Ghost stories in York

With a chilling wind and spittle of rain; it wasn’t an ideal evening to be wandering around the snickleways of York. But, I had an EMF ghost meter and wasn’t afraid to use it.

No, I wasn’t on a ghost walk – that’s so-o-o last year, dahling: I was out and about as part of Spooksfest – a random weekend in March dedicated to spooky goings on around York.

Unfortunately my Saturday had been taken over by drinking in ten real ale pubs (though to be fair many of them will claim to be haunted so probably count), so didn’t get to hear the talks on EVP, orbs and phone calls from the dead. But it all looked fascinating.

I attended the ghost stories around the fire event at the Red Lion pub located on the corner of Merchantgate and Walmgate. Why then, I hear you ask was I wandering about the streets if I was meant to be warming myself on some open flames? Well, it turned out there was an bonus jaunt to Dick Turpin’s grave thrown in and some lurking around the sheds at the back of the pub.

That aside, most of the evening was spent by the fire with the thoroughly entertaining storytellers, Gothic Molly and Adrian Spendlow (oh and a few glasses of wine*). Taking it in turns to spook us, both Molly and Spendlow threw themselves into telling York classics such as the Roman soldiers in the Treasurer’s House and tales of the Barguest, the terrifying black dog that lurks in the alleys. It was all delivered perfectly; in part creepy and at times mischievous.

Even if you don’t believe the ghostly element of some of the stories, York it seems, has many skeletons. The story of the orphans at Bedern is disturbing on many levels. Awful living conditions, starvation and the master of the orphanage driven mad by his own cruelty and greed; it’s grim stuff. And that’s without the ghostly children chanting and screaming in the present day.

Gothic Molly and Adrian Spendlow are involved with many events around York over the year, check out their websites and make sure you are as far away from them as possible. They’re scary people. 🙂

No seriously, go, hear some stories.

Adrian Spendlow:
Gothic Molly:

*though should real ales float your boat, the Red Lion is on the list (this list is a PDF by the way).


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