Blackpool's top 10 ghosts
Read Juliette Gregson's top ten myths and spooky stories from her home town of Blackpool...
Frenchman's Cove is in the South King Street premises which once housed Duckworth's Tobacco warehouse. Reports from owner Billy Johnson have included that workmen building in the cellar have thought that someone or something have been watching them. Billy got sent an article and photograph from the time the warehouse was built, this revealed that the ghost in question came from Scarborough and was called Laura Schoons. To this day late at night staff still feel that someone or something is watching them.
Blackpool may owe its early reputation for healing the sick in mind and body to the priests who took refuge in the isolated building of ‘the Foxhall’ in the 17th century. The original building was far from grand. It was a long, low three-gabled residence which resembled a farmhouse. Its three storeys each had 4-5 rooms with low ceilings. The ground floor also included a private chapel. There was a small lead tower on top of the house (Blackpool's first tower?) gained from within by a staircase and the thick walls contained many hiding places (priest's holes) and secret passages. Over the years this house turned into a hotel and public house. Many spirits over the years have been seen that have ranged from priests, smugglers and aristocracy.
The Old Coach House
The Old Coach House is a former vicarage reputed to be the oldest building in South Shore. Owner Claire Smith has been told by guests about the spirits that reside and watch over the guests. Allegedly the guests told her a male figure was staring at them eating a meal and was wearing a cap and black cloak. A second spectre is female and has the name of Shirley and looks after the dinning room, many guests have seen them but to date the owners have not.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach has not one but several ghosts that reside in the world famous amusement park. If you dare, visit the Ghost Train itself where the footsteps of Cloggy, a former ride operator who always wore clogs, have been heard. My late grandfather worked as a joiner there and at times had to repair the track, when I asked him, he said “Oh yes, there was something or someone that watched over us!”
The Eagle and Child
The Eagle and Child pub claims to have a ghost that goes by the name of Murph, apparently sometimes after midnight you can hear him moaning at the bar and scaring away the customers. Rumour has it he was an old highway robber from London who came to hide from his previous crimes.
Old Coach House
In December 1936, the Blackpool Evening Gazette carried an article entitled 'Carleton Ghost?' A Layton taxi-driver claims he has seen a ghost with a green face, near the gates of Carleton Crematorium where five years previously a lonely widow had been battered to death in nearby Robins Lane – a quiet area near to Carleton - and perhaps the green face had been this poor woman's ghost? The taxi driver, Harry Hodges, picked up a young lady from North station and took her to the crematorium. He pulled up to the gates and found himself staring into the face of an old man, 'with sunken eyes, long dark hair, a Punch-like nose and prominent chin'. The woman screamed and jumped out of the cab and ran off, Harry watched as the face moved in front of his cab and then disappeared.
The Illuminations Department building on Rigby Road is an old building which has a history as a donkey stable prior to taking on its current use. Due to the nature of the work, involving a lot of nightshifts, staff are often in the building late at night and, after several of them having had what they perceived as supernatural experiences. One of the fitters, Frank Murray had often complained of feeling cold and of a presence hanging around when he was working in the fitting shop early in the morning and other staff have reported strange noises. A medium has also identified the spirit as a “Ted” who had owned a boat and drowned. After all the regular trams have stopped running for the night, a phantom tram is reported to travel slowly and silently down along the rails.
The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
In 1994, Blackpool woman Jill Cook called in a priest, two psychics and even a Mormon missionary to try to help her get rid of a ghost which she claimed regularly attacked her. The attacks began in early 1994, when she felt something climb into bed beside her and pull off the towel which she was wearing wrapped round her head. She felt a 'vile' sensation as it touched her – "like tiny needles trying to pierce my skin". While she continued her quest to be rid of the haunting, she discovered that placing an ioniser in her room moved the ghost from one room to another.
In the early morning of Christmas Eve 1919 the body of 26 year old Kathleen (Kitty) Breaks was found among the sand dunes at Lytham St. Annes near Blackpool. She had been shot three times with a revolver. Frederick Rothwell Holt who had been her lover, was arrested and charged with her murder. Holt's footprints together with his Webley service revolver and blood stained gloves were found in the dunes. Many holiday makers and locals over the years have claimed to see the sad wandering spirit of this woman.
Raikes Hall was previously a private dwelling and is now a public house in Blackpool. Once a convent, one of its former inhabitants who drowned herself nearby comes back to visit from beyond the grave and move items around the pub. Late at night regulars have heard strange noises from cellars.
The views expressed on this page are those of the contributor and the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the BBC.
last updated: 03/04/2008 at 12:40
Have Your Say
Have you seen any of the Blackpool spooks?
nick richards & natalie thornewell stayed on the18
Natalie and Nick
Natasha and Christina
Sarah from Cleveleys
alycia and manda
alycia and manda
Charlotte Littler - palatine sports college :P
Jemma swainston rainford
kayleigh and beth