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Cauld Lad of Hilton


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According to Surtees's History and Antiquities of Durham (1820), this was the ghost of a stable lad, killed by one of the Barons of Hilton in an outburst of temper, who haunted Hylton castle; he worked like a brownie by cleaning up untidy kitchens, but would also mess up anything which was already tidy. In order to get rid of him, the servants gave him a cloak and hood, which he put on gleefully, and then vanished, as brownies do. However, he was still sometimes heard wailing in and around the castle, where there was one room called ‘the cauld lad's room’ and never used except in emergencies.

Henderson, 1866: 229–30;Keightley, 1889: 296–7;Westwood, 1985: 334–6.


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