Newcastle Ghost Tour: Create Your Own Itinerary

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Planning a spooky getaway to Newcastle Upon Tyne? Dive into our latest guide and craft your very own Newcastle Ghost Tour, thanks to paranormal author and host of “How Haunted?” podcast, ROB KIRKUP

Vintage Newcastle

Create Your Own Newcastle Ghost Tour

Many people log on to Spooky Isles when deciding what places they should visit for a haunted holiday. To make it easier, we’re creating “Create Your Own Ghost Tour” guides and put all the spooky stuff you’re going to want to visit in the one spot.

History of Newcastle

Beneath the bustling modern façade of Newcastle upon Tyne, whispers of a different era hang heavy in the air. A labyrinth of cobbled lanes and towering stone structures, they echo with ghosts of times gone by. From Roman whispers on the ancient wall to spectral encounters in Victorian pubs, Newcastle-upon-Tyne is a treasure trove of chilling legends and eerie encounters. 

The recorded history of Newcastle-upon-Tyne dates back almost 2000 years to AD 120 when the country was under the control of the Romans. It was the Romans who built the first bridge to cross the River Tyne. The bridge was called Pons Aelius or ‘Bridge of Aelius’, Aelius being the family name of Emperor Hadrian. Thirty years later a stone-walled fort was built to protect the river crossing and this settlement took the name of the bridge and became known as Pons Aelius. 

After the Romans left Britain, it fell under the rule of the Saxons and then the Danes. The name Newcastle dates to the Norman conquest of England, and 1080 in particular when King William sent his eldest son, Robert Curthose to a settlement then named Monkchester to construct the building of a ‘New Castle’.

Due to its advantageous position on the River Tyne, the town continued to develop greatly during the Middle Ages, and it’s never looked back. 

Newcastle, today, is famed for its football club, Newcastle Brown Ale, Geordies refusing to wear a coat even in the harshest winter weather, and its lively nightlife. But in this guide it’s the nightlife that isn’t lively that is our quarry. For Newcastle has many, many ghosts to seek out.

Newcastle upon Tyne Postcard

Spooky Places to Visit in Newcastle

The Castle Keep is steeped in history of violent deaths, the like of which are far worse than can be imagined, and tortured souls seeing out their remaining days within these walls before they were taken off to be executed.

It’s not surprising that the oldest surviving building in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the Castle Keep, is unquestionably one of the most haunted buildings in Tyne and Wear, arguably the entire country.

The best known of these phantoms is the Poppy Girl who was just 15-years-old when she lost her life within those walls in the 17th century, when she was arrested for selling flowers and thrown in a cell with a group of men. 

Newcastle Ghost Tour: Create Your Own Itinerary 1

Bessie Surtees House is a period house on Newcastle’s Quayside, named for the its most famous former resident. In 1771, 17-year-old Bessie fell in love with a Scotsman, 22 year old John Scott.

The Scotts were not social equals to the Surtees, and Bessie’s father, the mayor of Newcastle, forbid for from seeing him.

The young couple ran away and were married in secret in Scotland.

Bessie’s spirit is believed to remain in the house and it is said that her face can be seen peering through the first floor window, as she will have done while waiting for her lover on the fateful night that they ran away to Scotland.

The Central Arcade is an Edwardian shopping arcade built in 1906, replacing an earlier arcade built in 1838, but destroyed by fire.

It was built with an impressive mosaic tiled floor, and shoppers today will discover that the magnificent building’s decoration remains as it appeared when it was re-opened over a century ago.

During the 1980s there was a number of reports of a spectral man seen stumbling through the Arcade bleeding from the head, mouth, and eyes. He walks with his arms outstretched as if in pain and seeking help, heading towards the Grey Street exit before vanishing.

The Theatre Royal opened in 1837 and is the haunt of the Grey Lady. She was infatuated with a leading man in a Victorian play. She came to see every performance. She waited at the stage door one night for him and they began an affair.

They planned to elope together when the play ended and be wed. She couldn’t be happier. However following the penultimate show he told her he was already married and couldn’t see her again.

As the final play neared its climax, she threw herself from the gallery down into the packed stalls below, and to her inevitable death.

Theatre Royal in Newcastle Upon Tyne
Theatre Royal in Newcastle Upon Tyne

The Cathedral Church of St Nicholas was founded in 1091, during the construction of the castle, but was destroyed by fire, and the current building was completed in 1350.

The ghosts to be encountered here include a ghostly knight seen and heard clanking around in his armour. His identity is unknown, although it is believed that it may be the spirit of the ‘unknown knight’ of which there is an effigy within the cathedral.

Spooky Places to Eat and Drink

The Blackie Boy, situated in the Groat Market is one of the oldest public houses in Newcastle, and for many years customers and members of staff have reported unusual happenings and an eerie feeling of being watched. 

A male member of staff was once changing a light bulb in a toilet on the second floor. The silence was broken by a woman’s voice coming from one of the cubicles “What are you doing in here?” the stunned man knew that he was the only person in there, he hesitated.

Suddenly the woman’s voice screamed out from the empty cubicle “Get out! Get Out!” the terrified man couldn’t get out quick enough, his heart racing. A colleague came from downstairs to see what all of the noise was. The two of them returned to the toilets to find it completely empty and that the screaming had stopped.

The Old George is a 17th century public house situated in the Cloth Market, in the heart of Newcastle’s famous Bigg Market. Its most famous ghost is a king who drank here in 1646 while being held captive by the Scots, who would allow him to go and play a round of golf and have a drink. 

The chair that he sat in while drinking at the Old George remains to this day in the ‘Charles I Room’. Over the years many visitors have claimed to see the hazy outline of a ghostly figure sat in the chair.

Nearby Haunted Excursions

The Town Moor is an area of common land almost 1000 acres in size, just outside Newcastle city centre. Every June locals flock to the Town Moor to visit ‘The Hoppings’, the largest travelling funfair in Europe.

Despite the fun and laughter that are experienced annually during those two weeks in the summer, the Town Moor has a dark history of death and anguish. In the early 14th century, the Town Moor was chosen as the location for Newcastle’s gallows. Hangings drew huge crowds from miles around and were treated as great family entertainment. 

This appears to have left a stain on the land as dog walkers and joggers often describe seeing dark shadows moving swiftly before dispersing. Screams have also been heard coming over the Town Moor, carried on the wind.

Newcastle-upon-Tyne has a rich, long, and very dark history. It’s a wonderful city worthy of a visit, and certain to cater for those in search of those things that go bump in the night.  

Have you visited Newcastle for a ghost tour or made your own ghost tour itinerary? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

And please do tell us if we’ve missed something that you think we should add to this Newcastle Ghost Tour Guide.

Find out more about Rob Kirkup and his work at The How Haunted? Podcast.

Listen to Spooky Isles Interview with Rob Kirkup

Recently, we spoke to paranormal investigator, author and historian Rob Kirkup about Ghosts of the North-East of England , including Newcastle Upon Tyne, for our Spooky Isles: The Podcast. Please have a listen below and check out our other interviews with some very interestingly spooky people!

Rob Kirkup from How Haunted
Rob Kikrup

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