You are here: Real Ghost Stories :: Apparitions / Voices / Touches :: Ghost In The Old Hospital

Real Ghost Stories

Ghost In The Old Hospital


So this is something that happened today (5-02-2014) at between 10am and 1pm. My partner Kevin works 5 days a week, 12 hour shifts from 7am to 7pm so usually he doesn't get to see our children during the week as their bedtime is 7:30pm and he doesn't arrive home until around 8pm. He has a week's holiday at the minute so he decided to take our 2 sons out to the park then for ice cream after (yeah, ice cream in February, I know right). Around 9:45 I texted him and asked if he had his keys because I decided to go for a walk. He said he did so off I went.

We live in a small town called Seaham on the coast northeast of England. Now, most people in England haven't even heard of Seaham as it's so small. So as a general indication of where it is, it's on the outskirts of Sunderland. Before Maggie Thatcher became prime minister, Seaham was a thriving mining town. Back in the 1800's a serial killer named Mary Ann Cotton had lived here for awhile. She has been rumored to have murdered at least 4 husbands, 2 lovers, her mother, a friend, around 5 of her stepchildren and at least 11 of her own children. She is said to have poisoned them all with arsenic and collected life insurance on them. She is somewhat a local legend around here, and has several nursery rhymes about her.

The reason I mention Mary Ann is because there is one local urban legend about her. The legend says that Mary Ann had 1 daughter who survived. She was supposed to have been born while Mary Ann was awaiting trial and was given to a cousin of Mary Ann's back here in Seaham. Mary Ann's daughter is supposed to have been thrown into a mental asylum at age 18. Some say when she learned of what her mother did, she went mad. Others say she was born evil, but of course it's just a legend, she may never have been in an asylum at all. The legend goes on to say she died at age 27 in childbirth at the asylum and still haunts the building. Anyway, on with my story.

So around 10am I left the house and decided to walk up to the small woodland near my home up by a smaller town connected to ours named Murton. I have walked and driven by the woodland thousands of time but never actually walked through it, so that's what I decided to do. I walked maybe a mile and a half through the trees and came out at the edge of a farmer's field. I could see a farmhouse at one end of of the field and didn't want to intrude so I turned left and walked towards more trees. As I got closer to the trees I could see a sign so I walked up to it and as I got around the corner there was a building around quarter a mile behind the sign. I realized I'd found the old hospital. I knew it was up that way but it had been closed closed long before I was even born so I'd never had any reason to be up there before.

I am a very curious person. Honestly if I was in a horror movie, I'd be the first to die because I'm the one who investigates the strange noises instead of locking doors and calling police lol. So, of course, I decided to go have a look at the hospital. I looked around outside for a while and nothing out of the ordinary just overgrown grass and brambles. I had a look in a window and it was just an empty old room, very dirty and in great disrepair. I carried on looking around for maybe 10-15 minutes, even tried a door to see if I could get inside but it was locked so I decided to leave.

I was halfway down the road towards the sign when I had a curious feeling that I should look back. I turned back and found my eyes drawn to an upstairs window when, just for a second, I saw a shadow cross the window. At first I thought maybe a bird was in there and I had just seen a shadow of it flapping about the room. I started to look at the other upstairs windows and they all just looked dark and a couple are boarded over. I couldn't see anything, so I was just about to continue my journey home when I looked back to the first window and I saw a young woman with her hand on the window looking down at me. I immediately felt a great sense of sadness when I saw her and after a few minutes she disappeared.

I walked back down towards the trees wondering if I'd imagined seeing her or even if it was a trick of my mind or something, but I still had a really sad feeling. As I walked out of the trees back at the farmer's field I saw a man walking his dog. He could see I was distressed so he asked if I was ok. I said, "Yes, I'm fine I just thought I saw something odd up by the hospital." He immediately said, "Oh, you saw the grey lady." I was a little stunned to what he said but I continued to listen as he told me that him and his family had lived in the farmhouse for generations and that his grandmother and some great-aunts had worked as nurses and cleaners at the hospital before it had shut down.

Before I could tell him where I'd seen her, he told me he often saw her in an upstairs window or in the old hospital garden and sometimes from his house saw her wandering around by the edge of his field. He then told me a story his gran had told him about a young girl whose aunt sent her there because she thought she was mad. Before she was sent off to an asylum apparently his gran, who was a nurse, had taken a liking to the girl and sort of acted like a mother figure to her while she was there. A few years after she was sent to the asylum she died and his gran said she had started to see the girl's ghost in her old room and other various places. He said the family referred to her as Mavis but he isn't sure if that's her real name.

I was walking home and I began to thing about the legend of Mary Ann's daughter and, although I never believed the legend, it sort of made a little bit of sense. I told my partner Kevin about what I'd seen but he, being a skeptic, said it could have been anything I'd seen, trick of the light or and old curtain that had blown in a draft or something. I suppose he could be right but I believe my eyes and I saw a woman.

I feel very privileged to have been able to see Mavis and although I felt great sadness, I didn't feel threatened. It felt more like a feeling of loneliness and a sense of being lost. I intend to go back up to see her as often as I can. Maybe I will be lucky enough to see her again. I will post when and if I see her again.

Other hauntings by missy-ryton

Hauntings with similar titles

Find ghost hunters and paranormal investigators from United Kingdom

Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, missy-ryton, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will participate in the discussion and I need help with what I have experienced.

Chiku (1 stories) (21 posts)
6 years ago (2018-06-23)
Very fascinating and scary story. Yes someone should guide the souls towards light
Pink496 (guest)
6 years ago (2018-06-23)
Wow thank you for sharing your story. I really believe you saw a ghost. I would trust your eyes!

Best wishes pink496
CuriousGuy (2 stories) (47 posts)
10 years ago (2014-04-25)

I know I'm a month late compared to all the other comments, but wanted to say that I thought that story was very interesting.

I wish I had the ability to visit some asylums that were closed down just to see if I was able to see anything or just to see the old buildings (older buildings and architecture has always interested me lol)

Its nice to know that she decided to show herself to you and I always hear that sometimes the feelings you feel arent always your own when you experience a spirit. For example if a person dies in a way where they were really scared, the scared feeling you feel may be more of what they felt at death and therefore give off when their apparition shows up, kind of in a way that maybe she was sad when she passed and her feelings were felt through you.

Not saying that happens with all spirits but that its a possibility that that happens sometimes.

Great story though and interesting experience. Hope to hear more!

RedWolf (31 stories) (1292 posts)
10 years ago (2014-03-18)
Hi missy,
I liked your story a lot. But I would do some research as well as talkiing to the man who you met walking his dog. Don't be surprised if he ended up being a ghost himsef. JK 😆
Swimsinfire (11 stories) (556 posts)
10 years ago (2014-03-17)
Missy, that was so well writen I almost stopped breathing toward the dog walker part! But it was sad, and you are privelaged to have seen her. Maybe you could help lead her to the light. Please keep us posted.
Griff84 (5 stories) (289 posts)
10 years ago (2014-03-17)
Triskaideka, our history in Britain is truly second to none. There is something for everyone. Death, life, love, murder, treachery, kings, queens, laughter, sorrow... I could continue forever.

This experience is fascinating, even more so as the dog walker could almost confirm what you had seen. I would be very interested to see if you pick anything up with photos. I really enjoy your posts missy-ryton, thank you for sharing.
Triskaideka (2 stories) (388 posts)
10 years ago (2014-03-16)
I found Mary's wikipedia page which states her child's name was "Margaret Edith Quick-Manning Cotton".

A quick googling of her name reveals that Margaret had four children! But I don't wish to give any more spoilers, so here's the link:

So perhaps Margaret is not the same person as Mavis. Or perhaps there was a Mavis who was sent to an asylum so early in her life that her name never appeared on any censuses and she was lost to history. It's perfectly possible that more than one woman killed nearly all her children (as horrific as that sounds).

Your area of residence has such a fascinating history! It's really no wonder you've seen and heard so many strange things. I wish I knew who that girl in the window was. I feel like reading history books about your county. Thank you so much for sharing this story!
doe-eyedharu (2 stories) (14 posts)
10 years ago (2014-03-15)
Hi missy... I bet you are v.courageous... If I were in a horror movie, I'd be the one who freaks merely at the sight of a haunted place... 😊... Sometimes, the legends are just spun and mistranslated overtime. I think you should collect more information about it to reconfirm what you saw. You are the type of person who does not imagine seeing something. Thanks for sharing... ❤

To publish a comment or vote, you need to be logged in (use the login form at the top of the page). If you don't have an account, sign up, it's free!

Search this site: