The Star, York Street
The following description about the haunting of the The Star’s building is extracted from an article by Alex Evans entitled ‘Halloween: Sheffield’s Top 10 most haunted places revealed’ which was published in The Star on 26 October 2015. ‘Campo Lane, in the city centre near the Cathedral, is the dividing line between ‘old Sheffield’ and the newer half of the city.
Right in the centre, the old area is known as Hartshead, and it’s allegedly home to many, many ghosts thanks to being built on the site of an old well from Celtic and Roman times.
The Star’s own building has two. The first is a little girl who loves to play with customers in the reception area, and touches ladies of a certain age ‘as if they were her mother’.
Even The Star’s own security guards have reported hearing feminine screams overnight…’
But that’s nothing on our second, much more violent apparition.
The story was followed up with more details in a second article on Wednesday 28 October 2015. ‘Our chilling foray into the darkest, murkiest tales of Sheffield’s haunted locations brings us to The Star’s very own building today – which was apparently once host to a brutal murder at the hands of a demon spirit at the turn of the 20th century.
Steel City Ghost Tours’s Mr P Dreadful paid The Star a visit to explain the grisly history of our very own building and outline in depth why our former print room – now dark, abandoned and padlocked – is home to one of Sheffield’s most terrifying spirits.
“This room is synonymous with violence. A lot of violence,” said Mr Dreadful.
He added: “The workforce started to complain that they didn’t want to work in here because there was something wrong with the room.
“Every time they walked in, they said there was an atmosphere, and you could guarantee something was going to happen.
“There was a very nice young man who worked here. He was taking a beer break when he suddenly broke the bottle he was holding, turned to his best friend, and slit his throat.
“It seemed as though he had no idea what he had just done.
“They called the police and ambulance and tried to talk to him. He never said a word. He just sat there, holding the bottle, as though it was glued to his hand.
“After a while, he came out of this trance as they were bringing the body of his best friend.
“He refused to believe what he had done.”
Mr Dreadful added that The Star’s building is within an old district of central Sheffield known as Hartshead – home to an old sacred Celtic and Roman well.
This well is said to be the centre of the violent goings-on.
Mr Dreadful said: “Below our feet somewhere, supposedly, from what we’ve researched, lies some ancient being – who isn’t happy.”
But that is not the only spooky tale from The Star’s building.
There is a little girl who is said to haunt The Star’s home on York Street – and the building opposite, formerly owned by the paper – known as Isabelle.
To this day, Isabelle reportedly likes to appear before staff working late at night – and her screams have even been reported echoing inside the building.
One security guard working at The Star said: “I have heard strange things here, when no-one else has been around.
“Every night, I go and lock all the doors inside the building. Regularly, several will be mysteriously open again when I go back to check. But there is no-one else inside the building.
“I’ve even heard distant screams late at night, but there is never anyone else around.”
Mrs J Dreadful, also of Steel City Ghost Tours, explains the story of the little girl, and how she came to haunt us.
She said: “In the Georgian period, Sheffield was well known for corruption. We had to have the Crown look after us for 15 years because we were so corrupt, creating false coinage.
“Mr Latimer was against that, he was a man of the Crown and believed everything should be legal.
“He caught a group of smugglers and took them to Leeds, where they were hanged.
“The smuggling gang found out, and took their revenge six months later.
“Not just on him, but on his wife, his family and his servants.
“She was left with scars across her face where they rubbed soot into her wounds, and she and her family were left as corpses across the front door of the building, now opposite The Star building, as a warning message that you don’t cross the gangs.
“Isabelle sees her scars in her reflection, and smashes whatever she sees herself in.
“She has been known to smash computer screens, mirrors, even compact cases.
“Her best trick is when she goes up to a woman and hugs her from behind.
“She likes people, and has been seen stood in the queue next to a lady, just looking at her with her eyes up.
“She still haunts the building to this day. Isabelle is still waiting for her mother to come and get her. Isabelle was the last one to die, so she’s stuck here waiting for her mother.
“But the story did do some good for Sheffield, because it brought the Crown in and got rid of the corruption gangs once they saw what happened to Mr Latimer and little Isabelle.”