Haunted York

Written by: Little

Spooky York – the most haunted city in Europe


As the nights draw in, our thoughts turn to Halloween and scary ghostly tales. York has been named the most haunted city in the United Kingdom and according to the local tourism office, has been voted the most haunted city in Europe as well, with reputedly over 500 ghosts haunting the city.


Many shops have their own ghost; M&S has a spooky shelf stacker who reorganises shelves at night, much to the annoyance of its staff, and if you are shopping at Jack Wills beware of who is looking back at you when you admire your reflection in the dressing room mirror!


Some accommodation providers have a ghost in residence too! If you want an early morning call then why not stay in the Golden Fleece where guests have reportedly been woken by the icy hand of a Second World War airman or at the Dean Court Hotel situated opposite the Minster, guests have reported hearing the slamming of doors, objects being moved around and unusual cold spots in the rooms, even in the middle of summer.


In 1953, Harry Martindale, an apprentice plumber, was installing a new central heating system in the cellar at Treasurer's House which is situated on the site of a roman fort. Suddenly he had to throw down his tools and step to one side whilst he watched a battalion of Roman Soldiers march through the cellar.  He described the soldiers as wearing green tunics and carrying round shields which local historians did not believe as this did not tally with other evidence at that time. Only some years later, when another site was discovered, with findings of soldiers wearing green tunics and carrying round shields was Harry finally believed!


For folks that just love a good yarn, then a ghost walk is an essential pre-requisite of a visit to York. Unsurprisingly there are as many different tours and walks as there are ghosts in this city but one of the best is the Original Ghost Walk. Established in 1973, it is believed to be the world’s first exclusive Ghost Walk and takes place nightly from the famous pub that floods, the King’s Arms, on Ouse Bridge.

If you haven't done already, check out our Online Go yorkshire Autumn 2020 Days Out Guide