Cleethorpes Water Tower

I moved to Cleethorpes over a year ago but I’d not really explored it. I’d visited the beach and the shops but I felt like I hadn’t really got to know this seaside town as much as I should.

Yesterday, I went for a walk with a friend and was surprised when we came across this water tower and pond, I began taking pictures as it really stood out from the rest of the area. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t spotted it before. My friend who has lived here since he was a kid said that in the 1970s there was a rumour that the pond was bottomless and children were warned not to go near it. It sounded like an obvious ploy to stop children falling in the pond and drowning but still, there was something about that pond and that tower that felt a bit off. I got a strange feeling about it so when I went home, I did a little research.

I found that the pond is not actually bottomless and is infact 40 feet deep.

It was originally a brick pit owned and dug by Walwyn Thomas Chapman and his family from 1881 until it was abandoned in 1915 when it was closed down due to fears that the light from the fires of the clay kilns would result in unwanted attention from German Zeppelins. In 1904 the workmen hit an underground spring and were unable to stem the flow of water. The pit was then abandoned and was allowed to fill with water. It was fenced off and sold to the local waterworks company.

The Water Tower which stands next to the pond was built sometime around 1910. It was originally taller than it currently is. For reasons unknown the original top was replaced with the current one sometime prior to 1963.

Of course, you know where this is going, the pond and the tower are haunted!

According to the Facebook page which is dedicated to Chapman pond, there are a few ghost stories associated with the pond and the tower. In the early 1900s, a horse and cart accidentally fell in one night and both the horse and driver drowned. The ghost of the driver is said to still haunt its waters. Perhaps this was another reason why children were warned not to play near the pond; a ghostly cart driver might drag you into his watery resting place. Obviously that’s just a legend, right? Well not necessarily because a child actually did drown in the waters some time afterwards. Her ghost has been seen numerous times, crying out for help. Whenever someone goes to save the drowning girl, she vanishes. The tower is also haunted! There have been numerous sightings of a figure plunging from the top of the Water Tower.

In trying to research who these ghosts might have been when they were alive, I turned up nothing! There were plenty of stories but no names. Apparently many children have drowned in the pond but it’s only the ghost girl who is regularly spotted. It’s surprising that there are more myths and legends surrounding this little pond than there are about the beach which is only a few metres away, especially since there are plenty of actual news stories about people drowning in the Humber.

Since I can’t find any confirmation that anyone died in the pond or the water tower, I can’t really say whether it is actually haunted. They could be made up stories to stop kids going near it or they could be rumours that came about because of how creepy the tower looks. No matter what, it deserves to be explored and I will probably visit there again one night to look out for any ghost children or jumping figures, I am not expecting much but I’ll update you!

The Metheringham Lass

When you think about classic urban legends, you tend to think of America. There’s a lot of stories involving a young couple crashing their vehicle on the way to the prom. Usually it’s the girl who continues to haunt the particular stretch of road that they died on. Rarely it’s the boy or both the boy and girl. The most famous urban legend that is based on a story like this is ‘Resurrection Mary’

As you probably know already, I’m from Lincolnshire and I like to write about the ghosts of this county which could well be one of the most haunted counties in England. It is for this reason that this article will focus on one particular haunting that has some resemblance to a classic American urban legend.

Royal Air Force Metheringham is situated between the villages of Metheringham and Martin and is 12.1 mi (19.5 km) south east of Lincoln, Lincolnshire. It was opened in 1943 and operated as a bomber airfield during the second world war before being decommissioned in the spring of 1946. It is believed that during the years of its operation, a flight sergeant was driving himself and his girlfriend back from a dance on his motorcycle when he accidentally swerved and crashed near to the location of the RAF base, killing the couple instantly.

The only reason anyone dug up the news article about this tragic motorcycle accident was because many people driving in the area between 9:30pm and 10pm had witnessed something quite unnerving. A young beautiful woman dressed in a pale green coat with a grey chiffon scarf will flag them down and ask for help in locating her boyfriend. A strong smell of lavender then fills the car and as the driver steps out to assist, the smell of lavender is replaced by the smell of rotting flesh and it’s at this point that the driver will notice that the mysterious woman has vanished.

It isn’t just motorists who have seen this tragic apparition. Many cyclists and even pedestrians have seen her. Sometimes it’s a fleeting glimpse, other times she will step out into the road and then vanish. Sometimes she will plead with someone to help her injured boyfriend and some have been so close to her that they have noticed she has a RAF insignia on her green coat/jacket.

The article claims that the young woman’s name was Catherine Bystock and that she was a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. When her boyfriend crashed the motorcycle they were on, Catherine was only 19 years old.

Photograph from RAF Metheringham Visitor’s centre (This photograph does not feature Catherine, it is to show what she would have looked like and worn)

The Ruskington Horror

In Lincolnshire there is a stretch of road that may well be one of the most haunted roads in England. The A15 between Ruskington and Sleaford has left many unsuspecting drivers quaking in their boots.

There have been numerous sightings of a ghost cyclist as well as well as a little girl in a pink dress and a phantom horse. If you imagine seeing any of these things as you drive down a country road in the middle of the night, it will certainly make you fearful however these sightings are nothing when compared with the ‘Ruskington Horror’

The A15 road

Police in the area say it’s a fairly regular occurrence to receive phone calls from terrified drivers, but what is it that’s terrifying them? apart from the sightings mentioned, there is one apparition that carries with it a sense of true fear. It is said to resemble a white shape that slowly turns into an olive skinned man. This may not sound too scary, but his actions are quite different from the actions of the more stationary roadside ghosts.

One man was very shook up after seeing a white shape in the distance at the side of the road. As his car approached the figure, he realised it was a man with his left arm up
‘Did he maybe want a lift?’ the man thought. As he got a little closer he realised that there was something off about this man, he decided not to pull over, however his decision not to invite this man into the car was actually quite pointless because this ghost was going to take a ride with him whether he liked it or not.

A few seconds after seeing the man, he noticed something in his peripheral vision, so he turned his head to the right. What he saw will stay with him for the rest of his life. There peeping around the front pillar of his car’s windscreen on the driver’s side was a face. It was the face of the man he had driven past. He continued driving with this apparition attached to his car for a total of 30 seconds before it faded away. Police were impressed that this man was able to drive so calmly with such a terrifying spectre only inches away from his own face.

This man would not be the only witness to this ghostly face. Many drivers have seen the white shape that slowly turns into a man, and plenty more say that his face has followed them before fading away or turning in to mist.

You may wonder where this ghost came from, does he have a back story? who was this man when he was alive? well no one knows for sure but many believe that he may have been a plague victim since his face is described as being ‘pitted’ and ‘ill looking’.

Photo by cottonbro

To add to this theory, a plague pit was unearthed in a field right next to the spot where the Ruskington Horror is always seen. When it comes to American ghost stories, there is often an ‘Ancient Indian Burial Ground’ involved, in Britain there’s always a ‘Plague pit’

Not too far away there is also a church which was built and used by the Knights Templar. Did they maybe perform some kind of ceremony on the land that trapped wandering spirits? I guess we’ll never know but one thing is for sure, I’m never going to drive down that stretch of road alone at night.

Humphrey The Little Boy Ghost Of Lincoln

For those who don’t know about Lincoln, it is an old cathedral city in the East Midlands. It actually has remains of buildings from the Iron Age.. that’s how old it is :O It is known for its historical buildings including Lincoln Castle and Lincoln Cathedral.

There is a street called ‘Steep Hill’ which leads to the entrance to the cathedral. It is well known for its jettied, half timbered houses and a house called ‘Jew’s House’ which is one of the oldest extant town houses in England.

Steep Hill is known for something else too, it is quite haunted! I’m going to focus on one particular ghost though, his name is Humphrey.

Humphrey is the ghost of a little boy who has actually been on TV before. He was a prominent feature on an episode of ‘Most Haunted’ when he communicated with the late medium Derek Acorah. In fact Humphrey certainly likes to make his presence known. it is believed that if you ignore his antics, he will go to great lengths to make you pay attention to him.

He is a mischievous little ghost who enjoys moving things around and making lots of noise. He mostly resides in a restaurant called ‘Brown’s Pie Shop’. The restaurant and pie shop is in a 17th century building located at 33 Steep Hill.

A view of Brown’s Restaurant and Pie Shop

Humphrey seems to especially enjoy tormenting chefs. This is possibly due to the fact that the chef is often alone in the building for at least an hour before the start of a shift. One story is of a chef who claimed he heard what sounded like someone running around the building. He went to investigate but found no one. When he returned to the kitchen, all of the plates and pans had been moved about. The chef had heard stories about the famous little boy ghost and so he said the words ‘Don’t mind me Humphrey’ and the activity died down for the day.

He decided that to make things run smoothly, he would acknowledge this mischievous ghost each day by at the very least uttering his name ‘Humphrey’

On one occasion, he forgot to acknowledge his ghost friend due to it being very busy and at one point during the service, he returned to the kitchen to find that not only were the pots and pans strewn about the kitchen, but a carving knife had been stabbed into the wooden floor.

From that incident and numerous others, it was very clear that if Humphrey wants to play with you, then you must play back, otherwise you should expect a tantrum.

He has mainly been heard and sighted in the cellar where diners can eat their meals in a warmly lit room with an arched ceiling. It is in this area of the building that one woman repeatedly saw a little boy running around the tables. She had been expecting to dine in the cellar alone and when she asked the staff to remove the irritating child, they had to inform her that there were no children in the building… no living children anyway!

The cellar part of the restaurant

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Google Maps Ghosts

It’s quite common these days for people to spot weird things on Google maps street view. People have seen everything from aliens to the Loch Ness monster. The problem I have with a lot of these sightings is that there’s no context. What looks like a scary clown stalking the countryside could have been a a dad dressed as clown on his way to his son’s birthday party for all we know.

The Stuart Hotel as it appeared on Google street view (February 2016)

One of the more famous ghost pictures found on Google Maps is that of the Stuart Hotel in Liverpool. I shouldn’t say ‘ghost’ really since it looks more like a demonic elf or something. The most logical explanation is that it’s a Halloween mask or costume that has been put in the window.. possibly on purpose so that others would see it and think it’s real. Maybe the owners knew that the Google earth van was coming to town that day and they thought it’d be funny to put a cardboard cut-out of a gremlin in the window or something. The reason I am so sceptical is because I’ve actually done something similar myself.

It’s a little blurry but above is a picture of my old flat as it appears on Google Street View. It was probably around 2015, we had recently played a gig and had been paid with Star Wars memorabilia (unusual I know) one of the things we got was a life size cardboard cut-out of Han Solo. After his legs accidentally fell off due to being moved from room to room a lot, I decided to put his top half on our front window sill for the sake of being weird for no particular reason. It was of course fantastic that the google street view van turned up a few days later and managed to capture Han in the window.

It’s not so unusual for people to try and draw attention to themselves or their houses, just look at the mad stuff people cover their houses with on Halloween and Christmas. I think a lot of what we see as ghosts or monsters on Google Street view is nothing more than people pranking the world by doing something weird for the cameras.

Another explanation might just be good old pareidolia! we do tend to see faces and patterns in things, it just seems to be the way our brains are wired. It explains why a burnt piece of toast might look like it has the face of Jesus on it or why light reflecting off a window might look like a vampire looking in at you. It’s our overactive imaginations and our tendency to turn every unknown shape into something familiar.

Yesterday I drove past an old building near me that has always looked pretty cool to me, I think it’s because it’s red/pink and it has old fashioned windows which are in a way Georgian styled. We used to drive past it to go to band practice. When I got home last night I decided to check it out on Google Street view to see if it had any ghosts in the windows. I know it seems silly but it just looked like it might be haunted. This is what I found..

I don’t know what that thing is in the top window, but it looks ghoulish to me. I don’t know if you’ll be able to see what I’m seeing, but it kinda looks like a monster with a pointed head and pointy ears with a hand that has very long fingers or fingernails. It’s face is partly hidden by a window muntin (yes, muntin is a new word to me too)

It is most likely a reflection of something, maybe the clouds. It could be something covered with a sheet in that room or anything else that is quite innocent. It just shows you how easy it is for some people to see shapes, figures and faces in windows on Google street view, especially if they’re looking for something weird.

I’m not doubting the existence of ghosts and I’m not saying that all Google Street View ghosts can be easily explained as something quite normal or innocent but it seems that most of them can probably be explained as such. There will always be the real ghosts that may in fact go undiscovered. Let me know if you find one!

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