RICK HALE takes us to the seaside to discover the haunted Blackpool Pleasure Beach and all its ghosts…
Since 1881, the city of Blackpool on the Lancashire coast has enjoyed a reputation as being a place for family fun.
Starting out as a resort town where people from all over Britain could come and get away from it all, Blackpool eventually added amusements for its younger visitors.
However, among the shops, brightly lit neon signs and thrill rides, Blackpool, specifically Blackpool Pleasure Beach has gained a darker reputation.
A reputation for being a place where the dead enjoy the fun just as much as the living.
History of Blackpool Pleasure Beach
In 1896, Alderman William George Bean returned to his native England after failing to make a name for himself in New York City as an advertising executive.
When he landed in Blackpool, and noticed it’s popularity with tourists, he hit upon a brilliant idea.
He opened an amusement park with rides and games along the coast.
Around the turn of the century, Bean expanded by building the city’s first thrill ride, Sir Hiram Maxim’s Captive Flying Machine. A swing ride that still exists to this day.
Although the amusement park suffered a serious downturn during World War II, the park still exists to this day.
The original amusement park has been divided into three separate theme parks North Park, Nickelodeon Land and South Park.
It’s only been since dividing the park up that stories of hauntings began to surface.
The Haunting of Blackpool Pleasure Beach
The rumours of Blackpool Pleasure Beach being haunted made it a popular destination for ghost hunters from all over England. It was even the focus of several high-profile investigations.
In 2002, Yvette Fielding and her Most Haunted team travelled to the park and allegedly identified six very active ghosts.
Ghosts that have become just as much as an attraction as the rides and shops of the park.
Visitors to the park, and the staff that work the park, have reported encountering a phantom on the appropriately named, Ghost Train.
This ghost has been affectionately called, ‘Cloggy’.
Cloggy is believed to be a former operator of the ride who was known to wear very unique footwear, cloggs.
Cloggy, according to witnesses, is more heard than seen. People who work the ride have reported hearing the unmistakable sound of clogs when alone.
Cloggy has become Blackpool’s most famous ghost. And visitors will take a ride just to hear Cloggy’s ghost.
The Star Pub
Although this popular pub was closed and bulldozed years ago, The Star Pub still deserves a mention.
When the Star Pub was open for business, employees reportedly came face to face with the ghosts said to haunt it’s cellar.
Several spirits were said to haunt the pub’s cellar, but manifested as nothing more than shadows walking through the cellar.
However, one spirit that closely resembled 19th century German philosopher, Karl Marx was regularly encountered by employees.
When they went into the cellar to fetch beer barrels, the Marx look alike would stand in the corner staring at employees until they get what they need and leave.
Sir Hiram Maxim’s Gift Shop
In the gift shop of the thrill ride that started it all, the ghost of a girl has been observed by staff closing up for the day.
She has been described as wearing old fashioned clothes and being around 9 or 10 years old.
According to staff she appears to delight in moving things around and playing innocent pranks on staff.
No one is certain who this girl is, but she has been known to be active any time of the day and night.
The Ice Skating Rink
Countless visitors to Blackpool Pleasure Beach have remarked that the ice skating rink is by far the creepiest place in a park noted for its creepiness.
The sound of invisible people skating is regularly reported when there is no living person on the ice.
A handful of times the apparitions of people in early 20th century attire have been reported standing outside the rink as if watching loved ones skate.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach along the Fylde coast is considered to be an institution by many in Blackpool.
It’s also a popular place to go among visitors to the coastal town.
So, if you’re ever in Blackpool enjoy the rides, try your hand at the games and be on the lookout for Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s many ghosts.