The Shiverpool Scenic And Sinister Haunted Heritage Trail
For those of you who wish to or are brave enough to explore alone in your own time and space we present and invite you to delve deep into Liverpool’s Scenic but Sinister Haunted Heritage Trail from our Top Ten spine tingling locations.
So pack your torch, garlic, holy water and your squalking bOOts (sorry) and get set to explore!
Your trail begins in the middle of Liverpool’s seven original streets- The Tower Buildings are said by paranormal investigators to be Liverpool’s most haunted location. References to this site date back to 1257. The menacing ‘Tower’ or the Borough Gaol as it was called then, once stood on this site. During the Napoleonic Wars nearly 4,000 French prisoners where incarcerated, many died in the ghastly.inhumane conditions, it was said by visitors to be the most depraved and horrific of places. Current residents have reported hearing the sound of chains being dragged down the stairways- others have seen visions of these poor emaciated souls chained to the walls, wailing into the night in torment. Many have reported feeling a strange and sudden overwhelming sense of sadness in certain parts of the building- so sad that it becomes oppressive, causing them to flee to safer ground.
Spend the time to enjoy the view of the Liver Building and the ambiance of this pretty place and after lock-down-Top tip- pop into Ma Boyle’s for an elixir of a more congenial spirit!
2. St Nic’s Church, and Churchyard
This location is Rated: 3 Skulls
From the Tower Buildings head through the gates to the Churchyard of Our Lady and St Nicholas. This sanctuary on the shoreline is the oldest institute in the City and home to the infamous “DEAD HOUSE” The black trapdoor entrance to the mortuary can be seen at the back of the church below the church spire (visitors can experience this unique space on our Auld City and Dead House Tour which will be operating soon once the situation is safe enough to do so.)
This ‘floating chapel’ (as Herman Melville once called it) was the site of a tragedy that saw 25 children from Moorside girls school killed beneath the crumbling tower of the church 11th Feb 1810.
Many of you may not be aware too, that cradled within the church walls is a mass unmarked grave, the historic location is also home to the City’s plague pits…
Top Tip- as you walk up Chapel Street to the next location- seek out the grandeur of the Hargreaves Building on your right, and the many heads featured of those that explored the new world!
Top Tip Two- Can you spot what once was the secret HQ of the American Confederacy emerging to the left down Rumford Place- (look out for the American and British Flags) We would recommend you take a slight break from this route and explore Rumford Court further- fascinating hidden heritage.
Top Tip Three- for you ArtyFarties- look out for the Banksy ‘love plane’ on the far side of the NCP carpark to your right.
3. Exchange Flags & The Town Hall
This location is rated: 5 Skulls
As you walk up Chapel Street you will soon be greeted by an arched entrance on your right side leading to Exchange Flags. Emerging through the corridor, before you, in the centre of this magnificent square sits the huge public sculpture of Nelson. There is much to say of this piece of art and much symbolism to discuss but for now – seek the skeletal figure of Death, clutching at the bare breasted Nelson, reminding us all that Death will come for us in the end… Death completes us- its the last patch of unprinted snow that no one can report back on… Or so they say…
The Town Hall too has much history as you can imagine, the very underbelly of the building is said to harbour tunnels that lead to the fortress of power St George’s Hall- and other passages connecting the Tower Buildings. There are many who claim to have experienced the afterdark antics of the Hall’s undead residents, we’ve been informed that the spirits and ghoulish characters include, the eerie vision of an old aristocratic lady dressed elegantly in white lace- said to grace the grand ball rooms after wedding events, the sound of her foot steps and gentle melancholic singing has been heard by many a footman and waitress clearing away for the night… The sound of children too, the clapping of a skipping rope has been heard slapping against the long and lonely corridors in the servant’s quarters, the scratching at the window panes and shivering in the endless winter of death…
Continue on your journey to the left down High Street… Can you see the wounds of war on the left side building? Small crater-like holes mark the landing of a high explosive incendiary bomb during the May Blitz of 1941 that sent white hot shrapnel tearing through the building and the Town Hall to. Don’t forget, take the time to look up and absorb the great detail of the craftsmanship on the Town Hall itself – can you see the many wild animals and exotic creatures- the faces of Native America and Africa?
4. Sweeting Street, Home to Liverpool’ Oldest recorded Ghost Story
This location is Rated: 4 Skulls
Venturing through exchange flags and onto the processional avenue of Castle Street, boasting the lofty banking halls and marble facades dive to the left down a crooked alleyway… Find yourself drifting back in time down ‘elbow lane’ Sweeting Street, named after Alderman Thomas Sweeting, once Mayor of Liverpool and home to Liverpool’s oldest recorded ghost story, that of Rose Poole, whose five golden rings were stolen from her corpse by her husband as she lay in her coffin awaiting a desperately lonely incarceration- but her restless soul took revenge… !
PART TWO – We have started our journey for the second part of this trail within the rope walks area with intentions of clawing our way towards the Georgian Quarter… Some of the most exquisite views and buildings nestle within its boundary, as do the most weird and wonderful stories, take care dear creatures!
5. The Cornwallis Street Swimming Baths
This location is Rated: 3 Skulls
If you are continuing from the first part of the trail make your way through Liverpool ONE (beware any zombie shoppers) and find yourself at the bottom of Duke Street. Take a deep breath and start the upward journey. As you draw towards the top, on the right- sneak down a shadowy avenue – Cornwallis St. Home to the Infamous Cornwallis Street Swimming Baths- you’ll be able to see its faded yellow facade that has definitely seen better days… In 1919 tragedy struck when two young brothers went for a dip and only one returned- the abandoned pool is said to be haunted by the spirit of the young boy who appears as real as day, smiling as though in greeting to stunned passers-by… But beware for no words are heard coming from the poor child, stuck in time the ghostly spectre summons a volley of black filthy water that escapes his lifeless blue lips- horrifying anyone who visits this lonely hidden little court.
Toptip- after you have recovered and checked your garlic is still intact be sure you spend a little time to take in the largest Chinese Gate outside of China at the top of Duke St. Did you know that Liverpool has the oldest Chinese community in Europe?
6. McKenzie’s Tomb and Rodney Street
This location is Rated: 5 Skulls
From Duke Street continue up the hill towards Upper Duke Street, where soon you will be greeted by open invitation to the crooked smile of Rodney Street on the left. Take your chances (and refuge from the hilly stomp) walk your way carefully down this impressive atmospheric artery- The most haunted street in Northern England.
Walking through pools of sulphuric lamplit light and shadowy corners you will discover many a house belonging to pioneering folk of the medical profession and eventually (if you make it this far) after a short while you’ll encounter an unusual and striking view, set behind a spiked iron fence an odd and disconcerting blackened pyramidal tomb. The pointed structure sits in the centre of a Presbytarian graveyard. The graveyard lies within the shadow of the grade II listed Church of St Andrews. Legend has it that within the inky blackness of the tomb sits Ole Will Mackenzie- Liverpool’s most famous undead resident- whose crooked gentlemanly form has been seen withdrawing from the church walls at the break of day- when most ghouls have scurried back to the underworld for another day’s sleepless rest. It is said that Ole Will Mackenzie bet his soul to the devil himself and now walks the earth a restless soul, interred above ground in his famous pyramidal grave, until judgement day comes to claim him.
Top Tip- Over the road you will be able to see the Victorian former hospital at the end of Rodney Street and the site of the World’s first American Consulate.
7. The Wellington Rooms, former Irish Centre
This location is Rated: 3 Skulls
From the Pyramid tomb continue to the end of Rodney, to the junction that greets Mount (Un-) Pleasant and start the exploration upwards. After a few twinkle toes you will see the faded grandeur of The Wellington Rooms. Reluctantly enjoying its 204th birthday – originally a popular hub for the city’s high society and elitist residents. Founders of this establishment included slave traders, ship builders, the aristocracy and merchants. Though these days this building is referred to, by many, very affectionately as The Old Irish Centre.
Be warned though dear creatures for the unnerving vision of the Irish Banshee has been seen here time and time again… An omen of imminent death – the Banshee has appeared to many an unfortunate soul in this area once full of Irish poor… Should you hear her ancient cry we can only hope you have all your affairs in order!
8. The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King
This location is Rated: 1 Skull
Marching up the hill on the left you will be rewarded by the awe-inspiring spiked topped pile of The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King. Given many affectionate nick-names such as The Pope’s Launch Pad, The Mersey Funnel and of course Paddy’s Wigwam.
On this site however once stood a house of correction- the largest workhouse in Britain, and at one point the workhouse held 4000 troubled souls. The site is haunted by a dark phantom shadow that walks the Cathedral steps at night, paranormal investigators claim it to be a victim of the great fire of 1862 when 21 children and two nurses were sadly burned to death in the blaze as they slept in their beds.
9. The Philharmonic Pub
This location is Rated: 2 Skulls
Walking from the Cathedral, enjoy the cultural cacophony of Hope Street with its theatres and restaurants… After an easy stroll this street will gift you a handsome grade I listed structure, The Philharmonic Dining Rooms, sitting rather comfortably on the corner of Hope and Hardman Street.
Said to be one of the most haunted pubs in the country no less (and it certainly is a favourite haunt for visitors and local’s alike not to mention the meeting point for the Famous Hope Street Shivers Tour)
The Philharmonic has frequent visits from the Irish Banshee- often heard weeping and wailing in the cellars, and to keep her company a second apparition calls the Phil its home, the stooped profile of a stout old man in a grey cloth cap has also been seen muttering to himself in the quiet corners of this fine place, though far from being a menacing presence- this retiring old gentleman is said to bring you good luck!
9. The Former Sheltering Home for Destitute Children- Myrtle Street
This handsome house is home to a motley crew of destitute demons, scratching at the windows and shivering in the endless winter of death! It has also been reported that lonely night watchmen have heard loud the banging of doors throughout the twilight hours, CCTV has captured footage of random objects and abandoned toys all moving of the their own accord- being pushed through the air by the unseen hands of emaciated tykes in search of a playmate…
10. St James’ Gardens- formerly St James’ cemetery….
From Myrtle Street dance your way down back onto Hope Street and allow the gravity of the Anglican Cathedral to lure you into its indomitable shadow. Resist the main visitor’s entrance to this Gothic pile and be sure to notice the modest gated sideway to our next destination that leads to a side slip downwards, a curious winding pathway. Notice the temperature drop soothingly. Trust your instincts and take care for we are not alone here (dog walkers likely). Fear not though dear dreamers do not forget to enjoy this great green lung of wonderment in the middle of the city. Away from the world and all of its complications…
For over a hundred years this was the site where Liverpool buried its dead. There are nearly 58,000 souls absorbed into the earth beneath your feet, and the people were from all walks of life. Rich merchants, slave traders and Ship Builders, MPs and the gentry accompany mass graves of cholera victims, orphans, children who died within hours of their lives beginning.
Do you believe the dead come back and watch the living? We are pretty sure you’ll find out whether you believe or not, right here…
We’ll leave you now to contemplate that most satisfying of questions, who are we and why are we here… And to remember – no one gets out alive!