Guest writer DOMINIC McELROY is a lead paranormal investigator for Irish Paranormal Investigations and a lifelong Liverpool F.C. fan who has been to Liverpool more times than all their cup and league wins combined. In honour of his favourite player Steven Gerrard, Dominic tells us his favourite 8 haunted locations in Liverpool.
The Penny Lane Poltergeist
Made famous by The Beatles, number 44 Penny Lane was host to a poltergeist who spanned pre and post WWII and The Beatles themselves. Believed to be a young blonde-haired girl, activity started in around the time of the first world war and continued to more recent times. Following interest from local media, residents of Penny Lane began to step forward and tell of thuds, bangs, apparitions and vibrating walls.
Speke Hall, Liverpool
Speke Hall is a Tudor style National Trust building on the banks of the River Mersey. Considered to be a hotbed of hauntings from a Victorian Gardener to a priest, this picturesque location has the darkest of stories to tell. In the 18th century Lady Mary was a notable affluent woman of social standing. She married a playboy who gambled and played away every penny they had. On hearing the news, she threw their baby son from the window before committing suicide in the Great Hall. Footsteps are often heard along with the sound of a baby crying.
The Empire Theatre
Dating back to the 19th Century, The Empire Theatre was an old-time music hall. One of the staff was on stage cleaning, when a piece of equipment fell on her. Elizabeth tumbled into the Orchestra Pit and broke her neck. It was written off as an accident, but the equipment needed someone to have caused it to drop. She remains in the theatre, usually seat A5, perhaps waiting for the truth to come out. She is one of many seen within the theatre and they have scared so much, workmen carrying out restoration at the end of the 1990s downed tools and walked out in fear!
The Queensway Tunnel
Also known as the Old Tunnel or Birkenhead Tunnel, it runs under the River Mersey and is over 2 miles long. It was famously featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I. During the 1960s a female pillion passenger was flung from the saddle and died instantly. Since then cars have swerved to avoid her ghostly apparition and crashed. A vintage spectral police car is also seen in the tunnel.
Newsham Park Hospital
The former orphanage and mental asylum was in operation until the end of the 1990s. One nurse in particular reported ongoing phenomena only to be found dead on a ward some time later. As the building lays to rot with wheelchairs and beds rusting, reports continue of apparitions and activity in this Grade II listed building.
Saint James’ Cemetery
Not the smallest of burial grounds, there are just shy of 60000 corpses buried within. Unusual for a cemetery, there are several reported spectres including William Huskisson, an MP who has the unusual honour of being the first person to be run over by Stephenson’s Rocket. What was left of him was interred at Saint James’ and the sightings began soon after.
First the site of a hotel in 1826, it has been rebuilt upon and guests have included Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan. Ghosts who have a permanent reservation include a pageboy who was trapped in a lift and a suicide victim known as George, who has a ghostly habit of shouting from the window to passers-by!
In 2008 when rumours were abundant of Liverpool looking for a new ground, workers reported seeing the apparition of the legendary Bill Shankly. The iconic Liverpool manager has his ashes buried within the shadows of Anfield and famously gave his address as such to a hotel as ‘that’s where he lived.’ Perhaps the thought of his beloved Anfield being reduced to rubble was just too much!
It would appear Liverpool is a city where you truly never walk alone.
5 Haunted Places to Visit in Liverpool
(Originally published on Spooky Isles 26 January 2013)
HOWARD JACKSON takes a look at some of Liverpool’s spookiest locations, including the world-famous Beatle landmark Penny Lane!
If you do not want to hang around after dying and you are called George and live in Liverpool, think about changing your name. Of the 37 ghosts that haunt the city the most popular name is George. These five five are well worth looking at. So, enjoy the atmosphere of a city that relishes the past more than most. Visitors that are called George should be fine.
Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool
The old, famous and once very grand Aldephi Hotel in Liverpool is still popular with those who come to see the Grand National. It occupies pride of place in the city centre and is the other side of Lime Street, the same street Maggie May had to abandon when her career in prostitution was terminated. George has been seen in the Adelphi several times and by different guests. He stands by the beds on the fifth floor. The rumour is he likes to observe out of town racing folk.
Out in the suburbs but not too far away is Penny Lane, the location made famous by The Beatles and popular with tourists. It is near to the enormous Abbey Cinema, now destroyed, and a sorely missed gothic monument. Number 44 is the house that suffers the visitations. The ghost has not been seen but witnesses have testified to hearing his loud and very creepy footsteps.
For those who think Scousers only drink and watch football, we have ghosts who are well read and inspired by the great authors. A fan of the classic supernatural story, ‘The Signalman’, the ghost around Otterspool Rail Station appears waving a red flag. The history of the ghost is recent. In 1951, a teenager was saved from being killed by a train. The rescuer, though, died and he is still there waving his red flag, as anxious as the hero created by Charles Dickens. There is a fine coastal walk from Otterspool, pick a fine day.
Breeze Hill, Walton is busy with traffic and many travel it once a fortnight to Anfield to watch the world famous Liverpool football team. It also has a special attraction for the paranormal. Two of the old terraced houses have hauntings. George, there is that name again, was once a former slave. The experience has left this George full of anger. No merely standing by beds for this George. He has slapped one man as he lay on the bed. A woman who rented the property was forced to flee the premises. She was in tears and she screamed something about an angry spirit. There is, though, a decent pub around the corner. Visitors can combine a look at the famous street with a pint and a visit to the two football stadiums.
Sir Thomas Street
This old street is located in the city centre and is popular with the young that roam between bars. There is much to do and see. Before I began drinking, I was given my first job in Sir Thomas Street at something called the Youth Employment Bureau. In the same street, a ghost has been heard in a toilet. It issues warnings about future events and since Cameron became Prime Minister has been quite busy. Fortunately, the ghost is not confined to the loo. It has been seen climbing stairs and passing doors. The toilet is significant. A woman was supposedly murdered close to the toilets where the warnings are heard. This is just the thing for the curious but you have been warned.
HOWARD JACKSON is the author of Treat Me Nice Elvis, his music and the Frankenstein Creature. He is also one of the contributors to Frankenstein Galvanized which is edited by Claire Bazin. Treat Me Nice and Frankenstein Galvanized are published by Red Rattle Books, which can be followed on Twitter here.