The North East is rich with heritage and history - so it is not a surprise that it is the site of some of the UK's most well-known paranormal hotspots.

As Halloween approaches, many of us will be looking for spooky stories to get hair on the back of our necks standing on end. What could be more terrifying than ghostly spectres right on our doorstep? 

We count down some of the scariest and most notorious ghosts from Newcastle to North Yorkshire. 

1. Signor Rino Pepi and his little dog, Darlington Hippodrome. 

The founder of Darlington Hippodrome may have stayed behind in his beloved theatre after his death. Signor Rino Pepi, a famous quick-change artist and friend of Queen Victoria, is said to be seen walking in Darlington Hippodrome's wings alongside his beloved Pekingese dog, which may have been interred within the walls of the theatre itself.

Read more: 'Evidence of ghosts' in Newton Aycliffe, Spennymoor and Sunderland

2. Peg Powler, The Skerne River 

Peg Powler is a supernatural figure who is said to inhabit rivers across the North East, including the River Skerne and River Tees. Peg has long green hair and sharp claws, which she used to drag unsuspecting victims into the river. though there is some debate as to what Peg is, with some saying she's a hag or a water spirit rather than a ghost, she certainly is frightening. 

3. The Old Hell Cat of Raby Castle

When alive, Lady Elizabeth Holles of Raby Castle had a violent temper, once stripping her own home of all valuables to deny her son his inheritance out of spite. 

Now, her apparition is said to walk the battlements of Raby Castle, pacing angrily. In particular, she is seen in Clifford's Tower - knitting needles clacking so furiously that they get red hot. According to local legend, passers-by can spot her glowing knitting needles as she rages on eternally. 

4. The Brown Man of the Moors

If you wander around Winter's Gibbet and Steng Cross on Elsdon Moor, you might run into a frightening apparition. The Brown Mas is described as "a dwarf, his head covered with frizzled red hair, his countenance ferocious, and his eyes glowing like those of a bull."

Usually spotted by hunters, the Brown Man of the Moors is claimed to scold people for killing animals, and is a staunch vegetarian!

Read more: REVEALED: The North East’s most haunted places - have you been to them?

5. The Radiant Boy of Chillingham Castle

Castles and ghosts go together like bread and butter, so it is not surprising that Chillingham reports plenty of its spooky spectres. 

The Radiant Boy is one of the most commonly reported ghosts - with guests saying they have witnessed a young boy in blue clothing that appears to date from the 1660s, alongside noises of a child in pain coming from a nearby wall. 

The denouement of this tale is that construction workers constructing a passage into the tower rooms found the bones of a young boy and scraps of blue fabric in the wall. Since he was properly laid to rest in the castle's church, sightings have decreased, but you may still catch a glimpse in the early hours of the morning. 

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