Steeped in history, York is claimed to have more reported hauntings that anywhere else in Europe. In 2002, the International Ghost Research Foundation documented 504 hauntings within the city. Believer or not, everyone loves a good ghost story so here are our top 5 York hauntings!
The imposing Minster in York is said to be haunted by a dog named Seamus, whose barks can be heard echoing throughout the ancient building. According to the stories passed down, the owner of Seamus was a stonemason who worked on the Minster. Neither Seamus nor his Master were popular amongst the other workers. The workers therefore, decided to brick Seamus in behind a wall. His Master was unable to find him, leaving Seamus to die in the darkness barking helplessly.
In another story which was published in the book “Accredited Ghost Stories” by T.M. Jarvis in 1823, a visit to the Minster by a group of friends resulted in some of the party becoming separated. Whilst trying to find the rest of the group, they were approached by a gentleman in a full naval uniform. He paused in front of them and then whispered in the ear of one of the ladies in the group “There is a future state …” after which he proceeded to walk past them before disappearing completely.
The woman whom the man had been spoken to was shocked. The man that had spoken to her was her brother. They had both made a pact that should either of them die they would confirm to the other the existence of an afterlife. Her brother had at that moment, been killed at sea.
Dean Court Hotel
The Dean Court Hotel, close to the Minster has an array of its own ghost stories. Room 36 in the hotel is reported by guests to have an odd sensation when they first enter. Some guests in the room feel a pressure on the bed and also a cold spot in the room which is noticeable even when the rest of the room is warm.
There has also been reports of a Roman Soldier. The metal helmet used to identify the apparition as Roman however has been disputed. It is true that the area around York Minster was a Roman garrison although the hotel was constructed long after the presence of the garrison.
Golden Fleece Pub
Reported to be the most haunted pub in York, the Golden Fleece is reputed to be haunted amongst others by Lady Anne Peckett. The pub itself has documented origins back to 1503.
Lady Anne was the wife of the former Mayor of York, John Peckett. A number of both staff and guests have claimed to see Lady Anne Peckett walking the halls and stairs at night.
One Eyed Jack is also commonly sighted in the bottom bar area. Dressed in a red coat uniform with a pistol in his hand, he is sometimes joined by a grumpy old man in the bar.
The Black Swan is a 17th
century tavern. Built originally in 1417 as a family home, it now has a number of its own ghostly sightings.
The first is a Charlie Chaplin type figure complete with bowler hat. Reported to be a workman, sightings have reported him tutting to himself whilst impatiently walking from room to room. He then gradually fades away.
Separately, the spectre of a beautiful young woman with flowing black hair in a white dress has also been spotted. Reports say that the woman seems in deep thoughts as she looks towards the fireplace.
Finally, the strangest siting is a disembodied pair of male legs walking around the landlords quarters!
Ye Olde Starre Inn
The Inn itself dates back to 1644 though it is thought that the cellar is even older. The cellar is the source of most reports and sightings and that is where we’ll begin. There have been instances of screams and groans coming from the cellar. It is understood that the cellar was used as a room to treat Royalist soldiers during the civil war.
There is often seen an old woman wearing black in the pub. Whilst there isn’t much information on who the woman is, she can be seen in the vicinity of the staircase.
Ghost Tours in York
There are ghost tours around York city centre
that will take you to the location of these hauntings and others. Why not make a weekend of it and stay in one of the many self-catering apartments in York
to make the most of your trip.