This time of year is perfect for uncovering spooky mysteries and discovering the strange past of a city. Hull is steeped in weird and wonderful history, flanked with dark corners and even darker secrets. If you wander around the city of three crowns this Halloween, you may get to meet some of its previous citizens.
Hull New Theatre
Currently closed for refurbishment and set to reopen its doors in 2017, Hull New Theatre has long been the heart of entertainment in the city. Built in 1939, the likes of Laurel and Hardy have graced its stage, along with Charles Dickens, who read his work at the former assembly rooms that stood on Jarret Street before. Despite undergoing many repairs and renovations throughout the decades, the corridors are still haunted by several souls. Most notably is the mischievous Charlie, who is said to knock on doors and cause chaos in dressing rooms. A lady has also been seen in the Dress Circle of the theatre, and Royal Box B has been the scene of several hair-raising happenings.
Originally built in the middle of the nineteenth century, Punch Hotel was rebuilt to become an ornate masterpiece overlooking Queen Victoria Square. In 1936 the Wallis family moved into the pub after the previous landlord passed away; it was there that the two Wallis children, along with their father and aunt, were killed by a World War II bomb. Upon hearing the air raid sirens, the two children took shelter under the nearby Prudential Building, which unfortunately didn't survive the hit, unlike the Punch Hotel that still stands today. Nowadays, the pub stands proudly in the heart of the city's shopping and culture district, serving delicious food and refreshing beverages. The little ones can often be seen happily playing around the bar, and are more than friendly to the punters.
Ye Olde Black Boy
An alehouse immersed in rich history, Ye Olde Black Boy was once connected to the city's docks via a network of secret tunnels. These passageways were used extensively by smugglers, until one stormy day when they were flooded with seawater, drowning several of the men. It's thought that these ghosts now haunt the pub, with bottles often flying off shelves and several regulars claiming to see ethereal hands appear through panels on the wall.
Ye Olde White Harte
Another of Hull's most famous watering holes is Ye Olde White Harte. It's creepy enough that a real life human skull lives behind one of the bars, but it's even stranger that when moved, the restless spirit of its former owner is said to return to haunt the building until the bones are put back where they belong. There are several theories surrounding who the bonce belonged to. One suggests that it's the remains of a young boy who was the victim of a drunken sea captain, whilst another claims it once sat on the small shoulders of a poor serving girl.
The Annison Building
Often dubbed as one of Hull's most spooky spots, this former Victorian funeral parlour is purportedly connected to a murder. In 1891, Jane Langley visited the family business to be photographed, and later that day she was discovered with her throat cut. The murder of Mary Jane is just one of the city's unanswered, spine-tingling mysteries. Many of the staff that work in the building today are said to refuse to enter the upper floors alone.