinson
2. Castle Keep, Newcastle
Built on the site of the fortress which gave the city of Newcastle its name, Castle Keep is the Castle’s main fortified tower, and dates back to the 12th century. One of Newcastle’s most haunted buildings, the ghost of the Poppy Girl, who died after being imprisoned in the castle, is one of Castle Keep’s most renowned ghosts. Other paranormal activity includes the ghostly chanting of unseen monks, and blood-curdling screams which have been heard coming from the gallery. This haunted building has also been the subject of numerous paranormal investigations, once featuring in an episode of Most Haunted.
Photo: Google Streetview
3. Beamish Hall Hotel, County Durham
Beamish Hall hotel is a historic building located in County Durham, which dates back to the mid-18th century. near the town of Stanley. It is a Grade-II listed building which has had numerous reportings of paranormal activity. One of these ghostly sightings is that of an Edwardian lady in a pink hat who is seen sat in the Eden Lounge with a parrot and a cat, whilst another female spirit who is believed to have suffocated in a trunk after hiding to avoid a pre-arranged marriage, was spotted by a vet who once visited the house. Children have also been heard playing in the attic and ghostly figure of a woman who goes by the name of Charlotte is also frequently seen in the hotel’s reception.
4. The Seaton Hotel, Seaton Carew
This former coach house has a long history of paranormal activity, with bar staff said to have frequently encountered ghostly occurrences over the years. One of the most renowned occasions relates to a member of staff going to open the pub at the beginning of the day, only to find mysterious wet and sandy footprints leading through the lobby, starting at one of the bolted entrances going onto the next.
Photo: FRANK REID 2014