Gruesome tales of Lincoln’s 10 most haunted locations

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From friendly ghosts protecting much-loved local shops to the less friendly kind haunting castle walls, Lincoln has its mix of paranormal activity.

With the help of Haunted History of Lincolnshire, The Lincolnite has searched through ghostly archives to find the top 10 most haunted places in the city.

Take a look at our top 10, proving spooky goings on are not just for Halloween:


Browns Pie Shop

Photo: Haunted History of Lincolnshire

Location: Steep Hill

Browns Pie Shop, originally built in the 17th Century, was previously a pub known as the Fox & Hounds.

It is believed the restaurant is now haunted by one of Lincoln’s most famous ghosts: Humphrey, a young boy who likes to get up to mischief in the building.

Humphrey is said to run around the restaurant and cause mischief if he feels he is being ignored.

Many debate theories of how Humphrey died and why he haunts the restaurant.


Lincoln Castle

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Location: Castle Hill

Lincoln Castle, first built in 1068, was constructed by the order of William the conqueror following the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

A prominent ghost, which haunts the castle walls, is said to be the ghost of a horse and rider from the time of the first hangings at Lincoln Castle.

It is believed the ghost was a friend of John Knox, a local lord, who he believed was wrongfully sentenced.

One of the staff at Lincoln Castle was brutally murdered when Knox stormed off in anger after an argument with one of the magistrates. Knox was blamed for this murder.


Greestone Stairs

Photo: Haunted History of Lincolnshire

Location: Uphill Lincoln

There are said to be three main ghosts that haunt Greestone Stairs:

Woman with a baby

One spectre is from the convent of Saint Joseph’s, who has been seen on many occasions carrying a baby in her arms.

She has been seen to walk from the entrance of the convent, over the pathway, and to lay the baby, which many believe is dead, down onto the floor.

The hung cleric

Halfway up the stairs stands a crooked lamppost, under which many have reported seeing a cleric standing wearing a hat and a long coat.

Stories indicate he was found hanged from the lamppost.

He is believed to be there to protect and guide weary travellers who are on their way up the stairs to the cathedral.

Saint Hugh’s head

After Saint Hugh’s death, he was announced as a saint, with his body being cut up and sent to various cathedrals.

His head was sent to Lincoln Cathedral, where it stayed in a chest with gold and gems.

Thieves stole the chest, but tripped down the Greestone Stairs, spilling the gold, gems and the saint’s head.

Many have said they have heard Saint Hugh’s head rolling behind them, and felt it hit the back of their legs, forcing them to the floor.


Castle Hill Club

Photo: Gareth Dawkins

Location: Castle Hill

Several ghosts are said to haunt the Castle Hill Club, with one in particular catching people’s attention.

The ghost, known as the bottom pincher, is said to wait until a customer has their back turned, and then pinches their bum.


The Lawn

Photo: Emily Norton for The Lincolnite

Location: Union Road

The Lawn was built as a hospital for people who suffer from mental illness in 1820.

In 1985, the hospital was closed and the buildings were acquired by the City of Lincoln Council.

Sightings have been reported of ghostly figures of children and former patients roaming the corridors and grounds crying.


The Lion and Snake

Photo: Richard Humphrey

Location: Bailgate

The Lion and Snake is an ancient partly timber-framed pub that is said to be the oldest in the city, with a Grade II listing.

Many claim the pub is haunted by a Roman soldier, who, with other marching soldiers, resides in the cellar of the building.

The most well-known ghost in the pub is called ‘the granny with the bun’, who has been in the pub for over 30 years.

She is said to be harmless and just wanders the corridors.


New Theatre Royal

Location: Clasketgate

The Theatre Royal was built in 1893 has a Grade II listing, however the previous theatre was built in 1806 but burnt down in 1892.

There have been many reports of ghosts in the building, with spooky noises and figures, which are said to have caused staff to quit their jobs.

It is also said that a man with a moustache and cigar sits in the theatre and then disappears.

A man with a cigarette/cigar is said to have been responsible for the fire in 1892.


White Hart Hotel

Photo: Haunted History of Lincolnshire

Location: Bailgate

The White Hart Hotel itself was build in 1710, however an inn has been on that site since 1460.

The screaming maid

It is said that a maid haunts the corridors. She was reportedly murdered by an admirer who she had rejected.

Reports suggest the admirer couldn’t deal with the rejection and stabbed her in the face.

Her ghost now haunts the building, screaming late at night, sobbing and begging on her knees.

The ‘mop cap girl’

A little girl wearing a mop cap and apron has often been seen in a corner on the first floor of the building.

It is believed she was murdered by the hotels rat catcher.

She cowers against the wall in a state of great anxiety, apparently aware of her destiny.


The Strugglers Inn

Photo: David Wright

Location: Westgate

It is believed the dog of an old countryman, who was hung at the castle, haunts the Strugglers Inn pub.

William Clarke was hung for murdering a gamekeeper. It is said that his dog still searches for his owner in and around the building.


Lincoln Cathedral

The names will be projected onto the West Wall of the cathedral. Photo: Jason Paul Corrigan

Photo: Jason Paul Corrigan

Location: Uphill Lincoln

The first cathedral in Lincoln was built in 1092, by order of William the Conqueror.

In 1349, the Black Death overtook the city, causing the population to decrease rapidly.

There was a shortage of space in the church to deal with dead bodies as their corpses piled up on the grounds to the right of the cathedral.

There was a mass burial, which meant the bodies were not blessed.

It is said that once a year, on the anniversary of their mass burial, the bodies march to the judgement gate at the cathedral to sing for the salvation of their souls, in an attempt to end the limbo of being stuck between heaven and hell.


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