Paranormal group to investigate historic Hartlepool building where there have been reports of ghostly shadows and full apparitions

A paranormal group has been given the green light to investigate Hartlepool’s longest serving social club amid reports of ghostly apparitions and unexplained experiences.

Friday, 22nd July 2022, 4:45 am

North East Paranormal Investigations has been given permission to carry out investigations at the Athenaeum Club on Church Street.

Built in 1851 with the help of the legendary Ralph Ward Jackson, known as the founder of West Hartlepool, the building originally served as a meeting venue and place of learning.

It remains open today and is a social club and function room where members go to enjoy a drink and game of snooker or pool.

The Athenaeum Club, in Church Street, was built in 1851. Picture by Frank Reid

But members have reported a series of mysterious incidents from unexplained ghostly shadows to “full bodied apparitions”.

Jo Banks, of North East Paranormal Investigations, is delighted to be given the opportunity to investigate it for the first time.

She said: “I have wanted to get access to this Grade II listed building for many years and felt quite sure that it must have paranormal activity and residual energy.

"I met several times with Steve Breward, who is head of the Athenaeum Committee. He put it to the committee and they very much approved.

Paranormal investigator Jo Banks inside of the Athenaeum Club, Church Street. Picture by Frank Reid

"Steve introduced me to some pool, snooker and billiard members, all of which told of many incidents that could not be ruled out.

"Things such as shadows of people through Flemish glass which they presumed would be entering into the room.

"Full bodied apparitions that disperses, sounds of door alarms when the place is locked, the list goes on.”

In the early days of the town, the building was used for many purposes including a library, schoolroom, business meetings and grand balls.

Jo said it was built to help give the new immigrants from Europe, Ireland and Scotland education when they came to Hartlepool due to the massive progress with the building of the docks and railways.

She added: “It is like a Tardis inside, it’s huge. It also houses a substantial cellar with fireplace which is believed to have been an overspill area from the police station and cells on the other block.”

North East Paranormal Investigations will be holding its own private investigation soon.

A small public investigation will also take place on Saturday, September 3, from 8pm-1am.

For more information telephone 07956 727118.