L.H. DAVIES says Cleadon in north-east England has more than its fair share of paranormal goings-on!

Cleadon is a small village in the metropolitan borough of South Tyneside. The borough is known for its high level of paranormal activity, but it is to the Nature Reserve of this village that this article will turn its attention.

For decades there have been numerous reported sightings of a big cat, similar in description to a Puma, roaming the grassy hills. It is believed to be not unlike the cat that has been seen at Bolam Lake in Northumberland.

In addition to this cat, The Cleadon Critter (known locally as Geet) has been seen by a number of reliable witnesses over recent years. Said to be 8 feet in height, the creature walks on its hind legs and is covered entirely in thick, coarse black hair.

Big cat sightings at Cleadon

In addition to this cat, The Cleadon Critter (known locally as Geet) has been seen by a number of reliable witnesses over recent years. Said to be 8 feet in height, the creature walks on its hind legs and is covered entirely in thick, coarse black hair.

One of the many sightings came from a man who on walking home from work stopped to relieve himself in some nearby bushes. He was shocked when a huge creature launched itself through the bushes at him. He ran hard down the road and could hear the beast following for some 20-30 yards before it disappeared up onto the hills. He described the creature as reminding him a lot of Chewbacca, from the Star Wars films.

There are a number of other sightings from dog walkers and a couple of Sunderland teenagers who were visiting the reserve for the day. In each of the cases, the Critter always runs up onto the hills and vanishes.

Anyone who knows the hills however, will say that there are next to no places for a being of such size and appearance to hide leading experts to speculate that perhaps the Critter is more elemental in nature. Able to disappear to another dimension at will when the need arises.

Atop the reserves hills, sits a solitary old mill. Once used (following it’s decommission) as a grazing site for local cows, the mill is now shut down and perhaps even more remote. It is here that there have been sightings of a ghost nick-named, The Jilted Lady.

She had once been in love with a married man, but her lover had left her and in her grief she threw herself from the top of the mill.

The old mill in Cleadon has a ghost known as the Jilted Lady
The old mill in Cleadon has a ghost known as the Jilted Lady

Several evening dog walkers and hikers have witnessed a woman in period clothing atop the mill, throwing herself to the ground. Yet upon hitting the ground she disappears.

Living locally I’ve been up to Cleadon Hills many times since I was small, yet have never encountered any of these visions. Perhaps I should be grateful, but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. Maybe next time.

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