I encountered many frightening things whilst researching this piece, including the rampant use of lime green and lemon yellow comic sans on black backgrounds. It’s visually traumatising, please stop doing it.
Hull New Theatre
Situated in one of the most picturesque areas of Hull – as long as you stay in the courtyard out front – Hull New Theatre has stood since 1834, though at that time it was known as the Public Rooms. There have been numerous alterations and expansions made to the building, but one feature has remained: the ghosts.
Perhaps the most notorious spirit to haunt the theatrical halls is ‘Charlie’, an impish ghost who apparently knocks on doors and often messes the dressing rooms up. A ghostly woman has also been spotted in the dress circle, where many visitors have reported feeling uneasy.
The Dram Shop
The Dram Shop, of George Street, is supposedly filled with ghosts and ghouls.
One evening when the landlord returned to his wife after closing up she asked who the woman sitting at the bar was, having seen her on the CCTV. The landlord claims that there was no woman sat at the bar, but his wife was adamant that not only was she there, she had been laughing. Meanwhile, a particularly creepy ghost has apparently pinched and slapped the female bar staff on their arses.
It’s thought that these two ghosts may be Elizabeth and Thomas Gelson, a couple who lived and died on the premise during the 1830s.
The Punch Hotel
Despite the fact I must have walked past The Punch Hotel at least five hundred times in my life, I’ve never stepped inside. The building many of us see as we walk from Whitefriar Gate to Princes Quay (or vice versa) was originally built in 1846, but the front that we see now wasn’t erected until 1896.
The majority of the activity reported at Punch Hotel has occurred in the bar area, where both staff and clients have seen two children playing. These could be the Wallis Children, who had moved into the pub in 1936. When the air raid sirens went off one day in May 1941 the family fled to the nearby Prudential Buildings, which were then demolished by a direct hit, killing the family.
The Royal Hotel
Not only has this hotel hosted Queen Victoria, Prince Albert Victor and Prince Albert Edward, it also housed ten Jack The Ripper suspects. The most infamous of these suspects is Frederick Bailey Deeming who visited The Royal Hotel whilst on his honeymoon, shortly before he defrauded a local jewellery store. Who said romance was dead?
Beneath the hotel, the tunnels once included a cosy (read: creepy) barbershop owned by Bertram Holmes, who later went to prison for murder. A tall man has been spotted within the tunnels, though men are the only ones to ever see him. The sight even sent one man screaming and crying from the building.
Between 1900 and 1940, many murders occurred on the premises, most of which are still complete mysteries. These include a series of men who appeared to have committed suicide, despite the fact inquests showed the men had led reasonably wonderful lives, oh and two had their throats slit.
Old Grammar School
I have actually been to the Old Grammar School as it’s now the Hands On History Museum. I know there are a couple of photos of me at the age of fourteen donning old dresses and bonnets, but I don’t feel there’s a need to share them – I’m talking to you Rosy. There isn’t a lot of information on St Mary’s Lowgate in Trinity Square regarding ghosts, but apparently the ghost of former vicar Mr Yates roams the first floor corridor.
Ye Olde Black Boy
Ye Olde Black Boy public house is infamous around Hull, though I didn’t know the story behind the hauntings until today. Smugglers were once the pub’s main clientele, as it was connected to the docks via secret tunnels. On a particularly stormy day the tunnels were flooded, drowning several smugglers stuck inside. These smugglers are said to haunt the pub to this day, knocking bottles off shelves and allowing the living to see their hands materialise through the wooden panels.
The Annison Building
It seems as though there are some places that are just meant to belong to the dead. Not only was the Annison Building a funeral parlour for over a century, it is also built in the same location as the North Blockhouse, a part of the fortifications on the east side of The River Hull. When the North Blockhouse stood, numerous Catholics were persecuted, tortured and left to die in its cellars. It wasn’t until the 1700s that the blockhouses and fortifications were demolished.
In 1876, the Annison family found the plot of land and built the interesting structure we see today. The Annison’s were a quirky family and built stables on the top floor – complete with specially designed horse stairs – so that their wheelwright and cart building business could fit downstairs. However, it was their funeral parlour that brought them the real business and fame.
Now, the building stands empty except for a late night pharmacy which occupies one side of the ground floor. The staff who work at the pharmacy refuse to go upstairs alone.
There have been numerous inexplicable, haunting incidents in the building. Mr Edward Seward Annison and his daughter Sarah both died on the premise. Many people have heard footsteps and loud bangs, seen male apparitions in the stables, had doors open and close on request and seen objects move. Finally, in 1891 Mary Jane Langley, 20, went to the Annison building to have her photo taken and was murdered later that day.
Ethel Major, 43, was the only woman to ever be hanged at Hull Prison, a grisly affair that took place in 1934. Ethel was convicted of murdering her husband Arthur after lacing his corned beef with lethal poison strychnine. Apparently, her ghost remains to this day and is particularly restless because the guards have forgotten where she was buried.
The Manchester Arms
The ghost that haunts The Manchester Arms has been lovingly named Beryl after Landlady Lisa Fowler spotted a ghostly figure on the CCTV cameras.
“She flickers lights, turns off machines, plays with hair, causes floods and has even been captured on CCTV,” Lisa told reporters.
“Sometimes, it feels like someone is running fingers through your hair. Other times, it feels like someone is behind you, but when you turn round, you catch a shadow in the corner of your eye but nothing is there.”
When Emma Place – I’m also disappointed that her name isn’t Plaice – visited The Deep in 2008, she took a photo that revealed a ghostly face staring up from the depths. At first, staff believed it was a reflection, however the CCTV footage showed Emma and her family were alone when the picture was taken.
Chief executive Colin Brown said: “A couple of years ago, our nightwatchman reported seeing a ghost in TimeLine, the first part of the exhibition. We’ve had a couple of other comments from staff working at night.
“We asked archives to look at what our land was used for before and although it wasn’t our land, very close by was an old isolation hospital that used to treat victims of smallpox, many coming into the port from abroad.”
There is a ‘haunted house’ standing at the end of Wellington Lane, off Beverley Road. The owners were startled one night when they began to hear knocking on the walls as they tried to sleep. After weeks of consistent knocking, local interest grew until eventually even the police and detectives were invited to try and decipher what was causing the knocking. No one ever figured out what was causing the noise and never will, as the knocking stopped as suddenly as it had begun and was never heard again.
After the word ‘MOVE’ was written in condensation on their bedroom window, Emma Keeitch, Jamie Owen and their daughter Phoebie fled from their home on Chaucer Street, east Hull in 2011. The couple believe they had been tormented by a murdered woman and her baby, and so they decided to get Reverend Tom Willis in to bless the house.
After the exorcism, Emma told the Hull Daily Mail: “The house seems fine now and the exorcism seems to have worked.
“It has been a week since the house was blessed and we haven’t had any problems.
“We just feel much better about things. I am so glad.”
If you know of any other local ghost stories or have any corrections please share them in the comments below!
All pictures were edited using Tonality from the Macphun Creative Kit, for more information click here.