Ghostly York – a street called Bedern

York is reputedly Europe’s most haunted city, boasting hundreds of ghostly sightings. A popular story revolves around a cobbled street with the unusual name: Bedern.


The street crossing the entrance to Bedern is called Goodramgate (named after a viking Guthram). In York many streets end in the word “gate” which comes from “gata” – Saxon for way of walking. Until a few years ago there was a tiny wine-bar on Goodramgate, whose owner claimed was frequented by ghostly monks walking through the walls. He said their presence was due to the nearby York Minster and Bedern church Hall.


Bedern is an Anglo-Saxon word, dating from 1270, meaning: place of worship or house of prayer, the name deriving from the church hall.

Ghostly Children

When spiritualist John Mitchell (who wrote the first book about ghostly York: “Ghosts of an Ancient City”), carried out research, he uncovered a grisly tale about a wicked Victorian workhouse owner. The cruel man starved and mistreated the children in his care, ending up with more bodies than he had places to bury them.

Consequently after trying to cram the corpses into a cupboard, because he couldn’t bury them in the ground, thick with winter ice, the workhouse owner suffered some kind of breakdown. He was tormented by visits from the children’s ghosts and ended up in an asylum.

Ring o’ roses

Later, residents in the area thought they heard children singing the popular nursery rhyme ‘Ring, o’ring of roses.’ And one man saw his dog cower at something in the dark, when he walked him through Bedern.

Bedern, Spring 2012

In Spring 2012 I was passing through the area and snapped the photo above. At the time there was nothing visible but when I looked I could see what appeared to be a round ball of pink light. Could it be an orb I wondered? Orbs are eerie circular lights which appear on photos to denote a spooky presence. All was calm when I took the photo and nothing like that light above was it made me wonder.

For details of my ghostly events, you might wish to visit here…..

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