Haunted soap sets – dead soldier in Corrie studio to Emmerdale co-star ghost

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    UK soaps are known for a dramatic Halloween storyline or two – but many cast and crew members have also claimed that the sets themselves are haunted in real life.

    From claims that the ghosts of Coronation Street icons haunt the set, to former EastEnders stars speaking out about their paranormal encounters, and former stars' presences being felt on the Emmerdale set, there have been reports of spooky goings-on throughout the years.

    One Emmerdale actor reckons the presence of his old co-star is still being felt in the corridors. He claims ghosts "definitely" exist.

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    It's not long until Halloween. Daily Star takes a closer look at the stories from supposedly haunted soap sets.

    John Thaw 'haunts' Emmerdale set

    Emmerdale Paul Ashdale actor Reece Dinsdale has claimed that the soap's set is haunted by his former co-star John Thaw. Reece and John starred alongside one another in the ITV comedy Home to Roost, which was filmed at the very same studios as Emmerdale.

    Speaking to Daily Star, Reece is now convinced that Insepector Morse John still walks the corridors of the studios, saying: "Sometimes I walk down the corridors at the Emmerdale studios and I just remember these were the same hallways where John and I walked 30 years ago while filming every episode of Home To Roost.

    "There are definitely ghosts. It feels like another lifetime. I'm losing so many fine friends and colleagues these days. So sad."

    Ghosts of Hilda Ogden and Elsie Tanner

    We all know that ghosts have come back during episodes of Coronation Street – but it is reported that former stars are also haunting the set in real life. There are rumours that Jean Alexander and Pat Phoenix, who played Hilda Ogden and Elsie Tanner on the soap, often visit the set as ghosts.

    The ghost story rumours have become so notorious that even Inside No9 star Reece Sheersmith and Steve Pemberton reportedly refused to film an episode of the series there, according to The Sun. That's not all, as Coronation Street star Beverley Callard claimed that the ghost of late soap actress Anne Kirkbride, who played Diedre Barlow in the soap, haunts the set.

    She told Daily Star: "I had been doing quite a lot of filming at the Barlows’ set and it’s a weird feeling. She was there in spirit. Her photos are on the shelves and you can’t go on the set without saying: ‘Oh, I hope you’re here with me’."

    Eileen Grimshaw star Sue Cleaver also believes that there could be something, or someone, haunting the set, telling The Sun: "So many people have seen and felt the same things that there has to be something in it." Johnny Briggs, known for his role as Mike Baldwin, was also spotted on Corrie’s cobbles in 2021, a year after he had died.

    An ITV source said that “a few things” had spooked them, such as “prop bottles of scotch that were moved”. It was “Mike’s favourite drink on the show”, and some of the crew have “smelled whiffs of cigar smoke”.

    Cursed Coronation Street set

    As well as the ghost stories, some have begun to believe that the new Coronation Street set is cursed, after a series of bizarre goings on away from the cameras. In 2017, once such incidence saw a band left horrified when their equipment randomly exploded during a rehearsal for the Granadaland music festival on set.

    The group also said they heard "strange banging noises" during their set, with the festival's director telling The Sun: "We know there have been numerous rumours over the years about paranormal happenings." That's not all, as the soap also was hit with a series of cast sickness while on set in 2015.

    The £10m set at Salford Quays in Manchester opened in 2014, with The Mirror reporting that cast and crew believe the set is haunted by the spirits of long-dead dockworkers. A show source told The Mirror: "It may sound far-fetched, but people are openly saying the sit is haunted.

    "Every time something goes wrong the cry goes up, 'We are cursed'. At first it was seen as a joke but believe it or not, some have convinced themselves it is true. It has even been suggested, albeit lightheartedly, that an exorcist should be invited on to the set."

    Most Haunted presenter Yvette Fielding also claims there's a dead RAF woman haunting the Corrie set in Manchester. She told Daily Star; "There was a lot of tapping and knocking – the tapping phenomenon that we get. We knew that there was definite activity and that spirits were there.

    "There was a woman there, and she has been seen in an RAF uniform. I think it was her that was coming through. She has been seen there a lot, this RAF woman."

    Eerie EastEnders encounters

    It's not just Coronation Street that is supposedly haunted, as some cast fear that there are spooky goings on in Albert Square too. Former EastEnders star Rose Ayling-Ellis was reportedly convinced that the set was haunted, with Rose telling friends that she witnessed doors opening and then slamming shut in front of her when no-one was around.

    One night when filming later, she was also said to have felt a presence near her and went cold. A source told Daily Star: "Rose definitely feels there is someone or something haunting the place."

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    • Eastenders
    • Coronation Street
    • Emmerdale

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