This isn’t your normal online casino post, so because it’s just gone Halloween, we thought we would write a piece about the most haunted train stations in the UK.
Back-story: The tale of Moulsecoomb station’s ‘hell hound’ dates back almost thirty years, and has even made it into the popular book ‘Brighton Ghosts and Hove Hauntings’. It is said that a terrifying ghost dog stalks lone travellers late at night, with victims claiming to hear panting and growling, but never seeing anything.
Station: Bolton Street
Back-story: Bolton Street station in Bury is a rare example of a spooky story with some evidence to back it up – in 2007, local man John Philps took a photo of his grandson in the station’s waiting room, only to find a hooded, spectral figure in the background when he got the photo developed. There are a number of possible explanations for the ghostly vision, but it’s better than word of mouth!
Back-story: This expensively-built railway station has stood proudly in Carlisle’s town centre since 1847, but is rumoured to house many restless spirits – a headless man is said to have patrolled one of the station’s platforms for many years, while a succession of station masters have found it impossible to work in many of the station’s offices, claiming they feel uneasy and scared as soon as they go inside. Virgin Trains, who operate at the station, are clearly taking the issue seriously – in 2014 they employed a paranormal consultant to investigate!
Station: North Road
Back-story: North Road station houses a disused carriage dating back as far as 1865, and is the subject of numerous spooky happenings involving a young girl in Victorian-era clothing. As recently as 2008 station staff claimed to hear knocking from the carriage late at night, while others have heard a child’s laughter and singing – yet upon investigation, the carriage has always appeared empty.
Back-story: The legend of the Addiscombe Railway Station ghost dates back all the way to the early 20th Century, when a train driver was killed on the line. Reports of a grey, blurry figure wandering around the area have been whispered ever since – and even though the station was demolished in 2001, the train driver is still said to roam around the nearby sheds.
Station: New Street
Back-story: Four different people have committed suicide on platform four, and the spirits of all four have appeared late at night over the years. Lengthy investigation of the ghostly goings-on seem to have confirmed the identity of one of the spectres – Walter Hartles, a retired train driver who shot himself almost 80 years ago – but details on the others are sketchy at best.
Station: Leamington Spa
Back-story: The quiet Warwickshire town of Leamington Spa doesn’t sound like a hotbed of paranormal activity, but this station has endured so many spooky apparitions that it now employs a ‘supernatural liaison officer’ to investigate any sightings. Nick ‘the Ghost Hunter’ Rees has looked into reports of slammed doors and footsteps coming out of nowhere, but he doesn’t seem to be particularly worried, describing them as “nice ghosts” with “good energy”.
Station: Ashton Moss
Back-story: On the outskirts of Manchester, Ashton Moss had no history of ghost sightings until 1975, when a signalman spotted a mysterious figure in one of the signal boxes. The shadowy man disappeared suddenly, only to reappear the same time next week on one of the train lines, this time in view of two signalmen. Once again he disappeared in an instant, and this time he never returned – it has been suggested that it was the ghost of someone killed on the line years previously, although the record books have not been able to confirm such an incident ever occurred.
Station: Balcombe/Three Bridges
Back-story: The Balcombe tunnel running between Balcombe and Three Bridges in West Sussex has a rich history of creepy tales dating back to 1881, when infamous railway murderer Percy Lefroy Mapleton left the body of Isaac Frederick Gold there – but the ghosts that patrol the tunnel were first spotted a little later – three World War I soldiers were killed by a train while sheltering from a bombing raid, and during the Second World War their ghosts are said to have tormented two soldiers who were hiding in similar circumstances!
Station: York Road
Back-story: York Road station in Northern Ireland hit the headlines in the 1970s when a worker was killed during a botched robbery. The ghost of the man continues to frighten the locals 40 years later, appearing late at night in the locked canteen before quickly vanishing, and walking around the nearby sheds – while staff have also reported hearing footsteps after dark, when there is nobody else around.
Back-story: Ghost stories are always that bit more terrifying when the ghost is a child – and the chilling sight of a mysterious child running through the fields next to Entwistle station would be enough to strike fear in even the most hardened skeptic. Locals say a child was killed on the tracks during the First World War, and has continued to traipse around the area in search of his friends ever since.
Back-story: The Box Tunnel between Bath and Chippenham has been the source of many a creepy rumour over the years, but the spookiest of all came in 2011, when four night shift workers heard the cries of a woman coming from inside the tunnel. As the cries subsided, a deathly lady in a night dress appeared, before vanishing suddenly. Strangely, there is little information as to the origin of the ghost – but she certainly seems intent on making local hearts race!
Station: Hassocks/Preston Park
Location: East Sussex
Back story: The gothic North Portal building at the mouth of the Clayton Tunnel which runs between Hassocks and Preston Park, just north of Brighton, has mystery at its foundations – literally, because no one is exactly sure when it was built! What we do know is that it is the imposing setting for endless haunting tales – in fact, it was the inspiration for Dickens’ famous ghost story ‘The Signalman’. The moans and howls which emanate from the tunnel are said to belong to a man who was hit by a train while working in the tunnel in the middle of the 19th Century, while passers-by have also reported the sound of scraping metal.
Station: Covent Garden Underground
Back story: During the 19th Century, actor William Terriss was one of the country’s most celebrated performers – but in 1897, he was stabbed to death by a rival actor at the world-renowned Adelphi Theatre, not far from Covent Garden station. It is rumoured that the ghost of Terriss stalks the corridors of the station to this day, looking to avenge his death.
Station: Hyde Park Corner Underground
Back story: At the crack of dawn one morning in 1978 during a power cut, workers were shocked to see an escalator in full working order. Upon investigation, one man collapsed in shock at the sight of a face in front of him and left his job immediately, while another claimed he felt a cold chill which left his breath visible in front of him. This mystery was never explained, and leaves ghost hunters baffled to this day!
Station: Aldwych Underground
Back story: Although Aldwych tube station closed in 1994 and was barely in operation for thirty years prior to that, it was the scene of endless paranormal sightings following its grand opening in 1907. Built on the site of the Royal Strand Theatre, the ghost of an actress who once walked the boards at the demolished playhouse regularly appeared to overnight staff. The creepy atmosphere of Aldwych (which has been used in hit movies including V For Vendetta and Atonement) clearly hit a nerve – in 2012 the station was opened to the public for the first time in almost a century, with visitors given a tour of the disused platforms and corridors.
Back story: The Puffing Billy restaurant which sits on the platform at Torrington station in Devon has had a couple of unusual visitors recently in the form of two ghosts, believed to be the 19th Century station master and his wife! The restaurant was once a guest house, and the current owner claims to regularly see the couple drifting up the stairs at night to tuck their children in bed. The owner doesn’t seem particularly worried, though – insisting he always says goodnight to the spectres before going to bed!