The Ghost Keeper of York

Body Shop York by The Ghostkeeper

Within the Coppergate Centre, not so very far from the Jorvik Viking museum, is the rather appropriately-named Body Shop. It hasn’t always been the Body Shop of course, but then, the current buildings haven’t always been a shopping centre.

It’s quite new, built during the 1980s. Over a thousand years ago, this spot was occupied by some Viking industrial units - craftwork shops and the like - much later than that in the 20th Century, this was the location of Mrs. Craven’s Sweet Factory, where they used to make those nice boiled sweets as they used to call them - hard candies like coloured glass - usually fruity - you know the kind of thing.

Mrs Craven herself was quite a character - a tiny woman, who nonetheless managed to rule her business with a rod of iron. She even had a special high-chair made, so that she could keep a detailed watch all across the factory floor - mistress of all she surveyed. However, it is not she who is thought to haunt the premises but rather one of her hard-working employees.

Now, the Body Shop staff and some of the residents above do say that on occasion there are strange sounds coming from the top floor - noises which should not be there at all. It’s the sound of someone very loudly walking about on bare floorboards. Nothing unusual there, you might think, except when you realise that there are no bare floorboards on that top floor at all - it is all thickly carpeted. And what is more, this phenomenon often happens when there’s nobody up there anyway.

In addition, the staff have reported odd noises emanating from the back room of the shop. It’s the sound of something akin to that which would occur if a necklace were to break, sending large beads dropping on the floor, bouncing and scattering around.

No one knows why all this occurs, but it has been suggested that it might be caused by the ghost of a man who used to work in Mrs. Craven’s Sweet Factory itself and one day had a horrible death when he fell into a vat of boiling sugar. Inevitably, there are unkind people who quip that the man must have come to a “very sticky end indeed”. Joking apart though, just imagine what it must have been like for him. Did he perish straight away? Or did the sugar have chance to solidify first? Perhaps the noises that are sometimes heard are not of beads but of sugary fragments breaking off and hitting the floor?

No one knows. So far, there have only been the unexplained sounds. The poor man - if indeed it is he - has not been seen… yet.