South Tyneside is blessed with a large number of historic pubs, some of which have been serving customers for centuries.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the spooky tales which have attached themselves to our pubs are a chance to reflect on the history of these wonderful buildings – and those who lived in the area in much older times.
Roman soldiers, old sailors and a conscientious cleaning lady still keeping things neat from beyond the grave are among the ghosts said to walk our haunted hostelries.
Sadly, many of the area’s historic pubs have closed in recent years, with the industry facing some tough challenges even before covid.
So we have also chosen a couple of closed pubs to include at the end. Do the ghosts linger there still?
1. The Black Horse, Rectory Bank, West Boldon
Said to be haunted by a ‘Sad Cavalier’ wearing tall boots, leggings and a wide-brimmed hat, who vanishes into thin air when asked if he needs any help.
2. The Scotia, South Shields town centre
Reportedly haunted by Tommy the Cellarman, a spook from the 1970s whose limping footsteps are said to be heard on the steps down to the pub’s cellar.
Photo: The Scotia, South Shields town centre
3. The Alum Ale House, Ferry Street, South Shields.
One of the town’s most historic pubs is reputedly haunted by a number of characters, including a phantom barman, a Victorian gentleman, a Grey Lady and Giggly Meg - the latter said to be the spirit of an Irish prostitute with a taste for booze whose haunting laugh lives on.
Photo: Stu Norton
4. The Black Bull, East Boldon
A ghostly toddler has been seen sitting at the bottom of the cellar steps. Gaming machine alarms mysteriously going off and bottles ‘rattling violently’ behind the bar are among other strange phenomena reported.
Photo: Picture Corrina Atkinson.