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Doncaster Features: Bizarre Doncaster: Ghosts and Hauntings

A lot of Clarkson-esque idiots claim that Donny is dull, our ethos here at Donny Online is that nothing could be further from the truth. Donny is full of strange and bizarre people, events and behaviour...

The Music Box in Burghwallis

Doncaster; Burghwallis Hall, aka St Anne's Convent. The sounds of a music box were heard around the hall 'before the days of radio', and a small woman dressed in dark clothing was observed walking down a corridor. Two more witnesses saw a man dressed in grey which they mistook as their father as he dashed down the staircase. This could be the same figure that one woman woke up to; he stood over her bed watching her with a look of hatred and madness, vanishing as she hit the lamp.

The Ghost of the Polish Airman

Mystery Mag: By Martin Jeffrey

In World War 2, Lindholme Prison was used as a RAF base for Wellington Bombers who took part in the first bombing raids on Berlin. On the first raid a bomber overshot the runway and crashed in to the bog, killing all five members of its Polish crew.

For years afterwards, the moors were haunted by a figure in flying costume that appeared at midnight, asking strangers directions in a foreign tongue.

The stories soon spread to the local villages of Finningley and Hatfield that the distinctive tail of the aircraft could sometimes be seen rising and sinking again when the ghost was on the prowl.

In the 1950's the base was the home to a squadron of Avro Lincoln's, the ghost still appeared. One night a mechanic working late was so scared by an encounter with the ghost that he skipped duty and was brought up on a charge.

The ghost would continue to appear in the middle of night often standing beside the bed of the pilots. One pilot was so shocked by the apparition that he let out a scream that woke the whole dormitory.

In the 1970's the wreckage of the Wellington Bomber was finally recovered and the remains of four airmen were buried in a local cemetery. In 1975, Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Jenkins and a RAF squadron leader were returning from a training course at nearby RAF Finningley when they spotted a figure dressed in flying kit, standing near the spot where the bomber crashed.

The story drew to a close in 1987 when peat workers found the forty-six year old corpse of a Polish airman.

He was never identified and in November of that year he was laid to rest in a military cemetery. Since being laid to rest the ghost has not been seen.

The Gypsy King's Cat

Local Ghost Trails, Clive Kristen

St. Michael's Church in Rossington is the burial place of James Boswell who spent a lot of time, like Robin Hood, living in Sherwood Forest helping travellers and gypsies. He was even granted the official title of King of the Gypsies. Anyway, it is said his grave was opened up so that his black cat could be buried with him some months later. A spectre of the cat lurks here - although the exact location of the grave is now lost - the ghost is said to hiss and then a shadowy shape of the cat appears on the churchyard wall...

Conisbrough Castle Ghoulies

Sightings of this spectral figure reported in 1971 date back to the 1770s, when he was first seen drifting among the ruins. Reports also exist of sightings of a white woman, and the sounds of quiet voices and bumping.

Art Gazing Ghost at the Mansion House

This tall, thin gentleman has been seen gazing at the portraits in the building, and is sometimes seen walking behind an important guest to the building.

Queen Victoria's admirer in the Mansion House

Local Ghost Trails, Clive Kristen

The official residence of the Lord Mayor is haunted by the ghost of a tall military-type gentleman who is seen admiring the portraits - with a definite preference for Queen Victoria. The chap in question also opens car doors, joins in processions and stands guard over the corporate plate and regalia.

Auckley's toast to a ghost

Local Ghost Trails, Clive Kristen

The village of Auckley has been home to a famous grey lady apparition who has made appearances at the rear of crowds particularly at weddings and christenings for more than 300 years. The story goes that she was the youngest daughter of a local chap who was kept as little more than a servant. She had little oppportunity to meet a man herself and so took solace in the happiness of others, and it soon became a custom at feast days to set a place for the grey lady and a special toast was made:

"We wish thee joy on this our celebration.
Come sit thee down and take a glass of wine.
And if you sup in our felicitation.
The hour is blest as blessed you may be."

Flying Stones and Pennies

Doncaster 2003; Sayers Tyre and Exhaust Centre, Athron Street. Stories of the building being haunted by a lonely man go back many years, though recently the manifestations have been stones and coinage that appear from nowhere and fly towards the owner of the garage.

Tall Ghost at Moorland

A ghostly gentleman over six foot tall made several appearances in a house on this estate.

St. Georges Reverand Morgan

Local Ghost Trails, Clive Kristen

When the new parish incumbent Reverand Morgan had been welcomed by the parishioners of St. George's Church he settled down with a good book when he was disturbed by a ghastly gurgling noise. He searched the building but could find nothing. He went to bed but couldnt sleep and just before dawn the noise started again - louder than ever.

When the housekeeper found Reverand Morgan in a state of shock that morning she told him of a relative of a previous incumbent who often stayed over at the house with the intention of courting the vicar's youngest daughter. However, after he plucked up the courage to ask her, she knocked him back and he retired to his room and was found hanged the following day. The vicarage has since been demolished.

The Reverand Morgan was alsothe vicar who noticed a skull on top of a headstone and on numerous occasions returned it to the ground only to find it atop the headstone once again days later. The one evening he was woken by shouts and banging on the vicarage door. He found an agitated young soldier in uniform who said he saw a ghostly figure rise from the ground, move swiftly through the gravestones and disappear over a wall that dropped almost 20 feet into the school playground. The soldier later identified this grave from where the leaping apparition had risen as the one which the skull stood sentry over.

Take a walk down the dark back alleys of Epworths secret past, exploring the shocking stories and legends of this historic town. The stories include Old Jeffrey, one of the best-documented poltergeists in the country, along with a variety of other strange but true tales (Call 01427 873947 for information about Ghost Walks in Epworth).

Miscellaneous Ghosts

No clear details but it's reported that The Crown Hotel in Bawtry's Market Place houses several spooks. Also, the Red Lion pub at Owston Ferry is also spooked up. A former landowner at Rossington Hall has been reportedly haunting the stables.

Write in if you know any more.

If you've got a bizarre but true story we haven't covered here, please tell us

We're looking for new features, articles, and news stories written by budding Doncastrians - send to us here.

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