Dark Histories

Dark Histories

Ben Cutmore

Fortnightly narratives on the unsolved and the unexplained, mysteries, historical true crime, touches of the paranormal and cultural peculiarities.

Categories: Education

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In England, the Tyne River, famously flowing through the centre of Newcastle on its way to the North Eastern coast, has for many centuries been a vein of industry. In the early 19th Century the banks were filled with shipbuilders, rope makers and flour, grain, textile and corn mills, creaking and grinding with the constant industrial din. On the Eastern outskirts of Newcastle stood Willington Mill, a flour mill built in 1801 with a local reputation. For decades folks had talked about the old mill house, of how a witch had once lived in an old cottage on the land and of the spirit of Old Jefferey. The stories eventually seeped out into national publications after a pair of curious locals carried out an overnight vigil which ended in chaos, earning the mill the title of “most haunted house in England”, but were the stories anything more than just local rumour and legend? SOURCES Proctor, Edmund (1894) The Haunted House At Willington. Journal for The Society of Psychical Research, Vol 5, 1891-92. The Society’s Books, London, UK.   Hallowell, Michael J. & Ritson, Darren W. (2011) The Haunting of Willington Mill. The History Press, London, UK.   Summers, Montague (1927) The Geography of Witchcraft. A.A. Knopf; K. Paul, Trench, Trubner, London, UK.   Hudson, Tom (1887) The Monthly Chronicle of North Country Lore and Legend. Walter Scott, Newcastle, UK   Richardson, M.A. (1842) Authentic Account of a Visit to The Haunted House at Willington near Newcastle Upon Tyne. M.A. Richardson, Newcastle, UK   Crowe, Catherine (1850) The Night Side of Nature. J.S. Redfield, New York, USA.   Sidgwick, Eleanor (1892) On The Evidence For Clairvoyance. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research Vol VII, 1891-92. Kegan Paul, Trench & Turner LTD. London, UK.   Stead, William Thomas (1897) Real Ghost Stories. G. Richards. London, UK   Newcastle Guardian & Tyne Mercury (1867) Local and District News. 26 January 1867, p.2. Newcastle, UK.   Newcastle Guardian & Tyne Mercury (1867) Local and District News. 23 February 1867, p.6. Newcastle, UK.   Beck, Ben. (2022) Children of Elizabeth and Joseph Procter.[online] Benbeck.co.uk. Available at:  


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The Dark Histories Butterfly was drawn by Courtney, who you can find on Instagram @bewildereye

Music was recorded by me © Ben Cutmore 2017

Other Outro music was Paul Whiteman & his orchestra with Mildred Bailey - All of me (1931). It's out of copyright now, but if you're interested, that was that.

Previous episodes

  • 188 - The Haunting of Willington Mill 
    Sun, 07 Aug 2022
  • 187 - The Tichborne Claimant: A Tale of Two Butchers 
    Tue, 26 Jul 2022
  • 186 - The Murder of George Little & The Broadstone Mystery 
    Wed, 06 Jul 2022
  • 185 - Esther Cox & The Great Amherst Mystery 
    Mon, 20 Jun 2022
  • 184 - Catherine Elise Muller & Her Mission to Mars 
    Mon, 06 Jun 2022
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