All Saints Church, York
The 14th century All Saints’ Church is a Grade I listed building. According to ‘Haunted Churches’ (1939) by Elliott O’Donnell (27 February 1872 – 8 May 1965) ‘All sorts of queer stories are told, too, of the other Pavement church, All Saints. One of its ghosts appears in the day-time as well as at night, thus constituting another case that upsets the absurd idea, so prevalent, that hauntings only occur during the night.This particular day-time ghost is described as resembling a woman in black, with a very red, swollen face, and long hair, worn in the old fashioned cork-screw style. It used to be seen, most often, at funeral services in the church. On one occasion, while the congregation were kneeling, one of them suddenly experienced a cold current of air. Wondering where it came from, as the weather was extremely warm, he looked round.
Behind him, the only person in his rear was a woman, much begarbed in black, in spite of the excessive heat. Her face, red and swollen, as if she was suffering from some malignant disease, was so unsightly that it shocked him. He tried to avert his gaze but the woman’s eyes, which glared balefully into his, hypnotized him, and he could not look elsewhere. This state of things lasted till the congregation rose, when, still glaring at him, she left the pew and crossing to the opposite side of the building disappeared from view behind a pillar. When, after the service, he mentioned the incident to one of the sidesmen he knew, the latter said : “Oh, that woman, she’s the ghost. She is frequently seen at funeral services here and sometimes at burials. Once a lady, to see if she was material, tried to poke her with an umbrella, and the umbrella went right through her without encountering any resistance. On another occasion a choir boy threw a book at her, and a similar thing happened, the book passed right through her.”
A woman who kept a stall in Ousegate was said to be the only person who had spoken to the ghost and been answered by it. She professed to know the origin of the haunting and the identity of the ghost, but she would never reveal her information. After her death the haunting ceased for a time, only, so rumour had it, to begin again intermittently.’