County Durham is said to be home to some spooky and haunted places- and The Spectre Detectors, have visited most of them

The Spectre Detectors are a group of paranormal investigators based in County Durham; the group has been running for over nine years.

Founder,Elaine Kelly, is from Bishop Auckland and has plenty of spooky stories to share about the county.

She said: “When we first started off we really didn’t have a clue what we were doing it- we were Winging it.”

Their first investigation was at a community center in the region and they captured some spooky audio.

Elaine explained: “We were hunting for over four hours and captured a 40 second audio of a man groaning- if we didn’t capture anything that day we might not have carried on the group.

“It’s a long and tedious job of just sitting in the dark for hours- but it’s when you catch that 30 seconds that it makes it worthwhile.”

The most haunted places in County Durham

Elaine has had a lot of violent and scary experiences during her investigations.

She explained: “I’ve been held by the throat, I’ve been scratched and I’ve had my hair pulled.

“When I meet spirits who have been hung it feels like I have a noose around my neck- but that’s their only way of showing what happened.

“Most ghosts just want to communicate with you and tell their story.”

One of the group’s most recent investigations was at Jimmy Allen’s nightclub in Durham.

Before being a popular haunt for young people on a night out, this place was used as a house of correction.

Back in the 1700s, Jimmy Allen was a musician who was convicted of stealing the King’s horse at the age of 70 and was imprisoned.

He received a pardon from the king, but it arrived days after his death inside the prison.

People say his ghost still haunts the building- and the Spectre Detectors think they might have caught his ghost on camera.

(Facebook/Spectre Detectors)

They also captured the eerie image of what they believe to be a spirit.

The Northern Echo:

At the nightclub, they also captured an EVP of a raspy voice speaking.

According to Elaine’s translation, the voice says: “It’s a pity you couldn’t go and watch”- can you hear the voice of a ghost?

(YouTube/Spectre Detectors)

Elaine and the group also captured some unexplained footage at Hippodrome Bishop Auckland.

They have investigated the hippodrome a number of times over the years and encountered the spirits of a Grey Lady and of a little boy called James.

Elaine explained: “As we were setting up the camera one of the team felt like she was violently poked in the leg. The camera kept getting moved even though the door was locked behind us.

“We also became aware of a teenage boy who was called Derrick- he said he used to help the projectionist.

The Northern Echo: Is this the ghost of Derrick standing in front of group member? (Photo: Spectre Detectors)Is this the ghost of Derrick standing in front of group member? (Photo: Spectre Detectors)

“We think Derrick was caught on camera stood in front of Tracy (staff member).

“We also caught a photograph of a very tall gentleman behind Kath (manager) and Kath felt that the man caught looked very much like her grandfather.”

The Northern Echo: Did Kath's Grandfather pop in for a visit? (Photo: Spectre Detectors)Did Kath's Grandfather pop in for a visit? (Photo: Spectre Detectors)

The Spectre Detectors have also encountered some familiar ghosts during their investigations- including the ghost of comedian and actor, Stan Laurel.

Elaine said:  “We’ve come across Stan Laurel a few times- including at The King’s Café in Bishop Auckland.

“We didn’t know it was him at first but when we researched the names that came through at the end it was all of his family members including his son who died shortly after birth.”

However, there is another famous name that frequently pops up during investigations but her history isn’t quite so comical.

Mary Ann Cotton was a Durham serial killer from the 1800s; she supposedly poisoned up to 21 people- including 11 of her own children.

She was hanged at Durham prison in 1873.

The Spectre Detectors have visited Mary Ann Cotton’s home where they encountered the spirit of an “angry man”.

Hauntingly, the group also captured audio of what they believed were children’s cries and screaming.

Elaine said the ghost of Mary also came through at the Dun Cow pub in Durham.

Elaine added:“At this pub, she even told us about the day she went to trial and explained that it snowed- I researched afterwards and it did actually snow.”

Mary Ann’s children were also said to show up at the West Auckland Memorial Hall.

Elaine said: “During our third and final investigation at the hall, some of the group experienced sickness and were getting some names that linked to the children of Mary Ann Cotton.

“We found that they didn’t like to be associated with the lady herself and hated admitting that she was their mother.”

Other haunting figures were captured at the West Auckland Memorial Hall- do you think they are evidence of ghost activity?

The Northern Echo: A figure at West AucklandA figure at West Auckland

The Northern Echo: Can you see the figure of a man watching from the passageway (Photo: Spectre Detectors)Can you see the figure of a man watching from the passageway (Photo: Spectre Detectors)

While people can decide for themselves if Elaine’s footage is proof of paranormal activity or simply a trick of the light, Elaine maintains that her footage is genuine.

She says everything she captures is an attempt to find proof of the paranormal and communicate with the deceased.

She said: “Our group don’t go for the whole scare factor and don’t intend to frighten people- we just want people to understand how the spirit world works.”

If you would like to review more footage then visit The Spectre Detector Facebook page and YouTube channel.

You can also find Elaine’s books on Amazon where she talks about paranormal encounters in the North.