York Minster is undoubtedly one of the proudest buildings in York. The stunning church seen today has endured a long and turbulent past, having been rebuilt several times after the first church structure was erected on the site sometime in the 600s. Although its appearance and grandiosity have changed over the years, the York Minster remains a place of great historical and religious significance within England.
This being said, the magnificent York Minster also has a dark side. This stretches far beyond its imposing gargoyle-lined, gothic appearance into tales of death and ghosts.
Ghosts of York Minster
Many ghostly stories surrounding York Minster have been told. Perhaps the most prevalent and unique of these stories dates back to the 1820s. At this time, tours of the Minster were being conducted and two women decided to join one for themselves. During their tour, a tall man wearing a neat naval uniform approached the two women, whispered into one of their ears and then incredibly disappeared into thin air before their eyes.
One of these women recognized the man as being her brother, who had died while serving in the Navy in recent times. Rumor has it that this sister had made a pact with her brother while they were both alive. They had agreed whoever was first to pass away would return to the other still living sibling and give them definitive proof that there was an afterlife. If this story is forged in truth, it seems as though this woman received some pretty compelling proof from her brother.
Other ghost stories about the church exist, which may account for the strange paranormal activity many have claimed to experience in the building. A lot of people have purported to see a ghostly man within the York Minster. Most of these people have spotted him sitting in the pews. He is always still and silent, appearing to intently listen to sermons, before disappearing into thin air. While the identity of this spirit isn’t really known, many have speculated who it could. General consensus would have you believe this man is Dean Gale, who died towards the beginning of the eighteenth century and has allegedly haunted the church ever since.
The final ghost story surrounding York Minster is a sad one. It connects to the eerie sounds of a dog crying and barking emanating from the empty York Minster late at night. Many have wondered why these sounds exist and according to legend, they could be created by a ghost dog. There are rumors that state a man’s dog was walled up within the minster as part of a revenge plot that spelled a sad fate for the canine. Although there is weight to this legend, due to the disembodied barking heard late at night, some question whether animals’ deaths could result in ghosts. Either way, there is no shortage of animal ghost stories scattered across the world.
Visiting the Haunted York Minster
York Minster is a sight that should not be missed by anyone visiting the historic city of York. Various tours are available throughout the building and it remains open daily.
If you enjoyed this article you might be interested in reading about the Golden Fleece Inn, one of the most notorious haunted places in York.
Thanks for reading!