We report the clinical MRI and histopathological features of five consecutive cases of spinal paraganglioma. Three intradural tumours were found in the typical location (two at the L4, one at the S2 level); one intradural extramedullary tumour arose at an unusual level, from the ventral C2 root, and one extradural tumour growing along the L5 nerve root sheath had an aggressive growth pattern with early, local paraspinal recurrence and, eventually, intradural metastatic spread. This type of growth pattern has not been described previously. Paragangliomas of the spinal canal are more common than previously thought and can be located anywhere along the spine, although the lumbosacral level is the most common. Their appearance on MRI can not distinguish them from other tumours in the spinal canal. Even though paragangliomas in general are benign and slowly growing their growth pattern can vary and be more aggressive, to the point of metastatic spread.