A GROUP of spectral monks and a violent, tall and skinny poltergeist are just some of the spirits that haunt East Lancashire, according to one local writer.

Craig Bryant, who lives in Chatburn in the Ribble Valley, has written a book detailing the most haunted places in East Lancashire – and the eerie first-hand stories that have come out of these areas.

Craig's The Black Monks of Accrington certainly isn’t a book for the easily frightened.

Lancashire Telegraph: Craig Bryant, author of The Black Monks of AccringtonCraig Bryant, author of The Black Monks of Accrington

Craig said: “It’s my second book and is a continuation of the first, exploring local ghost stories from Accrington, where I was born grew up,

"I also tell some stories about other areas of the county.

“I have always been fascinated by ghost stories and there are a lot of ghost stories surrounding the county.

“It details stories experience by myself, friends and family as well as people I have spoken to.

“There are stories that you won’t ever have heard of. If you like ghost stories, then they are quite spooky.

“It’s great bedtime reading… if you don’t want to go to sleep.”

Murderous poltergeists, shadowy figures, Lancashire’s famous haunted pubs and inns, startling paranormal and UFO activity in The Ribble Valley and more is explored in the book.

The book’s title comes from stories surrounding the spectral black monks which are said to haunt Abbey Street and Black Abbey Street.

Craig said: “There are a few legends that surround the area of Black Abbey Street.

“One is that three monks have been seen near the police station, Broad Oak, Warner Street and beyond.

“The same area is said to be haunted by a distressed young girl who can be seen screaming and crying.”

One creepy story that stuck with Craig while writing the book surrounds the “tall, skinny” poltergeist with a moustache who has been spotted on several occasions in and around Warner Street.

Craig said: “There is some really nasty poltergeist activity on a shop in Warner Street.

“A medium I spoke to said one of the owners was physically pushed down the stairs by something.

“He said they could see a very tall, thin man wearing a hat.

“The medium said there have been several recorded sightings of this tall thin figure haunting the streets and that it was often physically violent.”

Craig also encountered the tall, thin spectre for himself at former Accrington Conservative Club on Cannon Street, which is just a few hundred years from Warner Street), where he used to work.

He said: “I used to work there and saw a tall, thin apparition in the snooker room.

“It turns out it has been seen quite a lot over the years by various staff members. I could see the outline of him wearing a hat and he looked just like the figure that’s often spotted on Warner Street.”

Craig also says there are some haunted pubs in the county, which he explores in both his second book and his first, The Shadow Man of Accrington.

Craig says The Sun Inn in Preston is probably the “most haunted pub he had researched”, said to be inhabited by the heartbroken apparition of Lizzie Dean.

Hudson’s Ice Cream shop in Chatburn is also said to be haunted by the former owner, according to Craig.

He said: “There is a really good story about Hudson’s Ice Cream shop in Chatburn.

“The owner has seen the ghost of a lady, Sarah Hudson, who used to live in the shop.

“Her brother has also been seen quite often.

“There’s actually some ghost activity in the Clitheroe house we live in - and I think it’s attached to the piano we bought a few years ago… but you will have to read the book to learn more about that.”

To purchase the book, listen to a podcast, or learn more about Craig’s paranormal stories, visit his website: www.craigbryant.co.uk/