A lot of people ask me if I’ve seen any ghosts or had any spooky experiences in cemeteries whilst taking photographs. I’ve had a couple of odd experiences, but I’m very sceptical.
Some time ago while visiting Manchester Road Cemetery in Warrington, I had a very strong feeling that I was being watched. While scanning the scene of dark headstones, some leaning at precarious angles about to fall, I had a vision that someone was looking back at me. I couldn’t see anything!
The only sounds that broke the deathly silence were the twittering of hidden birds.
Of course I was feeling a bit on edge as I stood there alone, and I do have an over active imagination. I was creeping myself out, so I carried on walking and returned home safely.
A few months later, I returned and suddenly, the strong feeling of being watched returned, but this time there seemed to be more urgency. I was on the main path that led up to the little chapel taking photographs of the monuments, when I felt a presence behind me, so I quickly turned around.
I can only describe what seemed to be a shimmer moving past me towards the chapel. It looked similar to the heat rising from the horizon in the distance, but I felt no fear and I haven’t experienced anything like that since. Like I said earlier, I have one over active imagination.
2019 update: I have sensed a presence and seen shadow figures out of the corner of my eye in different cemeteries, but when I turn and look there is nothing there and again, it’s not an eerie experience.
St James Cemetery, Liverpool
St James cemetery that lies in a sunken sandstone quarry contains the graves of 57,000 Victorians and Edwardians and is over shadowed by Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral. Most of the headstones have been taken up and placed around the perimeter and the sandstone walls are covered in old etchings or graffiti.
I’ve never been able to shake off an uneasy feeling each time I’ve visited this cemetery and to my amazement, I’m now living within a five minute walk of it on Huskisson Street.
Within this cemetery, you will find walled tombs and archways that were once the gateway in and some have been bricked up. On some of the remaining headstones at one end of the cemetery, you will find Masonic symbols and an empty area that is guarded by a locked gate.
I found this Lost boys graffiti that had been painted onto the etched sandstone wall that adds to the eeriness of this place and shows the odd etchings and markings.
The Ghost of MP Huskisson
This cemetery is said to be haunted by the ghost of William Huskisson MP whose footsteps have been heard near his mausoleum pictured below. Some people also claim to have witnessed his limping spectre dressed in a top hat and long cape. His body was laid to rest in 1830 after he was ran over by George Stephenson’s Rocket locomotive.
This information has been sourced from Liverpool’s, Tom Slemen in his book titled Liverpool Ghost Walk. He informs us about a number of ghostly tales about the dead of this cemetery and the possible origins of the old etchings or graffiti that I told you about earlier. There is one particular tale of a child’s corpse with red hair that was found sitting upright in her coffin after robbers broke into the walled tombs. For further information and to purchase his books, please visit his website.
In this same book, he mentions that the site of St James Cemetery was revered by Wiccans and that it has a dark association with a legendary Lancashire witch named Jenna Green, later known as Ginny Greenteeth. She was cast out of her coven for some unknown reasonand is said to prowl river banks and streams and there is a subterranean stream beneath the cemetery.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve read Tom’s book that I feel uneasy when visiting this cemetery, but I seriously recommend reading this book, because there are numerous tales of ghastly goings on within this cemetery and mention of occult symbols that have been etched into the sandstone walls.
Ghosts Caught on Camera?
Many years ago when I first began to enjoy taking photographs of graves and tombs, I took a snapshot of a tomb in the grounds of St Elphin’s Parish in Warrington. I can see clearly what appears to be two male heads peeping over the grave at the camera. Upon closer inspection, it’s just the markings on the tomb and a tall weed that make it appear that they are ghosts, or am I wrong?