York has previously been named Europe’s most haunted city and thanks to its rich history dating back to medieval times it’s easy to see why. The city was frequently invaded, which has led to plenty of horrific tales…and reportedly angry, lingering spirits. The GRFI (Ghost Research Foundation International) went a step further and claimed in a survey that they discovered York was the most haunted city in the world with a huge 140 ghosts and 504 reported ‘hauntings’! To get you in the spirit of the most spooktacular season of the year, we thought we’d share some of York’s most haunted spots with you (but don’t worry, our boutique hotel in York is completely ghost free, so you can come back and relax after a day’s ghostbusting)!
Now a Wetherspoons, The Punchbowl on Micklegate is said to be haunted by its former landlord, who tragically burnt to death in a fire. He has been spotted in the cellar and one of the upstairs bedrooms. Other supernatural inhabitants include a young woman strangled by a drunk and a woman who died of a broken heart.
One of the most iconic pubs in York, the traditional Ye Olde Starre Inne on Stonegate was used as a hospital during the English Civil War, so as you can imagine, it’s teeming with ghosts. Apparently, the cries of amputees can be heard, and the pub also houses some feline ghosts. Rumour has it two black cats were bricked up between the door and the bar to protect the building against bad fortune. Dogs visiting the pub reportedly growl and throw themselves at the place the cats were entombed.
Linking Swinegate with Low Petergate, Lund’s Court, or Mad Alice Lane as it used to be known, is believed to be haunted by former resident Alice Smith. She was hung for the crime of insanity at York Castle in 1825 and her ghost can still be seen gliding down the alleyway.
Bedern, a narrow alleyway off of Goodramgate, is said to be haunted by the ghosts of nineteenth-century dead children. It was once the site of York Industrial Ragged School for orphans and impoverished children, which was run by a violent drunk who, as local gossip rumoured, beat children to death. He then hid the bodies in a cupboard and thus their restless souls haunt they alleyway…