Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Ghostly Cyclist of Copt HIll, Sunderland

Like most B roads, the Seaham Road was more busy with traffic than with passersby, so I slipped into the Copt Hill Inn to see if they knew anything about the ghost. There was a warm welcome when I entered and everyone present was most interested. But a ghostly White Lady nearby? Nobody had heard of her.

“There is a phantom cyclist, though”, volunteered one drinker who gave every appearance of being a regular. “Not seen him myself, but you do hear stories. Seems he rides his bike up this hill really slowly, then suddenly pulls out in front of oncoming cars. Of course, the driver slams the brakes on or swerves. Most think they have hit the cyclist and hop out to see if he needs an ambulance. But there is never anyone there. It’s just a ghost like. Well, you know. That’s the story.”

from "Haunted Sunderland" by Rupert Matthews.

Buy your copy on Amazon or at a bookshop

This is a fascinating collection of over 100 stories of ghostly encounters from Sunderland and its surrounding settlements, including Cleadon, Boldon, Hylton and Rythorpe. It features many local landmarks, including the Sunderland Empire, Hylton Castle and Souter Lighthouse, and features stories ranging from the poltergeist of Havelok Road, who caused chaos in the 1950s, to the account of Wicked Lady Peat, who was so evil that when her house caught fire, not one person went to her aid. Exploring everything from pubs and churchyards to collieries, Haunted Sunderland will appeal to anyone interested in the supernatural history of the area.