World’s Most Haunted Places, The most haunted street in the world, a WW1 soldier on the underground, a laughing cavalier and a wailing banshee can all be found in Merseyside
The Ghostbusters on patrol, but where would they be needed in Merseyside?
Liverpool has well deserved reputation for having more than it’s fair share of ghosts, spooks and spectres.
The latest came to light earlier this week, with our story on the ghostly photograph taken at an old Liverpool cemetery.
With that in mind, Liverpool’s leading expert on all things paranormal, Tom Slemen, has written his guide to the top 10 most haunted locations in Liverpool.
Have a look below to read stories of the most haunted street in the world, a wailing banshee, a mysterious vampire and more – and let us know in the comments if you have ever seen a ghost.
10: Bidston Hill
Wirral’s Bidston Hill, one of the most mysterious supernatural landmarks in the country, rises to over 234 feet and has a long, dark reputation as being a meeting place for various covens and occultists.
Several ghosts are said to haunt this hill and its famous windmill – which was built in 1800.
A vaporous outline of a man – said to be a miller who was murdered in the early 19 century – has been seen in the vicinity of Bidston Hill windmill many times over the years.
Richard Tilly, a Satanist and lecherous murderer, is said to be buried close to the windmill and legend has it that his ghastly-looking zombie-like form has been seen to slowly emerge from its grave on some moonlit nights. Even in death, the lustful Tilly has allegedly attacked young ladies who have been foolish enough to cross the hill after dark.
Bidston Hill is also classed by many investigators of UFOs as a “window area” – a hot-spot of UFO activity where strange craft and lights in the sky regularly appear.
As recent as July 2012, a 25-year-old engineer named Mike Dunne photographed a dark disc-shaped UFO that appeared over Bidston Hill and hovered over nearby houses before vanishing. Dozens of other people saw this UFO.
9: Queensway Tunnel
Constructed between 1925 and 1934 (during which time 17 of the men working on the tunnel were killed) the two-mile-long Queensway Tunnel, which links Liverpool with Birkenhead, is said to be haunted by a female hitch-hiker and has also been the scene of numerous timeslips which have apparently shown the future as well as the past.
In the 1960s a young woman riding as a pillion passenger on a motorbike in the tunnel fell off and died from her injuries. Not long afterwards the woman’s ghost was seen by scores of motorists – and even Tunnel Police – standing in the middle of the road trying to thumb a lift.
On many occasions, drivers swerving to avoid the ghost have crashed, sometimes with fatal consequences.
During the first year of excavations for the tunnel, a “lost village” was uncovered under Manchester Street featuring tiny dwellings with 4-foot-tall doorways.
Incredibly, the vestiges of this (possibly Mediaeval) village were destroyed because the construction firm could not afford to wait for an archaeological investigation!
A spectral old-fashioned 1960s police vehicle looking like something out of Z Cars has been seen in the Queensway Tunnel at all hours in the morning, and there have also been intriguing reports of a golden futuristic vehicle overtaking cars at a phenomenal speed and vanishing into a section of the tunnel wall.
8: 251 Menlove Avenue – John Lennon’s old home
In recent years, an increasing number of Beatles fans from across the world have reported seeing the ghost of John Lennon peering from the bedroom window of his former childhood home on Menlove Avenue.
Mendips, a semi-detached property dating back to the 1930s, was the home to the Beatle from the age of five until world fame beckoned him at the age of 22 in 1963.
The property had no supernatural history, but after it was purchased by Yoko Ono – who donated it to the National Trust – the interior of Mendips was painstakingly converted back to the way it had looked in the 1950s and then came the rumours of Lennon’s white-suited ghost walking his old home.
A fan who camped out in the wee small hours even claimed to have captured a ghostly figure at a bedroom window of the property with a night-vision camera.
7: Epstein Theatre, Hanover Street
Formerly the Neptune Theatre, the building currently housing the Epstein Theatre (named in honour of Beatles manager Brian Epstein) has a long and chilling history of hauntings dating back over the century it has stood on Hanover Street.
It began life as Crane’s Music Hall, named after the Crane Brothers who ran a music store over the hall. There were a number of suicides at the hall, and in the 1920s the ghost of a man with a broken neck was seen in the dressing rooms of the theatre.
His appearance is said to herald misfortune or death and one actress who saw the reflection of a pale-faced man with his head lying sideways on his shoulder in her dressing room mirror later died during a simple operation.
In February 1993, a musical production of Dennis Wheatley’s book “The Devil Rides Out” was staged at the Neptune and all hell reportedly broke out when a pentagram was chalked on the stage.
All of the cast members were plagued with paranormal phenomena.
6: James Street Railway Station
James Street Station opened in 1886 and like many railway stations it has been the scene of suicides and fatal accidents over the years, but to date no one has determined the identity or history of the ghostly soldier who rides a train from Birkenhead Central to James Street, where it sometimes disembarks on the disused side of a platform.
Penny Lane lollipop man James Davidson told me back in the 1990s how he had seen the ghost on the train one day and had been intrigued by its flatness, as if it was just a cut-out.
Mr Davidson and many other passengers looked in awe at the two-dimensional figure, which was wearing a sergeant’s stripes on its uniform.
The ghost has a pencil-thin moustache, stands very straight with a swagger stick under its arm and never speaks.
A medium claimed the ghost was of a soldier who committed suicide on the line after returning from the horrors of WWI, but no one knows the real story behind this repetitive apparition.
5: Knowsley Hall Banshee
Set in 2,500 acres of land (which contains the famous safari park), Knowsley Hall, once the grand ancestral home of the Earls of Derby, has about a dozen apparitions of both people and, strangely, motor cars that belonged to one of the former occupants of the hall.
Parts of the hall date back to around 1500, but it’s known that a building stood on the site before this in the 12th century.
The grounds of Knowsley Hall and several roads near the estate are haunted by two ghostly vintage cars with unusually bright headlamps, but no drivers to be seen. These paranormal vehicles have caused motorists to swerve from them and, on one occasion, a ghostly car went straight through the limousine of a visitor to the hall.
Ghostly butlers and staff dressed in Victorian attire have been seen in the hall, but the most intriguing ghost is a wailing woman in white with dark eye sockets who roams the grounds of the hall around 4am.
In 2009 a paranormal group from Wales apparently captured a blurred picture of this ghost which had appeared to them as an orb.
Two members of the group later died a week later and so the ghost has (probably unfairly) been deemed as a banshee.
4: Speke Hall’s Family of Ghosts
One of the finest examples of a 16th century half-timbered house, situated in a manor dating from the 12 century awaits us on our doorstep at Speke – and so do the ghosts.
Speke Hall has a White Lady, a see-through Victorian gardener, a ghostly priest who dates from the era of Cromwell, the solid-looking phantom of a priest who dates back to the 1930s and, believe it or not – a werewolf-like beast.
The supernatural star resident of the historic hall is a cavalier who has resisted all attempts by historians to be identified.
When workmen were renovating a loft at the hall in the 1950s they noticed someone who looked like one of the Three Musketeers leaning against a beam as he grinned at them. The Cavalier casually passed a hammer to a workman who fell through the hatchway in terror.
In the early 1970s, a 13-year-old Halewood lad named Charlie Williams used to ride his Chopper to Speke Hall and he befriended what he assumed to be an eccentric dressed like the Laughing Cavalier in the courtyard of the hall.
“Mr Pobjoy” as this odd fellow called himself, taught Charlie sword-fencing, but when he later admitted: “I’ve been dead for years”, the boy rode off on his bike.
3: St James’s Cemetery, Hope Street
Where else in the world would you find a sunken graveyard containing 57,000 Victorian and Edwardian graves along with a mysterious “healing spring” and the monument to the world’s first victim of a railway accident?
Only in Liverpool, in the shadow of the Anglican Cathedral – the biggest Cathedral in Europe.
St James’s Cemetery is haunted by dozens of ghosts, including the limping spectre of William Huskisson MP who is seen to leave his grand mausoleum where his remains were laid to rest in 1830 after he was run over by George Stephenson’s Rocket locomotive.
A spring which flows from a wall in the cemetery has been linked to a witch named Jenna Green, who lived near the site of the cemetery when it was St James’s Mount.
She is the origin of the Ginny Greenteeth folklore character of children’s rhymes of yesteryear.
Beware if you visit this dormitory of the dead though, because a vampire-like entity has been reported there since the 1960s
2: Bloody Acre, Childwall
Within a small parcel of land adjacent to All Saint’s Church – Liverpool’s oldest church on Score Lane, Childwall – you will find “Bloody Acre”, a headache for local historians and a delight for the ghost hunter.
No one knows why this piece of scrubland is called Bloody Acre for no battle ever took place there, but for some obscure reason the Liverpool Council of long ago promised the citizens of Childwall that they would never build upon it, lest a terrible curse fall upon them.
Tales abound of the ghosts, corpse candles (coloured orbs) and “black goblins” of the acre who occasionally invade our world to wreak havoc – as well as a black shadowy entity known as an angel of death which rises up from the acre when a world war is imminent.
The acre is only for the seasoned ghost hunter
1: Rodney Street, Liverpool City Centre
Rodney Street is the home to so many ghosts and legends, it used to take me two hours to cover it in my ghost walks.
From the mysterious pyramid in the street’s St Andrew’s cemetery which is said to house the mortal remains of William Mackenzie – a Victorian who played a game of poker with the Devil for his soul – to the ghost of Polly, a tragic lady in white who haunts the former nurses’ home, Rodney Street probably has the most haunted dwellings in the city.
“Lantern Jaw” a man with a huge square jaw with a long flowing opera cloak and a top hat has been seen walking down Rodney Street after dark for years, and is often confused with a similarly clothed but shorter ghost who may be William Mackenzie of the Pyramid.
The two ghosts are often seen to argue and fight, but no one knows why.
Nor does anyone know who the beautiful petite woman with the huge “Quality Street” Regency bonnet is who walks down nearby Maryland Street with a little girl – but they began to walk after bones were unearthed by workmen in St Andrew’s Cemetery – of an adult and child.
I have heard ghostly carriages pulled by invisible horses tearing down Rodney Street and braved jade fogs to come face to face with the shades of those long turned to dust.
In fact with over forty catalogued ghosts this surely is the most haunted street in the world!