A GHOST-HUNTING group who have traced the steps of Jack the Ripper, Bram Stoker and Mary Ann Cotton have turned their sights on a 19th Century railway institute.

County Durham paranormal investigators, the Spectre Detectors, recently took a trip to Shildon Railway Institute, a Grade II listed building facing an uncertain future.

The investigators said the building was rife with activity and took the opportunity to raise money to ensure its survival.

They witnessed bright flashes, spectre images and spirit voices captured on ghost-hunting equipment.

Group founder Elaine Kelly, said: “The investigation was very respectful, we didn’t use ouija boards or provoke activity in any way. We caught some amazing evidence that night, including spirit photos, voices and physical mediumship – all of which was recorded to be viewed online.

“We use a portal in our investigations which allows spirit to talk, through the portal many names came through. A child named Pete and a woman who told us he had been killed in a car accident ‘by the wheel’. I asked if he had been knocked over and the boy answered ‘aye’. We later traced that in August 1939 a boy, Peter Bailey, of Busty Terrace, Shildon, was killed by a lorry when he ran out of the backyard of his home into the road.”

The group also said that after some table-tipping – the lifting or manipulation of a table during a séance attributed to the agency of spirits – they were made aware of a spirit named Norman and through further investigation realised it was a relative of one of the attendees.

The man had only lived in Shildon from 2011 and came into the club to make friends.

Spectre Detectors raised more than £500 during the night to save the institute from closing.

It has struggled during the coronavirus pandemic and is now facing closure unless it can raise vital funds.

The two periods of enforced closure during the pandemic meant writing off the bar’s stock and then re-buying it, furloughing staff and cancelling several events.

Outgoings have quickly overtaken income and the venue’s finances are in a perilous state.

A group of volunteers have set up an appeal to raise £20,000 to ensure its doors reopen.

To donate, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/save-our-stute-last-orders online.