The Underbelly Of York.

For my final year project for Major project A I am creating a book of York containing stories from york its ghost stories, an Its different time periods that have made the town a huge tourist attraction york is kind of like that forrest gumb quote about how “life is like a box chocolates and you never know what you are gona get” York is alot like that it has so many different artefact’s and structures made up from The Vickings, Romans, Medeavil Tudor,

Starting the book off was a tricky place to start but I decieded that the best place to kick it off was to look at stories that add to the enormous tourist attraction, one of the biggest attractions is the York ghost walk theses beautufil buildings and ancient alley ways and snickle ways hold some of the most darkest stories





This is probably the most disturbing one.

I was scared of this Berdern passage way ever since I was young my brother told me there were crocodiles ready to eat me down there, I have forgotten the crocodiles but the place always gave me the creeps.

Ghosts of York

The Orphans’ Screams
Bedern, York

Bedern, off Goodramgate, was the medieval home of the Minister’s Vicars Choral. The choristers finally moved out in 1574 and, unfortunately, the area degenerated in region of slums and warehouses. By the mid-19th century, a sort of orphanage-cum-workhouse was established here known as the York Industrial Ragged School. Its master was paid handsomely to round up local waifs and strays and put them to work and he was keen to keep hold of his earnings. The avaricious man paid out little on food

and clothing for his workforce and the children died in great numbers – of starvation and exposure.

Being too lazy to even dispose of the bodies, the schoolmaster would lock

them up in a large cupboard until the stench would eventually force him to clear up. In the cold Yorkshire winters, he would be prevented from digging even the shallowest of graves and was forced to leave the corpses to rot.

As the months passed, however, the bodies piled up and the master began to become convinced that he could hear terrified screams emanating from the padlocked cupboard. They played on his guilty conscience so much that he eventually went completely mad and ran through the school massacring the remaining children with a huge knife. The authorities discovered him next morning, whimpering amongst heaps of mutilated bodies. He was dragged off to the local asylum where he spent the rest of his life.

The restless spirits of the dead children are still occasionally seen in the area. More usually, however, it is their playful laughter which is heard. The passer by may stop to listen to the eerie sound but, as they do, it changes dramatically into screams of terror!.

Another one is really rather sad it breaks my heart a little when I know what potential suffering went on in this small house.

Crying Girl

Location: York – 5 College Street
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Twentieth century
Further Comments: Both seen and heard, this ghostly child starved to death after her parents died from plague. She only appears to haunt the upper parts of the house.

It is said that when There was a bad outbreak of Plague in 1601 that a little girl who lived in this house was infected her parents were very causious of ailements and sent the little girl to the market everyday to get some food for the family, but when her  little girl started developing symptoms of the plague her  family left the house and her In her bedroom to wait for the the sicknes to kill her to make sure she coudnt get out of the house they put a red cross on the door to stop anyone from entering, It is a terrible thing to do to a child she must have come down from her room looking for some comfort as we all do when we are sick and found herself alone abandoned by her mummy and daddy waiting to die.

Black rats can break up families

Blood of the Jews

Location: York – Clifford Tower
Type: Unknown Ghost Type                                                                             
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Many Jews committed suicide in the tower rather than surrender to the rioting anti-Semitic mobs tearing up the town. The ground of the tower is said to be stained red, even after being dug up and replaced.

This one will always make me on edge If I am near the river at the witching hour.

Pale Figure

Location: York – Edge of the river Ouse                   
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Thought to be the shade of a drowned person, this figure drifts around the banks of the river.

If you are Interesting in ghost stories or just ridiculus check out most haunted In york at the golden fleece.


My aim for part of this book is to create a contemporary visual for the book, Ive been looking alot at William Hogarth for my artists reference he looked at people in city scenes skectching the people and then compile them into satired scene about society so I attempted to try out this style so I drew people on the train travelling from York- to York. Here is what I produced.

Interesting woman On the train I likedher pearl necklace.

Ladies having a pot of tea and a sit down in spurriergate centre

last saturday on the 6/11/10.

After studying people on the train for a while I tried to give them some costume trying to make them look historical by putting them in constume as the Illustrations below show.

In placing seperate drawings together using phoshop somthing interesting happened in action that the drawings became to interact with each other and the drawings became more like characters in my brain a pauper prostitute and a rich gentleman caller, using the evidence gathered earlier saying that graplane which is now called was a hovel in 1900’s york society for prosttitutes and irish emigrants.

Here is these miniature bedroom scenes i tried to capture the missery adn horrid sitution these woman ere in selling themselves for a shilling.

Bedroom 1 I wanted to show a white matteress which didnt conceal all the dirt.

Image from book Prostitution and Poverty by Frances Finigan.

Also check out the contemporary channel 4 costume drama

a harlotts progress.

In bedroom 2 I wanted to use a striped material as to give idea of historical periodism.(I THAT A WORD YOU ASK WHO CARES I JUST MADE IT ONE)

I wanted to create a mini 1900’s york of all the slums captured in Frances finnigans  book poverty and prositution.

It came to my notice that In formative acessment that I had not alot of Illustrations and that I was letting myslef creatively down not doing what I was good at and could do with ease.

The Illustrations Below tell the Story of Ain’e and her family as they arrive In York In the 1900’s fleeing from Irelands poverty and starvation caused by the Irish potato famine.

The sketches are not finished yet but I am glad How they are coming along;



a phrase a ex-boyfriend once said to me and suppose that this cruel phrase describes this situation THERE’S NO POINT IN FLOGING A DEAD HORSE IF YOU ARE NOT GOIGN TO GET ANYWHERE.

But it is a vicious circle alot of the women because of all the disease that

was arround didnt make it till they were late 30’s so what was the poor girl

Illustrated with her mother in Aine part 2  what could she do If her mother

abandoned her either by willingness or by death parting them what could

she do how langton lane finished annwas she going to feed herself and her baby brother?









langton lane sarahThis may seem extreme but it happened here are some child prostitutes arrested and bought before the magistrates In York.



The York book of woes soon turned into posters because of lack of preparation for it to be turned into a book, the research I had been gathering for the large subject of York History got turned into little snipets of Information with some curiosity characters to describe the Visual iddentity of the snipets of narratives.

The curiosity you see here on this poster represents cliffords tower in York its made out of golden sugar cubes and has food colouring soaking and seeping through the walls to represent the phantom blood of the jews who were died at the tower in the 13th century.

The next poster represents the history of food in York the Yorkshire pudding that was mainly used by the less fortunate as a bowl for beef stew and other left over foods, it was only introduced later on in time as a accompnyment to a roast dinner later on in the 1900’s.

The orriginal name for a Yorkshire Pudding is a Dripping pudding because the idea was to put some batter under a meat spit and while the meat was cooking the meat juices and fat would drop down into the batter creating a absorbed piece of bread.

here are the posters;


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