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Hylton Castle

Tyne and Wear Home

Location of the haunted place: nr Sunderland

Origin of the haunting: 17th Century

Background of the haunted place: The present castle was built, by Sir William Hilton, between 1374 and 1420. There is nothing left of the original castle built in 1072. Towards the end of the 18th Century the castle was abandoned and much of it was demolished in 1862. The ghost of the Cauld Lad tells the story.

Ghost story: I'm Robert Skelton and I was a bit of a lazy boy. I didn't mean any harm but if the master didn't keep me busy I got into mischief. I was a stable boy and one of my jobs was to get the master's horse ready. One day I fell asleep and when the master came to get his horse it wasn't ready. He flew into a terrible rage. He threw a pitchfork at me and killed me.

He threw my naked body into the pond; it was cold even for a ghost. I used to wander round the grounds shivering. Then one day some servants left a cloak for me which kept me warm. Eventually my bones were found in the pond and I was given a proper burial. Nobody has seen me since. I am at peace and have no reason to haunt anymore - but who knows?