The Holy Island of Lindisfarne


This, is the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, a small tidal island off the Northumberland coast of England. You can drive to it for parts of the day as it is connected by a causeway, but when the tide comes in, it becomes cut off from the world.

Despite repeated warnings advising people not to cross outside of the safe times,on average, one vehicle each month requires rescuing, and sadly many people have also drowned over the years.

The island’s history is very vast, tragic, but also very special to the people who live here.

A monastery was built on the island in 634AD and monks settled on the island a year later. This lead to the island becoming known as the cradle of Christianity in the UK. It also became the original burial place of Saint Cuthbert, a monk and later bishop whom is said to have performed many miracles both in life and after his death as well as prophecies. His ghost is meant to walk here, traditionally on nights when the moon is full and the tide is in.

Due to the island’s strong spiritual associations, it became a place for pilgrims to vist, with the original pilgrims walk still visible to this day. People would flock from the mainland, hoping for miraculus cures from Cuthbert himself. His aura was very powerful – he is said to have performed exorcisms on posessed children that were brought to the island, and cured many sick people.

Cuthbert lived a life so secluded, that he even decided to live on a smaller island cut off from the actual Holy Island so that he could live as remotely as possible. The remains of his dwellings are still there and are a shrine to many people that visit.

Cuthbert died in 687AD and his body was buried within the monastery n the island. It is said that many years after his death, his remains were still intact, although about 1000 years later, it was noted that someone did inspect the body and reported it to be quite skeletal.

The island suffered its darkest day in 793AD when 3 Viking longboats sailed into Sandham Bay, a small beached cove to the North of the island. Whilst details of what happened are not evry well documented, what we do know is a massacre occured. The Vikings looted the monastery, setting fire to the buildings and killing the monks, who were defencless. Any riches were looted, and it is also accepted that some monks were taken back to Scandanavia as slaves.

The only eye witness to this event were a group of local fishermen who saw the Norse boats sailing past. It is believed that they had been watching the North East coast for quite a while, and picked the Holy Island as an easy place to invade to the the fact that monasteries were not guarded or protected. Nobody on the island during the attack was ever able to retell the story, presumably because there were no monks left.

This was the first ever recorded Viking attack on Britain. The rest remains history.

A priory has existed on the island that was rebuilt after the Viking invasion, but that itself is now in a ruined state. Incredibly, despite the looting, St Cuthbert’s tomb was not touched. Fearing the worst, his coffin was removed and taken off the island, where it spent many years travelling safely south, to its current resting place in Durham Cathedral, which you can still see to this day.

It’s no surprise then that this island has so many ghost stories. A group of choir boys were practicing in the church by the priory when they claim to have seen a monk walking straight through the church. The church is built on the site of the original church which was burnt to the ground during the 793 invasion.

In 1967, Pat Robinson of Sutton’s Dwellings, was paddling in the rock pools under the priory when she saw a monk walking along the beach. She said hello, but he carried on past her, and when she turned around, he was gone.

In 1967, Pat Robinson of Sutton’s Dwellings, was paddling in the rock pools under the priory when she saw a monk walking along the beach. She said hello, but he carried on past her, and when she turned around, he was gone.

There is a pub called The Manor House which was once an actual house, built in the 1840s on the massacre site. The Crossman family had children that would often report seeing shadow figures walking around inside and outside at night.

In 1921, 1933, 1934, 1956, 1981, 1982, 1988, three times in 1989, 2003, and 2011, reports were made of monks walking across Pilgrims Way on the causeway. The most famous of these were the 1934 sightings by 2 fishermen, Bob Armstrong and Jackie Stokes. They made the local newspapers at the time, and claimed they were completely sober, but witnessed “about a dozen figures through the fog” and appeared to be walking above the water level.

I researched the Holy Island Facebook group whilst making my video, and found that people in there have reported sightings of figures too, always in and around the priory area of the island.

There is also a castle here, built in the 16th century. They have their own ghost stories, more notably a man nicknamed ‘bottle nose’ for his distinct feature. However, they’re not welcoming to paranormal investigators and there’s plenty more on the island to focus on for now. The castle does make for a nice photo opportunity though if you’re here for a visit.

Watch the video and enjoy! For my investigation, I tried out a brand new piece of kit – a GeoPort, handbuilt by George Brown in the US, whom is also responsible for building the GeoPort used by Nick Groff in the Paranormal Lockdown and Death Walker shows. I found that this piece of kit is amazing and it has given me some EVPs that are incredible. I also took the Spiritbox, Thermal camera and a KII EMF Meter.

Holy Island, with the causeway visible to the west of the island linking it to the mainland. The village of Holy Island is located to the south, which contains the priory ruins. Sandham Bay where the Vikings landed is to the north east (the bay on the right)

Visit Holy Island

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is available to visit all year round. The island has a small village on it called Holy Island, which is mainly made up of holiday homes, B&Bs and 3 pubs. It is located on the Northumberland coast, just south of Berwick and north of Bamburgh (2 excellent places you can also visit if you’re a tourist to the area.)

The priory is owned by English heritage, and details on visiting can be found HERE.

I’m guessing you’re here for the ghost stories? Well if you are staying on the island, you might as well stay at The Manor House Hotel which is haunted. Rooms are available, but demand is high. They do nice pub food, but booking is essential – they will turn you away if you haven’t booked, even if the bar area is empty (as I found out!) – for more information, visit them HERE.

Check the tide times! I can’t stress this enough, as despite warnings all over the island and local area, people still get stuck on the causeway when the tide comes in. It can be very dangerous and without the lifeboat rescue, there would be a lot more fatalities. Luckily a refuge box exists in the middle where a strandard person is able to climb up above the water level, but your car will be written off and will not be covered by your insurance. Northumberland council have published a set of safe crossing times on this site HERE.

The remains of the priory, which was built on the site of the original monastery. This is the main sight of the paranormal activity.
Cuthbert's Island - a tiny island that is reachable at low tide that still has the visible remains of the Saint's dwellings. It is claimed this was where the monk would spend a lot of isolation, and miracles would be performed to those in need here.
Inside the church beside the priory, where a group of choir boys reported seeing monk's walking through. Some members of the choir refuse to go back in here again.
Sandham Bay - the spot where the Vikings landed on the island in 793AD
The castle on Holy Island. A great place for a photo, but sespite it's ghost story, they don't take too kindly to people asking about it.