A WEARSIDE ghost haunting in Victorian times.
“St Patrick’s RC School played host to thousands of East Enders over the decades and photos of it are often sought by visitors to Sunderland Antiquarian Society,” said map archivist Norman Kirtlan.
“But of all the classroom memories shared by ex-pupils, there is one episode in the school’s history that is well beyond the memory of any living Wearsider – and perhaps that is just as well!”
Indeed, according to details uncovered by Norman, the building bore more of a resemblance to a battlefield than a place of learning in 1891 – for this was the year of St Pat’s mysterious ghoulies.
“A pitched battle twixt East End bairns and the forces of evil was to ensue,” he said.
The day of September 11, 1891, dawned fine and extremely warm. Youngsters struggled to stay awake during lessons until, at last, the bell sounded and they spilled out into Coronation Street.
“It was a Friday and the last thing any of them wanted as they ran home for their tea was to see the dreaded halls of St Patrick’s before 9am the next Monday morning,” said Norman.
“But by 9pm that night, just as darkness was falling, a cry went up that there was ‘a ghost at St Pat’s’. Dozens of kids swarmed down Sussex and Coronation streets to gather around the school.
“If the idea of a restless spirit joining their lessons wasn’t enough to bring the entire juvenile population of Hendon and surrounding areas to join the throng, then nothing was!”
Without doubt, something uncanny was lurking behind the ground floor windows. Something quite eerie: Two tiny human forms that seemed almost luminous as they peered from behind the glass.
The smaller urchins were soon joined by larger ones and, while the little ‘uns remained respectfully silent, the teenagers obviously weren’t aware of the required etiquette in the presence of ghosts.
What’s more, they had brought the latest in ghost-hunting paraphernalia with them!” said Norman, a retired police officer who now works as a forensic artist.
“These days Derek Acorah and his crew would sport all manner of ectoplasm detectors, devices and electronic gadgetry but, back then, ghost-hunting implements consisted of half bricks.
Source: Sunderland Echo, Read More
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