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!