Most Haunted: The Slaughter House, Liverpool

“Most Haunted” is back, and Season 19’s third episode will air on UKTV’s Really channel (Friday, 28 Apr 2017, 10 PM).

haunted Slaughter House, Liverpool
photo courtesy: User Rept0n1x at Wikimedia Commons

This episode was filmed at The Slaughter House in Liverpool, England. (Actual filming was September 2016.)

The haunted Slaughter House Pub is one of many famous ghostly sites in Liverpool. It’s also the city’s oldest pub.

(The pub’s name gives me the creeps. I’m not sure I’d choose it as a place to relax and forget the troubles of the day. But, it has a great reputation and is popular with tourists as well as local residents.)

According to the Paranormal Database, the Slaughter House’s ghosts include two spirits who live in the cellar, and sometimes appear near the bar.

However, other reports suggest even more entities at the site.

Was it a slaughterhouse?

The obvious question is: Was the haunted Slaughter House really a slaughterhouse?

According to researcher Tom Slemen, the answer is no. It was never an “abbatoir” as some were called. (Other terms included “fleshers” and “flesh markets.”)

Mr. Slemen lists several previous owners and businesses at the Fenwick Street location.

I checked his research, and confirmed his results.

For example, I had no trouble finding Peter Edwards in the 1827 Liverpool city directory, with an office where the Slaughter House is, today. (His residence was 11 Portland Street. His office was 15 Fenwick Street.)

Peter Edwards - Slaughter House - 1827

However, I’m not sure if Mr. Slemen studied anything before the late 18th century. (Generally, I like to go back at least to the 16th century, and as far back as the 14th – or earlier – if I can.)

Liverpool directories didn’t exist in earlier times, so it’s not an easy task.

So, Mr. Slemen’s initial study may not reflect the whole story. In fact, Alex of Auld City tours says the Slaughter House site was an abbatoir.

Until I can study this further, I’m reluctant to say it was never an abbatoir.

Note: English history goes much further back than modern records. Also, hauntings like the Slaughter House’s usually indicate a lengthy, turbulent past.

So, I cast a wide research net, and don’t rule out anything until I’ve triple-checked it.

If you’d like to dig further into history, see my preliminary notes about the Slaughter House site: Haunted History: The Slaughter House, Liverpool.

The Slaughter House’s Ghost Stories

Reports at the pub include the sound of a little boy ghost, hair being moved by invisible fingers, other poltergeist activity, and the sound of glasses clinking when no one is nearby.

The best description of the Slaughter House’s ghosts appeared in a 2004 article, quoted at YO! Liverpool.

Here’s some of that article:

[from the cellar] …We decide to go walkabout. On the “evil” stairs leading out, the ghostometer begins to sound uncomfortable and Billy claims he feels a presence but nothing too strong and certainly not malevolent.

We proceed to the top floor and it’s here, at the top of the stairwell, that Billy first detects something.

“The impression that I get here is that there was some kind of self destruction that somebody committed suicide. Somebody died in this area but it must have been some time ago. It was a man who hanged himself here.”

The ghostometer duly goes slightly bonkers emitting a fluctuating whine like that of the dentist’s drill. We head a little more quickly back downstairs where, back in the bar, it’s thought that it might be a good idea if Billy went back down in the cellar, alone this time, so as not to be distracted.

Billy, for some reason, doesn’t agree.

Minutes later Joe and I are perched on stools downstairs and after a brief surf with the divining rods – this area of the city apparently being awash with ley lines which convey psychic power – Billy has placed the ghostometer at the centre of the low stage at the far end of the room.

He then retreats to another stool on the far side where he sits occasionally stroking his chin apparently preoccupied in thought.

No words are spoken. The only sound is the warble of the ghostometer in mild distress.

Ten minutes later Billy springs up and walks over. “I’ve just been having a conversation,” he says calmly and then points at the stage.

“It’s a guy sitting over there. He says his name’s is Walter Langton. He worked here in the 1800s. He’s very rude and bad tempered and he says he wants to do me harm. I’ve told him he can’t. He chooses to be here. He also knows that we are here and he wants us to go. But I don’t feel intimidated.”

Billy then says that there is another presence on the stage. It’s a middle-aged woman dressed in grubby smock and bonnet. She’s possibly from the 19th century and called Meg or Mary. She’s unaware of us but is apparently looking for her son.

” He was crushed to death here,” adds Billy simply.

Needless to say neither Joe or I have seen or heard anything – it is, unfortunately, the drawback of the medium’s trade that concrete proof is hard to produce.

Nevertheless there’s an unnerving feeling that we’re not alone and there’s relief in finding the stairwell behind the bar – and not adjacent to Walter’s alleged spot at corner of the stage – to return to a curious Adam and co upstairs.

Walter Langton Research

Because Liverpool was a very active port in the 1800s, it’s difficult to pinpoint just one likely person.

Walter Langton might have worked at the site briefly, waiting for a ship to sail, or immediately after he arrived in England from Canada or the United States.

I found a Walter Langton, born around 1863 in Plymouth (England), who was part of the crew of a ship that docked regularly in Liverpool.

Casting a wider net, using “sound alikes” such as Langdon and Longton, I found a large array of Walters arriving and leaving on ships at the port.

A Walter Longton appeared in the 1871 census for Liverpool. He was a student and the son of a farmer. He was born around 1860. I have no further info about him.

My “gut feeling” is that the Slaughter House’s Walter Langton may have been a transient.

(For more history like this — strictly for hard core ghost researchers — see my related article, Haunted History: The Slaughter House, Liverpool.)

Other investigations

Here’s one YouTube video of an informal seance (glass on a table) at the Slaughter House:

MOST HAUNTED

I’m eager to see what Yvette and her team encounter during their “Most Haunted” investigation.

And, next time I’m in Liverpool, I might investigate the Slaughter House, too. Its ghost stories sound credible and interesting.

Most Haunted Season 19 - 2017“Most Haunted” airs on UKTV’s Really channel every Friday ( #FrightDay ) at 10 PM. See their current schedule at the Really channel website.

In the US, you can sometimes (not always) watch via streaming UKTV (special US selections) on Roku.

Or, UKTV viewers (in the UK) can catch past episodes online, at https://uktvplay.uktv.co.uk/shows/most-haunted/watch-online/?video=5325442486001

Most Haunted UK – It’s Back!

Most Haunted Season 19 - 2017Yvette Fielding is back with Season 19 of “Most Haunted.”

From the first episode (at the Abbey House Museum), it looks like she’s keeping the show authentic, with genuine frights.

Yes, she still startles easily. And shrieks.

But, she also resumes her composure quickly, and follows-up with an immediate second look at what might have caused whatever-it-was.

I respect her for that. (No matter how long you’ve been investigating paranormal sites, there’s always something new to startle you.)

“Most Haunted” airs on Fridays at 10 PM in the UK. (It’s on Really, also available through the UKTV channel on Roku and other US streaming services.)

I’ll be watching the second episode tonight. The location is likely to be the stables at Wentworth Woodhouse in South Yorkshire, England.

For background on the site, see Project Reveal – http://www.project-reveal.com/wentworth-ghosts/4540123959

I’m most interested in Wentworth’s “Black Shuck” legends. I have no idea whether the “Most Haunted” team will encounter one of those sinister creatures.

Weird, Scary & UnusualI wrote about the Black Shuck in Armchair Reader: Weird, Scary, and Unusual. (That book is out of print, but you can still find inexpensive, used copies at Amazon.)

The word “shuck” may come from the word “scucca,” meaning “demon.” Or, it might be from a local term, “shucky,” meaning shaggy or hairy. (See Black Shuck at Wikipedia.)

My research also connected the sinister Shuck to real dogs and to the English Civil War (1642 – 1651).

The Black Shuck appears in the truly eerie Cabell family legends (basis of Conan Doyle’s “Hound of the Baskervilles” story) in the town of Cromer, in Norfolk, England. That story had an English Civil War connection.

Thomas Wentworth 1641 Earl StraffordLikewise, the Yorkshire Wentworth family (in this new “Most Haunted” episode) faced tragedy during the Civil War.

For example, Thomas Wentworth, the 1st Earl of Strafford — shown at left, with one of his dogs — was impeached under the reign of Charles I, and executed in 1641 at Tower Hill.

(When King Charles I was beheaded several years later, he said his own death was a form of penance, because he’d allowed the execution of Wentworth.)

So, the Wentworth family history was turbulent. It’s the kind of story that often leads to hauntings. Any location associated with the Wentworths is a good site for ghost investigations.

Meanwhile, I’m not sure why these “shuck” stories seem consistently connected with the English Civil War. That will require more research.

However, similar spectral hounds have been sighted regularly:

  • Near Blythburgh’s Holy Trinity Church (also called Cathedral of the Marshes),
  • Along Shuck Lane in Overstrand (Norfolk), though some claim that was a hoax. (My research uncovered reports long after the 1820 “hoax” story. So, I’d take that location seriously.)
  • And — through the 20th century — especially Coltishall Bridge, just north of Norwich.

You can read more about Black Shucks at On the trail of Black Shuck, at In:Sights, and many articles at Shuckland.

Is the Black Shuck a ghost, or from the fae world, or something else altogether? I’m undecided.

Whatever it is, it’s disturbing. I’m not sure I’d ever want to see one. According to legend, anyone seeing a Black Shuck will soon die. (However, since there are reports by those who’ve seen a Shuck recently, I’m not sure I’d take the curse seriously. I’d just prefer not to test it, myself.)

I’ll be watching “Most Haunted” tonight (Season 19, Ep. 2) to see what Yvette & her team discover. Early reports suggest the ghost of Thomas Wentworth himself.

(Unable to watch on UKTV? Catch up on recent “Most Haunted” episodes at https://uktvplay.uktv.co.uk/shows/most-haunted/watch-online/?video=5325442486001 )

Also, if you’re a fan of shows like the Haunted Collector, they’re available on UKTV’s “Really” channel, too. (This week, the Haunted Collector has been airing at midnight in England, which is late afternoon or early evening in the U.S. See the schedule at the Really Channel website.)

And yes, the hashtag for this is #FrightDay (because it sounds like “Friday,” when new “Most Haunted” episodes air). I like that.

More Americans Believe in Ghosts, Not Fewer

Full moon - ghostly sceneA decade ago, most scholars claimed that about 50% of Americans believed in ghosts or related paranormal phenomena.

Since then, those numbers may have increased. Here’s the news story:

MSU Professor: Belief in Ghosts and Other Paranormal is Strong – KEYC

“Studies indicate that 75% of Americans believe in at least one of the supernatural phenomenon surveyed, and while scholars over the last century have been predicting that believes in things such as ghosts and hauntings would dissipate as a result of the increasing efficacy of science, technology, and education. That’s just not proven true at all,” said Sociology Professor, Dennis Waskul.

Read more …

I wonder if the recent focus on “fake news” makes people less confident about supposedly reliable resources.

Left to trust their own instincts, perhaps some people realize that ghosts might be real, after all.

One intense encounter — or even an eerie experience — may be all it takes to tilt the scales from “skeptic” to “believer.”

ghostbat

Also in the news: Syfy may have cancelled Ghost Hunters, but other ghost-related shows continue to feature lesser-known haunts.

It’s smart to know what will be featured on TV, if you want to investigate a site before the energy is diluted by a fresh stream of eager, aspiring ghost hunters.

Here’s a former Ohio school that sounds interesting.

Haunted old Butler County school to be featured on national TV – Hamilton Journal News

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 17:27:04 GMT

Hamilton Journal News – Haunted old Butler County school to be featured on national TV. Poasttown Elementary, a former Madison Twp. school building that is now the home of Darrell and Brenda Whisman, will be featured on…
Read more …

Of course, I still recommend your own local research, to find unexplored haunts with powerful ghostly energy.

Ghostly News and a CT Ley Line – 10 Oct 2016

October is here, and so are articles that show a profound misunderstanding of what ghost hunters do.

I’m rather irked reading the insults in “Study links poor understanding of the physical world to religious and paranormal beliefs.”

Tarring all religions and paranormal beliefs with the same brush, the article –  based on a study by Marjaana Lindeman and Annika Svedholm-Häkkinen of the University of Helsinki – claims:

“The results showed that religious and paranormal (supernatural) beliefs correlated with all variables that were included: low systemizing, poor intuitive physics skills, poor mechanical ability, poor mental rotation, low school grades in mathematics and physics, poor common knowledge about physical and biological phenomena…”

That list continues, but I think you get the point.

And, I know quite a few highly educated priests and professors who’d disagree with that correlation.

Oh, I’m not disputing the study results, just the sampling they used or the methods, or both.

It’s typical of the bias we deal with as researchers.

But, for every annoying article like that one, I find several news stories that intrigue me.

I started with an article about a haunted site in Pennsylvania. Then, I found a news article about a Connecticut ghost investigation. After that, I started connecting the dots – literally. In the explanation that follows, you’ll see how I use news stories and maps to find even more interesting places to investigate.

ghostbat

theatre curtainFirst, there’s the Casino Theater in Vandergrift, PA (USA). It’s opening for an investigation. The site’s history sounds like it’s worth a visit.

I’m always interested in haunted theaters. An unusually high percentage of theaters have ghost stories, and very obliging ghosts.

I mention them in my article, What Makes a Great Haunted Research Site.

  • Theater ghosts often respond well to direction (just as actors do).
  • Backstage, almost every theatre has at least one haunted dressing room… with a juicy story.
  • And, almost every theater has a ghost that supposedly sits or stands in the dark, near the back of the theater. In some cases, a cigarette may be involved, as well as visible wisps of smoke, or a smoky aroma.

If you’re in the Vandergrift area, learn more at this article: Casino Theater paranormal investigation attracts believers, skeptics.

ghostbat

Then there’s the Dr. Ashbel Woodward House Museum in Franklin, Connecticut. It used to be the home of a medical practice. Today, it’s a historical site.

A news story describes a recent investigation at the site. I’m not sure it’s very haunted, but it has the features I look for in a historical site that’s likely to have ghosts of some kind.

If you’re near Connecticut, here’s the article: Ghost hunters look for paranormal activity at Franklin museum.

About 15 minutes away, a “My Ghost Story” episode was filmed at 3 Boswell Avenue in nearby Norwich (CT). Apparently, some ghosts still linger. (The segment was “The Grim Rapper” from “I Am Full of Madness” that aired 14 May 2011.)  You can read about it in TV show will explore ‘haunted’ home that drove man from Norwich.

If you want to see the Norwich site, remember it’s a private residence. Be discreet and respectful of their privacy.

ghostbat

Exploring ley lines

The proximity of those two haunted locations makes it easy to draw a line between the two sites. In fact, any time I see two paranormal sites – especially haunted sites – near each other, I draw a line that connects them.

Then, I extend that line in both directions, and see where it leads me.

After reading about those two Connecticut haunts, I was eager to get to work. I’ve never been to Norwich, so I wasn’t sure what I’d find, but my “gut feeling” told me I’d find some great haunted places, nearby.

First, using Google Maps, I constructed a line from 3 Boswell Avenue to the Dr. Ashbell Woodward House Museum.

Then, I checked a few local landmarks that were on or near that line.

Immediately, I was drawn to Norwich’s Colonial Cemetery. That cemetery is closed, but the information online looks fascinating.

With three interesting haunts along one line, I knew I’d find more. So, I kept researching odd places close to the line.

Almost instantly, I found Norwich State Psychiatric Hospital, aka, Norwich State Hospital for the Insane. Several ghost hunters reported it as a terrifying place to investigate… when they could visit it.

As of 2016, this dangerous site – with demolished buildings and collapsed tunnels – is strictly off-limits and unsafe.





In addition, Norwich State Hospital looks like it’s over a mile away from the line.

Many researchers limit their ley lines widths to 12 feet. Others talk about lines as wide as 15 miles.

A few researchers insist that extreme weather, emerging fault lines, and other natural issues suggest that ley lines may be expanding, too.

Personally, I vary the width of the line with the location. That’s part common sense and part “gut feeling.”

In New Orleans’ French Quarter, the lines can be just a few feet wide. In other areas, I’ll expand them a few miles at the very most. My goal is to keep my lines as narrow and focused as possible.

So, I’m iffy about including Norwich State Hospital. If I had more time, I’d look for more ghost reports on or near the line. I’d judge the line width based on how many sites are nearby.

I might try some line variations, using the hospital as a starting point. That site’s ghost stories are certainly lurid.

But, at the moment, I’m not sure. And, I’m working on my next book. So, I’ll leave this ley line for others to explore and refine.

Nevertheless, this shows you how I use news stories and maps – plus some online research – to find and evaluate other sites that could be haunted.

Ghosts in the News – 9 Oct 2016

‘Tis the season to learn about ghosts… in the news, at least.

Every October, I like to study news reports for ghost stories I didn’t know about. Every year, I find a few surprises.

Of course, October is “prime time” for ghost hunters. We discover nearby haunts that are new to us. That gives us a fresh list of sites investigate during the rest of the year.

Apparently, this October may be your last chance to enjoy the Ghost Walk at White Hall (Kentucky, USA). See “Ghosts and Goodbyes… White Hall’s Final Act.”

What got my attention was this:

It tells the story of a trusted slave Clay accused of murdering two of his children. The woman was taken to court and a jury of 12 slave owners found her innocent. Still believing she had poisoned his two children, Clay sold Emily down south.

The Myrtles Plantation, Louisiana, USA
The Myrtles Plantation – famous and haunted.

That story is a very close match for the tale told at The Myrtles Plantation. (My research showed that no child died from poisoning at that site.)

Now, I’m wondering if the poisoning story is an old, urban legend that floats from one famous haunted site to another.

(The Myrtles is definitely haunted… just not by the two children of the story. According to genealogical records, they grew up and lived full lives.)

I’m also interested in Old Fort Niagara’s “Haunted Fortress,” in New York state. That one includes stories — some of them first-person — of ghostly encounters at the site.

Other communities — including Greenfield, Ohio’s “Old Burying Ground” Ghost Walk  and Columbus, Texas’ “Live Oaks and Dead Folks” Tour (not sure if that’s still active) — have featured similar “ghost walks” with living history.

Those kinds of events can spark more intense hauntings, so I recommend them. Check your community calendar for costumed, historical ghost walks at local haunts.

They can be entertaining, and many of these October events are fundraisers for worthy causes.

Just remember: the people you think you see in costume…? Some of them may be ghosts. Historical re-enactments and ghost walks can be “prime time” for apparitions, too.